MANILA — Pope Francis on Friday urged all Filipinos to reject all forms of corruption that affects the poor.
Speaking at a welcome ceremony hosted by President Benigno S. Aquino III at the Presidential Palace, the Pope said the Bible enjoins all people the “duty to hear the voice of the poor.”
“It bids us [to] break the bonds of injustice and oppression, which give rise to glaring, and indeed scandalous, social inequalities,” he said.
”I hope that this prophetic summons will challenge everyone, at all levels of society, to reject every form of corruption which diverts resources from the poor, and to make concerted efforts to ensure the inclusion of every man and woman and child in the life of the community,” he added.
Pope Francis likewise called on the country’s leaders to exemplify integrity and honesty as the Philippines responds to new challenges.
He said the Philippines, together with many other countries in Asia, faces the challenge of building on solid foundations of a modern society that is “ready to confront new and complex political and ethical questions.”
“As many voices in your nation have pointed out, it is now, more than ever, necessary that political leaders be outstanding for honesty, integrity and commitment to the common good,” the Pope said.
He said leaders must help preserve the human and natural resources of the country.
“Thus will they be able to marshal the moral resources needed to face the demands of the present, and to pass on to coming generations a society of authentic justice, solidarity and peace,” he added.