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Die Welt publishes a record of Pope Francis’s conversation with Jesuits in Slovakia. “I’m still alive although some wanted me to die”

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The German “Die Welt” published a record of Pope Francis’ conversation during a meeting with Jesuits in Slovakia. Francis spoke about his critics in the Church and about the pressure exerted by journalists. “The authenticity of these sentences is unquestionable” – emphasized the daily.

“On the sidelines of his visit to Slovakia on September 12, the Pope, who belongs to the Jesuit Order, met some of the country’s Jesuits, as was tradition, during his travels abroad. They were allowed to ask him questions. The transcript of this conversation has just been published in Italian and English.” “- reported in Wednesday’s” Die Welt “publication.


At the beginning of the meeting in Bratislava, the Pope was asked how he was feeling. “I’m still alive, although some wanted me to die,” he replied, referring to bowel surgerywhich he passed at the beginning of July this year and for which he spent several days at the Gemelli hospital in Rome.

“I know that there were even meetings of prelates who were convinced that the Pope’s situation was worse than he admits publicly. They were preparing for the conclave,” the pope confessed then.

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Citing the Pope’s confidant

“The fact that Francis has many opponents in the Church is not a secret or anything unusual (…). Usually, however, these conflicts are not raised in public, and certainly not by the Pope himself” – he noted in the Wednesday publication “Die Welt “. One might “even think that these statements were not authentic at all, as in the past there were repeatedly falsified quotes from the Pope, which the Vatican often denied only after a few weeks” – added the daily.

The newspaper reported that this time, however, “the authenticity of these sentences is unquestionable: they were published by the Italian Jesuit Antonio Spadaro, editor-in-chief of Civilta Cattolica and a close confidant of the Pope. It would not have been possible without the consent of Francis.”

Under the “pressure” of journalists

During the conversation, the Pope also made it clear that he was affected by criticism in the Church. “Yes, there are priests who make unpleasant remarks to me,” said Francis. “They accuse me of allegedly always talking only about social matters, that I am a communist,” he added, quoted by Die Welt, who emphasized that Francis felt under pressure not only by the clergy, but also by journalists.

The fact that Francis has many opponents in the Church is neither a secret nor anything unusual (…). Usually, however, these conflicts are not raised in public, and certainly not by the pope himself

The Pope said at a meeting with the Jesuits that “there is a great Catholic news channel” that “constantly talks badly about the Pope.” He stated, “I personally deserve attacks and insults because I am a sinner. But the Church does not deserve it. They are the work of the devil. This is what I said to some of them.” The words about the Catholic news channel “are apparently” a reference to the international EWTN station, writes Die Welt.

As for the hospital stay, Franciszek said that he initially did not want to undergo the procedure himself. The nurse convinced him. “Nurses can often judge a situation better than doctors because they have more direct contact with patients,” said the Pope.

Main photo source: ETTORE FERRARI / PAP / EPA

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