Francis warns Vatican officials their conflicts polarize Catholic Church

National Catholic Reporter

December 21, 2020

By Joshua J. McElwee

Pope Francis Dec. 21 urged the bishops and cardinals who lead the Vatican’s bureaucracy not to be in conflict with one another, warning that the Catholic Church can become polarized if the prelates appear always at odds.

In an annual pre-Christmas meeting that Francis has frequently used to upbraid his top Vatican officials, the pontiff acknowledged that the church may be in crisis due to scandals “past and present” but said crisis should not be confused with conflict.

“Crisis generally has a positive outcome, whereas conflict always creates discord and competition, an apparently irreconcilable antagonism that separates others into friends to love and enemies to fight,” the pope told the prelates.

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