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The "difficult years" of Pope Francis' pontificate explained by Juan Vicente Boo


Juan Vicente Boo is one of the most experienced Vatican correspondents in Rome. He has closely followed the day-to-day life of the last three popes and has previously worked in Brussels and New York, reporting about the UN and NATO.

In his book, 33 Keys to Pope Francis: The Difficult Years, he explains the ins-and-outs of what he considers to be the most difficult period of his pontificate, from 2017–2019. These years were especially marked by the sexual abuse scandals that emerged in Chile and the United States.

JUAN VICENTE BOO
Author, 33 Keys to Pope Francis: The Difficult Years

“The reaction to the abuses had its first public moment when Pope Benedict XVI welcomed victims of abuse at the nunciature in Washington, D.C. Pope Francis has taken the same line of action and he has also made two unprecedented decisions. The first was to summon all the bishops of Chile to Rome and present them with a report of everything that was wrong in four or five dioceses and he forced the resignation of those guilty. This has never happened before. This is not a joking matter. Those who don't fulfill their duties must be kicked out.”

The second measure taken by the pope was to summon all the presidents of the episcopal conferences around the world to Rome and demand three points of action from them: transparency in the management of these accusations, explanations regarding this management to Catholics and public authorities, and that these accusations become a priority on their agenda.

JUAN VICENTE BOO
Author, 33 Keys to Pope Francis: The Difficult Years

“The insistence over these three points is unprecedented. . There was a time when the scandal was about discovering that these deplorable deeds had been committed. In the times that we live in, the scandal is the cover-up of the abuses that have taken place. As long as that is not stopped, we will not return to normality.”

Juan Vicente Boo explains in his book that, in the so-called "difficult years" of his pontificate, campaigns organized outside the Church against Pope Francis were and still are abundant.

JUAN VICENTE BOO
Author, 33 Keys to Pope Francis: The Difficult Years

“There has been non-Catholic aggression against Pope Francis, largely coming from the USA, because of certain economic interests. His environmental concerns listed in 'Laudate sì' are an example of this, as American coal companies continue to attack him. Others don't like his condemnation of investment funds, and other entities don't like his new doctrine of just peace, which replaces that of just war.”

  33 Keys to Pope Francis: The Difficult Years not only offers a bird's-eye view of the past six years of his pontificate, but also illustrates the ideas that will help to understand the decisive years that are to come.