Jesuit Superior General Arturo Sosa has denounced an ultraconservative conspiracy to force Pope Francis off the throne of St. Peter.

Driving the news

“There are people, inside and outside the Church, who want Pope Francis to resign, but he will not”, Sosa told the news agency adnkronos on the sidelines of the Friendship Meeting in Rimini.

The dissenters want Francis’ ouster, but their real goal goes even further, according to Sosa.

“I believe that the final strategy of these sectors is not so much to force Pope Francis to resign, as to affect the election of the next pontiff, creating the conditions so that the next Pope does not continue to deepen the path that Francis has indicated and followed”, alerted the Jesuit.

Though the opposition wants to turn the page on Francis’ pontificate, for Sosa it is “essential” that Catholicism continue on the “journey” started by this Pope, “in accordance with the will of the Church clearly expressed in the Second Vatican Council, of which Pope Francis is a legitimate and direct son”.


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Go deeper

In his speech at the Rimini Meeting, Sosa explained the “revolutionary message” that Francis brings to the Church: “We need to get to know intimately the Lord who became man for me, so that whoever loves him might follow him”.

“The Francis-led Church is betting on the education of young people, drawing resources and values ​​from them,” the Jesuit added.

Sosa echoed some words of Pope Francis and said that “only the inclusion of the poor ensures the future of humanity”.

But this inclusion “cannot be done from the outside, it is a condition so to walk together. We must approach the poor, acquire their gaze in life”, he explained.

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Why it matters

Elsewhere in his speech Sosa reflected on the “nostalgia” of the European Church for “an idealised past, as if society in Europe were a perfect Christian society”.

“People live nostalgically for a past that never existed”, the Jesuit lamented.

“Christianity isn’t a private religion, you can only live it in community”, he added.

A key virtue for Christian life in community is that of discernment, Sosa further explained.

“Discernment derives from the sense of obligation towards the imperative of conscience, obedience to the will of God. Freedom and truth, law and responsibility, authority and obedience only come together in discernment,” he said.

“In discernment, we are not divided between believers and non-believers, between moral and non-moral men, between those who promote the good of all or those who sow fear and division”, the Jesuit added.

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For the record

Finally, Sosa said the wave of secularisation spreading in Europe and around the world might not necessarily be cause for alarm.

“If we read it [secularisation] as a sign of the times, it may be a sign of hope and not of despair. Secular society is perhaps the new space to live and spread our faith”, the Jesuit reflected.

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PhD in ancient Jewish/Christian history and philosophy. University ethics lecturer with 4 years' experience in religion journalism.