In his meeting with CNS, Pope Francis said that "the Church in the United States is a Church that has been courageous -- the history it has and the saints -- and has done so much. But if the communications media throw gas on the fire on one side or another, it doesn't help."
He issued a warning against division and said that traditionalist groups existed in the Vatican too.
According to CNS, the pope also noted "four sins" which he said were a threat to news media today: disinformation, calumny, defamation, and "a love of dirt," because "scandal sells."
Pope Francis had to take a step back from some of his planned liturgies in recent weeks due to a flare-up of sciatica, a painful nerve condition. He told the news agency that he can usually feel it coming on and his doctor will advise him to cancel or postpone events requiring him to stand for long periods to not aggravate the condition.
"But do the Angelus or people will say you are dead," he said his doctor told him.
Despite the condition, Pope Francis said that he had no intention of canceling his upcoming trip to Iraq.
Francis, who has received his first coronavirus vaccination, explained that only a very strong new wave of the coronavirus in the Middle Eastern country would prevent him from undertaking the visit, scheduled for March 5-8.
"I am the pastor of people who are suffering," he said, noting that even if people have to watch the papal events through livestream, "they will see that the pope is there in their country."