“Some wanted me dead:” Pope acknowledges right-wing critics – The Journal

Pope Francis has acknowledged his increasingly harsh right-wing criticism

ROME (AP) – Pope Francis has acknowledged his increasingly harsh conservative critics, saying their “nasty comments” were the work of the devil and adding that “some wanted me dead” after his recent bowel operation.

Francis made the comments in a private meeting on September 13 with Slovak Jesuits shortly after arriving in the Slovak capital of Bratislava on his recently concluded visit. A transcript of the meeting was published Tuesday by the Jesuit newspaper La Civilta Cattolica, which often provides after-the-fact accounts of Francis’s closed-door meetings with his fellow Jesuits while on the road.

Francis showed his dark sense of humor throughout the encounter, especially when a priest asked him how he was feeling. The Hungary-Slovakia trip from September 12 to 15 was Francis’ first international outing since undergoing surgery in July to remove a 33-centimeter (13-inch) piece of his large intestine.

“Still alive,” Francis joked. “Even though some wanted me dead. I know there have even been meetings between priests who thought the Pope was in worse shape than what was said. They were preparing for the conclave.

“Patience! Thank God I’m fine,” he added.

The commentary reflected the intense interest in the pope’s health and speculation about what would happen if he failed, which always accompanies a pontiff but is perhaps more acute with a pope who drew vocal opposition from a part of the church. . After his 10-day hospital stay, Italian media began to speculate on Francis’ resignation and highlighted the need for standards to regulate a retired second pope.

Francis previously said the resignation “hasn’t even crossed my mind.”

Francois was also asked about how he deals with divisions and people who view him with suspicion. It was a reference to Catholic conservatives who have long criticized Francis’s critiques of capitalism and its emphasis on the environment and migrants.

Their criticism turned into outrage after Francis in July suppressed the celebration of the Old Latin Mass. Francis quashed Emeritus Benedict XVI and reimposed restrictions on the celebration of the old rite, saying the move was necessary because the Latin Mass had become a source of division in the church and exploited for ideological reasons.

In his response, Francis referred to the outcry at the Latin Mass and noted that there was a “big Catholic TV station that continually speaks badly about the Pope.” He did not name it, but it could have been a reference to media conglomerate EWTN, which criticized the papacy and in particular Francis’s new restrictions on the old Latin Mass.

“Personally, I might deserve attacks and insults because I’m a sinner, but the church doesn’t deserve this; it is the work of the devil, ”he said. “Yes, there are even priests who make nasty comments about me. Sometimes I lose my patience, especially when they make judgments without entering into a real dialogue. You can’t do nothing with it. “

But Francis said his reaction was to preach. “I’m just going ahead without entering their world of ideas and fantasies,” he said.

FILE – In this file photo from September 13, 2021, Pope Francis attends a meeting with priests, men and women religious, seminarians and catechists, at St. Martin’s Cathedral, Bratislava, Slovakia, the Pope Francis acknowledged his increasingly critical right, saying their “nasty comments” were the work of the devil and that “some wanted me dead” after his recent bowel operation. Francis made the comments in a private meeting on September 13 with Slovak Jesuits soon after arriving in the Slovak capital, Bratislava. (AP Photo / Gregorio Borgia, file)

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