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Pope Francis says “attacks and insults” against him are “work of the devil”

The comments were made in a meeting with Slovak Jesuits conducted during his trip to Bratislava on September 12, but were only reported today by the Jesuit publication La Civiltà Cattolica.

Pope Francis talks with members of the Society of Jesus at the apostolic nunciature in Bratislava, Slovakia, Sept. 12, 2021. (CNS photo/Vatican Media)

Pope Francis recently accused a “large Catholic television channel” of “attacks and insults” against him and opined that some people wanted him dead, adding that certain unnamed Catholic prelates had met to plan a new papal election while he was in surgery for diverticulitis of the colon.

The pontiff also complained that people regard him as a “communist” and accused them of wanting to “go backward,” accusing people of being “frightened” by his doctrines on communion for the divorced and remarried, on “accompany[ing] people with sexual diversity,” and lamenting that priests wish to celebrate the Mass in Latin.

The comments were made in a meeting with Slovak Jesuits conducted during his trip to Bratislava on September 12, but were only reported today by the Jesuit publication La Civiltà Cattolica.

Although Francis didn’t name the “large” Catholic channel that has attacked him, the statement led the Associated Press to suggest that Francis was referring to the Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN) and its criticisms of the pope’s recently-imposed restrictions on the traditional Latin Mass.

Some people wanted me to die”

Asked how he was, Francis responded, “Still alive, even though some people wanted me to die.”

“I know there were even meetings between prelates who thought the pope’s condition was more serious than the official version,” he added. “They were preparing for the conclave. Patience! Thank God, I’m all right.”

The comments about his critics came in response to a Jesuit who told Francis that “some even see you as heterodox while others idealize you,” and asked, “How do you deal with people who look at you with suspicion?”

“There is, for example, a large Catholic television channel that has no hesitation in continually speaking ill of the pope,” responded Francis. “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.”

“Yes, there are also clerics who make nasty comments about me,” the pope added. “I sometimes lose patience, especially when they make judgments without entering into a real dialogue. I can’t do anything there. However, I go on without entering their world of ideas and fantasies. I don’t want to enter it and that’s why I prefer to preach, preach.”

“Some people accuse me of not talking about holiness,” said Francis. “They say I always talk about social issues and that I’m a communist. Yet I wrote an entire apostolic exhortation on holiness, Gaudete et Exsultate.”

The temptation to go backward”

One Jesuit told the pope that “under communism I experienced pastoral creativity. Some even said that a Jesuit could not be formed during communism, but others disagreed and we are here. What vision of Church can we follow?”

“You said something very important, which identifies the suffering of the Church at this moment: the temptation to go backward,” Francis responded. “We are suffering this today in the Church: the ideology of going backward. It is an ideology that colonizes minds. It is a form of ideological colonization.”

The pontiff added that people “look back to the past to seek security” and pointed specifically to those who have been discomfited by his doctrines on communion for the divorced and remarried and his “accompaniment” of “people with sexual diversity.”

“It frightens us to celebrate before the people of God who look us in the face and tell us the truth,” said Francis. “It frightens us to go forward in pastoral experiences.”

The pope recalled the “work that was done . . . at the Synod on the Family to make it understood that couples in second unions are not already condemned to hell,” adding, “It frightens us to accompany people with sexual diversity. We are afraid of the crossroads and paths that Paul VI spoke of. This is the evil of this moment, namely, to seek the path in rigidity and clericalism, which are two perversions.”

“I’ll repeat something I said to the ecumenical group I met here before you: freedom scares us,” said Francis. “In a world that is so conditioned by addictions and virtual experiences it frightens us to be free.”

Among the traditional practices the pontiff classified with “going backward” was the “ancient rite” of the Mass, which he called “automatism,” a term he did not explain. He claimed he was restoring the “true intentions” of Popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI by restricting its use.

“Now I hope that with the decision to stop the automatism of the ancient rite we can return to the true intentions of Benedict XVI and John Paul II,” said Francis. “My decision is the result of a consultation with all the bishops of the world made last year.”

“From now on those who want to celebrate with the vetus ordo must ask permission from as is done with biritualism. But there are young people who after a month of ordination go to the bishop to ask for it. This is a phenomenon that indicates that we are going backward.”

Francis encouraged the Jesuits in “closeness” to God in prayer, among themselves, with the bishop, and with the “people of God.” He told them not to “speak ill of a bishop” but rather to go to him in private to discuss things with him, adding, “And when I say bishop, I also mean the pope.”

The pontiff stated during the discussion that he knew his words would be reported by La Civiltà Cattolica, whose editor, Antonio Spadaro, had arranged the meeting specifically for that purpose.

“The idea of inviting Jesuits to meet me on my apostolic journeys is Fr. Spadaro’s because it gives him material for La Civiltà Cattolica,” said Francis. “They always publish these conversations!”

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About Matthew Cullinan Hoffman 26 Articles
Matthew Cullinan Hoffman is a Catholic essayist and journalist, and the author and translator of The Book of Gomorrah and St. Peter Damian's Struggle Against Ecclesiastical Corruption (2015). His award-winning articles have appeared in the Wall Street Journal, London Sunday Times, Catholic World Report, LifeSite News, Crisis, the National Catholic Register, and many other publications. He holds an M.A. in Philosophy from Holy Apostles College and Seminary, with a focus on Thomism.


  1. He’s talking to bunch of Jesuits, who are just about automatically going to be sympathetic and will report anything he says favorably and he plays the victim card shamelessly.

    This does NOT pass the sniff test.

  2. Bergoglio can’t seem to stop himself from constantly making self-referential statements. Earth to Bergoglio: It’s not about you; it’s all about Christ. Get over yourself.

      • And answering it in a phony self-serving self-delusional manner. What “dialogue” has Francis ever allowed? Tell us Mal. When did Francis ever answer the Dubia that requests something so self-evident, a matter of Catholic understanding fundamental Catholic moral theology that someone completing their very first lesson on the matter would be able to answer easily. Francis doesn’t dialogue because he can’t dialogue. He just insults those who ask him challenging questions. For him, dialogue is just another cliche word that lib Catholics throw around insincerely to falsely accuse coherent Catholics who actually know the faith and don’t want to surrender it to secular libertine cynicism.

        For centuries Catholicism, through many saintly scholars, has taught that the God given absolutes of the Gospel describe natural law principles that are innate to our divinely endowed human nature. They are not merely “ideals” that are nice to live if you feel like it. Francis, the prefessedly merciful, insults Our Lord when he misrepresents natural law, when he denies moral absolutes, when he denies unchanging immutable truth, when he denies that there are exceptionless norms to the negative precepts of the natural law. God gives us absolutes because He knows how easily we lie to ourselves about right and wrong and how we will project self-serving guesstimates about the repercussions of our own oftentimes self-serving moral decisions. But Francis, teaching a false gospel, gives stones when the sons and daughters of the Church need truth and the bread of life. A false mercy is merciless towards the victims of sin.

      • Dear Hugo,

        Only God (who is Love and Spirit) is Holy and Perfect and Father of all and His only begotten Jesus Christ alone is our Teacher.

