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January 12, 2016

Pope Francis -- Speech to Roman Curia

Taken from Origins January 7, 2016
Vol 45 Number 31

Pope Francis prescribed "curial antibiotic" --- or spiritual virtues needed by those who seek to serve the church --- in his annual talk offering Christmas greetings to cardinals in Rome and heads of Vatican Offices. The Dec. 21 address in the Vatican's Clementine Hall built on a theme of the past two years, offering cures to the spiritual diseases he mentioned in last year's talk, such as "spiritual Alzheimer's," hypocrisy, gossip and even a poor sense of humor. Those virtues --- needed not only by church leaders but by "all those who would like to make their consecration or service to the church more fruitful" --- include a missionary and pastoral spirit, tenderness, kindness and courtesy to everyone, avoidance of scandals that harm souls and hurt the church's credibility, and a determination to be charitable and truthful, he said.

Diseases need "prevention, vigilance, care, and sadly in some cases, painful and prolonged interventions.

The spiritual problems he highlighted last year are still lingering and were "evident in the course of the past year, causing no small pain" to the whole body of the church and "harming many souls, even by scandal."