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Pope warns new cardinals against 'intrigue, favouritism'

Published on Feb 24, 2014 1:07 AM

VATICAN CITY (AFP) - Pope Francis, who has made simplicity and serving the poor the distinguishing characteristics of his papacy, on Sunday told the 19 newly appointed cardinals to shun intrigue, gossip and cronyism.

"A Cardinal ... enters the Church of Rome, my brothers, not a royal court," the pope said during a mass attended by the cardinals named on Saturday.

"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." The admonition came as Francis is seeking to refashion the image of the Roman Catholic Church, plagued by financial scandals and accusations of covering up child abuse by priests.

A council of cardinals, set up by Francis to advise him on Vatican reforms, on Tuesday heard a report to reform the Vatican bank and on Wednesday it discussed organisational and economic programmes.

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