Pope: Vatican foes of reforms are 'traitors'
Pope Francis issued a stinging new critique of some in the Vatican's top administration yesterday, saying people sacked for obstructing his reforms should not act like martyrs but admit they are "traitors".
For the fourth year running, Francis used his annual Christmas greetings to the Roman Catholic Church's central bureaucracy, or Curia, to lecture the assembled cardinals, bishops and other department heads on the need for change.
He said some in the bureaucracy - the nerve centre of the 1.2-billion-member Church and whose members are entrusted with carrying out the pope's decisions - were part of "cliques and plots". Francis called this "unbalanced and degenerate" and a "cancer that leads to a self-referential attitude".
Since his election as the first Latin American pope in 2013, Francis has been trying to reform the Italian-dominated Curia to bring the Church's hierarchy closer to its members, to enact financial reforms and guide it out of scandals that marked the pontificate of his predecessor, former Pope Benedict.
But he has encountered resistance, particularly as some departments have been closed, merged or streamlined.
In his address yesterday, he spoke of those "traitors of trust" who had been entrusted with carrying out reforms but "let themselves be corrupted by ambition and vainglory."