Friday, June 09, 2006

PONTIFICAL COUNCIL TACKLES CORRUPTION -- In a sign of the prevalence of corruption issues, the Vatican signals its intent to fight the problem:
[Bishop Giampaolo] Crepaldi [secretary of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace] said that while corruption is in part a problem for police, law enforcement and the judicial system, its roots must also be tackled. In that sense, he said, there's also an urgent need for anti-corruption instruction in schools, formation of consciences by churches and other social institutions, and a general sense of solidarity across the various divisions in society.

Speaking to roughly 80 experts who attended the Vatican conference, Cardinal Renato Martino, president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, said that his office will prepare a document on the best way to fight corruption, drawing upon the social doctrine of the Catholic church.

In the first place, Martino said, the phenomenon of corruption challenges our intelligence, because it must be studied carefully and understood properly before any plan of action will be effective. Second, he said, it challenges our will, because every layer of society has to make its contribution. Third, he said, it challenges the church, and the church must commit itself to the struggle.

"Winning the battle against corruption does not depend solely upon the church, which realistically recognizes that, given the way the 'mystery of evil' works in our history, [this battle] will always be with us," Martino said. "But the church will not give in to resignation; instead, it must continue to increase its commitment."
The Vatican is probably focused on corruption in the developing world, and to get a sense of the complexity of that problem one need only look to the Jefferson bribery scandal, which involved a Nigerian business deal, or perhaps peruse Confessions of an Economic Hitman.