It begins slowly, and then you start generating exploitation, poverty and suffering – Pope Francis warned saying corruption may become “more addictive than drugs.”
“Some behave with corruption as with drugs: thinking they can use it and stop using it when they want,” Francis said in his Angelus Address at St. Peter’s Square, as quoted by Crux news site.
“Little by little. Maybe one day a tip here, another day a bribe there, and so little by little he arrives to corruption,” the pontiff also said, The Catholic News Agency reported Sunday.
“Corruption produces addiction, and it generates poverty, exploitation, suffering. And how many victims there are in the world today!” he added.
Francis based his Sunday speech on Sunday’s Gospel, the story of a bad steward who fakes documents of the debts owed to his employer in order to gain the friendship of those he assists.
That is “not presented as a model to be imitated, but as an example of cunning.”
Corruption is “a completely worldly and strongly sinful cleverness, which does a lot of bad,” the pontiff said, calling the practice the path of sin, “even if it’s the most comfortable one to go through.”
People can choose between two paths: “honesty and dishonest, fidelity and unfaithfulness, egoism and altruism, good and evil,” the pontiff added.
His speech came as the Vatican celebrated the 200th anniversary of the local police forces, the Gendarmerie. Pope Francis commended police for their service, acknowledging though that security services do not get enough money for their work.
“Many times you must fight against [the] temptations of those who want to buy you,” he added.
Pope Francis is largely regarded as a leftist, though he says that he only follows the social doctrine of the church.
In June, the pontiff publicly declared that the Church should apologize to gay people and women it has mistreated.
He has also repeatedly blasted donations from contributors who profit from underpaid labor. “People of God don’t need their dirty money,” he said in March.
The pontiff is also known to be tech-savvy: as of 2015, he was considered the most influential world leader on Twitter, with almost 10 million subscribers. In March, he started an Instagram account and now has over 3 million subscribers.