Pope warns new cardinals against 'slumber of mediocrity'
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Pope FrancisPope FrancisPope to miss three upcoming events due to sciatic leg pain Pope says he prays God guides Biden's reconciliation efforts Pope Francis gets COVID-19 vaccine MORE on Sunday warned the Catholic church’s newest cardinals against careerism and “the slumber of mediocrity.”

Eleven of 13 new cardinals were present, with the other two prevented from travelling by coronavirus restrictions, according to The Associated Press. In his homily, Francis told the cardinals that Jesus “detests lukewarm-ness” and warned against “a dangerous kind of sleep … the slumber of mediocrity.”

The pontiff reportedly broke from his prepared text to say Catholic clergy should not be focused on finding “godfathers” to advance their own ambitions.

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“If we are awaited in Heaven, why should we be caught up with earthly concerns? Why should we be anxious about money, fame, success, all of which will fade away?” he said, according to the AP. “Why look for godfathers for promoting one’s career?”

The pope’s remarks on careerism came in the wake of an internal report indicating reports of sexual misconduct by defrocked cardinal Theodore McCarrick were downplayed for decades by high-level church officials, the news service noted.

“Some people seem to think that being compassionate, helping and serving others is for losers,” Francis continued on Sunday. “When the Church worships God and serves our neighbor, it does not live in the night. However weak and weary, she journeys towards the Lord.”

Among those elevated to cardinals in the ceremony was Washington, D.C. Archbishop Wilton Gregory, the first African-American raised to the position. Gregory previously became the D.C. archdiocese’s first Black archbishop.

The remarks come as Francis has been outspoken in criticisms of those protesting against public health restrictions during the coronavirus pandemic.

“Looking to the common good is much more than the sum of what is good for individuals. It means having a regard for all citizens and seeking to respond effectively to the needs of the least fortunate,” the pope wrote in an op-ed published in The New York Times last week.