Jesuit priest Father Antonio Spadaro, editor of La Civiltà Cattolica, and Marcelo Figueroa, a Presbyterian pastor, recently authored a piece in a religious journal where they accused American Christians who support President Trump of being part of an “ecumenism of hate.”
The two are considered to be among the pope’s closest associates.
The article, which is titled, “Evangelical Fundamentalism and Catholic Integralism in the USA: A Surprising Ecumenism,” reads in part:
“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. 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.’”
Later the piece goes on to say:
“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.’”
They also suggested that supporters of the president discriminate against Muslims.
“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.”
President Trump has had a frosty relationship with the Vatican dating back to the campaign over his stance on border security and reforming U.S. refugee policy, with Pope Francis taking veiled shots at the president with references to “building bridges, not walls.”
However, the two did meet back in May, with Trump saying it had been an “honor of a lifetime” to meet the pope.
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