“I found it sad that the pope has to defend himself,” Gerard O’Connell said this week on Inside the Vatican. “EWTN is based in the United States. Can not the [U.S.] Catholic bishops’ conference defend the pope on this?”
“I personally deserve attacks and insults because I am a sinner, but the church does not deserve them. They are the work of the devil,” the pope said to the Jesuits of Slovakia on his recent trip.
“There is much resistance to overcome the image of a church rigidly divided between leaders and subordinates, between those who teach and those who have to learn,” the pope said during an audience with the faithful from the Diocese of Rome.
It was a significant revelation from Pope Francis, coming at a time when a group of bishops in the United States are pushing to deny Communion to pro-choice politicians, including President Joe Biden.
The pope’s message on the meaning of the cross resonated with the Greek Catholic community, whose members suffered harsh persecution and were prohibited to exist under Czechoslovakia’s Communist rule from 1948 to 1989.
On his second day in Bratislava, Pope Francis called Slovakia “to be a message of peace in the heart of Europe” and the church to evangelize with “freedom, creativity, and dialogue.”
Pope Francis in Budapest calls on the Hungarian Catholic Church and its pastors ‘to be builders of bridges and promoters of dialogue’
Pope Francis called on this majority Christian nation to stop closing in on itself and to open its arms and hearts to peoples of other ethnic backgrounds, religions and cultures.
“I don’t know where they got it from last week that I was going to resign.... It didn’t even cross my mind,” Pope Francis said in the first interview since his July 4 operation.