Pope's Reform Path: Francis Shakes Up Church Establishment (VIDEO) | Roland Martin Reports

Pope’s Reform Path: Francis Shakes Up Church Establishment (VIDEO)

Source: Hans-Jürgen Schlamp / ABC News

It appears Pope Francis truly wants to change the Catholic Church. He’s reforming the Vatican Bank first, but he’s also circumventing the old guard wherever he can. The establishment is up in arms.

A cardinal in Rome earns about ?3,000 ($3,888) a month, even less than a pastor in Germany. But a cardinal’s life in Rome is a lot more expensive — with visits to restaurants and shopping at boutiques for the upscale clothing men of the church are expected to wear, not to mention their jewelry and the antiques they display in their apartments. So it’s good to have friends who can treat you or otherwise provide support now and then.

Friends are also happy to give a cardinal a hand — and not just out of religious considerations. A cardinal can be helpful in both political and business terms. So it’s not surprising that a symbiotic relationship between parts of the Curia and the upper class around the world has formed — one that brings together the establishment, luxury and power. It’s a nice little tradition that new Pope Francis would like to put an end to. For the Catholic establishment, though, it is nothing less than a catastrophe.

Even before his enthronement as pope, when he was still a cardinal, Jorge Mario Bergoglio had spoken clearly about this. During his speech to the cardinal conclave, he warned that, “When the church does not emerge from itself to evangalize, it becomes self-referential and therefore becomes sick.” He warned of “self-referentiality” and “theological narcissism.” He also criticized a “mundane church that lives within itself, of itself and for itself.” And it appears the Argentinian pope meant this criticism seriously. In fact, he demonstrates that every day.

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