Priests rebuked for wishing Pope Francis dead

Pope Francis

Spanish Archbishop Francisco Cerro Chaves of Toledo (pictured, right) has rebuked several priests for wishing Pope Francis dead.

The priests – who later apologised – had prayed for Francis to die as soon as possible, during a weekly internet programme.

Chaves posted a statement on the archdiocese website on Wednesday, rejecting the priests’ comments.

He warned the archdiocese might take “corrective measures,” without elaborating as to what might be involved.

The death-wish

Those appearing on an episode of a YouTube programme called “The Sacristy of the Vendée” have admitted to being behind the statement about the Pope’s demise –  but deny any malicious intent.

In the programme, a Toledo priest makes an introductory salute saying “I also pray a lot for the Pope so that he can go to heaven as soon as possible”.

Another priest said he supported the idea. The conversation group of six Spanish-speaking priests from different countries laughed over the comments.

The group then went on to discuss different religious, social and political issues, mostly from a conservative point of view.

Archdiocese distances itself

The archdiocese website statement has distanced itself from the statements made by a “counter-revolutionary priestly gathering”.

It says the archbishopric is not responsible for or represented by the statements made.

In his statement, Chavez says he expresses his “profound rejection of any manifestation of disaffection towards the person and ministry of the Holy Father”.

He says he has told the priests they should seek forgiveness.

The apology

On Wednesday the Sacristy of the Vendée group posted an apology on its platform account.

It says “We are sorry for the unfortunate comment said in a humorous tone, about ‘praying for the Pope to go to Heaven as soon as possible.

“It is a comment in bad taste and, although it does not express wishes for the death of the Pope as some media have maliciously spread … we understand that it can be understood that way.”

They also reiterate their adherence to Pope Francis and the unity of the Catholic Church.


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