Pope Francis on his surgery: Some were preparing for a conclave
After this meeting with religious leaders at the nunciature in Bratislava...
...Pope Francis held a meeting behind closed doors with Slovak Jesuits. They had an informal conversation, the details of which have only just been made public.
The Pope meets with local Jesuits on all of his trips, and the director of La Civilta Cattolica, Antonio Spadaro, reports what the Pope says to them.
This time, Pope Francis reveals that he is in good health, though he says some people wanted him to die. He continues to say some prelates thought his condition was more serious than reported, and were preparing for a conclave.
When asked how he handles criticism from Catholic circles, the Pope reportedly says: “I may personally deserve attacks and insults because I am a sinner, but the Church does not deserve this. It is the work of the devil.”
Pope Francis also expresses his disappointment at those in Church who want to move backwards, because, he says, “Life scares us.” For example, he says that “it frightens us to accompany people of sexual diversity.” The Pope also makes another reference to what he has called two great perversions in the Church, clericalism and rigidity.
"They propose a rigid religiosity, the rigidity that takes away from us that freedom in the Spirit that Christ's redemption gives us. Beware of the rigidity they propose to you. Be wary. Because behind every inflexibility there is something bad, which is not the Spirit of God."
In their conversation, the Pope asked the Jesuits to be close to God, to one another, to the bishop, and ultimately to the people.