Top allies of Pope Francis criticize religious Trump supporters
An article in a Vatican-reviewed journal released this week blasted evangelical and Catholic allies of President Trump for attempting to impose a “theocratic” worldview and practicing “apocalyptic geopolitics.”
The article’s two authors, who are close confidants of Pope Francis, accused Catholic and evangelical voters of coming together over a “xenophobic and Islamophobic vision that wants walls and purifying deportations.”
“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,” the authors write. “And now in our day there are the migrants and the Muslims.”
Mentioned specifically in the article was Trump’s top White House strategist Steve Bannon, who the authors said wants a country where citizens submit to the Bible, which they called an idea “that is no different from the one that inspires Islamic fundamentalism.”
They contrasted Trump supporters’ visions with that of Pope Francis, who they praised for spreading a peaceful worldview.
“Francis is carrying forward a systematic counter-narration with respect to the narrative of fear,” the two wrote.
“Francis is courageous here and gives no theological-political legitimacy to terrorists, avoiding any reduction of Islam to Islamic terrorism,” they continued. “Nor does he give it to those who postulate and want a ‘holy war’ or to build barrier-fences crowned with barbed wire.”
The “barrier-fence” reference seems a clear swipe at another Trump proposal to build a wall on the border with Mexico.
Trump met with Pope Francis in May at the Vatican, where he presented Francis with first-edition copies of books written by Martin Luther King Jr.
In February, Francis famously criticized Trump, appearing to say Trump was not a Christian due to his stance on the proposed wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.
“To not respond to evil with evil. To defeat evil with good, the offense with forgiveness. A Christian would never say ‘you will pay for that.’ Never,” Francis said in February.
“That is not a Christian gesture,” he added. “An offense you overcome with forgiveness. To live in peace with everyone.”
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