The Pope condemns the critics who do “the work of the devil”

Pope Francis was addressing a group of Jesuits on his recent trip to Slovakia.

CNS Photo / Vatican Media

Pope Francis condemned those who do “the work of the devil” by stirring up hostility against the Church. He referred to a “large Catholic television channel which does not hesitate to speak ill of the Pope constantly”.

He warned the Church against falling into the trap of a “turning back” ideology as he addressed traditionalist opposition to his pontificate.

Addressing a group of Jesuits on his recent trip to Slovakia, the 84-year-old Pope revealed that some “prelates” held meetings over the summer for a future conclave after Francis was hospitalized for bowel surgery. These prelates, the Pope said, believed his condition to be more serious than the “official version”.

While in central Europe, Francis said that parts of the Church wanted to go back and had become “afraid” to hear the “truth” from God’s people. This phenomenon, he said, can be observed in the reluctance to minister to “people of sexual diversity” or in a young priest who asks to celebrate the Old Rite soon after his ordination.

“We are experiencing this today in the Church: the ideology of retreat. It is an ideology which colonizes the spirits ”, declared François during a session of questions and answers in Bratislava on September 12 and published by La Civiltà Cattolica.

“It’s not really a universal problem, but rather specific to churches in certain countries. Life scares us. I will repeat something I said to the ecumenical group that I have met here before you: freedom scares us.

He continues: “It is the evil of this moment, namely to seek the way in the rigidity and the clericalism, which are two perversions.

Addressing his decision to restrict celebrations of the pre-Vatican II liturgy, a decision fiercely opposed by liturgical traditionalists, Francis said he was concerned about young people who wish to celebrate the Tridentine rite one month after their ordination. .

“It is a phenomenon which indicates that we are retreating,” he stressed.

He told the story of a cardinal who, when two young priests asked him to study Latin to celebrate the ancient rite, urged them to study Spanish and Vietnamese first since the diocese counted a large number of Hispanics and Vietnamese.

During the discussion in Bratlislava, the Pope condemned those who do “the work of the devil” by stoking hostility against the Church.

Asked about those who accuse him of not supporting Orthodox teaching or of viewing it with “suspicion”, the Pope spoke of a “large Catholic television channel that does not hesitate to continually talk about the evil of the Pope” .

He did not name any specific media organization.

EWTN (The Eternal Word Television Network) is a large Catholic television platform that has become a platform for opposition to this pontificate, including the broadcast of a mass where the priest attacked Francis during the homily, and a weekly show presented by Raymond Arroyo who is still hostile.

Francis said: “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 also said that to some of them ”.

He continues: “Yes, there are also clerics who make nasty comments about me. I sometimes lose my patience, especially when they make judgments without entering into a real dialogue. I can’t do anything there. However, I continue without entering their world of ideas and fantasies.

Meanwhile, Francis also warned of the rise of gender ideology, saying the world has become a “civilization of ideologies,” which so often ignore the reality of a person’s experience.

“The ‘gender’ ideology you speak of is dangerous, yes,” he told a Jesuit. “As I understand it, this is so because it is abstract in relation to a person’s concrete life, as if a person could decide abstractly at will whether and when to be a man or a woman. Abstraction is still a problem for me. “

He stressed that this had “nothing to do with the homosexual issue” and that the Church should offer pastoral support to homosexual couples.

Francis urged the Jesuits in Slovakia to stay close to God, to each other, to the bishops, to the Pope and to the people of God.

“It is a fascinating time, a magnificent moment, even if it is that of the cross”, the Pope told them. “It is beautiful to advance the freedom of the gospel.

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