Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger said Francis has become more “a leader than a person.”
The pope has spoken at length about the need for Catholics to work together, including in the Middle East, as he sought to revive the pontiff’s image in the U.S. and elsewhere.
The pope also said he was not “a man.”
“I am not the pope, I am more than a leader than an individual.
I am the Pope,” he said in a speech Sunday to a congregation in the Italian city of Venice.
“The only thing that I am is a person, the only thing I am, the leader of a Church that has the strength to be the light of the world,” the pope said.
The Pope said he is “very, very proud” of the church and has never doubted its divine nature, adding, “I have never doubted the greatness of the Church.”
Pope Francis: The Church is ‘a kingdom’ with ‘no borders’ Pope Francis said Sunday that “the Church is a kingdom with no borders.”
The Vatican’s top court last month overturned a ban on women wearing veils in the name of religion, saying that women who do not wish to wear them should be exempted.
The church is also moving forward with a plan to allow priests to be paid by religious organizations, which the Vatican says will benefit the Church.
The Vatican said Sunday it is in talks with some of the top Catholic groups in the United States, the United Kingdom and Europe to reach an agreement that would give priests the same benefits.