Pope Francis greets members of Orientale Lumen Foundation on ecumenical pilgrimage

(Vatican Radio)  Pope Francis said on Friday there is no authentic ecumenical dialogue without being ready “for an interior renewal” and the quest for a greater fidelity to Christ and his wishes.  His remarks came in an address at the Vatican to delegates taking part in an ecumenical pilgrimage, promoted by the Orientale Lumen Foundation and led by the Orthodox Metropolitan, Kallistos of Diokleia.   The Pope said this journey towards an interior renewal is “absolutely essential” in order to make progress along the road leading to reconciliation and full communion between all believers in Christ. 

He expressed joy that the Foundation’s ecumenical pilgrimage had chosen to commemorate the figures of Popes John XXIII and John Paul II and said this underlines the two Popes’ great contribution towards developing closer relations between the Catholic Church and the Orthodox Churches. “The example of these two saints,” he continued, “always bore witness to a strong passion for Christian unity.”

Referring to his upcoming meeting with the Ecumenical Patriarch, Bartholomew I, during his visit to Turkey at the end of November, Pope Francis described this meeting as “a sign of the profound ties uniting the Sees of Rome and Constantinople”  and the desire “to overcome, through love and truth, the obstacles that still divide us.”   

(from Vatican Radio)

World Meeting of Popular Movements: the excluded are the motor of social change

Vatican City, 2014 (VIS) – A press conference was held this morning in the Holy See Press Office to present the World Meeting of Popular Movements, to be held in Rome from 27 to 29 October. The event was organised by the Pontifical Council “Justice and Peace”, in collaboration with the Pontifical Academy for Social Sciences and the leaders of various movements.

The speakers at the conference were Cardinal Peter Kodwo Appiah Turkson, president of “Justice and Peace”, Archbishop Marcelo Sanchez Sorondo, chancellor of the Pontifical Academy for Social Sciences, and Juan Grabois, head of the Confederation of Workers of the Popular Economy, dedicated principally to organisations and movements for the excluded and marginalised.

Grabois knew Pope Francis when he was Archbishop of Buenos Aires, and emphasised that the then-Cardinal Bergoglio sympathised with the struggle of excluded workers in very difficult moments, and accompanied them in the work of assisting the cartoneros, peasants, those forced to live on the streets and, in general, the heirs of a crisis brought on by neoliberal capitalism. “Francis summons us again today, from a universal perspective; he calls to the poor, organised in thousands of popular movements, to fight, without arrogance but with courage, without violence but with tenacity, for this dignity that has been taken from us, and for social justice”.

“Our encounter responds mainly to concrete and simple objectives we share and want to pass on to our children and grandchildren, but that are increasingly harder for the popular majority to reach: land, housing and work”, he continued, also expressing the need to promote the organisation of the poor “to construct from grass-roots level a human alternative to this exclusionary globalisation that has robbed us of our sacred rights to housing, work, land, the environment and peace”.

The World Meeting of Popular Movements will be attended by the social leaders of the five continents, representing organisations of increasingly excluded social sectors: workers in precarious employment conditions; migrants; temporary workers; the unemployed and those those who are self-employed, without legal protection, labour rights or union recognition; peasants; the landless; indigenous peoples and those at risk of expulsion from the fields as a result of agricultural speculation and violence; and those who live in the peripheries and in temporary settlements, often migrants and displaced peoples, who are marginalised, forgotten, and without adequate urban infrastructure. Alongside them there are trades unions and social, charitable and human rights organisations, who have demonstrated their closeness to these movements and who, it has been suggested, might accompany them, respecting the role of grass-roots movements.

“The aims of the meeting include sharing Pope Francis' thought on social matters, debating the causes of growing social inequality and the increase in exclusion throughout the world, reflecting on the organisational experiences of popular movements and the resolution of problems regarding land, housing and work, evaluating the role of movements in the processes of peace-building and care for the environment, especially in regions affected by conflicts and disputes over natural resources, discussing the relationship between popular movements and the Church, and how to go ahead in the creation of joint and permanent collaboration”.

Grabois emphasised the importance of the two acts with which the meeting will conclude: the publication of a final declaration with the widest consensus possible, and the constitution of a Council of Popular Movements which will work to establish possible cases of global level collaboration.

