Pope Francis begins spring cleaning at the Vatican, starting with the bank
Holy Father signals he will initiate a myriad of reforms.
With Holy Week duties behind him, Pope Francis prepares to tackle some of the Church's major problems. First up, the Vatican Bank, which has been accused of laundering money. Pope Francis is starting with the bank as he plans to reform the Church into a model of austerity and honesty.
Those close to Pope Francis, speaking on the condition of anonymity, say that the Holy Father is considering plans to remove the head of the Vatican Bank, Cardinal Tarciscio Bertone, who is the Vatican's second-in-command and is largely blamed for failing to stop infighting and corruption within the Holy See.
The officials warned that it would take time to change the bank, or to close it, but that it could certainly happen. One official doubted the likelihood that it would close, but that instead it would undergo serious restructuring.
Pope Francis, they say, has also indicated that he plans to tackle a number of other issues including scandals involving the sexual abuse of children around the world. The actions of a small minority of individuals has tainted the reputation of the 1.2 billion member church. Sadly, those problems have been exacerbated by the failure of Church leadership to cooperate with local authorities and to protect children in some cases.
It is expected that Pope Francis will also deal with this issue quite definitively, although no specifics have yet been discussed.
In many ways, Pope Francis represents a serious coup for the Church. Many Cardinals have been upset with how the Italian Cardinals, which dominate the Curia, have been operating. Therefore, it makes sense that after much prayer and petition, God should choose a relative outsider of great piety and spirit to cleanse His Church.
Insiders say that Pope Benedict left a carefully composed secret report for Francis. That report supposedly contains secret documents and a frank assessment of the scandals facing the Church. They discuss troubles with the Vatican bank as well as the Vatileaks scandal in which secret documents were smuggled out of the Vatican by Benedict's butler, Paolo Gabriele.
Gabriele was sentenced to 18 months in prison but was later pardoned and released by Benedict before Christmas.
As Pope Francis takes up his figurative broom, other watchdog organizations will continue monitoring the Vatican Bank and report on its progress. Pope Francis is certainly able to model excellent, meritorious behavior for his followers. Now we must see if he can oust the money-changers from the temple and restore the Holy See to its proper glory-not rich with gold and cash, but rich with the piety of devout human souls and the glory of God.
After all, what is the value of gold compared to that?
© 2013, Distributed by NEWS CONSORTIUM.
Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for December 2013
General Intention: Victimized Children. That children who are victims of abandonment or violence may find the love and protection they need.
Missionary Intention: Prepare the Savior's Coming. That Christians, enlightened by the Word incarnate, may prepare humanity for the Savior's coming.
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