Pope Francis isn't mincing words today as he kicks off the first of three days of meetings aimed squarely at reforming the Vatican. The pontiff is meeting with eight cardinals from across the globe, even as he addressed his concerns in an interview with leftist newspaper La Repubblica. Many of his predecessors, he says in the piece, have been "narcissists," and their "courtiers"—aides in the Curia—have fueled Vatican self-absorption. "The (papal) court is the leprosy of the papacy," he says, per Reuters.
The Vatican's interests are "in large part temporal," he says. "This Vatican-centric vision neglects the world around it and I will do everything to change it." Even now, some of the administrators are "courtiers," but not the eight cardinals chosen as an advisory board. Instead, they are "wise people who are inspired by my same feelings. This is the start of a Church with an organization that is not only vertical but also horizontal." The cardinals are from Italy, Honduras, Chile, India, Germany, Australia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and the US' own Sean Patrick O'Malley.