PopeWatch: Corruption



Fighting against corruption is a major theme of Pope Francis, he even considers it a greater evil than sin.  “Corruptionis a greater evil than sin”, and more than “be forgiven, must be cured”.  Father Ray Blake, however, wonders about the example of the Vatican when it comes to fighting corruption:


It has been put forward that there has been clamp-down on corruption, some notable dismissals like the ‘Bishop of Bling’, Bishop Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst. Yes, but the expenditure of Cdl Reinhard Marx has gone unnoted, there has been no investigation but he is spending 51 million euros for the beautification of the Archdiocesan Campus and not an eyebrow is raised in the Holy See. In Italy the reputation of the Bishop Albenga-Imperia, Bishop Mario Oliveri is being trashed. In part it appears he has welcomed some FFIs and also because some of his priests have been ‘moon-lighting as barmen, stealing parish funds and getting tattooed’. I don’t know if his response might be, ‘Who am I to judge’ but their behaviour seems no worst than members of the Papal circle, lifts and Swiss army officers come to mind or some of the clergy of the diocese of Rome who reputed spend time in cities gay enclaves. Indeed, who will investigate Rome where so much seems to be swept under the carpet. Remember the ‘Vatileaks’, what has happened to that? What about the diocese of Linz or the Archdiocese of Vienna where according to reports from We are the Church type groups, a considerable number of the clergy are living in either homosexual or heterosexual relationships.


The impression that is given is that Justice in the Church is itself corrupted, indeed, that it is actually about settling scores and has nothing to do with truthfulness which was once considered a Christian virtue. Rather than being consoled by accounts of these investigations I become increasingly alarmed, it seems as if some religious orders or diocese that seem to produce fruit and are orthodox are subject to investigation whilst others which are barren and often highly unorthodox carry on in their own sweet way, especially if the have powerful or wealthy friends at court. The problem is that Justice appears to used as a robber baron or some New World dictator might use it, as a means of intimidation and threat, not to bring the Salvific Light of Christ to bear on dark and hidden corners. It is as if some are above the Law and others crushed by it.

Go here to read the rest.  Corruption of course is not greater than sin, but is merely one of the infinite forms than sin can take.  Being against corruption in one’s enemies while winking at it among one’s friends and allies is another form that sin can take.

More to explorer


  1. And…. “so much has been swept under the carpet”. Amen
    Can we admit then that the Holy Spirit through the good Pope Francis has aroused our sense of sin and the corruption it has produced among us to where we dare now speak of it in the open and begin our repentance seeking in humility to restore order, bind our wounds, and repair the damage for those of us who chose to remain as sorrowful sinners with trust in God’s mercy in preparation for the coming of the Master of the House? Praise God and let the cleansing begin!

  2. “Can we admit then that the Holy Spirit through the good Pope Francis has aroused our sense of sin…”

    I think the Holy Spirit is working though as God often does. That is, in spite of rather than because of Francis. Unfortunately, a man who thinks “corruption” is worse than sin is not arousing a sense of sin but numbing us to it.

  3. Corruption is indeed an evil, but an evil greater than sin? How does that even make sense? Corruption is either itself a sin or a consequence of sin, but either way I cannot make sense of the Holy Father’s statement. I think those of us encumbered by linear thinking are going to struggle with this papacy.

  4. Yes to the post and the comments here. In my way of phrasing it, corruption (death, decay) is the result of sin. First Chapter Joshua tires to prepare the people for battle that will be ongoing and warns (verse 7) against turning to the right or to the left. God is working and is triumphant, may we do and be the same in HIs Name.

  5. Mike Petrik wrote, “Corruption is either itself a sin or a consequence of sin”

    But also the cause of it, as when St Prosper of Aquitaine, preaching against the Semi-Pelagians, speaks of that corruption of our nature, whereby man is very far gone from his original righteousness and which works in the children of disobedience. “Works,” as in yeast, for he goes on to quote our Lord’s words in Mark 8:15, when he warns His disciples to “Take heed, beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, and of the leaven of Herod” and, again, in Luke 12:1, where He warns them, “Beware ye of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy.”

    Like St Augustine, St Prosper insists that we sin because we are corrupt and cite Jeremiah, “The heart is deceitful above all things, And desperately wicked; Who can know it?” (17:9-10} and Genesis, “for the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth” (8:21)

  6. Perhaps for a leftist, for whom God is government, for whom having the right men at the controls of government can bring about heaven on earth for ALL men, i.e. the material salvation of all,
    corruption (of the men in power in government) is the ONLY sin worth the name. It is the sin against good government.
    So the Pope’s comment seems to be of a piece with his other exhortations directed at governments to be good.
    Always a good time to re-read of Dostoevsky’s Grand Inquisitor.

  7. From the Pope’s chat with Jurists, “The criminal sanction is selective. It is like a net that captures only the small fish leaving the big fish to swim free in the ocean. The forms of corruption that must be persecuted with greatest severity are those that cause grave social damage, both in economic and social questions – for example grave fraud against public administration or the dishonest use of administration.”
    If administrations were smaller, maybe they could cause less damage.

  8. Good God Almighty … we have people lining up to whip a man for attempting good? Is there no stop or shame in these efforts?

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