Pope Francis: ‘Traitors Of Trust’ Are A ‘Cancer’ Taking Over The Church

Nick Givas | Media And Politics Reporter

Pope Francis took on the Vatican bureaucracy Thursday, calling out “traitors of trust” who had been “corrupted by ambition” in his annual Christmas greeting.

Francis took time to acknowledged those truly serving Catholicism, but then singled out church officials who “represent a cancer of self-referential attitudes.” He accused them of living “hypocritical” lives and taking advantage of the faith to benefit themselves, according to ABC News.

Francis didn’t name names, but was likely referring to several high profile officials who have left Rome in the past year. In June, Libero Milone, who served as auditor general, left the Vatican with three years left on his term. He was later accused of hiring an outside party to spy on other church officials, ABC News reports.

Shortly after Milone’s dismissal, Cardinal George Pell, who was a close adviser to Francis, was charged with sexual assault and returned to Australia to face the charges.

Francis opted in July not to renew Cardinal Gerhard Ludwig Mueller as head of the Congregation for The Doctrine of Faith, due to stark disagreements over how to handle sexual abuse cases, according to The New York Times.

Francis said those who failed the church did not take take their responsibilities seriously enough, and were allowing themselves “to be corrupted by ambition” and “vanity.”

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