Parents who feed their children on ‘unclean bread’ earned through bribes and corruption are starving them of dignity, Pope Francis said Friday.
During his homily in the Vatican’s Casa Santa Marta, the Pope said ‘worldliness’ can lead ‘company administrators, some public administrators, some government administrators’ and others to take short cuts and resort to bribery.
The Pope said the ‘habit of bribes is a mundane and extremely sinful habit. It’s a habit that does not come from God: God has commanded us to bring bread home through our own honest work,’ he said.
Corruption at the Vatican was in the spotlight last year when former Pope Benedict’s butler admitted he stole confidential papers from the Pope’s residence and leaked them to the press to expose graft in the church.
The leaked papers included letters from Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, the former deputy governor of Vatican City, who wrote about possible graft in the award of some Vatican contracts and retaliation against those who complained about it.
In June this year, a senior accountant at the Vatican was arrested for a plot to smuggle $26 million in cash into Italy aboard a private jet. Monsignor Nunzio Scarano headed a department in the Vatican’s property-management division. He was arrested by Italian police for fraud and corruption.
In his homily Friday, Pope Francis, 76, who has brought a common touch to the Vatican, said ‘unclean bread’ may buy children spots at expensive colleges and other perks of wealth. But the unclean bread robs the household of its dignity.
He ended with a prayer for children and young people whose parents ‘are faithful to the goddess of bribes.’
‘Let [the parents] realize that dignity comes from dignified work’ the Pope prayed, ‘from honest work, from daily work, and not from these shortcuts.’
Richard L. Cassin is the publisher and editor of the FCPA Blog. He can be contacted here.