Cardinal Turkson stated that it was essential for both the Church and the world to “listen to the cry for justice” from the excluded; “not only to the sufferings, but also to the expectations, hopes and proposals which the marginalised themselves have. They must be protagonists of their own lives, and not simply passive recipients of the charity or plans of others. They must be protagonists of the needed economic and social, political and cultural changes. ... The Church wants to make its own the needs and aspirations of the popular movements, and to join with those who, by means of different initiatives, are making every effort to stimulate social change towards a more just world”.

Holy See announces Pope’s liturgical schedule for November

(Vatican Radio) The Holy See has released the calendar of celebrations at which the Holy Father will preside in November.

On Saturday 1 November, Pope Francis will celebrate Holy Mass for the Solemnity of All Saint’s at the Campo Verano cemetery in Rome. The following day, Sunday 2 November, he will lead a prayer service in the Vatican Grottoes for all deceased Popes.

Pope Francis will offer Holy Mass on Monday, 3 November, for the souls of the Cardinals and Bishops who have died in the course of the past year. The Mass will take place at the Altar of the Chair in Saint Peter’s Basilica.

The Pope will celebrate the canonization of six saints on Sunday, 23 November.  Giovanni Antonio Farina, Kuriakose Elias Chavara della Sacra Familia, Ludovico da Casoria, Nicola da Casoria, Eufrasia Eluvathingual del Sacro Cuore, and Amato Roncomi  will be raised to the altars on the Solemnity of Christ the King, in St Peter’s Square. 

Finally, at the end of the month, from Friday, 28 November to Sunday, 30 November, Pope Francis will make his first Apostolic Voyage to Turkey.

(from Vatican Radio)

Pope at Santa Marta: Unity in diversity

(Vatican Radio) Every Christian is called to work for the unity of the Church, allowing ourselves to be guided by the Holy Spirit who creates unity in diversity, said Pope Francis at Mass Friday morning at Casa Santa Marta.

Pope Francis based his homily on the First Reading from Saint Paul’s Letter to the Philippians, in which the Apostle – a prisoner for the Lord -  urges the community to live in a manner worthy of the call they have received, striving to preserve the unity of the spirit. “Building the unity of the Church - said the Pope - is the work of the Church and of every Christian throughout history".

Pope Francis noted that when the Apostle Peter "speaks of the Church, he speaks of a temple made of living stones, that is us”.  The Pope warned that the opposite to this is "that other temple of pride, which was the Tower of Babel". The first temple "brings unity”, the second "is the symbol of disunity, lack of understanding, the diversity of languages​​".

"Building the unity of the Church, building the Church, this temple, this unity of the Church: this is the task of every Christian, every one of us. When constructing a temple or a building, the first thing ones does is find suitable land. Then one lays the cornerstone, the Bible says. And the cornerstone of the unity of the Church, or rather the cornerstone of the Church, is Jesus and the cornerstone of the unity of the Church is Jesus' prayer at the Last Supper: 'Father, that they may be one!'. And this is its strength!”.

Pope Francis continued that Jesus is "the rock on which we build unity in the Church", "without this stone, all else is impossible. There is no unity without Jesus Christ at the basis: He is our certainty".  The Pope then asked, who "builds this unity?": "It is the work of the Holy Spirit. The Spirit is the only one capable of building the unity of the Church. And that is why Jesus sent him: to make the Church grow, to make it strong, to make it one". The Spirit builds "the unity of the Church" in the "diversity of nations, cultures, and people."

Again Pope Francis posed a question: How is "this temple built?". Speaking on this topic, the Apostle Peter said  "that we were living stones in this building". Saint Paul on the other hand  "advises us not to be stones, to be weak bricks”. The advice of the Apostle to the Gentiles in building this unity is “weak advice, according to human thought".

"Humility, gentleness, magnanimity: These are weak things, because the humble person appears good for nothing; gentleness, meekness appear useless; generosity, being open to all, having a big heart ... And then he says more: Bearing with one another through love. Bearing with one another through love, having what at heart? Preserving unity. The weaker we are with these virtues of humility, generosity, gentleness, meekness, the stronger we become as stones in this Temple".

Pope Francis continued this is "the same path as Jesus" who "became weak" to death on the Cross "and then became strong!".  We too, should do as much: "Pride, self-sufficiency are useless". When you construct a building, "the architect has to draw up plans. And what is the ground plan for the unity of the Church?".

