An article published in an Italian Jesuit magazine has criticized conservative Catholics in the U.S. for supporting President Donald Trump and his policies.
La Civiltà Cattolica, a magazine reviewed by the Vatican prior to publication, has published an article accusing U.S. Catholics of forming an "ecumenism of hate" with Evangelical Protestants in their united support for Trump.
The article, published on July 13, was authored by Fr. Antonio Spadaro and Marcelo Figueroa, who are said to be close associates of Pope Francis.
According to The Guardian, Spadaro is the editor-in-chief of La Civiltà Cattolica, while Figueroa serves as the editor-in-chief of the Argentinian edition of the Vatican newspaper, L'Osservatore Romano.
"Appealing to the values of fundamentalism, a strange form of surprising ecumenism is developing between Evangelical fundamentalists and Catholic Integralists brought together by the same desire for religious influence in the political sphere," the authors wrote, as reported by Life Site News.
The article, released just days after evangelical leaders laid hands on Trump in prayer, also criticizes "evangelical fundamentalism," claiming that proponents of the ideology are applying a twisted reading of scripture and the Old Testament on issues ranging from climate change to immigration.
The authors noted that the convergence between Catholics and evangelicals "happens around such themes as abortion, same-sex marriage, religious education in schools and other matters generally considered moral or tied to values."
They warned that the "most dangerous prospect for this strange ecumenism" is a "xenophobic and Islamophobic vision that wants walls and purifying deportations."
"The word 'ecumenism' transforms into a paradox, into an 'ecumenism of hate,'" the authors added.
Spadaro and Figueroa contended that the cooperation between the conservative Catholics and evangelicals are different from the ecumenism employed by Pope Francis.
"His is an ecumenism that moves under the urge of inclusion, peace, encounter and bridges," they stated.
The authors also accused chief White House strategist Steve Bannon, a Catholic, of espousing an "apocalyptic geopolitics" whose roots are "not too far apart" from that of Islamist extremism.
The article further claimed that fake religious arguments are being used to demonize segments of the population, such as migrants and Muslims.
The writers also pointed to U.S. Catholic news service Church Militant as an example of what they describe as a "warlike and militant approach" of forcing theology into politics.
Michael Voris, the founder of Church Militant, denied that his publication is using theology to advance a political agenda. Voris went on to accuse Spadaro of hypocrisy, saying he "spends every waking hour using the Vatican and the Church to publicly advance a left-wing agenda."
Wall Street Journal Vatican correspondent Francis Rocca asserted that it is unlikely that the article would have been written without the Pope's "approval, presumed or explicit."