Pope Francis delivers his message on the occasion of his Christmas greetings to the Roman Curia in the Clementine Hall at the Vatican, Thursday, Dec. 21, 2017. (Claudio Peri/pool photo via AP)
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Pope Francis once again used a Christmas greeting to dress down Vatican officials Thursday, denouncing the "cancer" of cliques and how bureaucrats can become "corrupted" by ambition and vanity.Francis has a tradition of giving the Curia a tough-love Christmas greeting, inviting the Vatican bureaucrats who help govern the 1.2-billion Catholic Church to a Jesuit-style examination of conscience before the New Year.Libero Milone, the first-ever auditor general, left in June in what the Vatican said was a mutually agreed upon departure two years into a five-year term. Only after Milone claimed the Vatican made trumped-up charges against him did the Vatican accuse him of having hired an outside firm to spy on Vatican officials.Then last month, the Vatican fired the respected No. 2 at the Vatican bank, Giulio Mattietti.
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