Published On: Sat, Oct 12th, 2019

Christian news: Pope Francis under threat from Salvini in the Vatican | World | News

The current tenure of Pope Francis has been one of the most polarising moments in the history of the Catholic Church, as his progressive and status-quo denying values provoke disdain from Vatican norms. One of the unorthodox features of the current Pope’s tenure is his appointing of cardinals from less notorious churches spanning further across the globe. Just this week, cardinals from less established countries in the Catholic Church such as Morocco, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Lithuania were appointed.

Francis has now appointed more than half of the 128 cardinal electors, increasing the possibility that his successor will continue his progressive policies.

His critics have grown impatient with this policy with Benedict demanding he remains domiciled in an apartment on Vatican grounds amid his own doubts of Francis’ methods.

He is attracting opposition from right-wing politicians in Italy too, including Matteo Salvini who recently withdrew his support in the coalition government leaving Rome in political chaos.

Mr Salvini, leader of the Lega party, which is known for its anti-immigration stance, contrasts to Francis’ more cosmopolitan approach.

Francis has made caring for migrants a hallmark of his papacy, traveling to the Sicilian island of Lampedusa in 2013 in his first trip as Pope to comfort would-be refugees who survived shipwrecks and smugglers to reach Europe.

He brought 12 Syrians home with him when he visited a refugee camp in Lesbos, Greece, three years later, and he has turned over Vatican apartments to house new arrivals to Italy.

In stark contrast, Salvini used his powers as Interior Minister to ban boats carrying refugees from docking on Italian ports.

READ MORE: Vatican City in pictures: Inside the residence of the Pope

After the meeting, Salvini became more outspoken against the Pope, claiming that conservatives in the Vatican were on his side.

One tweet from Salvini’s account, in May 2016, said: “The pope says migrants are not a danger. Whatever!” and he was also pictured in 2016 holding a shirt saying “Benedict is my pope.”

With Francis continuing to take on the right in Italy and the Catholic Church, the political grappling is expected to continue.

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