"The hope to which we have been called: the hope of journeying towards the Lord, the hope of living in a living Church, made of living stones, with the power of the Holy Spirit. Only in the ground plan of hope can we move forward in the unity of the Church. We have been called to a great hope. Let's go there! But with the strength that Jesus prayer’ for unity gives us; with docility to the Holy Spirit, who is capable of making living stones from bricks; and with the hope of finding the Lord who has called us, to encounter Him in the fullness of time”.

(from Vatican Radio)

Cardinal Oswald Gracias on Synod on the family

The 3rd Extraordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, took place here in the Vatican, ‎Oct. ‎‎5 ‎to 19, on the theme, “‎Pastoral challenges to the family in the context of evangelization”.  Half-‎way through the 2-week meeting, the synod on Oct. 13, came out with a mid-term ‎report called the ‎‎‘Relatio post disceptationem‎, or ‘report after discussions’, summarizing the ‎first 5 days of the synod.  ‎It was the first time that a synod report was ‎released to the public.  And soon news reports spread like ‎wild fire that the Synod of Bishops in unexpected conciliatory language has called for greater ‎acceptance and appreciation of ‎divorced and remarried Catholics, cohabitating couples and ‎homosexuals.  The twist given to the some of the texts of the Relatio, caused surprise, alarm and ‎disappointment among many a synod father.   However, at midday on Oct.18, the last working day of ‎the synod, a press briefing was held in the Vatican before that day’s voting on the revised final synod ‎report.  Holy See’s spokesman Jesuit Fr. Federico Lombardi, presented to reporters three synod fathers: ‎Indian Cardinal Oswald Gracias, Brazilian Cardinal Raymundo Damasceno Assis and Italian Cardinal ‎Gianfranco Ravasi.   All the three cardinals first expressed their views on the synod on the family, ‎including Cardinal Gracias.‎  Listen: 

 

(from Vatican Radio)

Vatican to UN: To combat extreme poverty we must eradicate inequality

(Vatican Radio) If the international community is serious about eradicating extreme poverty then it cannot rely on “one-size-fits-all solutions”.  Moreover, it’s not just a question of “increasing the amount of money a day a person lives on”. In the long term it's a question of eradicating inequality.

This was the message at the heart of the Holy See’s address to the United Nations in New York on the issues of eradicating extreme poverty.

Delivering the intervention, the Vatican’s Permanent Observer to the UN, Archbishop Bernardito Auza, said “countries should develop evidence-based policies and strategies to combat extreme poverty, rather than relying on pre-conceived one-size-fits-all solutions”

He noted that “the ever-increasing economic inequality excludes and leaves behind large segments of populations, because the affluent become more affluent by gaining most of the development benefits”.

Abp. Auza said “reports show that, in many parts of the world, women and children form the majority of the poor and are affected by the burden of poverty in very specific ways”.

He continued that this “often compounds an already unacceptable gap between men and women, between boys and girls in terms of access to basic services and education and in terms of the exercise of basic human rights”.

The Archbishop concluded that the global fight to eradicate extreme poverty “should be inspired and guided by ground-based policies rather than ideology, by inclusion rather than exclusion, by solidarity rather than survival of the fittest”.

Below please find the full text of Abp.Auza’s address

Mr. Chair,

As we come closer to the completion of the Second United Nations Decade for the Eradication of Poverty (2008-2017), my delegation believes that bold commitments like the Millennium Development Goals, the new Sustainable Development Goals and the Post-2015 Development Agenda are important tools to shape development strategies, marshal resources, coordinate efforts, monitor implementation and measure results.

My delegation believes that countries should develop evidence-based policies and strategies to combat extreme poverty, rather than relying on pre-conceived one-size-fits-all solutions. Analyses and suggested solutions need to be based on on-the-ground expertise and lived experience, rather than on imposed ready-made solutions from the outside, which are not always devoid of ideological colorings.

In other words, my delegation believes that our fight to eradicate extreme poverty should be inspired and guided by ground-based policies rather than ideology, by inclusion rather than exclusion, by solidarity rather than survival of the fittest. We have to question economic models that heighten exclusion and inequality, in particular those that cause an exponentially growing gap between the haves and the have-nots, those that exclude and marginalize masses of people without work, without possibilities, without any means of escape from poverty (cf. Pope Francis, Evangelii Gaudium n.53).

