Pope Encourages Fight Against Corruption

In Address to Bishops of Dominican Republic

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VATICAN CITY, JULY 6, 2007 (Zenit.org).- Every Christian should work to fight political and economic corruption, above all the laity involved in public life, said Benedict XVI.



The Holy Father made these remarks condemning the "subtle and widespread blight" of corruption Thursday when receiving the bishops of the Dominican Republic in audience, in Rome for their five-yearly visit.

The Pope explained that the mission of the laity is "the establishment of the temporal order, and to act in a direct and concrete way, guided by the light of the Gospel and by the Church's teaching, and inspired by Christian love."

"For this reason," he said, "it is necessary to ensure that lay people receive adequate religious formation, so as to enable them to face the numerous challenges of modern society."

"It is their task to promote human and Christian values that illuminate the political, economic and cultural life of the country, with the aim of instituting a more just and more equitable social order, in accordance with the social doctrine of the Church," said Benedict XVI.

"In accordance with ethical and moral norms," the Holy Father said the laity "must provide an example of honesty and transparency in the management of public affairs, in the face of the unseen and widespread blight of corruption, which at times touches areas of political and economic power, as well as other spheres of public and social life."

"The laity," he continued, "must be the leaven of society, working in public life to illuminate the different arenas in which the identity of a people is forged with Gospel values."

In their daily lives, he said, "they must witness how the Christian faith is the only fully valid response to the problems and expectations facing every person in every society."

Benedict XVI warned of the dangers of Catholics who live "two parallel lives: on one hand the so-called spiritual life, with its values and its needs; on the other hand, the so-called worldly life, which is family life, work, social relationships, political and cultural commitment."

"On the contrary," the Holy Father said, "they must work so that their lives and their faith become an eloquent witness of the truth of the Christian message."