        Yet, Francis (as far as we humans can go) does a pretty good job of faithfully, Apostolically representing The Holy Trinity. Thanks be to God!

        • So his unambiguous rejeciton of the innate immutable truth and natural law of the Gospel of Jesus Christ constitutes doing a “pretty good job of faithfully, Apostolically representing The Holy Trinity”?

          • Hi dear Edward,

            Pope Francis is on the record as having insisted that The Gospel (we have inherited from Jesus Christ via His Apostles) is non-negotiable.

            To support your bold statement, do you have evidence of him breaching that?

            Always in the grace & mercy of King Jesus Christ; love & blessings from Marty

          • Hi Dr. Rice:
            Those who might supply the “evidence” you seek would remind us of Sherlock Holmes who solved a murder by pointing to a dog that did not bark (the criminal was a friend of the victim).

            With the Holy Father, the confusion, at least, might be not the things that he says, but the things that he does not say…When is the last time he cited the signal clarification about absolute moral values versus other matters of prudential judgment (Veritatis Splendor, elaborating clearly on the Catechism)? Apparently not Amoris Laetitia, nor his silence in response to the later dubia.

            The complete message plus the non-message is received by many as ambiguous. As a general observation, those who peddle the “spirit of Vatican II”—vs those who would have us actually read the Documents”—for decades have truncated “the Gospel” to the Beatitudes as more or less replacing the Commandments. Which, as you say so clearly, “we have inherited from Jesus Christ [who came “not to abolish the Law, but to fulfill it”…] via his Apostles.”

            As for the Holy Father or any pope, yes, they are constrained by the Holy Spirit from ever denying revelation and the deposit of faith. But this divine assurance is not actually violated if they still affirm the truth on the one hand, but then enable departures in practice, on the other…)

            Can absolute moral prohibitions be suspended in this way, in some cases, perhaps even based only on subjective judgment? But, who am I to judge? An early orientation taken out of context, or maybe not. Ambiguous…

            Finally, somewhere in what appears to many as systematic ambiguity, the issue is less one of theology than it is a reluctance to respect the more foundational, innate and self-evident “first principle of non-contradiction” (contradictory propositions cannot both be true in the same sense at the same time).

            Are faith and morals separable? or not.

  3. Really. Just really.

    Paul’s refuting Peter was not the work of devil.

    It is not the job of a pope to revise the teaching of Christ’s perennial Church on communion for the divorced and remarried. It is not the job of a good father to abuse his children, to lead them astray.

    There are satanic deceptions in our church today. Those believing, acting and speaking as Christ and His church have perenially taught have no part in them. Those suggesting otherwise suffer from satanic delusion and illusion.

    Darkening of intellect and warping of will do accompany sin. These are clearly on display today when the hierarchy contradicts and negates the qualities and teaching of the good shepherd.


      Dear Peter,

      So nice to read your calm and reasoned comment. I agree, history alone will show whether Pope Francis is sincere in proclaiming The Gospel unmutated. I’m hoping & praying that he will prove true, in what he says, such as the following:

      In his September 1st homily, Pope Francis calls our Church back to her original allegiance to and persevering imitation of Our Lord Jesus Christ:

      At the general audience, Pope Francis asked Catholics to reflect on how they live the faith, and to strive to put Christ at the center of their actions to avoid falling into mere formalities.

      “Does the love of Christ crucified and risen again remain at the center of our daily life as the wellspring of salvation, or are we content with a few religious formalities to salve our consciences?” the Pope asked in his weekly message.

      Speaking in the Vatican’s Paul VI Hall, he continued: “Are we attached to the precious treasure, to the beauty of the newness of Christ, or do we prefer something that attracts us momentarily but then leaves us empty inside?”

      “The ephemeral often knocks on the door of our days, but it is a sad illusion, which makes us fall into superficiality and prevents us from discerning what is really worth living for,” he added.

      Pope Francis’ weekly catechesis centered on a passage from St. Paul’s epistle to the Galatians, in which the Apostle says: “O stupid Galatians! Who has bewitched you, before whose eyes Jesus Christ was publicly portrayed as crucified? I want to learn only this from you: did you receive the Holy Spirit from works of the law, or from faith in what you heard?”

      The Pope began his message by underlining that the Scripture passage and its message comes from St. Paul, not from him. “This is not something new, this explanation, not something of mine: what we are studying is what St. Paul says in a very serious conflict with the Galatians”, he emphasized. “This is simply a catechesis on the Word of God expressed in the Letter of St. Paul to the Galatians; nothing else.”

      He noted that St. Paul is “not courteous” with the language he uses to address the Galatians. In other letters, Paul calls them “brothers” or “dear friends,” but here is angry, the Pope explained, pointing out that Paul calls them “foolish,” which is also sometimes translated as “stupid.”

      “Paul does so not because they are not intelligent, but because, almost without realizing it, they risk losing the faith in Christ that they have received with so much enthusiasm,” Pope Francis said. “They are foolish because they are unaware that the danger is that of losing the valuable treasure, the beauty, of the newness of Christ and so they may miss the possibility of attaining a new, hitherto unhoped-for freedom.”

      St. Paul is “shaking up their consciences: this is why it is so forceful,” Pope Francis stated. “He takes them back to the starting point of the Christian vocation.”
      Pope Francis emphasized: “Paul’s intention is to compel Christians to realize what is at stake, so they do not allow themselves to be enchanted by the voice of the sirens who want to lead them to a religiosity based solely on the scrupulous observance of precepts.”

      Even when we are tempted to turn to superficiality, however, God still bestows his gifts on us, he said.

      “Even today, people come and harangue us, saying: ‘No! Holiness is in these precepts, in these things, you must do this and that,’ and propose an inflexible religiosity, the inflexibility that takes away from us that freedom in the Holy Spirit that Christ’s redemption gives us,” the Pope continued.

      He warned Catholics to “beware of the rigidity they propose to you: be careful, because inflexibility does not come from the Holy Spirit of God.”

      Following this truly Petrine, apostolic leadership by our Pope, could we then say that every Catholic organization needs to continually measure itself thus: “Are we leading our people into an ever-growing, loving relationship with King Jesus Christ? Or, are we going through the repetitious, anaesthetizing, motions of religiosity?”

      Going back hundreds of thousands of years, human beings have everywhere displayed religious sentiments. Religious spirits are present everywhere and love to bind people to their rituals and repetitious pleadings and temple building and sacrifices and adorations.

      Yet, John chapter 1 tells us they were all in darkness. Only with the advent of Jesus Christ of Nazareth did TRUTH shine out and reveal all the deceptions imposed by religious spirits. Apostle John then mourns the many who still stay in the dark, with only a few responding to Christ Light and so becoming God’s daughters and sons. Jesus remarks on the many who are called but few chosen.

      Again, He reflects on humankind’s rejection of The New Wine in preference for the old. He warns us that all who came before Him were thieves and robbers. He assures the scrupulous, judgmental Martha that: “Only one thing is necessary!” In 2 Corinthians 13:5, Paul tells us, that if we don’t have that One Thing, Jesus Christ, in our heart, we are counterfeits!

