Pope Francis delivers his speech during an audience with the Holy See's employees in the Paul VI hall at the Vatican, Dec. 22, 2014. (AP/L'Osservatore Romano)
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Francis' Christmas greeting to the cardinals, bishops and priests who run the Holy See was no joyful exchange of holiday good wishes. Rather, it was a sobering catalog of 15 sins of the Curia that Francis said he hoped would be atoned for and cured in the New Year. 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.The speech was met with tepid applause, and few were smiling as Francis listed one by one the 15 "Ailments of the Curia" that he had drawn up, complete with footnotes and Biblical references.The Vatican's finances are also in the midst of an overhaul, with Francis' finance czar, Cardinal George Pell, imposing new accounting and budget measures on traditionally independent congregations not used to having their books inspected.
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