Meeting between Francis and Biden will highlight their break with the American bishops


But Francis has apparently become frustrated in recent months by the hostile corners of the American church and their media megaphone. The American Catholic television network, EWTN, is arguably the largest in the world, and its biggest star, Raymond Arroyo, a favorite of Mr. Trump, has frequently hosted guests hostile to Francis and Mr. Biden.

EWTN has an array of English-speaking Catholic outlets that are popular with American Bishops and many American faithful, and which featured Carlo Maria Viganò, the rogue Archbishop and former Pope’s envoy to the United States who called for the resignation of the Pope.

In September, an EWTN correspondent covering the White House elicited a strong reaction from Mr. Biden’s press secretary Jen Psaki when he asked him, “Why is the president supporting the abortion when its own Catholic faith teaches that abortion is morally wrong? “

“He thinks it’s up to a woman to make these decisions with her doctor,” Ms. Psaki replied. “I know you’ve never faced these choices. You’ve never been pregnant either, but for women who have faced those choices, it’s an incredibly difficult thing. “

In March, Francis told EWTN reporter and cameraman aboard a papal flight to Iraq that the network “should stop bashing me,” according to an article in Jesuit magazine America. The reporter on the flight declined to comment. The head of the network’s office in Rome did not return a request for comment.

And on his recent trip to Slovakia, Francis also joked during a meeting with Jesuits who asked about his health saying he was “still alive, although some people wanted me to die”. He also underlined “a large Catholic television channel which does not hesitate to continually speak ill of the Pope”.

“They are the work of the devil,” added the Pope. “I also said that to some of them.”

Leaders among conservative American bishops have rallied in defense of the network. Bishop Charles J. Chaput, who headed the Archdiocese of Philadelphia and is a past member of the EWTN Board of Trustees, written last week that “any suggestion that EWTN is unfaithful to the Church” is “merely vindictive and false.”

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