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Pope Francis tells of his vision for reform

The Pope has opened a landmark meeting on reform saying he wants a missionary Church with a modern spirit that gives hope to the poor, the young and the elderly like his namesake St Francis did.

Francis convened his own parallel cabinet of eight cardinals from around the globe for three days of brainstorming on revamping the Vatican bureaucracy and other reforms. The move fulfils a key mandate of the cardinals who elected him pope to involve local church leaders in making decisions about the universal church.

On the same day the meetings started, Rome daily, La Repubblica, published a lengthy interview with Francis. He denounced the "Vatican-centric" nature of the Holy See administration and acknowledged that Popes past had been infatuated with the pomp of the Vatican and its "courtesans".

The Pope also explained his affinity for St Francis, whose tomb he will visit on Friday.

Belfast Telegraph

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