VATICAN CITY — There are many “restorers” in the United States who do not accept the Second Vatican Council, Pope Francis said in an interview published on Tuesday.

Speaking to the editors of Jesuit journals, he criticized what he called “restorationism” in the Church, which he defined as the failure to accept Vatican II, the ecumenical council held from 1962 to 1965.

He said: “Restorationism has come to gag the Council. The number of groups of ‘restorers’ — for example, in the United States there are many — is significant.”

“An Argentine bishop told me that he had been asked to administer a diocese that had fallen into the hands of these ‘restorers.’ They had never accepted the Council. There are ideas, behaviors that arise from a restorationism that basically did not accept the Council.”

“The problem is precisely this: in some contexts, the Council has not yet been accepted. It is also true that it takes a century for a Council to take root. We still have 40 years to make it take root, then!”

Pope Francis cited opposition to Vatican II when he issued the motu proprio Traditionis custodes in July 2021, limiting celebrations of the Traditional Latin Mass.

In a letter to the world’s bishops, he said he was saddened that the celebration of the Traditional Latin Mass was “often characterized by a rejection not only of the liturgical reform, but of the Vatican Council II itself.”

To doubt the Council, he said, is “in the final analysis, to doubt the Holy Spirit himself who guides the Church.”

The pope’s conversation with editors, which also touched on the war in Ukraine and the German “Synodal Way,” was published in La Civiltà Cattolica on June 14 but was conducted on May 19.