Pope to prelates: no intrigue, favoritism, gossipFebruary 23, 2014 18:53
Pope Francis today gave his new cardinals what amounted to a code of conduct: "no intrigue, gossip, power pacts, favoritism."
Francis also urged the 19 men he elevated to cardinal a day earlier to avoid behaving as if they were in a royal court.
During his homily in St Peter's Basilica, Francis told the cardinals to strive to "be saints." To achieve that, he advised them to simply love those who are hostile to them, bless those who speak badly of them, and "smile at those who perhaps don't merit it."
Advocating humility, Francis is trying to reform a church hierarchy that has been criticized as arrogant, egotistical, petty and nasty. Scandals involving alleged corruption and power plays tainted the Vatican's top bureaucracy in the last few years before Francis was elected in March.
Later today, while addressing the faithful and the curious in St Peter's Square, Francis was interrupted by resounding cheers and applause when, wagging his finger, he told them that bishops, cardinals and the pope need to be "good servants, not good bosses" of God's people.
As his papacy draws near the one-year mark, Francis has been drawing huge crowds for the traditional Sunday noontime appearance from a window of the Apostolic Palace overlooking the square.