Aboard the Papal plane (CNN) Pope Francis says he is not afraid of a schism within the Catholic Church, even as he confronts criticism from conservative Catholics about his leadership.
“I pray that there will not be schisms,” the Pope said Tuesday, “but I am not afraid.” The Pope’s remarks came in response to a question from a journalist at a press conference aboard the papal plane. Francis was returning to Rome from Africa, where he spent six days in Mozambique, Madagascar and Mauritius.
A schism is a formal break within the church, usually due to disputes over Catholic teaching. “There have been many schisms in the Church,” Francis said, referring to the institution’s long history of religious disputes.