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7/15/2017 5:22 am  #1

Catholic journal criticizes Trump 'value voters'

Catholic journal criticizes Trump 'value voters'

By Delia Gallagher
Updated 11:23 PM ET, Fri July 14, 2017

(CNN)Two close confidants of Pope Francis have written an article in a Jesuit journal that strongly criticizes some American religious supporters of President Donald Trump for their fundamentalist views, which the authors say demonize others and create fear and hatred.

The article, in the Vatican-reviewed journal La Civiltà Cattolica, says some American evangelicals and Catholics have become a "community of combatants" who seek to impose a "xenophobic and Islamophobic vision that wants walls and purifying deportations."

Father Antonio Spadaro, editor of La Civiltà Cattolica, and pastor Marcelo Figueroa, editor-in-chief of the Argentinian edition of L'Osservatore Romano, in an article titled, "Evangelical Fundamentalism and Catholic Integralism in the USA: A surprising ecumenism," 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 authors claim that conservative Catholics and evangelicals come together over "shared objectives," such as combating abortion and same-sex marriage or promoting religious education in schools, fostering an "ecumenism of conflict" that demonizes others.
"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."

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 White House did not immediately return a request from CNN for comment on the article Friday.

The article laments 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 authors also note 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."

Spadaro and Figueroa say that fundamentalist evangelical and Catholic views are radically opposed to those of Pope Francis, who urges, "inclusion, peace, encounter and bridges."
"Francis is carrying forward a systematic counter-narration with respect to the narrative of fear," they say.

"Francis is courageous here and gives no theological-political legitimacy to terrorists, avoiding any reduction of Islam to Islamic terrorism," the authors write. "Nor does he give it to those who postulate and want a 'holy war' or to build barrier-fences crowned with barbed wire."

Last edited by Goose (7/15/2017 5:23 am)

We live in a time in which decent and otherwise sensible people are surrendering too easily to the hectoring of morons or extremists. 

7/21/2017 4:54 am  #2

Re: Catholic journal criticizes Trump 'value voters'

Of course CNN loves this it allows them the continue their attack against the Trump administration.
So leaders in the church are going to attack Americana voters as "xenophobic and Islamophobic.

From the article:" The authors claim that conservative Catholics and evangelicals come together over "shared objectives," such as combating abortion and same-sex marriage or promoting religious education in schools, fostering an "ecumenism of conflict" that demonizes others."

Just another fake news story!

They are demonizing Trump voters with zero evidence.  #Major fail

 “We hold these truths to be self-evident,”  former vice president Biden said during a campaign event in Texas on Monday. "All men and women created by — you know, you know, the thing.”


7/21/2017 5:33 am  #3

Re: Catholic journal criticizes Trump 'value voters'

Common Sense wrote:

Just another fake news story!

They are demonizing Trump voters with zero evidence.  #Major fail

"Fake news"?
How so?

Are you suggesting that La Civiltà Cattolica  didn't actually publish the piece, and CNN is lying?
That would be fake news.

Otherwise, CNN did nothing wrong, and this is just a point of view with which you disagree.
There's a difference, you know.....

I think that it is fine and entirely appropriate to have discussion, even debate, about what it means to be a follower of Christ. And, I think that we have to be big enough to hear some criticism now and then. Some conservative Catholics and evangelicals have come togther in ways that foster an "ecumenism of conflict".

Let's have a discussion, rather than squealing "fake News" and covering our ears everytime we see something that we disagree with.


Last edited by Goose (7/21/2017 7:47 am)

We live in a time in which decent and otherwise sensible people are surrendering too easily to the hectoring of morons or extremists. 
     Thread Starter

7/21/2017 7:28 am  #4

Re: Catholic journal criticizes Trump 'value voters'

Common, I think you are confusing opinion based upon observation and examination with fact.  Scientific investigation works in a similar way .............. an observation leads to an hypothesis, then research, experimentation, then a re-evaluation of the hypothesis, then a possible conclusion.

I know it's not a perfect analogy, but the comparison can be useful to spur further study and information gathering.  The journal printed the piece ...... that's a fact.  CNN reported what the gentlemen postulated through observation  ....  that's a fact.

It would be up to those who oppose or question the opinion to challenge the opinion with another set of data to support an alternative view.  It takes time an work just as the gentlemen who studied, gathered data, and offered an opinion.  Many people don't want to do that and simply blow off the opinion because it doesn't match their own point-of view.


7/21/2017 7:37 am  #5

Re: Catholic journal criticizes Trump 'value voters'

It is a rather Scholarly examination. 
It is something to think about, not to be offended at.

You know, It takes a certain intellectual courage to look at things you might not want to see.

Exclusive interview: Antonio Spadaro on his article about ‘The Ecumenism of Hate’ in the U.S.

"We have expressed our opinion on a phenomenon,” that of “a strange form of ecumenism” uniting “fringe groups of Catholic integralists and some groups of evangelical fundamentalists” in the political field. That is what Antonio Spadaro, S.J., one of the co-authors of “Evangelical Fundamentalism and Catholic Integralism,” an article that has sparked much discussion in the United States and elsewhere, told America in an exclusive interview in Rome, the day after its publication.

