"They carry sadness in their hearts, I have compassion for them"

Pope Francis: Sedisvacantists are "mushrooms" in the Church

Vatican City - Pope Francis has been heavily criticised time and again, particularly by traditionalist circles and sedevacantists. He has now described some of his opponents as "sad people" in an interview with journalists.

Published  on 14.03.2024 at 14:06  – 

Pope Francis has described sedevacantists as "mushrooms" in the Church. This group and other critics from the traditionalist environment would deliberately misinterpret his statements, said the head of the Church in an interview with the management of the Spanish news portal "Religión Digital". Its editor-in-chief José Manuel Vidal told katholisch.de on request on Thursday that Francis had described these critics as "sad people" at the meeting in the Vatican the previous day. "They carry sadness in their hearts, I have compassion for them," were the Pope's words.

The editorial team of "Religión Digital" met with Francis on the eleventh anniversary of his election as Pope to present him with the results of a support campaign initiated by the news site. "We presented the Pope with the names of the more than 7,000 participants on a USB stick," said Vidal. They also gave the head of the church a selection of printed messages from supporters of his church policy. "Francis was delighted with the tailwind for his reforms in the Church and we realised that he knows our news site very well," said Vidal.

HTML-Elemente (z.B. Videos) sind ausgeblendet. Zum Einblenden der Elemente aktivieren Sie hier die entsprechenden Cookies.

In the half-hour conversation with the Spanish journalists, the Pope called on them to continue to pursue the church reforms of the Second Vatican Council (1962-65). "Keep fighting, don't lose heart," said Francis. "Vatican II was a direct hit for the Church and has done us a lot of good. It was necessary and not all of its resolutions have yet been implemented." The Pope had pointed out that he saw his own reforms in the Church in this tradition, said Vidal. However, he also admitted that as a human being he had many weaknesses, did not implement things well and thus caused problems.

Francis was therefore pleased that many people included him in their prayers, as they repeatedly assured him. "But do they also pray for me?" Francis is said to have asked jokingly during the conversation. The background to this joke is probably the scandal surrounding several Spanish and Latin American priests with a traditionalist background who declared last month that they were praying for the Pope's speedy death. (rom)