      With all his limitations (and who has none?), I see Pope Francis perseveringly calling us Catholics out of our religious stupor, out of that ancient darkness, into the Light of an intimate, living relationship with Our Lord Jesus Christ. Yet, too many have become comfortable in the familiar pits of religion and refuse, even violently, God’s invitation to the mountain top wedding feast.

      May Almighty God raise up many young, energetic helpers for Pope Francis, in his courageous efforts to get us to HEAR our one True Shepherd, and to follow Him, and Him alone (see John 10:27-30). There is no other fulfilling destiny for a human person.

      Thanks you, dear Peter, for eliciting these humble reflections.

      Always in The Lamb of God; love & blessings from Marty

  4. Is there a 25th amendment for the papacy?
    Poor thing is so ego consumed…does someone have the courage to remind him that he’s the Vicar of Christ, not himself.
    So sad…

  5. We read that the so-called “ideology of going backward […]is an ideology that colonizes minds.” But, are some of us so wired and colonized(!)—ideologically—as to reject setting the clock right as if this is going backward?

    We wallow in jet-set mind games and euphemisms, like “sexual diversity” (mandatory gender theory?), “irregular” marriage situations (cohabitation and serial bigamy?), and “accompaniment” (accommodation?). All “attacks and insults” are equal, but some are more equal than others! Recall the marginalized “rigid,” the “bigots” and the “fixistic”!

    Hopefully, critics pray not for the pope’s eternal reward, but for his conversion. But then, “conversion,” too, has been redefined–as the amnesiac rejection of our heritage in favor of what might be contrived tomorrow.

    What Churchill said of nations in the crisis of 1940 surely applies to the Church in crisis today: “A nation that forgets its past has no future.” Set the clock right.

    • And now, as for both synodal “listening” AND “setting the clock right”…it’s all about geometry! A more POLYGON church, perhaps, but isn’t there first a center or NUCLEUS?

      FIRST, “The real content of Christianity is not the discussion of its Christian content and of ways of realizing it: the content of Christianity is the community of word, sacrament and love of neighbor to which justice and truth [!] bear a fundamental relationship. The dream of making one’s whole life a series of discussions [an “endless journey”!], which, for a time, brought even our universities to the brink of paralysis, also exercises an influence on the Church under the label of the conciliar idea.

      SECOND, “If a council becomes the model of Christianity per se [the Synod’s preparatory documents: the “form, the style, and the structure of the Church”!!!], then the constant discussion of Christian themes comes to be considered the content of Christianity itself, but precisely there lies the failure to recognize the true meaning of Christianity [….]

      THIRD, “[In Don Quixote] the arrogant certainty with which Cervantes burned his bridges [e.g., Traditiones custodis versus both Summorum Pontificum and Sacrosanctum Concilium?] behind him and laughed at an earlier age has become a nostalgia for what was lost. This is not a return to the world of the romances of chivalry but a consciousness of what must not be lost and a realization of man’s peril, which increases whenever, in the burning of the past, he loses the totality of himself [the total sensus fidei]”.

      FOURTH, “Certainly we cannot return to the past, nor have we any desire to do so [!]. But we must be ready to reflect anew on that which, in the lapse of time, has remained the one constant. To seek without distraction and to dare to accept, with joyful heart and without diminution [!], the foolishness of truth—this, I think, is the task for today and for tomorrow: the NUCLEUS of the Church’s service to the world, HER answer to “the joy and hope, [and!] the grief and anguish of the men of our time (Gaudium et spes)” (all of the above: Ratzinger, “Principles of Catholic Theology,” 1987).

      A POLYGON, BUT FIRST A NUCLEUS. It falls to the bishops, then—-as the Apostolic Succession—-to not only “facilitate,” but to supply what is missing in the drift of the Synod on Synodality. Can they walk and chew gum at the same time?

    • Perfectly thought out and well said, thank you. Pope Francis is lacking spiritually and morally.
      The sooner he is gone the better off True, Orthodox followers of Jesus will be, same goes for President Biden.

  6. Yes we should be afraid of the kind of freedom that Francis espouses because it is increasingly becoming clearer that it is a freedom from God.

    Be very afraid indeed.

  7. “I sometimes lose patience, especially when they make judgments without entering into a real dialogue. I can’t do anything there. However, I go on without entering their world of ideas and fantasies. I don’t want to enter it and that’s why I prefer to preach, preach.” The hypocrisy of Traditiones custodes is laid bare. By refusing to dialog in good faith with the superior generals of the Ecclesia Dei communities–who have humbly requested a dialog–and by sustaining a haughty, accusatory, judgmental stance, Bergoglio defends Vatican II by betraying Vatican II. Moreover, he restates a lie that has already been exposed by several bishops: “My decision is the result of a consultation with all the bishops of the world made last year.”

  8. True indeed, these attacks against the Pope which is serially encouraged here in CWR is the work of the devil. The devil wants to destroy the church and these badmouthing of the Pope is one very effective way for the devil’s plan to get accomplished. Besides those who frequently unfairly criticize the Pope and his leadership endanger their souls for sinning against the Holy Spirit by denying or forgetting Jesus’ promise to be with the Church till the end of time through the Holy Spirit who will lead the Church to the truth (Mt 28:19:Jn 16:13).

    • You mean Pope Alexander VI who had many mistresses and once sponsored an orgy with 50 prostitutes or Pope John XII who was Pope at age 18 and was famous for roaming the countryside with a gang of highwaymen looking to rob, murder and rape? The Pope is not the Church he is a man with an office which is supposed to be the head of the Church, we the faithful on behalf of our Holy Mother and with help from the Holy Spirit are the Church body and soul. We must be vigilant to make sure that the head, body and soul are one at all times but especially now at the end of Western Christendom. Matt. 18:15.

    • “True indeed, these attacks against the Pope which is serially encouraged here in CWR is the work of the devil.”

      Um, no. Try again.

      • Ramjet,
        Sadly, this Pope has a very creepy concept of authority and obedience that I’ve noticed ever since Archbishop Vigano’s revelations.

        In other words, Francis’s recent comments are not isolated. This also suggests that he has issues with St. Paul that he may not be able to properly resolve.

        I recall him saying in the first days of his pontificate that theology is far from his expertise. He should have stuck with this humility rather than get over head.

    • Excuse me. The Holy Spirit was promised to the CHURCH, NOT TO A POPE. A pope is only one among a multitude of the Church’s members. Further, a pope who teaches error opens himself up to correction by all other members.

      • The link between attacks against the Pope and sinning against the Holy Spirit is the implied idea that with the Pope’s limitations or failures the Holy Spirit has stopped working in and abandoned the Church. As the biblical passages cited above show, Jesus Christ through the Holy Spirit continues to work in the Church under the leadership of the Pope through the ages, through today, till the end of time. Those who forget or resist that especially those who unfairly attack the Pope,do the work of the devil, sin against the Holy Spirit, and cease to be faithful Catholics.

        • “The link between attacks against the Pope and sinning against the Holy Spirit is the implied idea that with the Pope’s limitations or failures the Holy Spirit has stopped working in and abandoned the Church.”

