In a scorching article published by a Catholic journal, two close confidants of Pope Francis blasted American evangelicals and conservative Catholics supporters of President Donald Trump for their fundamentalist views, which The Vatican says demonize others and create fear and hatred.
“American evangelicals have become a community of combatants who seek to impose a xenophobic and Islamophobic vision that wants walls and purifying deportations,” the article in the Vatican-reviewed journal La Civiltà Cattolica says, according to CNN.
In their article titled “Evangelical Fundamentalism and Catholic Integralism in the USA: A surprising ecumenism,” Father Antonio Spadaro, editor of La Civiltà Cattolica, and pastor Marcelo Figueroa, editor-in-chief of the Argentinian edition of L’Osservatore Romano, take “value voters” to task for wanting religion to influence politics in what the authors call a “nostalgic dream of a theocratic type of state.”
“The panorama of threats to their understanding of the American way of life have included the black civil rights movement, the hippy movement, communism, feminist movements and so on,” the authors write. “And now in our day there are the migrants and the Muslims.”
The authors accuse chief White House strategist Steve Bannon of supporting “an apocalyptic geopolitics” based on misguided theopolitical thinking that centers on state submission to the Bible, an idea “that is no different from the one that inspires Islamic fundamentalism.”
The authors lament the religious viewpoint that considers “the United States to be a nation blessed by God” and doesn’t “hesitate to base the economic growth of the country on a literal adherence to the Bible.” The article also notes how some electoral campaign messages “are full of references to evangelical fundamentalism. For example, we see political leaders appearing triumphant with a Bible in their hands.”
The authors claim that the beliefs of these religious groups “do not take into account the bond between capital and profits and arms sales,” and suffer from “a sort of “anaesthetic” with regard to ecological disasters and problems generated by climate change.”
The article also says that fundamentalist evangelical views are radically opposed to those of Pope Francis, who encourages “inclusion, peace, encounter and bridges.”
“Pope Francis is carrying forward a systematic counter-narration with respect to the narrative of fear,” they say.
The article adds: “Francis is courageous here and gives no theological-political legitimacy to terrorists, nor does he give it to those who postulate and want a ‘holy war’ or to build barrier-fences crowned with barbed wire.”
The White House did not immediately return a request from CNN for comment on the article Friday.