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Pope Francis rails against corruption as Italy probes rise



VATICAN CITY (AP) - Pope Francis denounced corrupt politicians, businessmen and priests for the second day in a row Tuesday, scaling up his criticisms as prosecutors crack down on a series of bribery scandals afflicting several major public projects in Italy.

Francis referred to the corruption headlines that have been filling Italian newspapers for weeks during his morning homily, saying the poor are hurt most by such crimes since they suffer when hospitals don't have affordable medicines or schools their materials.

"The corrupt politician, the corrupt businessman, the corrupt priest: all three hurt the innocents, the poor, because it's the poor who pay for the parties of the corrupt," he said. "The bill goes to them."

The pope said the only way out for those who exploit others for their personal gain is to beg forgiveness and return what they have wrongly taken through service to others.

The issue is not new to Francis: As archbishop of Buenos Aires, Francis frequently railed against corruption and in 2005 published a booklet, "Corruption and Sin," which reproduced an article he had originally written in 1991.

On Tuesday, five people, including an official with Italy's culture ministry, were arrested in connection with a bribery scandal involving the rebuilding of the historic center of L'Aquila, which was devastated by a 2009 earthquake.

Earlier this month, Venice's mayor and more than 30 other people were arrested in a sweeping corruption scandal involving a 25 million euro ($34 million) slush fund used to finance political campaigns that came from the public coffers of the project to build underwater barriers to protect Venice from flooding.

And last month, seven people, including former politicians, were arrested in a bribery scheme involving a series of shady infrastructure deals related to the upcoming world's fair in Milan, Expo 2015.

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cqdeed June 17 2014 at 4:38 PM

Considering he is head of one of the most corrupt institutions in the history of mankind, it is like the pot calling the kettle black.

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5 replies
petpetdon June 17 2014 at 5:16 PM

The Catholic religion has been the MOST corrupt religion in the world. How do you think they got so rich?

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2 replies
aljoramaggio petpetdon June 17 2014 at 9:04 PM

Donations, pet, donations.

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alphaome4 petpetdon June 17 2014 at 10:41 PM

People in POWER donated. Don't forget, it is a HUMAN institution.

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bkandba4 June 17 2014 at 8:51 PM

He's the head of one of the most profoundly corrupt, rabidly parasitical, twisted institutions on the entire planet. Period.

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2 replies
aljoramaggio bkandba4 June 17 2014 at 9:56 PM

Just come out and admit you hate all Catholics.
It's more honest, that way.

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alphaome4 bkandba4 June 17 2014 at 10:45 PM

bkandba4 Obvious you are the problem.

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JTTW June 17 2014 at 6:18 PM

He forgot to mention D.C !

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d1anaw June 17 2014 at 6:28 PM

The pope "rails against corruption"??? Seriously? Can you spell hypocrisy?

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1 reply
aljoramaggio d1anaw June 17 2014 at 9:09 PM

What has he done, personally that you find hypocritical?

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stengernc June 17 2014 at 2:34 PM

I didn't know Italy had a republican party!

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6 replies
madddddddddddddd June 17 2014 at 9:03 PM

is he nuts??????????? the church he runs,,is worse than any mafia etc.................

i am a fallen caddylack,,,,,,i have seen it all,,, and been beaten by priest...................

this pope is crazyuyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy

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2 replies
aljoramaggio madddddddddddddd June 17 2014 at 9:56 PM

Did you read where he denounced the corrupt Priests, as well, in the article?
What is "nuts" about that?

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alphaome4 madddddddddddddd June 17 2014 at 10:46 PM

Many consider you the fool, but since you opened your mouth, you leave no doubt.

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phardynetmail June 17 2014 at 8:39 PM

I like this Pope. He makes a lot more sense than Pat Robertson or Joel Osteen. I suspect that he has actually read the Bible and studied the words of Christ.

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wbearl June 18 2014 at 8:36 AM

I'm sorry but I don't normally comment on Religious things but this time is an exception. My Father-in-law was a life long Catholic who went to mass every week and after retirement almost every day. When he got sick and had to be placed in a Nursing Home the Church forgot about him. My Mother-in-law did not drive and there were no buses where they lived, but no one offered to pick her up for church. When my Father-in-law died and we went about setting up his funeral mass, the very first thing his old parish did was tell us how far in the rears he was on his pledge. They wanted it brought up to date before they would talk mass. This was the same church that hadn't given him Communion once while he was in the nursing home or reached out to his wife. I like this Pope, a lot, but he had better start his campaigning and clean up in his own house first.

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1 reply
jerry wbearl June 20 2014 at 12:15 PM

"He had better start his campaigning and clean up his own house first". What am I missing here? Did you read the article? What the H-- do you think he is doing? From day one.

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alfredschrader June 17 2014 at 6:41 PM

God doesn't tell you what color shirt to put on today. He doesn't tell you what flavor ice cream to eat. God doesn't tell you a lot of things, but what he does tell you is gospel and he had it written down in the Holy Bible.
God doesn't tell you things to be mean, he tells you things to protect you. God created us and he is our father in Heaven. When God says something is wrong, it's wrong. I don't care if His Holiness says it's ok. It's not ok if God says it's wrong.

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5 replies
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