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Saturday, June 17, 2017

Reflections on the debate

On June 15, the first International Debate on Corruption took place at the Vatican.  This debate involved the current members of a consultation with the Dicastery for Integral Human Development regarding this global problem, and about the involvement of the mafia and organized crime.

At the meeting, which was organized in collaboration with the Pontifical Academy for Social Sciences, there were approximately 50 anti-mafia and anti-corruption magistrates, bishops, personnel from various Vatican institutions, States and the United Nations, heads of movements, victims, journalists, students, intellectuals and some ambassadors.

It has been said that the fight against corruption and the mafia is not a question merely of legality, but of civilization.  Cardinal Peter Turkson introduced the meeting by saying: We called for this meeting in order to deal with a phenomenon which is leading to the trampling of human dignity.  We want to affirm the fact that we can never trample, deny or hinder the dignity of people.  It is up to us, through this Dicastery, to know how to protect and promote respect for the dignity of persons, and for this reason why we want to draw attention to this subject.

Archbishop Silvano M. Tomasi then explained that the objective of the meeting was to raise public awareness, to identify concrete steps that can help us to achieve policies and laws that might prevent corruption, because corruption is like a woodworm that infiltrates the development of rich and poor countries alike, ruining the relationships between institutions and persons.  The efforts we are making are aimed at creating a mentality, a culture of justice that combats corruption in order to provide for the common good.

The group is providing an elaborated and shared text which will guide its future work and future initiatives.  Among these, there is the need to deepen - at the international level and at the level of juridical and Church doctrine - questions related to the excommunication of those involved in corruption and mafia associations.
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