An ignorant, intemperate Vatican assault on American conservatism


The Jesuit journal Civilta Cattolica published an essay attacking conservative Catholics in the United States of embracing fundamentalism from evangelical Protestants. The essay says that American conservative Catholics have come to see their country as righteous, and other peoples as enemies to be exploited. The screed was co-written by Jesuit Fr. Antonio Spadaro — considered by Vatican insiders to be “the mouthpiece of Pope Francis.” And yet, Phil Lawler noted the irony: “Nowhere in the essay does one find a suggestion of the attitude, made popular by Pope Francis, that the Church should ‘accompany’ sinners. No; the sins of American conservatism are unforgivable.”

With a harsh denunciation of American conservatism, published in the semi-official Jesuit journal Civilta Cattolica, the Vatican has plunged headlong into a partisan debate in a society that it clearly does not understand, potentially alienating (or should I say, further alienating) the Americans most inclined to favor the influence of the Church.

Why? Why this bitter attack on the natural allies of traditional Catholic teachings? Is it because the most influential figures at the Vatican today actually want to move away from those traditional teachings, and form a new alliance with modernity?