NEWS — 24 February 2014

By staff reporter

Pope Francis has instructed his new “princes of the church” – among them Cardinal Vincent Nichols, archbishop of Westminster – to avoid “intrigue, gossip, cliques, favouritism and partiality” as they take on their new roles.

Speaking in St Peter’s basilica after creating 19 new cardinals, the Argentinean pontiff told the men to reject the habits of a royal court that have in recent years come to be associated with Vatican bureaucracy.

He told them: “A cardinal – I say this especially to you – enters the church of Rome, my brothers, not a [royal] court. May all of us avoid, and help others to avoid, habits and ways of acting typical of a court: intrigue, gossip, cliques, favouritism and partiality.”

Francis made it clear there was no room for shortcomings for his chosen 19, saying:”To be saints is not a luxury. It is necessary for the salvation of the world. This is what the Lord asks of us,” he said.

“We love, therefore, those who are hostile to us; we bless those who speak ill of us; we greet with a smile those who may not deserve it,” he said. “We do not aim to assert ourselves; rather, we oppose arrogance with meekness; we forget the humiliations that we have endured.”

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