The old adage that “some things are better left unsaid” is applicable to the latest broadside from the Vatican against traditional minded Catholics and Evangelicals in the United States. Jesuit papal advisor Rev. Antonio Spadaro, S.J., and Presbyterian pastor Marcelo Figueroa recently decided to wade in the roaring fight that is raging in the States between Donald Trump and his supporters and the liberal, social justice wing in many churches.
Rev. Spadaro is the Editor-in-Chief of Civiltà Cattolica which is considered to be an unofficial media mouthpiece of Pope Francis and the Curia. Thus, the article is rightly seen as expressing the viewpoint of Pope Francis regarding the conservative church goers who voted for President Trump.
To say the missive is condescending is an understatement. Among other inflammatory and nonsensical statements, Rev. Spadaro states that “Those who profess themselves to be Catholic express themselves in ways that until recently were unknown in their tradition and using tones much closer to Evangelicals,” and then pointedly describes these faithful people as follows:
“The panorama of threats to their understanding of the American way of life have included modernist spirits, the black civil rights movement, the hippie movement, communism, feminist movements and so on. And now in our day, there are the migrants and the Muslims.”
The one helpful development of this pontificate is that it has brought to light the derision among the Curia towards those pro-life Catholics in the United States who support Republican candidates and oppose pro-abortion Democrats.
If this makes your blood boil, join the crowd. Instead of disparaging these people who have kept the pro-life and pro-family movements alive, Rev. Spadaro and Pastor Figueroa should be honoring the yeoman service that these people have performed for Christ and His Church. And, by the way, why would a Protestant pastor be the editor of the Argentinian edition of Civiltà Cattolica? Yes, I didn’t make that up!
This article dishonors the work of men like Fr. Richard Neuhaus, Chuck Colson, Ralph Reed, Bill Donohue, and Deal Hudson who forged a lasting relationship to bring liked minded Christians together to stem the moral threats which face our culture and Republic. It was two Catholics, after all, Phyllis Schlafly and Paul Weyrich, who assembled a coalition with our Evangelical Protestants brethren that led to the formation of the Moral Majority which helped protect and defend the lives of innocent unborn children.
Rev. Spadaro’s screed fails to engage a culture that is anti-Catholic and anti-Christian. It easier for him to write words of disdain and be celebrated by the religious left than to advocate the moral priorities Saint John Paul II and Benedict XVI laid out for us to follow to fight the Culture of Death.
It’s obvious to me that a good portion of the hierarchy shares the same view as Rev. Spadaro, and that a further “dry” martyrdom is in store for those in the Church who protect its moral teaching. With the gutting of the Pontifical Academy for Life and the undoing of the legacy of Saint John Paul II, we are seeing an erosion of the commitment at the highest levels of the Vatican on the issue of the sanctity of all human life.
Pope Francis and his close advisors seem through their words and actions to be trying to appease the world. They also seem to be lacking an understanding of America, both what makes it great and what drags it down.
I humbly submit the following quote from the Venerable Fulton Sheen that may shine some light for our friends in the Vatican on our present predicament. “America,” it is said, “is suffering from intolerance. It is not. It is suffering from tolerance. Tolerance should distinguish, not ignore, between right and wrong, truth and error, virtue and evil, Christ and chaos.” And he concludes with a comment that describes both Rev. Spadaro and Pastor Figueroa, “Our country is not nearly so overrun with the bigoted as it is overrun with the broadminded.”
The command to love does not oblige us to embrace either stupidity or cowardice in order to make those with whom we differ feel good about us. To love our fellow man may often require us to undergo suffering and rejection, even a Cross.