          Well, I’ve been critical of a number of things said and done by Pope Francis, and I’ve never wavered in my belief in the Holy Spirit or His guidance of the Church. But I also don’t have some out-of-control, ultramontanist view that misunderstands the essential nature and character of the Petrine Office. Popes can make all sorts of mistakes–or even commit egregious sins–but that does not mean the Church is a fraud or fallen. The authority of the pope is both significant and, in real ways, very limited, especially when it comes to the issue of infallibility. Finally, you write as if the Church is The Pope and Everything Else. You might want to re-read Lumen Gentium or a good work of ecclesiology and rethink how you understand the Church.

    • Kiefer L,

      The sin against the Holy Spirit has a very narrow definition. It is the only “unforgivable sin.” In the Scriptures, Jesus charges the scribes of committing this sin because they have accused Him of casting out demons by the power of Beelzebul the prince of demons. One commits the blasphemy against the Holy Spirit when he willfully rejects the love and mercy of God definitively and with utter finality. It is the sin of final impenitence. Fortunately, it is a very hard sin to commit. Confessors counsel people who think they may have commited this sin by assuring them that if they’re worried about it, then they are not guilty of it.

    • Dear Johann,

      Way off, mate! Try John 8:44

      Jesus answered: “The devil is your father, and you prefer to do what your father wants, he was a murderer from the start; he was never grounded in truth; there is no truth in him at all: when he lies he is drawing on his own store, because he is a liar and the father of lies.”

      In the following verse Our Lord goes on to tell them that it is because they can’t handle the truth that they rubbish Him. Does that ring a bell?

      Too many today (knowingly or unknowingly) are servant of the devil, the original God-blaspheming liar. They cooperate in trying to steal authority from our lawfully appointed Pope Francis; and in trying to destroy our unity in Christ’s Love. See John 10:10a –

      Jesus said: “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy, . . ”

      In the light of the truths of The Gospel of Peace, so unique & precious for all humankind, Johann, please think again.

      Ever in the love of Christ Jesus; blessings from Marty

  9. Pope Francis: You are born independent, idealistic, and expressive. You have ideals that mean a good deal to you and you’ll fight for them, and even when you are barking up the wrong tree, you lose none of your zest for intellectual encounter. You are capable of being a crusader for any cause that you take up, whether it be broad or petty. You tend to generalize on things and you can think up more philosophic reasons why it is right for you to be angry or offended. You are highly idealistic with a sortof feeling of personal responsibility that the world be kept as idealistic as possible. You have a tendency to feel that no one is quite so high minded as you are. You are a snob in matters of ideology and love your own to the exclusion of others. You have a very powerful and influential personality. Strive for realism in your life and make your idealism into practical and workable form; learn cooperation and tact; you can’t always afford to express even the most high-minded of principles. Reserve in expression will smooth the path for you.

  10. My sense of this Pope is that he does not listen to ordinary faithful Catholics. Who in Gods Name is He listening to? He is a compulsive talker and speaks a kind of psycobabble. God help him and us but he just makes no sense when he talks. I used to think that it was faulty translation causing this but now I am sure it is because he is a compulsive talker. People with that condition cannot organize their thinking because they just go on and on to everyone who will listen. I think that is also why he lives at Santa Marta, as there are always people around to talk at. Also why he talks about anything and everything including some prudential matters which are none of his business and which he has no informed opinion.

  11. The narcissism and overwhelming egotism of Pope Frankenstein are terrifying. A pope who considers that just and truthful criticism of his apostasy, heresy, and radical left-wing politics is an attack on “the Church” is neither fit to be pope not fit to offer the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. The only word that I can think of that fits him is “demonic”.

  12. “Do not speak ill of bishops.” But go ahead and trash orthodox Catholics all you want… anyone who disagrees with Bergoglio. Those folks, we should not “walk” with them. They are from the devil.

    Anyone else starting to see paranoia and delusional thinking in this guy?

  13. It’s sad when a Pope is subjected to this kind of scorn, but Francis truly brought it onto himself. Accusing others of “rigidity”, coprophagia and making fun of cardinals who were hospitalized will, unsurprisingly, result in criticism.

  14. The idea that he was referencing EWTN would be laughable if it were not likely quite true. EWTN makes a contribution to Catholic life which is unparalleled but only because it has no competition that I am aware of — except perhaps what can be found on the web — but that of course is a different genre.
    God love them, but EWTN does not rise above the level of a parish bulletin in its coverage of the pope. Neither does the NCRegister. One is left to wonder what would be happening there if Angelica was at the helm — but we all know the comportment of the episcopate with that “difficult woman.”
    God reward her abundantly for her authentic effort to reanimate the post-conciliar Church. She was a gift from God.
    All that said, the pope’s remarks remind me of the report which exists regarding his personality structure offered by Peter Kolvenbach, SJ [Superior General 1983 – 2008] who told Pope John Paul when the idea of elevating Father Bergoglio to the episcopate came up that Father Bergoglio was emotionally unstable and temperamentally unreliable. The longer he remains at the helm the serious nature of that estimation becomes ever more clear.
    I have never regarded this pope as a thinker. A sentimentalist at best and that is a stretch. Undoubtedly a self-serving rationalizer. With the publication of “Traditionis custodes” he can be regarded an unmitigated egoistic sadist. Indeed the entire crew of purveyors of “new paradigm katholicism” can be described with these and far less charitable adjectives.
    We find our Catholic faith eviscerated virtually on a daily basis with calculated half-truths by the occupant of the Chair of Peter, a mind numbing number of the episcopate and a huge coven of “theologians” sitting comfortably in katholic academia. In so doing they are not merely benignly “revisioning” the timeless faith gifted us by our Lord, Jesus Christ, they are at once dismantling it and cutting the hearts out of the faithful. Christ’s faithful, whom they regard pejoratively as ridged Pharisees.
    Is it too much to say that these days the Tiber flows into the Potomac? It is it the other way around?

  15. As a bit of a language buff, I think Pope Francis betrays a very limited understanding of language and language acquisition. In fact, Latin is an excellent basis for learning Spanish (and Italian too, BTW). To suggest that learning Vietnamese is a reasonable next step in a young priest’s language development is, except in very particular circumstances, beyond ridiculous. Talk about dealing in the abstract.

    • The Pope should speak to some of the Vietnamese Catholics who are devoted to Mass in Latin in the EF. They’re out there, as I know – I’ve seen them as regulars at the EF Masses I’ve attended. They even travel some distance to be there, as many others do.

  16. I don’t understand how any bishop who has been faithfully reading the Office of Readings these past few days with its constant reference to St. Augustine’s On Pastors can feel comfortable, and not on edge. Just this morning we read: God calls for an accounting of his sheep from the wicked shepherds and inquires into the death of his sheep at their hands. For in another passage he speaks through the same prophet: “Son of man, I have appointed you a watchman for the house of Israel. …When I say to the sinner: You shall die, and you do not speak to warn the wicked man from his wicked way, …you shall be held responsible for his death. If, however, you warn the wicked man …” Augustine then says: “Dear brothers, what does this mean? Do you see how dangerous it is to keep silent? …Therefore it is our task not to keep silent,…”

    It is not the re-marriage and communion issue in the Amoris footnote that is the problem, or accompanying gay Catholics, which always been understood to be good pastoral practice, etc., it is the off the cuff utterances of easily misinterpreted remarks (i.e., I’m in favor of same sex civil unions) that the media takes hold of, spins, and spreads throughout the entire globe, causing scandal, while the Pope does absolutely nothing to clarify. I hate to say this, but a “good father” does not sit by and allow his children to be led astray like that. Indifference to how the faithful are being led astray by media spin of his own words is incomprehensible to me.

