29 September 2021, The Tablet

Francis cries foul on Catholic media attacks

Francis cries foul on Catholic media attacks

Pope Francis: target for ‘unrelenting guerrilla warfare’
Photo: CNS, Paul Haring


One Catholic media network dominates all others in size. It is also a platform for bitter attacks on Pope Francis

When Pope Francis takes on the opposition to his papacy, it sometimes feels like watching the Argentinian rugby team. Los Pumas are known for their tough, courageous playing style. The players are not afraid to make the big tackles. So it is with Jorge Mario Bergoglio.

Whether it is facing down the nationalist populism of Viktor Orbán in Hungary or taking on the Tridentine Mass groups who undermine the teaching of the Second Vatican Council, the Argentine Pope is taking an increasingly bold stance. After eight and a half years, his pontificate has moved into top gear. That boldness was on display during his recent trip to Slovakia, where he made the most explicit comments to date about the powerful clerical and political forces that he’s come up against. “Some people wanted me to die,” Francis bluntly told a group of fellow Jesuits in Bratislava when one of them asked him how he was recovering from his recent intestinal operation. “There were even meetings between prelates who thought the Pope’s condition was more serious than the official version. They were preparing for the conclave. Patience!”

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