Pope Francis issued a blistering indictment of the Vatican bureaucracy accusing cardinals and bishops of using their careers to grab power and wealth, of living “hypocritical” double lives and forgetting that they’re supposed to be joyful men of God. He made clear that his plans for a radical reform of the structures of church power must be accompanied by an even more radical spiritual reform of the men involved. Francis urged the prelates sitting stone-faced before him to repent and atone and make the church a healthier, holier place in 2015. Francis had some zingers: How the “terrorism of gossip” can “kill the reputation of our colleagues and brothers in cold blood.” How cliques can “enslave their members and become a cancer that threatens the harmony of the body” and eventually kill it off by “friendly fire.” How some suffer from “spiritual Alzheimer’s,” forgetting what drew them to the priesthood in the first place.

Mike's Comments: While the pope should be applauded for trying to root out the many problems within the Vatican bureaucracy, his desire for a radical spiritual reformation will never happen until he starts preaching the true Gospel. He urged his prelates to "repent and atone" but for spiritual reform they need to "repent and believe" that Christ made atonement for sin. All Roman Catholics need to repent from their works-righteiousness gospel and believe the Gospel of Christ which declares that He is sufficient to save sinners completely and forever. Spiritual reform is impossible apart from being born again by the imperishable seed which is the living and abiding word of God (1 Pet. 1:23). If the pope really wants spiritual reform he will renounce his ungodly traditions of men and proclaim God's Gospel that is fully contained in God's Word (1 Cor. 15:1-4).