Pope Francis doesn't read websites that accuse him of heresy, for reasons of “mental health”

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15/02/2018
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The pope prefers not to read criticism from those who accuse him of being a heretic, and he does so to maintain his mental health. The Holy Father says others read them for him and advise him when they involve serious accusations. 

In addition, Pope Francis reveals that he meets with abuse victims either personally or in groups on Fridays to hear their stories. 

The pope shared these things during private encounters with Jesuits on his trip to Chile and Peru. The content of the conversations has been published by the magazine La Civilta Cattolica, headed by Jesuit Antonio Spadaro. 

There, Pope Francis mentioned “youth Church institutions” whose founders committed abuse. He says it's always involved a triple abuse – first of authority, then sexual and third, of finance.

The pope says all abuse cases are terrible and urges priests to hear victims' testimonies to make themselves aware of their pain. 

Vatican spokesman Greg Burke has confirmed Pope Francis meets with victims a few times a month “to listen to them and try to heal the wounds caused by abuse.” “The encounters are done with absolute discretion to respect victims and their suffering.”

In the talks with Jesuits, the pope also said rumors bother him the most and that criticisms must be heard because they always contain some truth. 

Regarding the resistance he faces, the Holy Father says he tries “to hold dialogue when dialogue is possible. Some criticisms come from people who believe they have the authentic doctrine and accuse you of being a heretic. When I don't see spiritual goodness in these people, I limit myself to praying for them,” Pope Francis added.  

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