The Pope’s Christmas Dream, The Curia’s Nightmare

The Daily Beast

The most human pope in recent memory slips out of the Vatican’s golden cage for a few moments, then lambasts the cardinals of the Curia who think they run the place.
Barbie Latza Nadeau



VATICAN CITY—Oh the woe of being Pope Francis. On one hand, he clearly longs for the simple things in life, like shoe shopping. So much so that during the mad Roman pre-Christmas shopping rush, he left the protected grounds of Vatican City to visit a local pharmacy and pick up a new version of his famously simple orthopedic shoes. He blessed a cashier’s crucifix, signed a charge slip for the shoes, and went back through the hallowed gates to what some might be call his gilded cage.

On the other hand, Francis just as clearly revels in his role as the leader (and shaper) of a revitalized Catholic Church. During his annual Christmas greeting to the cardinals and senior officials of the Roman Curia, he lambasted those who show three types of resistance to his continued reform, which he described as “open, hidden and malevolent.” The audience included the cardinals who have publically condemned him and would love to see him ousted.

In the pontiff’s wide-ranging remarks, which included a promise to increase the “role of women and of lay persons in the life of the church,” he pinpointed the 12 guiding criteria he would follow to continue reforming the institution. In 2014, he identified 15 “diseases” he implied that many of the men in front of him suffered from and last year he offered up a “catalogue of necessary virtues” they should embrace.

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