22 February 2016
Christopher Lamb in Rome
Pope Francis: Vatican officials must not 'neglect or mistreat'
Members of the Roman Curia must be careful never to neglect or mistreat those they come into contact with, Pope Francis said today.
Delivering a homily during a jubilee Mass for the Curia and other Vatican offices, the Pope urged them to show “the loving care of the Good Shepherd” instead.
Francis has in the past been critical of the Roman Curia - the Church’s central administration - at one point listing 15 of their “diseases” including gossiping, cliques and poor communication.
He was elected in 2013 with a mandate to reform the Vatican, in particular its finances, and is working on this take with his council of nine cardinal advisors.
“In our workplaces too may we feel, cultivate and practice a strong pastoral sense, especially towards the people we encounter every day,” the Pope said today in St Peter’s Basilica.
“May no-one feel neglected or mistreated, but may everyone be able to experience, especially here, the loving care of the Good Shepherd.”
Speaking to a congregation made up of cardinals, bishops, priests and laity the Pope went on: “Let us allow the Lord to free us from every temptation that distances us from the essence of our mission, and let us rediscover the beauty of professing our faith in the Lord Jesus.”
Along with a Mass there was also a procession led by Roman cardinals and followed by archbishops and bishops who lead curial offices. The Pope joined the long procession with a large group of laypeople and religious.
Today the Pope announced a further reform of Vatican communications. On 29 February Fr Federico Lombardi will retire as the Director General of Vatican Radio although he will retain his role in charge of the Holy See press office. Also retiring is the radio’s Managing Director and chief planner of papal trips, Dr Alberto Gasbarri.
Both Fr Lombardi’s and Dr Gasbarri’s positions at Vatican Radio have been taken on an interim basis by Giacomo Ghisani, who is currently the deputy at the recently created Secretariat of Communications.
That department was set up following a review of Vatican communications led by Lord Patten of Barnes, former Chairman of the BBC Trust. His key recommendations included a more co-ordinated media operation operating under one department.
Today the Vatican announced that on the 1 January the Pontifical Council for Social Communications and the Holy See Press Office had been unified.
Meanwhile, at the Sunday Angelus yesterday the Pope called for the global abolition of the death penalty. He also called for a moratorium on executions during the jubilee year of mercy.
"I appeal to the consciences of those who govern to reach an international consensus to abolish the death penalty,” Francis said during his Sunday Angelus.
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