Many people today are too caught up in the hustle and bustle of everyday life so much so that they feel like they do not have any other option anymore but to hold onto their faith so that they can feel a sense of comfort despite the daily challenges that come their way, may it be at work, business, household, and so on; however, it cannot be denied that at this point in time, there are lists of problems that face even those individuals who belong in the religious community; hence, if a person will make the decision to depend purely on something or someone, it is very likely that his expectations will not be met since no organization, community, or person is perfect.
Pope Francis, the first non-European papacy holder after almost a millennium, criticized the officials who belong in the Curia, the administrative body that oversees millions of people who observe the Catholic Faith, through his speech. The officials whom he was meant to speak in front of for the annual Christmas greeting in the Vatican were described in his strong and fascinating speech as people who deem themselves superior over other people and officials who were obsessed in loving their own images.
The Pope’s moving message was delivered inside the Clementine Hall in the Vatican where he accused the Curia, despite being the pinnacle of the Catholic Church as an administrative body suffering from ailments that he aims to cure by next year as the reigning pope. Upon listening to his speech, it can be inferred that Pope Francis seeks to reform Curia since it is evidently being negatively affected by what he refers to as “Spiritual Alzheimer’s” – one of the fifteen ailments Pope Francis believes to be prevailing in the aforementioned administrative body. Based from his explanation, spiritual alzheimer’s is the ailment which is possessed by those who have already long forgotten their personal encounters with God and those who have chosen to depend to their idols instead to their Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. In addition to this, Pope Francis also criticized the desire of certain groups in the Curia to be stronger than the whole body. Although it could have started because of good intentions, he believes that once individuals become enslaved to their own desires, the groups they have formed can grow as closed groups that will threaten the whole governing administration.
One of the solutions he proposes is for the Catholic bishops all across the globe to be granted a bigger opportunity to voice their thoughts and opinions regarding doctrine-related activities and decision-making processes as opposed to their current condition wherein they have no bigger say than those in the Vatican. Another is to change the self-serving ways of those who desire to claim authority and power over everyone and everything.
Despite the fact that he seeks reform, it still remains a question to many as to why Pope Francis was motivated to deliver such type of message. Most likely, it could be because he is disappointed with the slow pace of Vatican bureaucracy. As what most people know, Pope Francis is a Vatican outsider and he has not experienced to work in Rome prior to his election as the Catholic Church’s pope. Clearly, Pope Francis longs to reform the bureaucracy of the Vatican with the aid of his new circle of cardinal advisers.
AP News. (2014). A list of Pope Francis’ 15 “Ailments of the Curia”.
Pope Francis Criticizes Vatican Bureaucracy. [Video file]. (2014). Retrieved from