In an informal exchange aboard the papal plane, Pope Francis told Nicolas Senèze that he is “honored that the Americans attack me” when the French Catholic journalist presented him with a copy of his book How America Wants to Change the Pope (Comment L’Amérique veut changer de Pape) on the flight from Rome to Maputo, Mozambique, on Sept. 4.
The book describes how a wealthy and often traditionalist sector of the American Catholic church—both clerical and lay—attacks Pope Francis and notes that it is already working, with projects such as the “Red Hat Report,” to ensure that the cardinal elected pope at the next conclave is to its liking. It was clear from the context that Pope Francis was referring specifically to that sector of the U.S. church that is mentioned in the book and not to anyone else.
The pope said he had tried to get a copy of Mr. Senèze’s book, but it was not yet available for sale. He then handed the book to an aide and commented with a smile, “This is a bomb!”