ABOARD THE PAPAL FLIGHT TO MOZAMBIQUE (CNS) — Pope Francis told a reporter that it is “an honor when Americans attack me.”
The pope made his comments to Nicolas Seneze, a reporter from La Croix, the French Catholic daily newspaper, during the flight Sept. 4 from Rome to Maputo, Mozambique.
Seneze is author of “Comment l’Amerique veut changer de pape,” which can be translated as “how America wanted to change popes.” Seneze gave Pope Francis a copy of the book during the flight.
Pope Francis said he had heard about the book, but had not been able to find a copy. The volume, currently available only in French, went on sale the day of the papal flight.
The book presents the long list of accusations against Pope Francis made in August 2018 by Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, the former nuncio to the United States, as one part of a concerted effort, led mainly by Catholics in the United States, to cast doubt on the legitimacy of Pope Francis’ ministry.
Seneze’s thesis is that “rigorist” Catholics, mainly wealthy, are opposed to Pope Francis’ emphasis on mercy over clear rules, his teaching on ethical problems with the way the world’s economy is working, and his overtures to Cuba and China.
After telling Seneze that he had not yet read the book, the pope told him, “It’s an honor when the Americans attack me.”
And handing the book on to an aide, the pope commented, “It’s a bomb.”
Shortly after Pope Francis returned to the front of the plane after greeting each member of the media, Matteo Bruni, his spokesman, came to the journalists with a statement.
“In an informal context, the pope wanted to say that he always considers criticisms an honor, particularly when they come from authoritative thinkers — in this case from an important nation,” Bruni said.
Help us keep you informed -- CatholicPhilly.com can't do it without youDuring CatholicPhilly.com's fall donation campaign, you have a way to help us deliver the kind of news you need to know about the Catholic Church, especially in the Philadelphia region, and the world in which we live. Every household's costs keep rising, and we're no different. We make sure your dollars in any amount go a long way toward continuing our mission to inform, form in the Catholic faith and inspire the thousands of readers who visit every month. Here is how you can help:
- A $100 gift allows us to present award-winning photos of Catholic life in our neighborhoods.
- A $50 gift enables us to cover a news event in a local parish, school or Catholic institution.
- A $20 gift lets us obtain solid faith formation resources that can deepen your spirituality and knowledge of the faith.
- A small, automated monthly donation means you can support us continually and easily.
Please join in the church's vital mission of communications by offering a gift in whatever amount that you can -- a single gift of $40, $50, $100, or more, or a monthly donation. Your gift will strengthen the fabric of our entire Catholic community.
Make your donation by check:
222 N. 17th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103
Or by credit card here: