In an offhand remark made aboard his airplane on Wednesday, Pope Francis said: ‘For me, it’s an honor if the Americans attack me.”
The pope made this remark when Nicholas Seneze, a journalist who covers the Vatican for La Croix (a French Catholic newspaper), handed him a copy of his new book, “How America Wants to Change the Pope.”
Three days before that, at an Angelus in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican, the pope said he was going to name ten new cardinals. None of whom are from the United States.
"On 5 October I will hold a Consistory to appoint 10 new cardinals," said the pope. "Their nationalities express the missionary vocation of the Church that continues to proclaim God’s merciful love to all the men and women of the world."
“ABOARD THE PAPAL PLANE (AP) — Pope Francis acknowledged his growing opposition within the conservative right-wing of the U.S. Catholic Church and said in off-hand remarks aboard the papal plane Wednesday it is ‘an honor if the Americans attack me.’
“Francis commented on critics of his papacy when he received a copy of a new book about his detractors in the United States, ‘How America Wants to Change the Pope.’ Author Nicholas Seneze, who covers the Vatican for the French Catholic newspaper La Croix, presented it to Francis on a flight to southern Africa….
“In presenting the book to Francis, Seneze explained that he had wanted to show Francis’ problems with the U.S. church and how Francis had responded with ‘spiritual weapons.’
“‘For me, it’s an honor if the Americans attack me,’ Francis quipped. As he handed the book to an aide, the pope added ‘This is a bombshell.’”