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That's because Pope Francis on Monday delivered a half-hour address to the Curia that was about as far from a gift of holiday cheer as one can imagine.
Francis, who is the first Latin American pope and never worked in the Italian-dominated Curia before he was elected, has not shied from complaining about the gossiping, careerism and bureaucratic power intrigues that afflict the Holy See.
At the end of the speech, he asked the prelates to pray that the "wounds of the sins that each one of us carries are healed" and that the Church and Curia itself are made healthy.
Federico Lombardi, the cardinals emphasized that they were looking "in depth" at the Curia and ways of restructuring it, not at "small touch ups" (, 4 December 2013).
Un resoconto degli studi intorno alla riforma della Curia Romana e stato offerto da Varnier (10).
"This finding confirms the general was stabbed right at the bottom of the Curia while presiding over a meeting of the Senate."
Service in the Roman Curia is marked by the distinction between the system of government and that of public service.
Gracias said it was important the papal commission remain independent from the Roman Curia in order to maintain its credibility; however, "if you are not part of the Curia, you have no power over it."
In a Christmas address to the Curia in 2014, Francis issued a stinging critique, saying careerism, scheming and greed had infected many of its bureaucrats with "spiritual Alzheimer's".
They also conversed on the announcement of the Gospel and the missionary spirit as a perspective that characterizes the activity of the whole Curia.
He speaks of the inter-connectedness of his addresses in his opening remarks, " My reflections are based of course on the fundamental canonical principles of the Curia and on its own history, but also on the personal vision that I have sought to share with you in my addresses of recent years, within the context of the reform currently under way".