Pope Francis on Tuesday told Catholics to "fight the corruption of cancer and the poison of illegality to the very end".
"Nothing good can come from spinning a web of lies and from a lack of transparency," the pontiff said in address at Florence's famous Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore during a landmark visit to the city.
"We must fight the corruption of cancer and the poison of illegality to the very end," he said.
"Always seeking the truth is not easy but taking the decision to do so is vital and be must etched on individual consciences and that of society to make it juster and more honest," Francis added.
Francis's comments came after the publication last week of two new exposes by Italian journalists which depict a Holy See plagued by mismanagement, greed, cronyism, and corruption, where millions of euros are 'lost' and where Francis still faces stiff resistance to his reform agenda from the old guard.
The Pope's remarks also came amid a seemingly endless series of corruption scandals in Italy involving politicians of at all levels of government and all political stripes, as well as businessmen and officials.