Pope rails against corruption as Italian newspapers filled with bribery investigations

Pope Francis has scaled up his denunciation of corruption in recent weeks as Italian prosecutors crack down on a series of bribery scandals afflicting nearly every major public works project in Italy.

Francis referred to the Italian corruption headlines for the second day in a row Tuesday during his morning homily. He says politicians, businessmen and even priests who are corrupt harm the poor and innocents most, since they suffer when hospitals don't have affordable medicines or school materials.

He said: "It's the poor who pay for the parties of the corrupt! The bill goes to them."

The pope says the only way out is for those who exploit others for their personal gain to beg forgiveness and return what they have wrongly taken through service to others.