‘I sometimes lose patience’
Pope Francis said attacks on him are “the work of the devil,” according to a report from La Civiltà Cattolica.
Francis said during a meeting with Jesuits in Bratislava :
There is “a large Catholic television channel that has no hesitation in continually speaking ill of the pope.”
“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.”
“I have also said this to some of them,” he added.
The Jesuit flagship journal in the U.S., America magazine, said the pope was referring to EWTN (Eternal Word Television Network) when speaking of “a large television channel” that criticizes him.
“Yes, there are also clerics who make nasty comments about me,” the pope continued.
“I sometimes lose patience, especially when they make judgments without entering into a real dialogue.”
“I can’t do anything there.”
“Some people accuse me of not talking about holiness.”
“They say I always talk about social issues and that I’m a communist,” Francis said.
“Yet I wrote an entire apostolic exhortation on holiness, Gaudete et Exsultate.”
When asked about those nostalgic for the past, the pope said that some Catholics experience “the temptation to go backward” because they are afraid of being free.
“It is a form of ideological colonization.”
“It is not really a universal problem, but rather specific to the churches of certain countries,” Francis said.
“Life scares us.”
“I’ll repeat something I said to the ecumenical group I met here before you: freedom scares us,” he added.
“In a world that is so conditioned by addictions and virtual experiences, it frightens us to be free.”
In 2019, the Pope warned critics to stay away from the church and live like “an atheist” rather than “speaking badly of others” and causing “scandal.”
The head of the Catholic Church advised those who “live their lives hating” that they should “not go to church.”