Vatican City, Sep 10, 2019 / 12:24 pm
Speaking aboard the papal plane from Madagascar to Rome Tuesday, Pope Francis said he welcomes criticism if it is given openly, fairly, and with a willingness to be debated.
“Of criticisms, I always see the advantages. Sometimes you get angry, but the advantages are there,” he said Sept. 10 during an in-flight press conference.
“A fair criticism is always well received, at least by me.”
He said when receiving criticism one should examine it for truth, but that he appreciates when the criticism is given honestly and to his face.
“I do not like it when critics are under the table. They smile, they let you see their teeth and then they stab you in the back. This is not loyal, not human,” he said.
Critics who, he said, give criticism without being willing to hear an answer do so like they are giving someone “arsenic pills,” or “throwing a stone and hiding the hand.”
“This does not help,” he added.
Francis said the “fair” way to criticize the pope, in a way that demonstrates “love for the Church,” is to voice criticism and wait for a response.