The basic quality of someone serving as a bursar "is not to be personally attached to the money," he said, explaining that it's also important to check into how banks invest money, because, as an example, "it must never happen that we are investing in weapons."
On the point of sexual abuse, the Pope noted that frequently abusers have themselves been victims of abuse before committing their own acts, and "abuse is thus sowed into the future and this is devastating."
"If priests or religious are involved, it is clear that the devil is at work, who ruins the work of Jesus through those who should proclaim him," he said, but stressed the importance of recognizing that this type of behavior "is a disease."
"If we are not convinced that this is a disease, we cannot solve the problem," he said, and urged them to use scrutiny when vetting candidates for religious life, paying careful attention to whether they are "sufficiently emotionally mature" or not.
He told the superiors to "never accept in a religious community or diocese a candidate that has been rejected by another seminar or another institute" without first asking "for very clear and detailed information on the reasons for their rejection."
When asked what he expected from religious and consecrated persons ahead of the 2018 Synod of Bishops on "Young People, Faith and the Discernment of Vocation," particularly given the fall of the number of vocations in the West, Pope Francis acknowledged the issue as a problem.
"The decline of religious life in the West worries me," he said, noting that it's in part a problem of demographics, but on the other hand vocational pastoral outreach doesn't seem to meet the expectations of youth.
However, aside from the fall in the quantity of vocations, Pope Francis said there is another thing that worries him: "the rise of some new religious institutes" that bring with them a load of new scandals and problems.
Francis clarified that he doesn't mean to imply that "there should be no new religious institutes. Absolutely not," but said he often wonders what is happening when he sees new communities pop up that seem to have a fresh approach, exhibit strength and attract a lot of youth, but in the end "go bankrupt" or are found to be coving scandals.
While some communities are good and work hard, others are not born from "the charism of the Holy Spirit," but rather from "a human charisma, a charismatic person who attracts by means of their human charms."
Some of these people, he said, are "restorationist" in the sense that they seem to offer a form of security, but instead "give only rigidity."
(Story continues below)
Subscribe to our daily newsletter
Others, he said, are "Pelagians" in that they want to return to asceticism and penance, and seem "like soldiers ready to do anything for the defense of faith and morals," but then "some scandal emerges" surrounding the founder.
"We know all about this, right?" he said, but noted that "Jesus has a different style. The Holy Spirit made noise on the day of Pentecost: it was the beginning. But usually the Spirit does not make much noise, it carries the cross."
The Holy Spirit "is not triumphalist," he said, saying the attitude doesn't mesh well with a life of prayer, and that instead, God's style is to carry the cross "until the Lord says 'enough.'"
So rather than placing hope in the "sudden, mass blooming of these institutes," Francis told the superiors to seek "the humble path of Jesus, that of evangelical testimony."
Pope Francis also reflected on how consecrated people can contribute to the renewal of both the structures and mindset of the Church, voicing his conviction that consecrated persons "are at the forefront" in this area.
On the upcoming 2018 Synod of Bishops, the Pope, when asked how he came up with the theme, said that each participant in the 2015 synod offered three suggestions for possible topics to be discussed in the future.