Mr. Chair,

My delegation believes that sustainable development requires the participation of all in the life of families, communities, organizations and societies. Participation is the antidote to exclusion, be it economic, social, political or cultural. Structures and practices that exclude and leave behind members of the human family will always be barriers to full human development. The ever-increasing economic inequality excludes and leaves behind large segments of populations, because the affluent become more affluent by gaining most of the development benefits. Concrete cases of poverty, especially extreme poverty, tell us that the rising tide does not always lift all boats; often it only lifts the yachts, keeps a few boats afloat, sweeps away many and sinks the rest. This cannot be the path to a life of dignity for all. This is not the future we want.

Another barrier to sustainable development is the exclusion of women from equal and active participation in the development of their communities. Excluding women and girls from education and subjecting them to violence and discrimination violate their inherent dignity and fundamental human rights. Reports show that, in many parts of the world, women and children form the majority of the poor and are affected by the burden of poverty in very specific ways. Poverty often compounds an already unacceptable gap between men and women, between boys and girls in terms of access to basic services and education and in terms of the exercise of basic human rights. The Holy See commends those countries where significant progress has been achieved in these areas, and respectfully invites those where this problem is not yet effectively addressed to do so as a matter of urgency.

Mr. Chair,

My delegation wishes to highlight that poverty is not mere exclusion from economic development; it is as multifaceted and multidimensional as the human person himself or herself. Other than its more obvious economic expression, poverty also manifests itself in the educational, social, political, cultural and spiritual dimensions of life. Individuals and communities experience these dimensions of poverty when they are excluded from or deprived of the social, cultural, political and spiritual benefits that should be accessible to all. While economic exclusion underpins in a large measure these other forms of exclusion and poverty, we cannot equate poverty with economic poverty alone, lest we fail to grasp the complexity of the realities of poverty and human development. We must thus resist the temptation to reduce poverty eradication to merely increasing the amount of money a day a person lives on. Development is more than the sum total of resources invested into development projects and their measurable material results; it includes as well those elements that, though at times intangible and imperceptible, also truly contribute to life-transforming and greater human flourishing.

In our efforts to eradicate poverty, we must always return to the foundational principle of our efforts, namely to promote the authentic development of the whole person and of all peoples. Each of us needs to contribute. Each of us can benefit. This is solidarity.

Thank you, Mr. Chair.

 

(from Vatican Radio)

Pope: no to death penalty and to inhuman prison conditions

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis on Thursday called on all men and women of good will to fight for the abolishment of the death penalty in “all of its forms” and for the improvement of prison conditions.

The Pope was addressing a group of members of the International Association of Criminal Law whom he received in the Vatican.

In his discourse the Pope also addressed the need to combat the phenomena of human trafficking and of corruption.

And he stressed that the fact that the enforcement of legal penalties must always respect human dignity.

In a dense and impassioned discourse to the Jurists assembled in the Vatican for a private audience, Pope Francis said that the “life sentence” is really a “concealed death sentence”, and that is why – he explained – he had it annulled in the Vatican Penal Code.

Many of the off-the-cuff comments  during the Pope’s speech shone the light on how politics and media all too often act as triggers enflaming “violence and private and public acts of vengeance” that are always in search of a scape-goat.

Recalling the words of Saint John Paul II who condemned the death penalty as does the Catechism, Francis decried the practice and denounced  “so-called extrajudicial or extralegal executions” calling them “deliberate homicides” committed by public officials behind the screen of the Law:

“All Christians and people of goodwill are called today to fight not only for the abolition of the death penalty be it legal or illegal, in all of its forms, but also for the improvement of prison conditions in the respect of the human dignity of those who have been deprived of freedom. I link this to the death sentence. In the Penal Code of the Vatican, the sanction of life sentence is no more. A life sentence is a death sentence which is concealed”.

And Pope Francis had words of harsh criticism for all forms of criminality which undermine human dignity, there are forms of his – he said - even within the criminal law system which too often does not respect that dignity when criminal law is applied.

“In the last decades” – the Pope said – “there has been a growing conviction that through public punishment it is possible to solve different and disparate social problems, as if for different diseases one could prescribe the same medicine.”  

He said this conviction has pushed the criminal law system beyond its sanctioning boundaries, and into the “realm of freedom and the rights of persons” without real effectiveness.

