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Vatican

Man dies after setting himself on fire in St. Peter's Square

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An unidentified 51-year-old man died Sunday, three days after setting himself on fire in St. Peter's Square.

Italian news reports said the man, who had third-degree burns on almost 50 percent of his body, died at Rome's Sant'Eugenio Hospital.

At about 8:30 a.m. Dec. 19, the man entered St. Peter's Square carrying a bottle of gasoline. At the end of the colonnade near Piazza Pio XII, he doused himself with the fuel and lit himself aflame.

Hospital visit shows for Francis, 'It's the attitudes, stupid!'

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Every so often a day rolls around that seems to perfectly sum up the arc of a story, and Saturday, Dec. 21, felt like one of those days vis-à-vis the priority of attitudes over structures in Pope Francis’ ongoing reform campaign.

Indeed, if the Vatican under Francis were the 1992 Clinton campaign, there might well be a sign in room 201 of the Casa Santa Marta reading: “It’s the attitudes, stupid!”

Pope says Vatican shouldn't be 'bureaucratic customs house'

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In what amounts to his first “State of the Union” speech, Pope Francis warned Dec. 21 that without a spirit of service the Vatican risks becoming no more than a “heavy bureaucratic customs house,” and insisted that its personnel shouldn’t constantly be “inspecting and questioning.”

The pope did not roll out a specific reform plan, but laid out the basic values he believes curial personnel must have: professionalism and a dedication to service.

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