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Pope Francis Claims It's 'an Honor That the Americans Attack Me'

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Pope Francis is in hot water this week after making a controversial remark about his Christian ideological opponents in the United States while aboard the papal plane.

The comment in question was an offhand claim that has American Christians beyond displeased. More specifically, the pope gleefully said it’s “an honor that the Americans attack me.”

According to The New York Times, Francis made the remark in jest on Wednesday, shortly after boarding the papal plane for a six-day trip to Africa.

It was then that the pope felt compelled to “warmly” tell French Catholic journalist Nicholas Senèze that he takes the criticism of American Christians as something of a compliment to his character, according to The Times.

Senèze is the author of “How America Wanted to Change the Pope” — a book exploring American Christians’ financial and cultural opposition to the pope’s at-times progressive approach to Catholic theology.

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He had brought the religious leader a copy of the newly released book as a gift.

Francis then reportedly quipped that the book was “a bomb” while handing it off to an aide.

His remarks appear to have been something of a bomb as well, because shortly thereafter, Vatican spokesman Matteo Bruni attempted to clarify what he had said.

“In an informal context the pope wanted to say that he always considers criticism an honor,” Bruni told The Times. “Particularly when it comes from authoritative thinkers, in this case from an important nation.”

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Some American Christians, angered by the pope’s remarks, weren’t buying Bruni’s explanation.

To them, such an attack was beyond the pale and worse yet, it confirmed their longtime fears about the pope — that he would rather ostracize them for their values than give up his progressive vision for the church.

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“The industry of Catholicism appointed him to draw in young people using liberal ideology. Empty cathedrals gather no tithes,” one Twitter user wrote.

This is not the first time Francis has upset American Christians.

This pope has a long history of rebuking American leaders and throwing support behind globalist approaches to issues like climate change and poverty in third-world countries.

He often convicts the United States and its European allies of not doing enough to combat climate change and take in third-world migrant refugees.

Francis also found himself in hot water last month for appearing to liken nationalist remarks from Italian Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini and others to “those of Hitler in 1934,” The Washington Post reported.

Ironically, according to The Times, supporters of Francis have expressed hope this week’s Africa trip is the pope’s attempt to move past another slew of sexual abuse claims and re-devote the church to progressive causes.

And if that is his goal, this recent remark shows Francis is off to a great start.

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Andrew J. Sciascia was the supervising editor of features at The Western Journal. Having joined up as a regular contributor of opinion in 2018, he went on to cover the Barrett confirmation and 2020 presidential election for the outlet, regularly co-hosting its video podcast, "WJ Live," as well.
Andrew J. Sciascia was the supervising editor of features at The Western Journal and regularly co-hosted the outlet's video podcast, "WJ Live."

Sciascia first joined up with The Western Journal as a regular contributor of opinion in 2018, before graduating with a degree in criminal justice and political science from the University of Massachusetts Lowell, where he served as editor-in-chief of the student newspaper and worked briefly as a political operative with the Massachusetts Republican Party.

He covered the Barrett confirmation and 2020 presidential election for The Western Journal. His work has also appeared in The Daily Caller.