VATICAN CITY – Pope Francis has given a sort of code of conduct to new cardinals, the select group of churchmen who advise him, help shape policy and elect new pontiffs.
The pontiff on Sunday told the 19 men he elevated to cardinals' rank a day earlier to avoid behaving like they were in a royal court. Francis' commandments for the cardinals? "No intrigue, gossip, power pacts, favoritism or preferentialism."
During his homily in St. Peter's Basilica, Francis told the cardinals they should "be saints." To achieve that, he advised them to simply love those who are hostile to them or speak badly of them and "smile at those who perhaps don't merit it."
Advocating humility, Francis is trying to reform a church hierarchy often marred by arrogance, egotism, pettiness and nastiness.