Pope calls for a 'bruised, hurting and dirty' Church


Pope Francis declared that the Catholic Church ought to be "bruised, hurting and dirty" rather than obsessed with money and power.

In the wake of the Vatileaks scandal, Pope Francis called the Church to look to Jesus and reaching out to the poor.

"I prefer a Church that is bruised, hurting and dirty because it has been out on the streets, rather than a Church which is unhealthy from being confined and from clinging to its own security," he said to an audience of bishops in Florence on Tuesday.

"Before the problems of the church it is not useful to search for solutions in conservatism or fundamentalism, in the restoration of obsolete conduct and forms that no longer have the capacity of being significant culturally," the pope said.

"Christian doctrine is not a closed system incapable of generating questions, doubts, interrogatives. But it is alive, knows being unsettled ... it does not have a rigid face, it has a body that moves and grows, it has a soft flesh: it is called Jesus Christ."

Francis implored the Church to be "restless, always closer to the abandoned one, the forgotten ones, the imperfect ones."

The Pope's visit to Florence comes amid an internal scandal at the Vatican after confidential documents were leaked exposing the resistance Francis has met as he has tried to push for reform.