WASHINGTON, June 26, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The photo of a big white empty chair ran on front pages of Italian newspapers this week, stark evidence that in the Catholic world there's a new papal sheriff in town and he aims to clean up the church's equivalent of Dodge City.
Pope Francis was scheduled to be the guest of honor at a lavish concert, but moments before the event was to begin the crowd of cardinals and Italian dignitaries present were told that an "urgent commitment that cannot be postponed" would prevent the Pope from attending.
The prelates needed little time to decode the Pope's message, one that he delivered to an audience of bishops a day earlier, that bishops should be "close to the people" and not have "the mentality of a prince."
The Corriere della Sera newspaper called his decision "a show of force" to illustrate the simple style he wants Church officials to embrace.
The Argentinian Pope, elected March 13, has been living that message. He lives in a small suite in a busy Vatican guest house rather than the opulent papal apartments and says Mass each morning in the house chapel rather than in the Palace's private quarters.
According to Vatican insiders, Pope Francis is expected to make major changes in Curia leadership and personnel by end of summer, shedding many of those who served during recent scandals involving corruption, the Vatican bank and priests' sexual abuse of children.
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SOURCE EIN News