Bishop to bishops: Fight hard vs. corruption

MANILA, May 16, 2008—For active Roman Catholic bishops, a piece of advice from a retired fellow.

Vicar Apostolic-emeritus of Bontoc-Lagawe Francisco Claver said the Catholic church should do more to fight corruption and push economies that put people’s needs ahead of selfish gains.

Claver said the gains of democracy could easily be wiped out if the Church with the help of the civil society will not renew their resolve to fight the ogre of corruption especially in the government.

It is a fact, he said, that poor people are getting poorer because of corruption and the country wasted opportunities for growth because of it.

“The Church could do something just to stop corruption, so that these money of corruption could go to the poor for the development of all,” Claver told CBCPNews.

The 79-year old prelate said it’s sad that corruption in the country is still prevalent despite Church’s never-ending teachings about morality in public governance.

He said corruption has increased due to public cynicism, so greater and wide efforts are needed to foil, monitor and prosecute corruption.

“It’s sad to say that corruption here last years and years and nothing is being done even though the bishops are teaching painstakingly the authentic Christian love that people must do,” Claver said.

So Claver said the bishops still has to make stronger stand against corruption, adding that it has very detrimental effects on the country’s poor people.

He stressed such problem is a moral issue that bishops must address and they must take a stronger stand on what’s going on in the government.

Claver said the Church should not only give guidance but also provide leadership so that people will be properly guided.

In its earlier statement, the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines lamented that corruption has become a “pervading cancer” that has spread “from top to bottom of society and government.”

“As we evaluate them, the people at the top are the corruptors and it seems that nothing could stop them,” Claver said.

The matter, he said, must serve as a challenge to all and not just by entirely relying it to the Church people.

Claver said the real motivation to fight corruption has to come from all of us.

He also said such problem has become so ingrained that the fainthearted cannot imagine that the problem can be eradicated or even contained.

That precisely, is according to Claver, why the fight has to be systematic and persistent to flush out the masters of pay-offs and crooked officials blocking economy growth.

“Let us talk about how to correct this… talk about the basic of everything and about the basic of everything and about to practice without corruption. It has to be done! We can do something about this issue,” Claver stressed. (CBCPNews)

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