Pope attacks churchmen who live for the love of money

The Pope has criticised careerist cardinals who are too attached to money.

Pope Francis criticised prelates who revel in the life of luxury that their elevated position in the Catholic Church can offer.

"If a believer speaks about poverty, and leads the life of a Pharaoh, this cannot be done," he said in an interview with Straatnieuwsa Dutch newspaper sold on the streets by homeless people.

The Pope is worried about careerists in the Catholic Church who are too attached to money.Alessandro Bianchi/Reuters

"In the Church, there are those who instead of serving, or thinking of others, take advantage of the Church. The careerists who are too attached to money," he said. "How many priests and bishops have we seen like that? It's sad isn't it?"

In the wide-ranging interview with the Utrecht newspaper he spoke about his childhood in Argentina, revealing he had dreamed of being a butcher. He also spoke self-deprecatingly about his achievements, saying that he tells himself: "Right now, you have an important job, but in ten years or so, no one will recognise you."

He said the Church must speak with truth but also with testimony and warned against the Church becoming entangled in worldly affairs.

"Agreements can be made, but they must be clear agreements, transparent agreements, because there is always the temptation to corruption in public life, both political and religious."

The treasures of the Vatican are not his to sell even if he wished to, because they belong to humanity. But the many gifts the Pope receives personally are sold, and the proceeds are given to Archbishop Krajewski, the almoner, and used for the poor.

He chose to live in the humbler Casa Santa Marta rather than the traditional Papal apartments because he does not like isolation and enjoys going out and about. "I find people, I greet them, and this makes the 'golden cage' less of a cage," he added, a reference to Mark Twain's The Prince and the Pauper, in which the prince lived in a golden cage. Still, he said, "I miss the street."