Corruption aggravates poverty, Pope says in address to bishops of Madagascar
Catholic World News - March 28, 2014
Pope Francis applauded the bishops of Madagascar for their “courageous and tenacious work of evangelization,” as he met with them at the Vatican on March 28.
Acknowledging the difficulties of that island nation, the Pontiff asked the bishops to “persevere in your attention to the poor and materially and spiritually supporting those who devote themselves to them.” The poverty of Madagascar, the Pope remarked, in a blunt criticism of the country’s government, is “largely due to corruption and lack of attention to the common good.” Yet the Pope told the African bishops, who were making their ad limina visit, that they should “maintain constructive relationships with the authorities of your country.”
Pope Francis also had praise for a program that the Madagascar bishops have launched for “formation for life and love.” That effort, he said, could have a role in supporting the family, which “needs to be protected and defended.”
The Pope said that Church leaders should “never doubt the strength of the Gospel, nor its ability to convert hearts to the resurrected Christ.” He encouraged the bishops to ensure that they and their priests are careful in their management of temporal goods. “Offering a poor example in this area is particularly disastrous because of the scandal it causes,” he said; “especially before a population that lives in poverty.”
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