An article written by two of the Pope’s closest associates claimed that Christian leaders supportive of President Donald Trump are radical fundamentalists with dangerous beliefs.
Jesuit Father Antonio Spadaro, editor-in-chief of La Civiltà Cattolica (LCC), and Presbyterian pastor Marcelo Figueroa, the editor-in-chief of the Argentinian edition of L’Osservatore Romano, wrote an article in LCC in which they attacked Evangelicals and Catholics who supported Trump, whom they said had a “Manichean vision” founded upon “gradually radicalized” fundamentalist theology, according to Crux Now. Spadaro and Figueroa specifically lambasted White House chief strategist Steven Bannon and Church Militant, a U.S. Catholic digital media company.
“The panorama of threats to their understanding of the American way of life have included modernist spirits, the black civil rights movement, the hippy movement, communism, feminist movements and so on. And now in our day there are the migrants and the Muslims,” the article read.
Spadora and Figueroa characterized Catholic and evangelical conservative leaders as war hawks who use the Bible merely to support a message of conquest in the name of American superiority.
“In this Manichean vision, belligerence can acquire a theological justification and there are pastors who seek a biblical foundation for it, using the scriptural texts out of context,” the article read.
Figueroa is a long time friend of Pope Francis, who personally appointed him to be the editor-in-chief of the Argentinian edition of L’Osservatore Romano. Spadaro has been seen to accompany Francis often, and has interviewed Francis several times. The Vatican’s Secretary of State reviews the LCC prior to publication, and the LCC is considered to offer some of the most accurate insight for understanding Francis’ policies, according to Crux Now.
The authors of the article claimed that the movements and figures they criticized are dangerous not only because of what they believe but also because they desire to gain political influence via their theological platforms. The criticism rang hollow and hypocritical, however, given Francis’s attempts to impose his own political views on the U.S. and his denunciation of Trump as unchristian over immigration policy.
The characterization of Catholic and Evangelical conservatives as radical also stands in stark contrast to Francis’ stance against characterizing the atrocities of ISIS as radical Islamic extremism.
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