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Pope Francis sees Cardinal Sarah as ‘bitter,’ rips Archbishop Gänswein

April 02, 2024

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CWN Editor's Note: In a new book-length interview due for publication this week, Pope Francis described Cardinal Robert Sarah as a “good man” who was “immediately manipulated by separatist groups” after he became prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship in 2014.

“At times I have the impression that working in the Roman Curia made him a little bitter,” the Pontiff said.

In newly published excerpts from the book, The Successor, Pope Francis also claims that Pope-emeritus Benedict XVI “always defended me” against conservative critics. In particular he says that the former Pontiff backed him in his support for civil unions for same-sex couples. “How he defended me!” Pope Francis insisted.

An AP account of the new book excerpts accurately reports that the Pope “settles some scores” with Archbishop Georg Gänswein, saying that the German prelate “did some very difficult things to me.” He argues that Archbishop Gänswein’s book, relating conflicts between Francis and Benedict, included “things that are not true.” He said that the book showed “a lack of nobility and humanity.” While most of the new book excerpts released on April 2 consisted of Pope Francis defending himself, the Pontiff does offer one solid bit of news, saying that he has no intention of altering the rules for a papal conclave.

The above note supplements, highlights, or corrects details in the original source (link above). About CWN news coverage.


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  • Posted by: Randal Mandock - Apr. 02, 2024 11:04 PM ET USA

    Cardinal Sarah is one of the most rational, level-headed, humble, and holy prelates I have run across in the last 4 decades. Being "bitter" is not in his character. Benedict XVI would never support the sin of cohabitation in a "lifestyle" of unnatural vice. Francis apparently misread Benedict's charity towards him as a person. The ideological label "conservative" is misplaced in a Catholic setting. It is a political term typically used by those churchmen on the left who think like politicians.