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Pope Francis's Associates Condemn American Religious Right

An article in a Vatican-approved journal singles out Steve Bannon as "a supporter of apocalyptic geopolitics"

An article written by two associates of Pope Francis in the Catholic journal La Civiltà Cattolica illustrates vast disagreements between the Pope and conservative American Catholics—a rift which has been growing since Pope Francis was elected in 2013.

The journal is published in Rome and receives Vatican approval before going to press, suggesting that the Pope does not take issue with the thesis of the article, which was published in July and was the subject of an interview with one of its authors in the New York Times Wednesday: that Catholicism in the U.S. has "fallen into the hands of the religious right" with an intention to "impose its own law and logic on the political arena."

The article takes aim at Steve Bannon, one of Trump's top strategists, in particular. Bannon is called "a supporter of apocalyptic geopolitics" for his role in the Trump administration's rolling back of greenhouse gas regulations, and his promotion of anti-immigration policies and rhetoric.

But conservative Catholic voters are also subject to criticism by the piece's authors, Rev. Antonio Spadaro and Marcelo Figueroa, both confidants of the Pope. The authors accuse ultraconservative "values voters" who place abortion rights above other domestic issues, of attempting to transform the U.S. into "a theocratic type of state," and compare the worldview of conservative American Catholics and evangelical Christians to that of extremist Muslims.

The article has received a backlash by some conservatives and Catholic leaders who call it "anti-American."

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