It is acceptable to sin often and seek forgiveness but not be corrupt and to no longer see the need to atone for one's sins, Pope Francis said on Friday, quoted by Vatican Radio.
"One can sin often, and always return to God seeking forgiveness, never doubting that it will be obtained," Francis said in a homily as he celebrated mass at the Vatican's Santa Marta residence.
"It is especially when one becomes corrupt – when one no longer sees the need to be forgiven that problems begin," he continued, returning to a theme he has taken up many times.
He gave the biblical example of King David, who impregnates Bathsheba, the wife of Uriah, an army officer fighting at the front, whose death in battle David then arranges to conceal his adultery.
"This is a moment in David’s life that makes us see a moment through which we all can pass in our life: it is the passage from sin to corruption."
"This is where David begins, taking the first step towards corruption. He has the power, he has the strength. And for this reason, corruption is a very easy sin for all of us who have some power, whether it be ecclesiastical, religious, economic, political… Because the devil makes us feel certain: ‘I can do it’.”
Francis ended the homily by invoking divine protection from corruption "for the Pope, for the Bishops, for the priests, for consecrated men and women and for the lay faithful."
"O Lord, all of us, but [let us] never [become] corrupt!’ Let us ask for this grace,” he said.