Pope to Vatican: be Christians!

December 24, 2014


In a world that seems to be increasingly dark,  one bright light stands out, and that is our current Pope Francis, who is shaking things up at the Vatican in a very big way.  He had the guts to tell the bureaucracy–all petty emperors–that they–the emperors– have no clothes, and I am loving it.  His speech to them has been called a “blistering critique” and it was. Among other things, he accused them of “spiritual Alzeheimer’s” and “existential schizophrenia.”  I don’t think we ever expected a headline to read Pope criticizes Vatican bureaucrats. And long overdue, it is.

What a breath of fresh air!  I can’t even imagine how this guy got elected.  Have you seen this AP story?

VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis issued a blistering critique Monday of the Vatican bureaucracy that serves him, denouncing how some people lust for power at all costs, live hypocritical double lives and suffer from “spiritual Alzheimer’s” that has made them forget they’re supposed to be joyful men of God.

Francis’ Christmas greeting to the cardinals, bishops and priests who run the Holy See was no joyful exchange of holiday good wishes. Rather, it was a sobering catalogue of 15 sins of the Curia that Francis said he hoped would be atoned for and cured in the New Year.

He had some zingers: How the “terrorism of gossip” can “kill the reputation of our colleagues and brothers in cold blood.” How cliques can “enslave their members and become a cancer that threatens the harmony of the body” and eventually kill it by “friendly fire.” About how some suffer from a “pathology of power” that makes them seek power at all costs, even if it means defaming or discrediting others publicly.

Francis, who is the first Latin American pope and never worked in the Italian-dominated Curia before he was elected, has not shied from complaining about the gossiping, careerism and bureaucratic power intrigues that afflict the Holy See. But as his reform agenda gathers steam, he seemed even more emboldened to highlight what ails the institution.

The cardinals were not amused. The speech was met with tepid applause, and few were smiling as Francis listed one by one the 15 “Ailments of the Curia” that he had drawn up, complete with footnotes and Biblical references.

At the end of the speech, he asked the prelates to pray that the “wounds of the sins that each one of us carries are healed” and that the Church and Curia itself are made healthy.

Holy moley, this is such a big deal. I can’t remember a single time when a Pope actually told it the way it was. And lived to tell more. Yeah, I’ll BET the cardinals weren’t amused.

Hey, look, I’m not big on organized religion, which I think exists to keep people under control. And is very, VERY different from spirituality. But if you’re going to be a spiritual leader of Christians,  for heaven’s sake (no pun intended) live like Christ. Model his behavior.  And actually LEAD. Which Pope Francis is doing.

It didn’t seem possible that the Roman Catholic Church could actually enter the 21st century, but this Pope is dragging it there, even though it ( those Vatican politicos) is kicking and screaming.  Not out loud of course. But you know there are loud whispers and whines going on.  As in “what HAVE we DONE?”  Because they’ve had a cushy deal for centuries.

But now? Someone Christ-like’s in charge and demanding that they, too be Christ-like.  Hehehe. Oh, I love him.

HERE is a list of the Pope’s 15 ailments he thinks the Vatican suffers from. 

and because his name is Pope Francis, and to remember St. Francis of Assisi, here is a little bonus post. It’s what I had planned for today until Pope Francis did something so irresistibly great that I had to write about it, instead. But then, I realized that it fit right in. Because Pope Francis? He’s the Real Deal. Here you go:


This Christmas, let’s pledge to make our lives about love, prayer, forgiveness.

They’re available to us all, regardless, of our circumstances.

And this little sweetie wants to remind us to spread kindness to animals everywhere we go.

And to remember homeless animals with something tangible. Like a donation. Or fostering. Or adopting, even.

Merry Christmas to you and your families. Thanks for visiting this busy day!

26 comments on “Pope to Vatican: be Christians!
  1. I have read this story. Unfortunately, whenever the “lamestream media” handles anything about the Pope or the Vatican, the comments on those news websites turn into anti-Catholic diatribes. Lots of folks out there spewing venom at the church that they truly hate and despise for unfounded reasons.
    Thanks Carol for looking at this one with balanced eyes.
    Benedict XVI did something similar while addressing theologians in NYC. There were a lot of butts squirming in their chairs.

  2. Kimba says:

    What I love most about this Pope is that he’s a spiritual leader, not just the leader of the Catholic Church. I have many friends, non-Catholics, who admire him. Peace, love and compassion – who can’t get behind that?!

  3. Yes, yes, YES about the animals. Let’s remember them always and help them however and whenever we can.

    Of course I am partial to the name Francis because my beloved grandmother, who lived with us for 10 years, was named Frances. She was an angel.

    That aside I am always happy to hear about the Pope is shaking things up. I went to a Jesuit college (don’t fall over!) and I remember many “things” happening that I won’t talk about but let’s just say they weren’t, um, kosher. Sorry, I couldn’t help it.

    GREAT post, Carol. This pope is to be commended for stepping up on his own.

  4. Ricki says:

    I love this guy! Did you have any discussion about him with your family when you in Italy? Does the rest of the world have the same opinion we do?

  5. Wow I agree. If this even brings 10% if American Catholics back to the church because they left looking for something else it would be great. I never left my catholic faith, it was on a break until now. It’s going to take a while for this to trickle down though-we still have some stodgy monsengiors out there…

  6. Roz Warren says:

    I’m an atheist Jew, and even I’m impressed. And as curious as you are about how this Pope ended up in charge. Seems like … a miracle?

  7. Laura Kennedy says:

    “How did he ever get elected?” was my response too! I hope he’s got a food taster.

  8. Sheryl says:

    How refreshing to see a leader who is genuine and doesn’t mince words. I admire the Pope for his willingness to speak out and attempt to cut through bureaucratic nonsense, which so many times makes everyone run around in circles.

  9. Ruth Curran says:

    I really never thought I would say “Go Pope” but it keeps popping out of mouth! Leadership, consistency, and compassion… who would have dreamed that this guy would be in this position?

  10. He kind of seems too good to be true right now and I hope he truly lives up to what he preaches and that he encourages those who are intolerant to finally change their tune.

    • He’s already lived up to more than any other Pope in recent history.It’s not easy to change an institution, but he’s plain spoken and has the right ideas. I don’t think we can ask for more!

  11. Lana says:

    This Pope has been such a breath of fresh air, and I can’t wait to see what he does next. Sharing this post – love how you summed everything up! Have a very Merry Christmas!

  12. Linda says:

    Wonderful post. Merry Christmas. 🙂

  13. Janie Emaus says:

    I’m not Catholic and I like this guy! Merry Christmas. I hope it is a good one for you.

  14. He sure got my attention! I am not Catholic but I really, really like him.

  15. Joy says:

    Love Pope Francis! He makes me proud to be a Catholic and I pray that more people would embrace his progressive ideas more. What people often forget is that Christ was a truly progressive leader and as you said, Pope Francis being Christ-like is a breath of fresh air. Thanks for sharing this, Carol!

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