Pope Francis has called for a Catholic Church that is not cosseted, self-centred and obsessed with power and money.

His landmark statement, delivered in Florence to Italy's bishops, comes ten days after leaks from a papal commission prompted the Vatican to arrest commission members, Fr Lucio Angel Vallejo Balda, and public relations executive, Francesca Chaouqui.

Today's plea for a different type of global Church comes two days after Pope Francis vowed to forge ahead with reforms despite evidence in the leaked documents that he is meeting resistance from the Vatican's old guard.

The reforms have included an overhaul of the scandal-plagued Vatican bank to make its operations transparent, giving autonomy to its Financial Intelligence Authority in order to avoid interference by top cardinals, and urging Church officials to shun extravagant lifestyles.

"God save the Church from power, image, and money," said Pope Francis.

He said the Church should be "restless, always closer to the abandoned ones, the forgotten ones, the imperfect ones."

Eleven times in the address he mentioned the words "humility" "humble", "selfless" and "selflessness".

"I prefer a Church that is bruised, hurting and dirty because it has been out on the streets, rather than a Church which is unhealthy from being confined and from clinging to its own security," he said, repeating a theme from a manifesto he issued several months after his election in 2013.

Since then, the first non-European pope in 1,500 years has often called for a more simple, merciful and inclusive Church but his appeals have not always had the success he hoped for.

Last September he asked every Catholic parish, religious community and sanctuary in Europe to take in a family of refugees, and set an example by hosting two families in parishes inside the Vatican, but many still have not done so.

Many church institutions in Italy transformed structures into hotels for pilgrims but continued to claim tax exemptions. The pope has told them that if they are not doing church work, such as hosting migrants, they should pay taxes on their profits.