Lima (Agenzia Fides) - Corruption is the "social virus" that infects Latin American peoples and democracies. It spreads as "a form of environmental degradation that increasingly contaminates the whole system of life". And all "what can be done to fight against this social scourge deserves the maximum consideration and support", said the Pope on Friday 19 January in Lima, speaking outside Lima's Palacio del Gobierno to Kuczynski and hundreds of Peruvian legislators, judges and other public officials.
In his speech, the Bishop of Rome wanted to point out corruption as a social pathology that contaminates and weakens civil coexistence in Latin America. Referring to the specific Peruvian situation, the Pope drew the attention above all to the dilapidation of the earth "from natural resources, without which no form of life is possible", calling into question "a model of development now outdated but which continues to produce human, social and environmental degradation. "The devastation of the environment - remarked the Pope - unfortunately, is closely linked to the moral degradation of our communities. We cannot think of them as two separate issues".
As an example of the aggressions to the natural environment that are transformed into factors of human and social degradation, the Pope indicated the phenomenon of "irregular mining extractions" that "have become a danger that destroys people's lives; forests and rivers are devastated with all their wealth. This whole process of degradation implies and fuels organizations outside the legal structures that degrade so many of our brothers by subjecting them to trafficking - a new form of slavery - to irregular labor, to delinquency".
To curb and combat these devastating processes - the Pope suggested in his speech - it is worthwhile "and this requires listening, recognizing and respecting local people and peoples as valid interlocutors" seen that they "preserve a direct link to the land, they know its times and ways, and so they know the catastrophic effects produced, in the name of development, by many projects".
Among the resources and reasons for hope for the future of Peru, the Pope also referred to the treasures of Christian holiness that enriched the historical story of the Peruvian people: "a historical fact" said the Successor of Peter "also makes me happy: to know that hope in this land has a face of holiness. Peru has generated saints who have opened paths of faith for the entire American continent; to name only one, Martino de Porres, who, son of two cultures, showed the strength and richness that is born in people when they put love at the center of their life". (GV) (Agenzia Fides, 20/1/2018)