Recently the news has been going crazy with glee over the Pope dressing down the Vatican Curia. At least that’s what the headlines called it. It is actually the Roman Curia which is the governing body of the Holy See, which is the sovereign state in which the Vatican resides. But why let facts get in the way.
So this dressing down has more to do with the business end of the Vatican and not all of that other stuff they do. Which is why Francis was elected in the first place. The Vatican Bank was in scandal and crisis, laundering money for pre-repentant sinners and stuff like that. Monsignor Nunzio Scarano was arrested and Peter Sutherland from Goldman Sachs flew to the Vatican with words of wisdom.
As an aside, no one flew to the Holy See with any kind of warning while they were called in front of two UN Committees to investigate global crimes against humanity or the clergy sexual abuse screwing around with kids scandal. But screw around with the money of the one percent and, Holy See look out!
And man did Pope Francis listen. Not to the UN but to the bankers. After all the bank manages between 7 and 8 billion dollars in assets and investments and that needs protecting. So he took the job seriously.
Pope Francis appointed Jean-Baptiste de Franssu of Invesco Ltd. as bank president. And Cardinal Pell as Secretariat of the Economy. They did such a good job that Pell announced that they found millions tucked away. I can’t even tuck away 20 bucks, how they heck do you tuck away millions?
As an aside on Pell, when he was a Cardinal in Australia he lived with one of the worst pedophiles Gerald Ridsdale for a year and accompanied him to court. He later admitted he was unaware this would be insulting to victims. Let alone discourage more from coming forward because they would see the powerful institution they would be up against. Okay, I made up the last sentence.
Clearly he knows how to relate to criminals so the Holy See was the next obvious stop.
But this blog was about the dressing down of the Roman Curia. Not only a message to them but also to the bankers Pope Francis was elected to appease. They need to see he is in control. So how harsh was he with the 15 ailments? Let’s look.
1) “The sickness of considering oneself ‘immortal’, ‘immune’ or ‘indispensable” or don’t feel superior to others.
Oh, well okay. I suppose people need to be reminded of that.
2) “‘Martha-ism’, or excessive industriousness” Or don’t immerse yourself in work. When it is done spend some time with family is important. …I’m not kidding. Here is the quote, “Rest, once one who has brought his or her mission to a close, is a necessary duty and must be taken seriously: in spending a little time with relatives and respecting the holidays as a time for spiritual and physical replenishment…” Okay, okay I suppose we all need to find balance.
3) “The sickness of mental and spiritual hardening“: that of those who, along the way, lose their inner serenity, vivacity and boldness and conceal themselves behind paper, becoming working machines rather than men of God. …
Wait a minute isn’t that sort of the same as 2?
Am I supposed to believe this is harsh? Because this reminds me more of a sixth grade assembly about working together or something like that.
4) “The ailment of excessive planning and functionalism” this is when the apostle plans everything in detail and believes that, by perfect planning things effectively progress, thus becoming a sort of accountant. …
I’m thinking if you had a good accountant you would have known where those millions were tucked away.
5) “Sickness of poor coordination” or work well together.
6) “Spiritual Alzheimer’s disease” or rather forgetfulness of the history of Salvation, of the personal history with the Lord.
Okay, this one totally makes sense. At least it has something to do with their relationship with God. This is expected. Although I’m not sure why it comes in at 6.
7) “The ailment of rivalry and vainglory”
Don’t be jealous or vain. Okay now he’s just tweaking the seven deadly sins. Maybe this is closer to a 4th grade assembly.
It goes on, no cliques, don’t gossip, don’t be greedy. This is a dressing down to adults who run an 8 billion dollar country, institution?
Here is a link to the actual list.
But if this was a signal to the financial world then if I were on Wall Street I’d be concerned. Until I read number 15.
15) The “disease of worldly profit and exhibitionism: when the apostle transforms his service into power, and his power into goods to obtain worldly profits or more power. This is the disease of those who seek insatiably to multiply their power and are therefore capable of slandering, defaming and discrediting others, even in newspapers and magazines, naturally in order to brag and to show they are more capable than others.”
Ah, yes. No more leaks to the press about our wealth and our methods or else there will be further consequences. Like the three men Vatican just announced that will be brought to trial in the Vatican courts for embezzlement.
With everyone in line, it will soon be back to business as usual.