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Nixed Vatican bonuses are proof we have a greater treasure in Pope Francis

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
April 18th, 2013
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Pope Francis may be popular with a lot of people around the world, but some Vatican employees might have a different view, even if just around their next payday. Pope Francis has nixed a traditional bonus that comes to about $2,000 per employee.

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - A Vatican spokesman announced Thursday that employees of the city-state would not be getting a traditional bonus that is normally given when a new pope is elected. The bonus typically comes to about $2,000.

Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi told the Associated Press, "it didn't seem possible or appropriate to burden the Vatican's budget with a considerable, unforeseen extra expense."

The decision came from Pope Francis himself and is reflective of his preference for simplicity. "How I would like a poor church for the poor," Francis told the media after his election.

He means it. Francis himself has eschewed the garish papal vestments and apartment for simple clothing and simple living quarters. He is hoping to model discipleship for other clergy and for Christians in general, who should do all they can to humbly serve the poor and disadvantaged.

Although some have speculated the decision to withhold the bonus was a result of the Vatican's recent money woes-the church reported a $20 million shortfall in 2011, Pope Francis has ordered a withdraw from his personal charity budget for immediate donation to charity aid organizations.

The decision to end the bonuses comes just a week after Francis announced the formation of an advisory panel that would assist him in outlining reforms to the Church. That panel is made of cardinals drawn from six continents, and will provide advice on matters that range from the management of finances to the care of children within the Church.

Although the loss of the bonuses may represent a financial shortfall for hopeful Vatican staff, it represents a greater treasure we have received in the form of Francis himself.

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