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“We need a respectful, mutual listening, free of ideology and predetermined agendas.” Pope Francis, Let us Dream, December 2020

In face of criticism respond with peace and a sense of humour, says Pope Francis

When facing criticism, a sense of humor and the grace to remain at peace are always the best response, Pope Francis said in an interview with Germany’s Die Zeit newspaper.

In the interview, published on 8th March online and in print on 9th March, the pope laughed and said the Roman dialect featured in posters that were plastered around the Rome city centre criticising him “was great.”

The poster, featuring a stern-faced picture of the pope, said: ‘Ah Francis, you’ve taken over congregations, removed priests, decapitated the Order of Malta and the Franciscans of the Immaculate, ignored cardinals … but where is your mercy?’

“There is this prayer – which is attributed to (St) Thomas More – that I pray every day: ‘Lord, give me a sense of humour!’ The Lord preserves my peace and gives me a great sense of humor,” Pope Francis said.

Picture: Pope Francis greets the crowd during his general audience in St Peter’s Square at the Vatican on 1st March. (CNS photo/Paul Haring).