The term “corruption” related to the Catholic Church would recall the gray times of hierarchies, when the princes of the Church and many Popes used the temporal power to achieve their own personal goals, then losing the esteem of the people. Anyone who knows a bit of history should remember how just after the union with the Roman Empire in fact the decline of the true ecclesiastical power began. The spiritual and evangelical life had so to submit to all sorts of speculation, used to obtain earthly goods and political supremacy of entire countries.
The thirst for power of many popes became a boomerang to a progressive deep and perverse dichotomy between what the Church said and what then in fact it did; corruption has had several historical peaks also remembered by the very famous and impressive plea for forgiveness of Pope John Paul II, when for seven times he pleaded the mercy of God remembering the darkest periods of history. Starting from the known inquisition, to the violence committed during the crusades and persecutions against dissidents; It seemed deceptively almost completely purified by the great Jubilee of the new millennium, but in fact the worst – morally and spiritually – had yet to come.
In the following years, and with the successor of John Paul II, the Church saw itself distorted by countless scandals about the immorality of the clergy, up to the shocking revelations of the many crimes committed against children. The ecclesiastical institution, and particularly the figure of the priest as an educator and promoter of reception of the weakest ones, decayed as much as to transform the image of the representatives of Christ in unreliable and corrupted people. Scandals multiplied with the media almost relentless and noisy in highlighting each “falling tree” forgetting the Good’s forest and all those actually totally devoted to the weak and forgotten ones. The holiness of the Church was strongly debased and humiliated by shady and dark behaviours, which brought down even Pope Benedict XVI, who resigned from his pontificate. A choice, in fact, unprecedented for a man, the Vicar of Christ, constantly attacked and out of the Ecclesia, so fierce, merciless as if everything depended on him. Impressing with his humility and profound suffering, Ratzinger demonstrated to be certainly not “stuck” in his chair, but only eager to see his Church guided by the power of a pastor who was able to raise it again, in a difficult time of humanity.
And he was right; with the arrival of Bergoglio the rhythm changed and the revolution advocated by his predecessor was realized immediately. Of course, it is very easy to criticize those who have to govern when you have no responsibility … It is simplistic to blame and claim to correct a Pope and an entire institution as complex and varied as it is when you are just looking out the window … Today it is he himself, Pope Francis, to denounce the corruption that actually touches every area of society, civil and religious.
His incessant and outrageous (for some) request of Christian unity aims to break down those barriers that inevitably creates the conditions for special interests. To defend these ideological and religious fences some are even ready to use real weapons.
So let’s not kid! We know that the mother of all corruption is sin, where the proponent of evil, the devil, “as a roaring lion goes around looking for someone to devour”, to destroy the space of God in society, which is his Church.
The gates of hell, however, will not prevail because, as Pessoa says, “The earth is made of sky. No nest for lies”.
Who really loves the Church can start by changing himself first, in himself and in his own environment, giving the example. The world today needs new saints and new martyrs, authentic witnesses of the gospel of Jesus, saturated with the Holy Spirit, far from cheating, from careerism and from power. Authentic people with a pure heart, intact and unable to be corrupted.
Translation provided by Maria Rosaria Mastropaolo