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By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

12/24/2013 (1 year ago)

Catholic Online (

Staying away from gossip and speculation would be good advice for the media as well, including Catholic media sources.

The world is enamored with Pope Francis, for he is a doer of good deeds and an example of humility and kindness that hasn't seen in a world leader for perhaps centuries. Yet, there is another side to the Holy Father that we rarely see, but just like a real, loving father, he can be a strict disciplinarian.

Pope Francis is also changing the bureaucracy in the Vatican.

Pope Francis is also changing the bureaucracy in the Vatican.


By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (

12/24/2013 (1 year ago)

Published in Living Faith

Keywords: Pope Francis, gossip, bishop of bling, Cardinal Burke, curia, advice, gossip, warning, Pope Francis

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Pope Francis has captured the world's affections, but there are people who view him with more concern than the average parishioner. While he is something of a folk hero to the man in the street, he is a man of action in the Vatican, for Pope Francis has been quick to remove powerful people from important posts in the Vatican, should he feel they are an improper fit for the position.

Just over a month ago, Pope Francis started the work of removing those who caught his eye in the wrong way, or whom he thought could serve more effectively in a different capacity. The first high-profile person to go was the Bishop of Limburg, Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst, also known as the "Bishop of Bling" because of his extravagant lifestyle. He was something of a dubious celebrity in Germany, followed by paparazzi and a lover of fine and expensive cars and other luxuries.

Pope Francis personally removed The Bishop of Bling, requesting that he spend some time in a monastery in prayer and reflection. .

'The Bishop of Bling' saw the face, now 'The Bishop of Bling' is retired to a monastery.

Last week he removed Archbishop Raymond Burke from the advisory body that selects new bishops for the Church. Burke is known as an orthodox American archbishop who is a vocal opponent of procured abortion, same sex 'marriage', and has called for the denial of communion for anti-life political figures such as John Kerry, Kathleen Sebelius, and Nancy Pelosi who have openly defied the clear teaching of the Catholic Church.

Though some Press sources have tried to imply this move concerning Cardinal Burle is somehow a statement of the Pope having concerns about him, the facts reveal something quite different. Archbishop Burke remains the Cardinal Prefect of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura. The equivalent of the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court for the Catholic Church throughout the world.

Francis also accepted the retirement of the head of the Italian Bishop's Conference and Cardinal Mauro Piacenza, the man in charge of Italian priests.

Some in the media speculate that what these men have in common is that they are fiercely conservative and bureaucratic. Whether this is accurate or not, it has become the fodder of the chattering media class. Time will tell what all of this really signals. The speculation has very little substance to it.

The Vatican is an ancient institution where even important decisions move slowly through the machinery of the state. This can be frustrating for some people and baffling for others, but the slow pace of decision-making in the Vatican is deliberate. It allows time to properly consider each decision, to carefully weigh options, and to help the Church to protect itself by making wise decisions.

Like a loving father, his hands are the guideposts.

Like a loving father, his hands are the guideposts.

Still, Pope Francis seems to be less concerned with formalities and bureaucracy and is much more concerned with pastoral care of the people themselves. Indeed, the is the core mission of the Church and its most important work-ministry to the people in the streets. A good example of this was his instructions to the Vatican Almoner, Archbishop Konrad Krajewski. Pope Francis told him to sell his desk and get into the streets, among the people, which the Archbishop now does nightly.

In February, now just weeks away, Pope Francis is expected to name his first cardinals. Those selections will strongly indicate the kind of Church Francis is expecting to build. He will also meet again with his "Group of Eight" cardinals who are advising him on reforms to the Holy See itself.

As prelude to this, Pope Francis delivered a sermon on Saturday in which he warned his own people in the Vatican that they should take care with their work. They should refrain from gossip and squabbling, lest their work decline into "mediocrity."

Staying away from gossip and speculation would be good advice for the media as well, including Catholic media sources.

He warned everyone to keep their professionalism at all times. "When professionalism is lacking, there is a slow drift downwards toward mediocrity. Dossiers become full of trite and lifeless information, and incapable of opening up lofty perspectives," he said. "Then too, when the attitude is no longer one of service to the particular churches and their bishops, the structure of the Curia turns into a ponderous, bureaucratic customs house, constantly inspecting and questioning, hindering the working of the Holy Spirit and the growth of God's people."

The words are inspiring, as the speech of any world-class leader should be, but they veil a promise that anyone who falls short may be reassigned to duties more befitting their talents. For, after all, we are all only servants of the Lord.

The face of Pope Francis you don

The face of Pope Francis you don't want to see. When you see this, swift, Papal justice is short in coming.


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