La Civilta Cattolica

Source: La Civilta Cattolica

The article by Marcelo Figueroa and Antonio Spadaro was published in La Civilta Cattolica

Marcelo Figueroa, a Protestant theologian and Antonio Spadaro, a Catholic priest, both known to be close to Pope Francis, have accused ultra-conservative Catholics living in the United States of forging a “hate” alliance with the evangelical Christians to support President Donald J. Trump. In an article published in the journal La Civilta Cattolica, they co-authored a copy where they wrote a strong opinion against American Catholics for their support of hard right positions. The two even went as far as to write that the US Catholics are close to Islamist jihadists when it came to their world views. La Civilta Cattolica is published by Jesuit priests based in Rome. The magazine is a Vatican-vetted journal.

Spadaro and Figueroa have specifically targeted Steve Bannon, the chief strategist in the Trump administration. They labeled him as an “apocalyptic geopolitics” supporter. In their writing, the authors identified him as a person who has disabled any action to combat climate change. They also accused him of exploiting fears concerning Muslims and immigrants. The authors came down heavily against calls for “purifying deportations” and “walls.”

When it comes to the La Civilta Cattolica article, it is not clear whether the piece has the pope's blessing. However, the magazine itself is approved by the Holy See, and there is a marked absence of any reprimand from the pontiff.  The latter is not known to be shy for disciplining dissenters and the editor of the magazine has promoted the article from the time of its publication in July. The article was accused of being anti-American by its detractors. Bannon, in his email to an American media house, has acknowledged that the authors of the article has specifically targeted him.

The article is more in line with Pope Francis's muted criticism of Republicans from the time he went into the White House. Before he met US President Donald Trump, he notified the media that he will be “sincere” in his communication with Republicans concerning their differences on a number of issues like climate change and immigration. The present article has provoked a backlash from a number of American Catholics.

Charles Chaput, Archbishop of Philadelphia, in an article for a Catholic website, termed the authors as Pope Francis' “'useful idiots.” He highlighted the broadening opinion gulf between the reformist Pope Francis and conservative elements within the Catholic church. A number of conservative Catholics are horrified as the pontiff has incrementally softened the church stand on a number of issues including abortion. 

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