Pope Francis was reportedly deeply hurt that a buffet to the tune of 18,000 euros was held on the terrace of the Prefecture for Economic Affairs of the Holy See for 150 VIPs on the day of the canonization of Popes John XXIII and John Paul II.
Pope Francis, who has said he wants a "poor Church for the poor" and a Church that is "home to all," expressed his dissatisfaction at the incompatibility of the buffet with the core values of the Church.
The contrast was stark: Pilgrims from all over the world huddled in masses and slept on the streets under the rain the night before. But VIPs attending the April 27 ceremony enjoyed networking over a luxurious buffet.
Those guests included Italian journalists Roberto d'Agostino and Bruno Vespa, the president of the Vatican Bank, Ernst von Freyberg, and entrepreneur Marco Carrai.
The president of the Prefecture for Economic Affairs of the Holy See, Cardinal Giuseppe Versaldi, commented to an Italian newspaper: "the Holy Father did not appreciate it at all, to use a euphemism."
"I was not there because I was in Lourdes, but I can assure you that such events will not happen again,” Cardinal Versaldi said. “We are currently identifying those responsible and we will carefully guard against such initiatives."
The cardinal also said that the use of the prefecture and Vatican coat-of-arms were not allowed on the invitations to the "VIP party."