    • Since the break of the sexual abuse scandal decades back each year when we arrive at the 24th and 25th weeks in Ordinary Time reading Augustine “On Pastors” I am convinced that a breed of our clerics are not performing their obligation to recite the Liturgy of the Hours each day without exception.
      Pope Francis convinces me that he exercises a cavalier engagement with this priestly responsibility as well — and “cavalier” at best. “Every day? Is that not rigid? Far more important ways to engage the mind. The Church, the world requires reimagining.” Doubtlessly the rest of the episcopate is swimming in in the same current.
      We are not merely sheep without temporal shepherds — or even hirelings — we are being embraced by the meat packers. The gaslighting and subterfuge exercised by the episcopate from the top to local pastors can no longer be regarded through rose colored glasses. If anyone is not now convinced, observe well the synodal process now to commence — or is it “sin nod.”
      We have seen nothing yet.

  17. This is what happens when the cardinals elect a Jesuit to the papacy. You get their typical watered-down faith. My pastor told me the day of the election that not all Jesuits are alike. I believe that, but this Jesuit is one of the “blowin’ with the wind” types. If the pope doesn’t stand firm in Church teaching, nobody else can be held responsible when going against that same teaching. One can be pastoral without giving in to all types of behavior. In fact, pastoral requires standing up for the faith and teaching others to do the same.

  18. It would seem that P.Francis wants the Church to change its teachings to conform to the secular world and its modernism that the recent popes spoke against and called ‘relativism’. He is not the contemplative that JP11 was or the scholar that Benedict is.
    He seems to have a chip on his shoulder. Maybe that’s where it comes from. Continue to pray for him.

  19. At EVERY Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, the celebrant (and, therefore, ALL of us in full participation), pray BY NAME for “Francis our Pope, and our Bishop,” even those who are appalled by some of the actions, statements, and snide comments of this Pope. Also, many add prayers “for the intentions of the Holy Father, the Pope,” at the end of the Rosary There are so many things reported in this article that are wrong, how does one continue to pray for his “intentions?” Just one example: the Pope allegedly said during this meeting, “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.” In this he seems to conflate himself with HIS Church. If the Holy Father really does not understand that there is a distinct difference between “The (sic) Church” and the mere mortals (especially himself) in the hierarchy that “runs” it, he definitely is in need of a “fraternal correction,” whatever form that takes.

  20. The Pope is contorting the church to fit a populist secular world, the African Bishops are too conservative and are thwarting his secular message and now he is complaining because he is being spoken about like a secular politician? In his brave new world, it seems it be ok to promote abortion, and same sex marriage but not to pray in Latin. I travel and attend mass at well over 100 churches a year. I try to attend every day, it’s the Latin masses that have full pews and large families,at the others,it’s people like me,over 70 and not many of us left.

    The saddest sight is the Newman Centers on our college campuses. While ours have limited activities and few patrons, the other faiths are thriving coffee house ventures full of rejoicing young people praising God. As the youth go,so goes our church.

  21. Wow.

    I did think there were rather intemperate remarks made of Francis by one participant on The World Over discussion on the mass restrictions, but it always seems to me that Francis is rather a hypocrite about harsh words and judgements and about “dialogue” given his refusals to meet with Cardinal Burke and Cardinal Zen at important moments.

    He is a very judgemental person here in his comments about young priests who probably admire the beauty of the traditional mass and have no intention of going “backwards”. He imputes bad motives to people whom he has very little understanding about, as he has before about young people attending the old mass. Some dialogue with such actual young people might help, but fat chance of that, everything will continue to be filtered to him through the likes of Father Spadaro. It is increasingly evident that unlike any pope in my lifetime (I am 68) he seems have a rather limited understanding of the world at large and many distorted perceptions.

    • I read today regarding St. Peter Canisius (the feast of St Thomas also) that “the Jesuit policy that harsh words should not be used, that those listening would see an example of charity in the way Catholics acted and preached.”

      Something(s) just aren’t equating.

      • Mmmmm then I read about a Father Couvillon, said to be “so sharp and hostile that he was alienating his companions and students. Anyone who confronted him became the subject of abuse. It became obvious that Couvillon suffered from emotional illness.” Right; OK, something(s) in that. What a ‘coincidence’ my happening past at this time to this newspiece. What’s at work here?

  22. Bergoglio is arrogant, prideful, paranoid, hypocritical, and heterodox. Time for this papacy to end. He’s a scandal monger causing severe harm to the Church and souls.

  23. “In a world that is so conditioned by addictions and virtual experiences it frightens us to be free.”
    Prescient thought regarding many minds -or more accurately, mouths- in the Church

    There is always an irony in how many people spend all of their precious day* accusing the pope of being a gay communist sodomist marxist lavender heretic, but react with exaggerated offense at his ‘intemperate’ remarks.

    *maybe that day could be better spent in adoration, or doing some ministry, I don’t know

    • Can you provide a reference for that characterization of the Pope’s critics? I’m a fairly regular reader/poster here myself, but it seems that I missed the comments denouncing Francis as a “gay communist sodomist Marxist lavender heretic.”

  24. CWR seems to relish combative, inflammatory personal attacks. This nonsense from someone cowardly hiding behind the initials JSB suffices as evidence.

    • If CWR has to take credit for JSB’s opinion then, logically, it must also take credit for your criticism of it. It is a COMMENT box, after all. Seriously, how difficult is this to understand?

      • Mr Olson, You are running a superb ship and do not change anything. CWR contains a healthy mixture of comments and articles.It is streets ahead of other Catholic publications. In these trying times, it remains my first port of call for news and views. Keep up the good work.

        • Well said, dear Alice!

          What a great service to The Church and hence to King Jesus Christ it is when we are all able to express what we think. Carl and CWR colleagues brilliantly enable us all to engage with one another about matters of huge importance.

          So much of what is published is very revealing about the commentators! This is useful in enabling us to gauge what weight to attribute to their wisdom. Rudeness, emotionality, ignorance of facts, narrowness, prejudice, and irrationality subvert their opinions.

          So many comments (including those on this good Matthew Cullinan Hoffman article) are weakened by such self-revelation.

          Pope Francis is acting like an agricultural plough, turning over the hard soil of what Catholics have for far too long accepted as normality. All the bacteria, viruses, nematodes, insects, slugs, and weeds are being exposed on the surface. What is Pope Francis achieving?

          As far as I can see he is renowned through the world as the most genuinely loving pope in living memory. Why do so many of us hate him because he is so open to loving all people? Too many of us have forgotten what godly Love is.

          At the same time Pope Francis emphasizes the non-negotiable truths and requirements of The Gospel of Jesus Christ; the absolute authority of The New Testament.

