A New Year’s Message For All

The Vatican
Vatican City; Rome, Italy

“Spiritual Alzheimer’s disease.” “Existential schizophrenia.” “Terrorism of gossip.” “Pathology of power.” These are the words that so forcefully – and, judged by their reception, perhaps unexpectedly – echoed through the ‘Sala Clementina’ of the Apostolic Palace at the Vatican, during Pope Francis’ annual Christmas address to the Curia – the Vatican’s administrative apparatus.

Described as one of the “harshest criticisms to date of the Curia” and a “blistering attack on the Vatican bureaucracy,” it was an address that has caused quite a stir in the national and international media alike, as a headline from the Religion News Service so astutely captured: “Pope Francis to Curia: Merry Christmas, you power-hungry hypocrites.”

Intended as it was for the Curia’s assembled members, I think there is some underlying wisdom that laymen – or the general public at large – can take away from the Pope’s message, particularly during the start of a new year. Read more