Pope Francis is not any fan of press criticism — particularly when it comes from Roman Catholic information retailers on the doctrinal proper.
So right here we go once more, with one other spherical of tensions within the rising world of Catholic media.
The 84-year-old Argentinian-born pontiff was caught in a candid second throughout his current journey to Slovakia when he was requested about his well being after a current operation.
“Nonetheless alive,” the pope replied, “regardless that some individuals wished me to die.”
The surprising assertion got here in a gathering the pope had with 53 Jesuits from Slovakia on Sept. 12 in Bratislava. Antonio Spadaro, a priest and editor-in-chief of the Rome-based Jesuit journal La Civiltà Cattolica, was current on the assembly and on Sept. 21 printed the complete transcript of the dialog.
The feedback instantly sparked a Catholic media battle that once more highlighted how polarized Catholics have develop into throughout Francis’ papacy, as have the official and unbiased church media that a big swarth of parishioners select to learn.
Requested by one other Jesuit on the similar gathering how he felt by those that view him with suspicion, Francis replied:
There’s, for instance, a big Catholic tv channel that has no hesitation in regularly talking in poor health of the pope. I personally deserve assaults and insults as a result of I’m a sinner, however the church doesn’t deserve them. They’re the work of the satan. I’ve additionally mentioned this to a few of them.
The Everlasting World Tv Community was based in 1980 by a nun named Mom Angelica and commenced broadcasting a yr later from a storage on the Our Woman of the Angels Monastery in Irondale, Alabama. Since then, it has grown to develop into one of many largest and most influential Catholic information organizations in North America and around the world.
That is what the Reporter printed on its web site, increasing on the pope’s remarks:
“In recent times, EWTN, which is headquartered in Birmingham, Alabama, and is among the Catholic church’s largest media enterprises, has develop into recognized for its common antagonistic protection of Pope Francis and partisan political focus. No different Catholic media conglomerate has often featured such open criticism of Francis. Most notably, host Raymond Arroyo has often promoted and interviewed the schismatic former papal nuncio to the US, Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò. Viganò has beforehand referred to as for Pope Francis’ resignation.”
Vigano, who served as papal nuncio to the U.S. from 2011 to 2016, has been a thorn of the facet of the pope for the reason that 2018 eruption of the scandal surrounding the fallen former cardinal Theodore McCarrick, when decades-old allegations emerged that the cardinal had abused boys and younger seminarians. A yr later, Francis defrocked McCarrick, however Vigano — who was interviewed a number of occasions by numerous Catholic information retailers — alleged that the pope had been conscious of the sexual misconduct and even eased restrictions on McCarrick’s ministry.
A Vatican probe launched in November 2020 largely exonerated Francis, putting the blame on Pope John Paul II and his successor, Pope Benedict XVI, for McCarrick’s ascent up the ranks till he turned cardinal of Washington, D.C.
Francis, who was hospitalized for 10 days this previous July after intestinal surgical procedure, has beforehand expressed frustration over information organizations who’ve criticized his papacy.
However not for the reason that days when Donald Trump was within the White Home have we seen a pacesetter with such energy and affect lash out at a selected information outlet so straight. Trump did so — most frequently on the expense of CNN and newspapers such because the New York Occasions and Washington Publish — with regularity throughout information conferences and on Twitter throughout his presidency.
Response throughout Catholic media was swift and predictable. America, a Jesuit journal within the U.S., reported that EWTN and its related publications, the Nationwide Catholic Register and Catholic Information Company, together with 500 radio associates, have “been extremely important of Pope Francis” through the years. The progressive journal famous:
The Nationwide Catholic Register was one in every of two retailers that printed the previous nuncio to the US and QAnon conspiracy theorist Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò’s explosive 2018 ‘testimony’ calling on the pope to resign. Raymond Arroyo, the host of EWTN’s ‘The World Over,’ has interviewed a lot of Pope Francis’ most fervent critics, together with Archbishop Viganò, Trump adviser Steve Bannon and Cardinal Raymond Burke.
On the conservative facet of the Catholic information world, The Pillar penned an editorial hours after the remarks have been made public highlighting the polarization that’s going down each politically and doctrinally amongst American Catholics.
CONTINUE READING: “Pope Francis Lashes Out At Criticism From The Catholic Press, Calls It ‘Work Of The Devil’,” by Clemente Lisi at Faith Unplugged.
FIRST IMAGE: Picture from the book cover of “Pope Francis and His Critics” by James J. Bacik.