The Vatican has taken new measures to punish critics of Pope Francis in a move that seems to belie the pope’s earlier calls for greater dialogue and debate within the Church.
On Thursday, the Rome-based Sovereign Order of Malta, which reports directly to the Holy See, suspended historian Henry Sire after he was revealed to be the author of the bestselling book The Dictator Pope: The Inside Story of the Francis Papacy, a critical examination of the pontificate of Pope Francis.
Meanwhile the Vatican has hired the international law firm of Baker McKenzie to force a small Spanish website called InfoVaticana.com to close its doors, allegedly for its sometimes critical tone toward aspects of the Francis papacy. The firm recently threatened a lawsuit if Infovaticana isn’t shut down and “its internet domain transferred to the Vatican.”
The Order of Malta announced its decision Wednesday to suspend the British historian Henry Sire, a member of the order, calling his book a “vile attack” on Pope Francis.