          Of course, those ‘in’ the Church who have associated themselves with universalist freemasonry and witchcraft and worse, hate the loving Christian authenticity of Pope Francis and do everything they can to subvert it.

          Like every pope before him, Pope Francis will make mistakes; perhaps more because he is a very courageous and inspired person. Yet, like every sincere Catholic, he knows that Jesus Christ is with us and even our mistakes will be put right and made fruitful.

          Would those who want to criticize Pope Francis do everyone the favor of referring to The Catechism of the Catholic Church – our God-given standing orders – and show calmly and logically how Pope Francis is in breach.

          Let’s get some order into this riotous, self-destructive free-for-all.

          Always in the grace & mercy of King Jesus Christs; love & blessings from Marty

          • Yeah, your comment says much about yourself…perhaps you should refer to the Catechism and, in detail, show us the Pope’s argument on the moral leg of Catholicism and how he ‘adheres’ to it.

            ‘ As far as I can see he is renowned through the world as the most genuinely loving pope in living memory.’


            You don’t see farther than the people “of the world” being the primary lovers of such a papacy? Would the underground Chinese Catholic Church persecuted being among those ‘lovers’ knowing the accord Francis signed that brought only more persecution? Does Francis’ contribution to the situation in the Church of Germany constitute an authority of the New Testament let alone a ‘loving act’?

            You bluster about facts but provide none. You ask what Pope Francis is achieving but provide no answer but generalize, subjectively, that he is a plough unearthing bad things. And then provide no argument, just as the Pope does, on the phantoms of ‘rigid traditionalists’. But, as in the Dubai, he won’t clarify and his Amoris laetitia, because of his rigid version of pastoralism, has brought confusion to the worldwide Church. And what did Francis achieve in his severe limitation of the Traditional Mass?

            This Pope has said several times how he ‘loves to mess things up.’

            So, he has and basks in being unclear.

            Where is the achievement here?

  25. I wonder where PF is getting his information on EWTN. He apparently doesn’t read newspapers or follow media. I can’t speak for all of EWTN, but I don’t consider Ed Pentin, Robert Royal and Nina Shea, frequent guests on The World Over, representatives of the demonic. To quote (loosely) the late Norm Macdonald, “If you’re going to criticize, it may be a good idea to know what you’re talking about”.

  26. And just what are the attacks by the bishop of Rome against the faithful? Against the Commandments? Against the Sacraments? Or his collaboration with the globalists, etc.? His name calling? Where do all those things originate?

    • Won’t dialogue.

      That is Francis’s main attack on the faithful. From the Dubia to pleas for clarification on his Encyclicals.

      Refuses to iterate on morality relative to the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

  27. I never listen to anything a Priest, Bishop or Cardinal or any television network like EWTN (that I use to follow) has to say the moment they began attacking Pope Francis.
    God chose Pope Francis to take care of His church and it seems that many who are not chosen covet that position and try to undermine him. It’s shameful and hurtful to see attacks against Holy Mother Church taking place from within the Church itself. Aren’t there enough outside the church who want to bring her down. Shame shame, a lot of Pharisee’s and why not they attacked Jesus when He walked the earth and so the Pharisees of today attack his chosen head of the church on earth. Long may Pope Francis lead our church.

    • Who are the many that covet this papacy so much so that they are ‘undermining’ this papacy by commenting on actions this Pope actually took?

      Comparing Francis to Jesus?!?

      There have been a fair number of bad popes; mainly in retrospect but also in real time. The Holy Spirit only guarantees the Deposit of Faith, not the man.

      • Dear PCTR (person calling themselves ‘Ramjet’).

        Pseudonyms can be quite revealing. Yours reminds me of hubristic Icarus who zoomed too close to the sun, then fell to earth.

        Pouring forth an unmitigated stream of criticism always ends badly.

        The basic requirements of Catholic witness are obedience to God’s commandments and proclaiming the Lordship of Jesus Christ and His Good News.

        Whilst Pope Francis is doing both perseveringly, I think you, PCTR, disobey the commandment to ‘Refrain from False Witness’; and, I see no evidence of you, PCTR, proclaiming the Lordship of Jesus Christ and the excellence of His Good News.

        Are you in a position to remove specks from anyone’s eye; let alone our Pope?

        Think 1 Thessalonians 5:12-13 – “We appeal to all Catholics to be considerate to those who are working amongst you and are above you in The Lord as your teachers. Have the greatest respect and affection for them because of their work. Be at peace with each other.”

        PCTR, I sincerely beg you to repent, for if anyone refuses to repent, what does that say about their eternal destiny?

        Always in the mercy & grace of King Jesus Christ; love & blessings from Marty

      • Precisely. We had two brilliant popes who brought many back to the faith and into the faith, and now we’ve got one who is the darling of the secular media because he says things so confusing that they easily manipulate him to be a mouthpiece for their own agenda, and he refuses EVER to clarify.
        Why did God allow us to have such a pope, after so many years of clear guidance from two brilliant and deeply humble, holy men?
        I think it’s precisely because we need to be shaken up a bit, and to remember that indeed, the Church is not the Pope; that having a good Pope doesn’t mean we are all OK now and can sit back and bask in the glow of a golden era in Catholicism. When we have a bad Pope, that’s when our faith in the guidance of the Holy Spirit is truly tested.
        All of us who learned for so many years from Popes John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI the beauty and truth of the faith; all of us who fell deeply in love with the Catholic faith because of their guidance and witness and teaching – now we are being tested: Do you trust in God even when the Barque of Peter seems to be tossed by the storm and God is asleep? How well did you learn from our previous Holy Fathers? Can you keep your faith, hope, and charity even if it seems to you that the Pope himself is worthy of rebuke?
        For me, I ignore what Francis says because I like clarity and good sense, and he just blabs and blabs and doesn’t think and doesn’t seem to remember or care what he says (rather like a narcissist: they forget about 80% of what they say and what is said to them, according to highly functioning and aware narcissists themselves). It seems that as long as he is the center of attention, all is good and anyone who takes attention off him is the devil incarnate. OK. Fine. Sorry for him. God help him.
        But I go to Mass every day and pray for the Pope. I hope he ends up in heaven the same way I hope my good pastors and humble local bishop stay the course and persevere against temptation and end up in heaven.
        But I don’t need to have someone like Pope Francis unsettling me on a regular basis. Pray for him and leave him to God’s mercy. Keep the faith, continue to pass on the perennial teaching of the faith (I teach converts and catechumens) and know that when there’s a storm and the boat seems ready to capsize, don’t worry: the storm is real, and Jesus may be asleep in the back of the boat, but it’s not going to capsize and we won’t drown as long as Christ is present in the Eucharist.

    • “ God chose Pope Francis to take care of His church”

      By that reasoning, He chose Pope John XII to run His Church, and nobody then or now should be allowed to criticize that Pope.

