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Inside the VaticanJanuary 26, 2023
gerhard mueller wears his cardinal clothing with red cap and addresses students with a bright window behind himCardinal Gerhard Müller, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith from 2012 to 2017, speaks with students and faculty at the University of Notre Dame in Indiana, in this Oct. 27, 2021, file photo. (CNS photo/Matt Cashore, University of Notre Dame, courtesy Today's Catholic)

Cardinal Gerhard Müller, the German former head of the then-Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, and an open critic of many of Pope Francis’ initiatives, has released a new book, In Good Faith: Religion in the 21st Century, in which he blasts, among others, the Synod on Synodality and papal resignations, and criticizes the pope’s relationship with U.S. President Joe Biden.

The day after Ricardo and Gerry recorded this episode, Pope Francis gave a wide-ranging interview to Nicole Winfield, the Vatican reporter for the Associated Press, in which he addressed a range of topicsincluding homosexuality, his own handling of the sexual abuse crisis, the Vatican’s agreement with China on the selection and appointment of bishops, and his own health. But perhaps most relevant to this episode, Pope Francis responded in the interview to his critics on many fronts.

We look at the pope’s weeklong itinerary and tease out the pope’s reasons for making this first-ever visit to these two sub-Saharan African countries long blighted by famine and civil unrest, but filled with hope.

Pope Francis has instructed all bishops traveling to Rome for the first main session of the Synod on Synodality this October to arrive four days early for a silent retreat. The retreat will be led by Timothy Radcliffe, O.P., the former head of the worldwide Dominican order, a popular preacher and writer. The pope has also called the leaders of Christian churches and their faithful to assemble with him in Rome ahead of the Synod to pray for its success alongside the Catholic faithful and bishops who will be there.

Pope Francis will visit the Democratic Republic of Congo and South Sudan from Jan. 31 to Feb. 5, in a long-awaited visit to the Christian churches postponed last year because of his recurring knee troubles. We look at the pope’s weeklong itinerary and tease out the pope’s reasons for making this first-ever visit to these two sub-Saharan African countries long blighted by famine and civil unrest, but filled with hope.

Links from the show:

Pope Francis gives major interview on his critics, sex abuse, decriminalizing homosexuality and more

Deep dive: The ‘Synod on Synodality’ — What’s done and what comes next?

Pope Francis postponed his trip to South Sudan. What does this mean for people living there?

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