“There is the risk of losing sight of the proportionality of penalties that historically reflect the scale of values upheld by the State. The very conception of criminal law and the enforcement of sanctions as an ‘ultima ratio’ in the cases of serious offenses against individual and collective interests have weakened. As has the debate regarding the use of alternative penal sanctions to be used instead of imprisonment”.

Pope Francis speaks of remand or detention of a suspect as a “contemporary form of illicit hidden punishment” concealed by a “patina of legality”, as it enforces “an anticipation of punishment” upon a suspect who has not been convicted. From this – the Pope points out – derives the risk of multiplying the number of detainees still awaiting trial, who are thus convicted without benefiting from the protective rules of a trial. In some countries – he says – this happens in some 50% of all cases with the trickledown effect of terribly overcrowded detention centers:

“The deplorable conditions of detention that take place in different parts of the world are an authentic inhuman and degrading trait, often caused by deficiencies of criminal law, or by a lack of infrastructures and good planning. In many cases they are the result of an arbitrary and merciless exercise of power over persons who have been deprived of freedom.”

Pope Francis also speaks of what he calls “cruel, inhuman and degrading punishments and sanctions,” and compares detention in maximum-security prisons to a “form of torture”. The isolation imposed in these places – he says – causes “mental and physical” suffering that result in an “increased tendency towards suicide”. Torture – the Pope points out – is used not only as a means to obtain “confession or information”:

“It is an authentic ‘surplus’ of pain that is added to the woes of detention. In this way torture is used not only in illegal centers of detention or in modern concentration camps, but also in prisons, in rehabilitation centers for minors, in psychiatric hospitals, in police stations and in other institutions for detention or punishment”.

And Pope Francis said children must be spared the harshness of imprisonment – as must, at least in a limited way – older people, sick people, pregnant women, disabled people as well as parents if they are the sole guardians of minors or persons with disabilities.

The Pope also highlighted one of the criminal phenomena he has always spoken out against vehemently: human trafficking which - he says – is the result of that “cycle of dire poverty” that traps “a billion people” and forces at least 45 million to flee from conflict:           

“Based on the fact that it is impossible to commit such a complex crime as is the trafficking of persons without the complicity, be it active or of omission of action of the State, it is evident that, when the efforts to prevent and combat this phenomenon are not sufficient, we find ourselves before a crime against humanity. This is even truer if those who are responsible for the protection of persons and the safeguard of their freedom become an accomplice of those who trade in human beings; in those cases the State is responsible before its citizens and before the international community”.

Pope Francis dedicates an ample part of his discourse to corruption. The corrupt person – according to the Pope – is a person who takes the “short-cuts of opportunism” that lead him to think of himself as a “winner” who insults and persecutes whoever contradicts him. “Corruption” – the Pope says “is a greater evil than sin”, and more than “be forgiven, must be cured”.

“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”.

Concluding, Pope Francis exhorted the jurists to use the criteria of “cautiousness” in the enforcement of criminal sanctions. This – he affirmed – must be the principle that upholds criminal law:

“The respect for human dignity must operate not only to  limit the arbitrariness and the excesses of State officials, but as a criteria of orientation for the persecution and the repression of those behaviors that represent grave attacks against the dignity and the integrity of the human person”.

 

(from Vatican Radio)

Vatican announces reorganisation of Montecassino Abbey

(Vatican Radio) The Vatican on Thursday announced a significant reorganisation of the principle monastery of the Benedictine Order, located at Montecassino in Italy’s southern Campania region. A large part of the land, including 53 parishes with 37 priests and 50 women religious, which have been under the jurisdiction of the Abbey will be transferred to the local diocese of Sora-Cassino-Aquino-Pontecorvo. At the same time Pope Francis also appointed Abbot Donato Ogliari, O.S.B., as the new abbot of Montecassino. 

A note issued by the Holy See Press Office said that since the Second Vatican Council the Church has been in the process of consolidating the role of abbots as fathers of the their religious communities, rather than Ordinaries who have to care for all the pastoral activities of their ecclesiastical territories.

