A high-profile English convert to Catholicism has raised concerns about an “intellectual deficiency” in Pope Francis’s papacy, saying that the Pontiff may be causing “confusion” in the Church.

Charles Moore, a journalist, author and former editor of the Daily Telegraph, Sunday Telegraph and the Spectator, told an Italian magazine: “My anxiety about Pope Francis is that he may not be as intellectually powerful as Pope Benedict XVI and Pope St John Paul II.

“For me his encyclical Laudato Si’ is not well argued,” Moore said. “It is rather loosely put together.

“One thing I value about Catholic teaching is a strong theological and intellectual thread through the argument, allowing you to determine whether you agree with it or not.”

“I think this intellectual deficiency in his papacy may also be causing some organisational deficiencies and a slight sense of confusion.”

Mr Moore, the author of the official biography of Margaret Thatcher, was speaking to the Messenger of St Anthony, a magazine published by Franciscans in Padua.

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