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Pope Francis is firing back at foes of his efforts to make the Catholic Church more open and pastoral in its ministry, telling an interviewer that “they are acting with ill will to foment divisions.” The pontiff’s lengthy interview in Avvenire, the official newspaper of the Italian hierarchy, was published Friday (Nov. 18) and followed days of news coverage of demands by four hardline cardinals who have grave concerns about Francis’ approach… …The pope also took the opportunity to push back against his critics – he did not name them – who view the faith through the lens of “a certain legalism, which can be ideological.” “Some people – I am thinking of certain responses to ‘Amoris Laetitia’ – continue to misunderstand,” Francis said. “It’s either black or white (to them), even if in the flow of life you have to discern.” Asked about critics who accuse the pope of “Protestantizing” the Catholic Church – an objection often raised by conservative Catholics in the U.S. – Francis said, “I don’t lose sleep over it.” He insisted that he is following on the path of the Second Vatican Council of the 1960s, which set the church on a path to internal reform and greater engagement with the world. “As for opinions of others,” he said, “we always have to distinguish the spirit in which they are given. When there is no ill will, they help with the way forward. Other times you see right away that the critics pick bits from here and there to justify a preexisting viewpoint; they are not honest, they are acting with ill will to foment divisions.”