The note says that in his 1976 Motu proprio “Catholica Ecclesia,” Pope Paul VI followed up on the suggestions of the bishops at the Second Vatican Council that no more territorial Abbeys should be established and that the existing ones should be either “more suitably defined” in terms of their territory or transformed into other ecclesiastical territories. The objective, the note says, was to encourage a more specific identity and legal definition which corresponded to the life of the monastic community, while at the same time ensuring that those living under the territorial Abbeys could enjoy the kind of pastoral care they needed in the modern world.

In order to promote this objective, in accordance with the agreements signed with the Italian State and in order to respect the great historic and cultural heritage of these territorial Abbeys, it was agreed that existing Abbeys in Italy would not be closed down, but would rather be limited to the area directly connected to the monastic community, namely the hermitage and related buildings.

Finally the note says that after lengthy reflection and careful consultation, the Holy See has decided that the time has come to bring Montecassino Abbey in line with “Catholica Ecclesia”, following on from a similar process at Subiaco Abbey in 2002, at Montevergine Abbey in 2005 and at Cava de’Tirreni Abbey in 2013. Montecassion Abbey will continue to be an ecclesiastical territory on a par with a diocese, although its territory has been significantly reduced. 

(from Vatican Radio)

Pope receives Prime Minister of Grenada

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis received the Prime Minister of Grenada, Keith Mitchell, Thursday morning in the Vatican.  Mr. Mitchell subsequently met with Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin, accompanied by Archbishop Dominique Mamberti, secretary for Relations with States.

A communiqué issued by the Holy See Press Office stated that “In the course of the cordial conversations, the parties focused on the good relations existing between the Holy See and Grenada, as well as the important contribution made by the Catholic Church in the educational, social, and charitable spheres, to meet the challenges of the country, especially with regard to youth. In this regard, the need for cooperation between all of the social services, in order to promote the common good and the development of the country, was affirmed”.

 

(from Vatican Radio)

Pope to Association of Penal Law: Corruption is Greater Evil than Sin

Vatican City, 23 October 2014 (VIS) - Today, the Holy Father received delegates from the International Association of Penal Law (AIDP), addressing them with a speech focusing on the issues in their subject area that have recourse to the Church in her mission of evangelization and the promotion of the human person.

The Pope began by recalling the need for legal and political methods that are not characterized by the mythological “scapegoat” logic, that is, of an individual unjustly accused of the misfortunes that befall a community and then chosen to be sacrificed. It is also necessary to refute the belief that legal sanctions carry benefit, which requires the implementation of inclusive economic and social policies. He reiterated the primacy of the life and dignity of the human person, reaffirming the absolute condemnation of the death penalty, the use of which is rejected by Christians. In this context he also talked about the so-called extrajudicial executions, that is, the deliberated killing of individuals by some states or their agents that are presented as the unintended consequence of the reasonable, necessary, and proportionate use of force to implement the law. He emphasized that the death penalty is used in totalitarian regimes as “an instrument of suppression of political dissent or of persecution of religious or cultural minorities”.

He then spoke of the conditions of prisoners, including prisoners who have not been convicted and those convicted without a trial, stating that pretrial detention, when used improperly, is another modern form of unlawful punishment that is hidden behind legality. He also referred to the deplorable prison condition in much of the world, sometimes due to lack of infrastructure while other instances are the result of “the arbitrary exercise of ruthless power over detainees”. Pope Francis also spoke about torture and other inhuman and degrading treatment, stating that, in the world today, torture is used not only as a means to achieve a particular purpose, such as a confession or an accusation—practices that are characteristic of a doctrine of national security—but also adds to the evil of detention. Criminal code itself bears responsibility for having allowed, in certain cases, the legitimacy of torture under certain conditions, opening the way for further abuse.

The Pope did not forget the application of criminal sanctions against children and the elderly, condemning its use in both cases. He also recalled some forms of crime that seriously damage the dignity of the human person as well as the common good, including human trafficking, slavery—recognized as a crime against humanity as well as a war crime in both international law and under many nations’ laws—the abject poverty in which more than a billion people live, and corruption. “The scandalous accumulation of global wealth is possible because of the connivance of those with strong powers who are responsible for public affairs. Corruption is a process of death … more evil than sin. An evil that, instead of being forgiven, must be cured.”

“Caution in the application of penal codes,” he concluded, “must be the overarching principle of legal systems … and respect for human dignity must not only act to limit the arbitrariness and excesses of government agents but as the guiding criterion for prosecuting and punishing behaviors that represent the most serious attacks on the dignity and integrity of the human person.”