    • There are certainly positions taken by some Catholics re: Pope Francis that are somewhat outrageous (some of them appear in the comment sections of CWR), however, anyone who loves the Church and loves the faith cannot help but feel serious concern about this pope. Just consider how many people appeal to something Pope Francis said in the past in order to justify their “progressive” stance: i.e., homosexuality is now ok; same sex marriage is now ok; contraception is now ok; divorce and re-marriage and receiving communion are now ok; those who have large families are a bunch of horney rabbits; pro-lifers are obsessed with the issue of abortion; there are no moral absolutes, etc. Of course, Pope Francis never said such things. But most Catholics are not careful, they don’t read, they draw their own conclusions, they take media reporting at face value. Pope Francis does nothing to clarify, does nothing to correct media misinformation. All he has to do once in a while is to say: “The media has done it again; that is not what I meant to say. This is what I meant to say. Please check with the original before you believe what you read in the newspapers about me; it is usually false.” But no, silence. Silence gives consent, as the old maxim indicates.

      I am not sure, but it seems to me that Pope Francis sort of likes his celebrity status and does not wish to disappoint “the world”.

    • God chose Pope Francis to take care of His church…..then indeed in the selection of popes He possesses a wicked sense of humour. Plainly He plays it close to the wire.

    • If he’s a “living saint,” then JPII and BXVI are kangaroos. More like a
      “living tyrant.” He has learned his political, self-referencing tactics from Peron. AND, of course, from the Society of Jesus. And, of course, we pray for him daily as well as in Mass and the Rosary, we “backward, rigid, frightened etc” sheep in his pasture, where we cannot hope to be fed. I’m so thankful he’s so loving, by the way. It gives us, who worship with joy at Latin Masses, such confidence that he will always look after us, even as he professes continued admiration for his betrayed predecessor. Thank you, Mr Olson, for providing this venue for the faithful–and even the naive. CWR is always fair, and always upholds the Faith.

  28. A perceptive observer aptly describes this latest in the long series of staged theatrics by the Pontiff Francis, and as like all the rest, all originating in The Pontiff Francis, and all of which in these long 8 years have a single motive uniting them, to wit:
    “he is baiting orthodox Catholics…to trap them into an uncharitable response.” The link below includes a perfect prayer.

    Jesus counsels that yes, in this life, the faithful have enemies. But he has all authority, and he gives us a new Commandment: “You have heard it said, you will love your friends and hate your enemies, BUT I SAY, love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you…for your Father in heaven sends rain on the just and the unjust. For if you love only those who love you, where is the reward in that?”

  29. Bravo to Phil Lawler on Catholic Culture, Sept. 22, for his defense of Catholic media that give their readers honest reporting instead of pap.
    He includes EWTN and CWR. Catholic Culture is definitely in that category. I’ll add my own personal favourite, The Catholic Thing, ably directed by the demonic Robert Royal.

    • “The truth is like a lion,” said Augustine. “You don’t have to defend it. Let it loose; it will defend itself.” Thus Lawler ended his piece.

      What truth frightens this pope? Standing firm in faith and trust in the Lord, one should fear neither truth nor ‘demonic attack.’ What truth frightens this pope?

      Missing from this pope’s words and actions is a demonstrable faith the size of a mustard seed which moves mountains. Further, Jesus taught how to deal with The Demon himself: Ignore him. Teach truth to his lies. Walk away. A Vicar of Christ surely may rely on the help of the Lord to steer him through ‘demonic attack,’ particularly if the truth of the sheep reveals to the shepherd his demons.

      Where is Francis’ mustard seed?

      Jesus warned Peter that he and his successor disciples would be sifted like wheat. The Lord HIMSELF PRAYED FOR THEM. Where is the trust of the pontiff in the prayer of the Lord Himself ?

      And Peter said to Jesus, “Lord, I am ready to go with you both to prison and to death!”

      Like Peter, the pontiff is capable of braggadocio, ego, deceit. When Francis continually displays these and other more serious character defects, let us pray that Jesus remind Francis of his prayer and let us ask that God give that man a mustard seed. Thank you, Lord.

    • It’s difficult to surpass Prof. Royal for sheer wit, intelligence, benignity, and scholarship. We think he’s first rate! May God bless and keep him defending the Faith for many years to come!

  30. This will be my last comment on this sorry papal whine, I promise.
    With any luck, Pope Francis’ ill-advised smear against EWTN will prompt some curious Catholics (and others?) to tune in and see what all the fuss is about. Myself, I’m looking forward to tonight’s The World Over. If I’m lucky, maybe I’ll catch a glimpse of a demon or two.

    • I’ve heard that demons can take on the appearance of men. Don’t know if that is true….Take good notes and let us know how they look!

    • Dear Gilberta,

      Please don’t naively joke about this. Many ministries have been targeted and subverted by enemies of The Gospel. Please, prayerfully consider 2 Corinthians 11:12-15.

      People I know to be obdurate freemasons & spiritists watch EWTN approvingly . . . I’m not sure how to interpret that . . .

      We need to constantly test their spirit: Do they wholeheartedly, unreservedly proclaim Jesus Christ as triumphant, sole ruler of the heavens & the earth; as the fullness of eternal God enfleshed, crucified, resurrected, reigning & soon returning as the sole judge of us all, living and dead. ? ? ?

      Pope Francis is firm & sure in God’s Holy Spirit.
      Think: what does that show us about the spirit of his detractors.

      Dear Gilberta; please take care. Ever in the love of Jesus; blessings from Marty

      • What does he show us about HIS spirit when he detracts from faithful Catholics and arrogantly refuses to dialog with ANYBODY who might disagree with him? Why doesn’t he meet those people, really LISTEN with a fatherly heart, and gently correct them if indeed they are in the wrong? (John Paul II was criticized for not being enough of an ‘enforcer’ with people who were truly doing bad things in the Church, but he listened, was pastoral, was gentle and charitable, and at least tried to see why they might in good faith believe they were doing the right thing. He and Benedict erred on the side of mercy; Francis errs on the side of condemnation and name-calling.) Why do normal, everyday, faithful Catholics, both priests and laity, constantly feel undermined and attacked or at best confused by this pope, when they did NOT feel that way by the treatment of the two previous popes? It is simply REALITY that Pope Francis makes the pure in heart and the clear in mind and the faithful feel attacked, rejected, criticized, blamed and vilified by his harsh labeling of anyone who does not agree with him. He needs to practice what he (claims he) preaches. It’s so ironic that he can speak of “rigidity and clericalism” as “perversions,” but can’t see his own rigidity and clericalism (he is the arch-cleric: criticizing ME is satanic? The Pope is on a par with God in not being able to be questioned or second-guessed on ANYTHING?) and he is absolutely rigid: my way or the highway could be his papal motto. But active homosexuality is not a perversion, but something we must all ‘accompany’ or else we’re homophobic (he avoids the buzzword, but it’s right there: we speak against the homosexualization of society or the clergy out of fear). Anyone else holding firmly to a belief is ‘rigid’ and any cleric who disagrees with him is guilty of the perversion of clericalism, but it’s not a perversion of the role of a cleric to give communion to Catholics living in a state of mortal sin?
        Pope Francis seems to live in a hall of mirrors where all he can see is himself, reflected many times larger than his real size – until he gets a glimpse of other people, real people, and then it seems to terrify him to realize that there might be other people in the world who are not mirror images of himself. He reads more and more like a narcissist every week.
        God have mercy on him, because if there’s one thing a narcissist can never do, it’s admit that anything he says or does can ever be wrong. Narcissists never ask for help getting past their narcissism. Only God can break through and save them from the cramp of their own ego.

