Pope Francis criticises Vatican hierarchy

This video says about itself:

The Vatican bank by the numbers

March 23, 2014. (Romereports.com) The Institute for the Works of Religion is the main financial center for the Holy See. It employs 114 people, and oversees 18,900 accounts worth over $8.6 billion. The IOR, more commonly known as the Vatican bank, has over $1 billion in equity, and in 2012 posted a $119 million profit.

Benedict XVI, the predecessor of the present pope of the Roman Catholic Church, used to abuse Christmas for homophobic speeches.

Today, Benedict’s successor Francis I also used Christmas for an attack. On a more deserving target, however.

From Reuters news agency:

Pope says Vatican administration is sick with power and greed

By Philip Pullella

VATICAN CITY Mon Dec 22, 2014 8:29am EST

The Vatican‘s top administrators would have been expecting an exchange of pleasantries at their annual Christmas meeting with Pope Francis on Monday.

Instead, he chose the occasion to issue a stinging critique, telling the priests, bishops and cardinals who run the Curia, the central administration of the Roman Catholic Church, that careerism, scheming and greed had infected them with “spiritual Alzheimer’s“.

Francis, the first non-European pope in 1,300 years, has refused many of the trappings of office and made plain his determination to bring the Church’s hierarchy closer to its 1.2 billion members.

To that end, he has set out to reform the Italian-dominated Curia, whose power struggles and leaks were widely held responsible for Benedict XVI‘s decision last year to become the first pope in six centuries to resign.

“The Curia needs to change, to improve … a Curia that does not criticize itself, that does not bring itself up to date, that does not try to improve, is a sick body,” he said in a somber address.

He listed no fewer than 15 “sicknesses and temptations”, from the “spiritual Alzheimer’s” of those who had become enthralled by worldly goods and power to the “existential schizophrenia” of those who had succumbed to a joyless, hard-hearted mindset.

Francis said some in the Curia acted as if they were “immortal, immune or even indispensable”, an apparent reference to retired cardinals who remain in the Vatican and continue to exert influence.

He told his audience that too many of them suffered from “rivalry and vainglory”; superiors favored proteges and underlings fawned on bosses to further careers; others fed gossip or false information to the media.

But the pope did finish on an upbeat note. Before wishing them all a Happy Christmas, Francis urged the Vatican’s administrators to be more joyful, saying how much good a “dose of humor” could do.

According to NOS TV in the Netherlands (translated):

The cardinals in the room did not respond enthusiastically to the sobering Christmas message. It is said there was only a faint applause.

From the Daily Telegraph in Britain:

Franciscan order of friars investigation finds millions of euros missing

Franciscan order of friars in ‘grave situation’ with millions of euros believed to be missing from its accounts

19 Dec 2014

It was founded 800 years ago by St Francis of Assisi, whose name was taken by the current Pope, but the Franciscan order of friars has found itself mired in a financial scandal allegedly involving fraud and embezzlement of tens of millions of euros.

A branch of the Roman Catholic order had invested some of its money in offshore shell companies based in Switzerland, which had in turn been involved in arms and drugs trafficking, Italian media reported.

A three-month-long internal investigation has found extensive financial irregularities at the heart of the Rome-based order, which has around 14,000 members worldwide and owns churches and convents in more than 100 countries.

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