Evangelical Christians seek papal audience about alliance of hate

Evangelical Christians who support President Donald Trump have written asking to meet Pope Francis about an article published in the Jesuit journal La Civiltà Cattolica last month.

The journal, which is reviewed by the Vatican Secretariat of State, accused some American Catholics of building an alliance of “hate” with evangelicals who backed the president.

Johnnie Moore, a leader of Trump’s evangelical advisory board and a spokesman for some of its members, said he sought the meeting with the Pope and Vatican officials to address “efforts to divide Catholics and Evangelicals”.

“We think it would be of great benefit to sit together and to discuss these things. Then, when we disagree we can do it within the context of friendship,” Moore said in his letter to Francis.

The article, entitled “Evangelical Fundamentalism and Catholic Integralism: A Surprising Ecumenism,” was published on 13 July. It warns the political alliance between some American Catholics and Evangelical Protestants had “gradually radicalised”.

The articles’ authors Antonio Spadaro, SJ and Presbyterian minister Reverend Marcelo Figueroa say today the alliance promotes conflict and hatred and a “xenophobic and Islamophobic vision that wants walls and purifying deportations”.

The article has prompted an outpouring of criticism from conservative American Catholics and Evangelicals, who contend it grossly misrepresents their views to make a political point. The article’s authors have stood by their conclusions, re-posting the piece regularly on Twitter over the last month.

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