Pope FrancisPope FrancisBiden to have audience with pope, attend G20 summit Archbishop says Catholic troops should be able to reject vaccines on religious grounds The truth about COVID-19 vaccine exemptions MORE acknowledged that some of his critics wished for him to die when he went in for surgery on his large intestine in July, giving the frank remarks during a conversation he had with Jesuits in Slovakia earlier this month.
A transcript of the conversation was published in the Catholic periodical La Civiltà Cattolica. The discussion was held on Sept 12.
When asked how he was doing, the pope said, “Still alive, even though some people wanted me to die. I know there were even meetings between prelates who thought the pope’s condition was more serious than the official version. They were preparing for the conclave. Patience!"
"Thank God, I’m all right. Undergoing that surgery was a decision I didn’t want to make," he added. "It was a nurse who convinced me. Nurses sometimes understand the situation more than doctors because they are in direct contact with the patients.”
Vatican spokesman Matteo Bruni said in July that before his surgery, the pope had experienced a “severe” narrowing of his colon. Francis was said to have recovered well, though he stayed in the hospital for a few more days following his post-surgery treatment.
Earlier in September, Francis said he was leading a "totally normal life" following his surgery, being able to "eat everything, which was not possible before."
When discussing the importance of maintaining an open dialogue, Francis acknowledged that he sometimes loses his patience when clerics make "nasty comments" about him without "entering into a real dialogue."
Referring to another of his critics, he said, "There is, for example, a large Catholic television channel that has no hesitation in continually speaking ill of the pope. I personally deserve attacks and insults because I am a sinner, but the church does not deserve them. They are the work of the devil. I have also said this to some of them."
Though he did not name the television channel, The Associated Press speculated that he could have been speaking of the Eternal Word Television Network, an American basic cable network that has been critical of him in the past.