        • Dear Nel,

          You don’t like his style and so hit the ‘total destruct’ button.

          It’s so sad to read you accusing Pope Francis of the very vices that many commentators on this article display in bucket-loads.

          Please think: our Church is like a great galleon that is becalmed, whose hull is riddled with borers, whose crew (those that have not deserted) constantly fight and teeter on the brink of mutiny, the sharks are circling, . . .

          At this time of great crisis, King Jesus has graciously given us a very courageous Captain, who is (miraculously at his age) taking bold steps to get rid of the rot, discipline the crew, quell the rebellious, scare off the sharks, and get our Mother Vessel sailing free again.

          Dear Nel, please give our dear Pope Francis a bit of latitude. Join with us millions of Catholics across the world who thank God for Francis, pray for him, and do our best to work with him.

          In Australia we have a saying: “Fair goes!” – give this person a chance . . .

          Take care, Nel. Keep safe and well.

          Ever in the grace & mercy of Jesus Christ; love & blessings from marty

      • DMJR says, “Pope Francis is firm & sure in God’s Holy Spirit.” How do you know that?

        IF Francis is sure and trusting of God and His Holy Spirit, would he surely not find it necessary to accuse certain of his Catholic sheep of commiting demonic attack against him? JESUS taught TRUTH to Satan’s lies by quoting Scripture, not by accusing him of being Satan or a goat. Perhaps Francis would do better to learn from and imitate Christ. Christ suffered and searched in order to show His love and save lost sheep.

        Aquinas says virtually the same in his commentary on 2 Corinthians that you cite above.

        Thomas Dubay’s book “Authenticity: A Biblical Theology of Discernment” has much to teach about truth, the Holy Spirit, His signs, and His charismatic gift of discernment. Valuable reading for those who have received and who know the regular and ordinary gifts of the Holy Spirit.

        • Dear Meiron,

          You claim Pope Francis “would do better to learn from and imitate Christ.”

          Francis has and does, dear friend, as in many New Testament texts, such as John 8:44, our Pope proves to be gloriously steeped in the Apostolic witness of The New Testament, and hence in the awesome power of The Holy Spirit of God –

          Jesus answered: “The devil is your father, and you prefer to do what your father wants, he was a murderer from the start; he was never grounded in truth; there is no truth in him at all: when he lies he is drawing on his own store, because he is a liar and the father of lies.”

          Too many today (knowingly or unknowingly) are servant of the devil, the original God-blaspheming liar. They cooperate in trying to steal authority from our lawfully appointed Pope Francis; and in trying to destroy our unity in Christ’s Love. See John 10:10a –

          Jesus said: “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy, . . ”

          Please, Meiron, with prayer, remove the blindfold, so as to see the plain, New Testament truth.

          Always in the mercy & grace of Jesus Christ; blessings & love from Marty

          • Dear Doc,
            I’m sure you’re a nice guy; you keep telling us you are, but I wouldn’t care to have you do surgery on me. Moreover, the Holy Father was undoubtedly “chosen” the way the current catastrophe in this country was “chosen.” But I won’t go into that. We pray for your hero, honest we do, daily, for his intentions and his conversion. Two little things, secular though they be, I think, would be helpful for you before you continue this commentary: some of the superb books by the philosopher Roger Scruton. They are brilliant and would shine some bright light on your heavily shaded windows, and some good history, including a sensible analysis of Marxism and how much of it began with the French Revolution. Meanwhile, God bless you too etc. kr

          • IN REPLY TO KATHLEEN REEVES 09.24.2021

            Dear Kathleen,

            Thank you for the most civilized and balanced response in this whole string of comments.

            It is my son, Dr Henry Arthur Rice, who is the brilliant medical person.

            However, my second PhD may have some relevant philosophical, or theological, or sociological point of interest for you. It can be accessed free on-line:


            If you (or others) would like to continue to converse, please feel free to contact this elderly Catholic academic via

            Hoping you have a beautiful Sunday, Kathleen.
            Ever in The Lamb of God; love & blessings from Marty

        • Dear Meiron, please read John 8:44:

          Jesus said to his critics: “The devil is your father, and you prefer to do what your father wants. He was a murderer from the start, he was never grounded in the truth; there is no truth in him at all; when he lies he is drawing on his own store, because he is a liar and the father of lies.” See, also, John 10:10.

          You are mistaken in saying that Pope Francis is un-Christlike in discerning the work of evil. Both Christ and Pope Francis (like all true Apostles) are godly righteous in forthrightly discerning and calling-out the activity of evil.

          Sadly, catholics in general have become embarrassed at references to the activity of evil ,rarely willing to expose it to the light of Christ, as we are told to do. It seems we willfully ignore the termites that are destroying our habitation!

          Let’s recall that: “It was to undo all that the devil had done that The Son of God appeared.” 1 John 3:8b.

          Ever in the love of King Jesus Christ; blessings from marty

          • How do you call a proponent of moral relativism, a man who actually insults everyone who actually does believe in and coherently calls out objective evil “ideologues” for doing so, and a man who condemns the idea of condemning evil, as a man who condemns evil?
            believes in and condemns precisely what he does not do, a man who ? The only evil he condemns is the practice of identifying objective evil.

          • How do you call a proponent of moral relativism, a man who actually insults everyone who actually does believe in and coherently calls out objective evil “ideologues” for doing so, and a man who condemns the idea of condemning evil, as a man who condemns evil?

          • If you wish to dialogue, perhaps learning how to accurately cite another person’s words may lead you to that basic first step in human society.

            Your words? “You are mistaken in saying that Pope Francis is un-Christlike in discerning the work of evil.” Not mine.

            Now you have a nice night down under and undercover.

  31. Protestant puritans and fundamentalists were in the habit of finding the diabolic in those not on their side. They too sought to uproot former practices. They too discoursed only with their own kind. No one wishes HH ill but maybe he might care to broaden the discourse beyond the safety of his comfort zone.

    • Of course. But a narcissist simply cannot do that. There is no other zone than what they see in their own magic mirror reflection of themselves. To equate his own person with the Church (which is the Body of Christ, not the Pope) is just one more bit of evidence of his narcissism.

      • Dearest Alba and Dearest Nel,

        Are your comments concerted gaslighting, or merely mutually indulgent fantasizing?

        If you say these things about Pope Francis, one wonders what you would have said about Pope Gregory The Great? Or, about St Peter or St Paul or St Clare.

        Irrational detraction of our Leader is not a becoming grace, dear sisters.

        Ever in the love of Jesus Christ; blessings from Marty

  32. I have not accessed CWR for some time. This evening, having done so again, I find this protracted debate about Pope F. going on. I would like to think I have an open mind about him, but I have found many of the utterances he has made since 2013 unfair and divisive and not worthy of the Vicar of Christ. As I read through the contibutions to the debate, I chiefly feel moved to praise CWR praise for thus providing this forum, in which radically different points of view are being expressed about the most contoversial public figure of our time. I cannot think of any other organ that is similarly so ‘catholic’, in relation to either ecclesiastical issues or wider political and social issues.

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