Two close associates of Pope Francis have sparked some anger after calling American Christians who support President Trump — including Catholics — as being part of an “ecumenism of hate” which has led to them being “gradually radicalized.”
The piece, titled “Evangelical Fundamentalism and Catholic Integralism in the USA: A Surprising Ecumenism,” was published in the Vatican-reviewed La Civiltà Cattolica, a Jesuit publication influential in Catholic circles, according to Crux.
Jesuit priest Father Antonio Spadaro, editor of La Civiltà Cattolica, and Marcelo Figueroa, a Presbyterian pastor who edits the Argentine version of L’Osservatore Romano, the official Vatican newspaper, were listed as the authors for the Thursday piece. Both are considered two of the pope’s closest associates.
“Religion has had a more incisive role in electoral processes and government decisions over recent decades, especially in some US governments. It offers a moral role for identifying what is good and what is bad,” the piece reads. “At times this mingling of politics, morals and religion has taken on a Manichaean language that divides reality between absolute Good and absolute Evil … Today President Trump steers the fight against a wider, generic collective entity of the ‘bad’ or even the ‘very bad.’ Sometimes the tones used by his supporters in some campaigns take on meanings that we could define as ‘epic.’
“These stances are based on Christian-Evangelical fundamentalist principles dating from the beginning of the 20th Century that have been gradually radicalized,” it added.
Spadaro and Figueroa claimed that Christians who support “this Manichean vision” think that “belligerence can acquire a theological justification and there are pastors who seek a biblical foundation for it, using the scriptural texts out of context.”
“Some who profess themselves to be Catholic express themselves in ways that until recently were unknown in their tradition and using tones much closer to Evangelicals … This meeting over shared objectives happens around such themes as abortion, same-sex marriage, religious education in schools and other matters generally considered moral or tied to values. Both Evangelical and Catholic Integralists condemn traditional ecumenism and yet promote an ecumenism of conflict that unites them in the nostalgic dream of a theocratic type of state,” it continued.
“However, the most dangerous prospect for this strange ecumenism is attributable to its xenophobic and Islamophobic vision that wants walls and purifying deportations. The word ‘ecumenism’ transforms into a paradox, into an ‘ecumenism of hate.’”
This isn’t the first time that the pope has felt it necessary to make it known — this time through back-channels — that he considers American conservatism not only unpalatable but immoral.
In Pope Francis’ universe, trying to protect ourselves against terrorism is Islamophobia, trying to ensure immigration to this country is legal is hatred, and calling abortion murder is Manichaean. In the walled city of the Vatican, he rails against walls. Constantly surrounded by his own security contingent, and the best that the countries he visits can provide, he bemoans anyone who would take precautions against terrorism.
In addition to being the “Vicar of Christ,” it’s become clear that Pope Francis wishes to be the emissary of the leftist agenda. This should tick off and horrify millions of Americans — not just Trump supporters, Christians and conservatives, but those who feel that the Catholic Church is cheapened by fashioning itself into a political pawn.
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