Pope Francis warned against a “smog of corruption” in the world during his daily Mass in the Casa Sanctae Marthae on Nov. 10.
The pope was speaking about the Gospel of the day: The parable of the unjust steward (Lk 16:1-8), who renegotiates the debts of his master after learning he will be dismissed, in order to gain their favor.
The pope called the steward’s deal making a “true ring of corruption,” which continues on to our own day.
“Those involved in these corruption rings are so powerful they are like the mafia,” the pope said, adding you can read about it in today’s newspapers, and said it’s especially prevalent with those who administer public goods, which do not belong to them.
“There is no question about corruption with one’s own goods because they are always defended,” Francis said.
The pope said Jesus was showing that the “children of the world” are craftier than the “children of the light,” leading the pontiff to ask whether there is such a thing as a “Christian craftiness.”
Francis said a Christian craftiness must have three aspects.
The first is a “healthy lack of trust,” which means to be wary of people who “promise too much” and “talk a lot” like someone who would ask you to invest in his bank for a “double interest.” The second is reflection when confronting the seductions of the devil who knows our weaknesses; and finally, prayer.
The pope called on the faithful to pray for the grace to be crafty Christians, and warned against being naïve.
Commenting on the “smog of corruption” which envelops society, Francis called for prayers for the corrupt, so they can exit the prison they have made for themselves.