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Cheek Turning: Pope Francis Wanted to 'Kick' Corrupt Officials in the Rear

He said when someone tried to bribe him, he had to decide whether to "give them a kick where the sun doesn't shine."
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Pope Francis — who made headlines last week when he said a certain insults deserve a "punch" — is back with more fighting words.

On his Monday flight home from a Philippines, the plain-spoken pontiff was asked a question about corruption and told a story from when he was a bishop in Buenos Aires.

"Two employees or functionaries of a ministry came to tell me, 'You have so much need here with so many poor in the [slums]...We can help you. We have, if you want, a subsidy of 400,000 pesos.' At that time, the exchange rate with the dollar was one to one — $400,000," the pope said.

"They went on: 'To do this, we make the deposit and then you give us half for ourselves.' In that moment I thought about what I would do: either I insult them and give them a kick where the sun doesn't shine or I play the fool.

"I played the fool and said, 'In truth, we at the vicariate don't have an account; you have to make the deposit at the archdiocese's office with the receipt.' And that was it."


— Tracy Connor