The article describing “an ecumenism of hate” was published in La Civiltà Cattolica, the authoritative Italian Jesuit bi-monthly review, on July 13, after its approval by the Vatican. It took on particular significance because it was written by two persons who are close to Pope Francis: Father Spadaro, the editor-in-chief of La Civiltà Cattolica, and Marcelo Figueroa, a Presbyterian layman and editor of the Argentine edition of L’Osservatore Romano, the Vatican daily.To better understand the background and aim of the article, and how it is to be interpreted, America interviewed Father Spadaro in Rome. The following is a full transcript of the interview.

Why did you and your fellow author, Marcelo Figueroa, decide to focus on this subject? What is the background to the decision to write about it?

I meet Marcelo Figueroa sometimes when he comes to Rome and, in general, we talk about many subjects, and exchange views on the situation in the church and the political situation in the world. The last time we met we discussed the theme of the situation that is being created between some integralist Catholic groups with a certain type of evangelical fundamentalism, and we found we agreed on the perspective from his point of view as a Protestant and mine as a Catholic. He’s Presbyterian, and some Presbyterian pastors developed this fundamentalist approach.

We discussed this question and decided to write this article together, he from his Protestant perspective and me from the Catholic one.

 What is the central question you wish to raise with this article?
The central question is the mutual manipulation between politics and religion, which is a risk that is not exclusive to the United States, it’s a constant risk. Often this fundamentalism is born from the perception of a threat, of a world that is threatened, a world that is collapsing, and so it responds with a religion from a reading of the Bible transformed into an ideological message of fear. It’s a manipulation of anxiety and insecurity. And the church is therefore transformed into a kind of sect, a sect of the pure, the option of the pure, even though numerically small, which then seeks to impose its vision on society, prescinding any form of dialogue. It’s a way of dropping out of what is perceived as a “barbaric” mainstream culture.

Some call this “authentic Christianity.” Intolerance thus becomes the mark of purism, while evangelical values like mercy do not form part of this vision—which is very conflictive, belligerent [and] seeks to impose itself in political ways.Today, unfortunately, a warlike and militant approach seems most attractive and evocative to certain sectors in society. We see the risk of a convergence of approach between fringe groups of Catholic integralists and some groups of evangelical fundamentalists in a strange form of ecumenism that tends to impose itself even through their way of communicating in the public square.

 Would it be true to say that your analysis of the situation of the Catholic Church in the United States is that of a church in danger of a fundamentalist approach to the faith? Upon what were you basing your reflections?
As I said before, there is this risk both in the Catholic environment and in the Protestant one. We based our analysis of this risk on what we read and observed.

 Do you think your analysis relates mainly to the Catholic commentatorsin other words, to the mediaor to the hierarchy or to the “people in the pews”?
Our analysis is transversal. It does not refer to a specific category of the People of God. But, certainly, we see the multiplication of websites, blogs and Twitter accounts that tend to move public opinion and react in lively and often in a violent and fundamentalist way. These realities create a bubble within themselves. Clearly, we are not referring in a global way to the hierarchy or to the commentators but rather to something that goes transversally across the People of God. It is found everywhere. I do not say it is a majority phenomenon, but it is something that is present in the life of the People of God today.

Is this kind of Catholic-evangelical fundamentalism something that pervades the church and politics in other countries?

Yes. This is a risk that is not just confined to the United States, it is valid in other countries too.... It is the way of looking in an almost nostalgic way to theocratic states or, in any case, it is a way that looks at religion to consolidate itself, and it invokes walls and deportations that wound. The fundamental theopolitical plan is to set up a kingdom of the divinity here and now. And that divinity is obviously the projection of the power that has been built. In Europe, this risk is known as Constantinism, whereby the church finds support in politics and, vice versa, politics finds its justification in a religious theory.

This is a risk that is present in various places in the world. Today, more than ever, power needs to be removed from its faded confessional dress.Interestingly, from the responses we have already received to our article, I note that people have applied this theory to other countries. Some have mentioned European countries, others Latin American ones. I notice that people who have read the article have applied the theory to their own situations.

Is it usual for La Civiltà Cattolica to express its opinion on the Catholic Church in a particular country to such an extent?

Since last February, La Civiltà Cattolica has been an international review published in five languages. It is necessary, therefore, to have an international outlook at both the religious and political levels. We have not expressed our opinion on the Catholic Church in general. We have expressed our opinion on a phenomenon and sought to make our contribution to understanding it.

So you are focusing on the phenomenon rather than the country?

Exactly! But, I should add that it is the tradition of La Civiltà Cattolica to reflect on ecclesial phenomena that can concern various countries in the world. Normally, there is one article in each issue on the various countries in the world from the point of view of international politics and the politics of the church at the international level. This has been part of our tradition since the founding of the review in 1850. In this edition, we wanted to underline a phenomenon and tried to understand it, not to focus on a nation.

I should add that we have encountered in Italy, too, this risk of collusion between church and state. It is important to recognize that we are all citizens, and not divide citizens into believers or nonbelievers, Catholics or Protestants. What is truly important in political life is to recognize that we are all citizens of this country.


Last edited by Goose (7/21/2017 7:42 am)

We live in a time in which decent and otherwise sensible people are surrendering too easily to the hectoring of morons or extremists. 
     Thread Starter

7/21/2017 9:04 am  #6

Re: Catholic journal criticizes Trump 'value voters'

Sounds like Spadaro did his homework.  Those who challenge his observations and findings should do the same.  It's that simple.


7/21/2017 11:57 am  #7

Re: Catholic journal criticizes Trump 'value voters'

Every time there is something that the Right does not like nowadays it is "fake news" ! 

"Do not confuse motion and progress, A rocking horse keeps moving but does not make any progress"

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