Pope Francis Christmas Message: Heads Will Roll

Pope Francis, world, christmas message

Pope Francis’ has delivered his first Christmas message to the Curia since taking the power position of head of the Catholic church in March of 2013 and some are wondering when more heads will roll. The Curia consists of bishops, monsignor, cardinals and lay persons who work in various departments throughout the Vatican.  The figurative and literal customer to these departments are the 1.2 billion Catholics throughout the world.  It is being widely reported that he has chastised the Vatican bureaucracy for gossip and mediocrity.  He denounced them for the downward spiral of the Curia, saying that they were hindering the work of the Holy Spirit and stunting the growth of God’s people.

While the Pope’s message could be considered a tongue lashing, it should be remembered that Pope Francis was chosen to fix things around the big house. When Francis took the office the Vatican was embroiled in scandal, accusations of cronyism, theft and a myriad of bad for business public issues.  There is little doubt that the Vatican overhaul has begun.  The message to the Curia, the “management” team of the Vatican, was delivered much like a large company’s CEO addressing the high level management team.  His talking points were about professionalism and the lack thereof.  Saying that when professionalism was absent mediocrity will take its place.  Pope Francis said that this lack of professionalism was surfacing through the Curia’s inability to remain focused on God’s people and service to their needs.

The  Christmas message of Pope Francis that is heard in subtler tones is that heads will roll.  The Pope is becoming ever more experienced in firing high level staff from the Curia.  His Christmas message to the Curia?  Shape up or ship out.  In the past week he has shuffled the powerful board of Congregation of Bishops.  This board is responsible for vetting all nominations for the position of bishop.  Francis has sacked the arch-conservative American Cardinal Raymond Burke who was an important figure in the  wars over abortion and gay marriage.  The Pope also removed Cardinal Mauro Piacenza  and removed the  head of Italy’s bishop conference.  Pope Francis is sending a message that the time for change is now.   In the near future he will also be choosing his slate of cardinals and meeting with his eight cardinal advisers.  This is the third summit of this group whose mission is to put forth the first round of recommendations for revitalizing the bureaucracy that surrounds the Vatican.

Francis has stated his goals and is expecting compliance from the Curia.  He wants an organization that is quick to respond to the needs of the local bishops throughout the world.  The Vatican has often been criticized for its slow time-table when issues and needs arise among the bishops.  Francis is also wanting a Vatican that will stop the gossip which does nothing but interfere with the true work of the Vatican.  Caring for the needs of the flock. His message on Christmas eve will focus  on the “good” news of Christ’s birth and how it was announced by angels to shepherds.  Shepherds of that time were considered outcasts and the lowliest and yet they were chosen to receive the news.  Francis will recount this story to the millions of people who will attend and listen to his Christmas message.

Pope Francis expressed appreciation for the attendance of the cardinals, bishops and priests who gathered to receive his Christmas message. He said he admired their creativity, work and diligence but it was evident that Pope Francis would not shy away from his mission and if necessary further dismissals would occur.  He thanked the saints that sat among the audience and left them with a message of needed change to truly be an important part of the lives of the billions of Catholics throughout the world.

Written by Anthony Clark

New York Daily News
USA Today
The Australian



8 Responses to "Pope Francis Christmas Message: Heads Will Roll"

  1. Jack   December 26, 2013 at 7:47 am

    Please info Pope Francis to send Cardinal Burke Packing out of the Vatican. I have written the Pope many times about Cardinal Burke and his Actions while in St. Louis Missouri and all were deplorable.to say the least. Cardinal Burke Excommunicated ans Supressed the complete congregation of Roman Catholic Parishioners at St Stanislous Church in his land sale scheme that failed. Cardinal Burke actually tried to sell St Stans real property right from under the Parishioners that owned the Property. He also closed the church and removed their treasures. The Excommunication and Sensure came when the Parishioners
    refused to sell the Property. Cardinal Burke used the Power of his Office as Arch Bishop to obtain the Property of the Parishioners the Property he did not own as stated by a Cvil Court Judge. The Parishioners Remain Excommunicated and St Stan is not listed as a Roman Catholic Place of worship anylonger. My request and hopes are if anyone that reads this comment info the Pope for he seems to be the only one that can return this curch to it’s former position and remove the Parishioners Excommunication action applied by Cardinal Burke. The Current Arch Bishop als refuses to do anything abot the situation.

  2. rob   December 25, 2013 at 1:13 pm

    if you read in the bible it says dont call no man father on earth,but their is one father in heaven.That means priest and the pope.

  3. chathurika   December 24, 2013 at 1:01 am

    thank you so much dear Pope for enlightning us.I really love you.we see Jesus through you.Ipray for you daily.

  4. Freda   December 23, 2013 at 3:38 am

    Pope Francis is likely to face the biggest schism the Church has ever seen if he’s not careful.

  5. Berna Babugura   December 22, 2013 at 9:51 pm

    Thank you Pope Francis for giving hope to the poor ………. this is what Christ came for. May the good Lord continue to use you to lead his church. We love Pope Francis and we pray for you.

  6. J. D. Lovrenciear, APR, FIPR   December 22, 2013 at 6:51 pm

    May the Lord grant the Holy Father Pope Francis good health and long life. Indeed the church is being renewed – a long awaited hope amongst believers and more impotantly the non believers. It is time for the Word, Worship and Witness to become the centrifugal forces for our life defining change.

  7. Tony   December 22, 2013 at 2:07 pm

    Thanks for your comment Mar. I would tend to a agree with you that many in the Curia should spend more time with the poor. Pope Francis, being Jesuit, has a significant belief alignment with helping the poor. Personally I hope to see fundamental changes within the Vatican.

  8. Mar   December 22, 2013 at 10:48 am

    He should send any lazy Cardinals out to the poor parishes to get their hands dirty. No more cocktail parties and rubbing shoulders with celebrities.


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