Pope Francis' niece said in a recent interview that she considers herself to be spiritual, not religious, and she believes her uncle will renew the "outdated" Catholic Church.
Francis' niece, Cristina Bergoglio, made her recent comments while promoting her new art show in Miami, Florida. According to Local 10 News, the exhibit that features geometrical figures and landscape paintings will be on display at the Conrad Hotel in Brickell, a neighborhood in Miami. The paintings, being shown in a solo exhibit, are expected to fetch $4,075 to $27,160 each.
When asked by Local 10 News if she affiliates herself with any one religion, Bergoglio said that she considers herself to be spiritual instead of religious, and she believes her uncle will successfully renew an outdated Catholic Church.
"I'm not afraid to say I see the church as outdated, and that's why I believe life has put my uncle to renew this certain system of thought that was getting stagnated," Bergoglio said.
Bergoglio, who is from Argentina and based in Madrid, added to La Razon that she plans to visit her uncle for one of his weekly general audience gatherings. She added that she plans to paint Francis a depiction of St. Francis of Assisi, the saint name picked by the pope when he was Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Many critics following Francis' papacy have seen the Catholic leader's attempts at reform within the Vatican and the international Catholic Church. Just last month, Francis fired all five members of the Vatican's financial watchdog agency, the Holy See's Financial Information Authority, replacing them with international professionals possessing more experience in anti-money laundering work.
Francis supporters have also hailed the leader's attempts at becoming a more direct link between the people and the Vatican, seeking to establish a reputation of transparency in the Catholic church. Recently, the religious leader eschewed the bulletproof glass on his Popemobile, as well as excommunicated members of the Italian mafia that previously associated themselves with the Catholic religion.
"Those who in their life have gone along the evil ways, as in the case of the mafia, they are not with God, they are excommunicated," the pope said over the weekend, according to CNN.