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Archbishop Defends Catholics Under Attack for Joining Evangelicals Who Support President Trump: "Groups That Fight for Religious Freedom are Heroes, Not Haters"

Claire Chretien : Jul 19, 2017 : LifeSiteNews.com

The Archbishop was responding to a recent Vatican approved missive in a Jesuit magazine written by two close confidantes of Pope Francis which ripped President Trump and Catholics who joined evangelicals in supporting him. One of the writers, who is known as being "the mouthpiece" of the pope, called the alliance an "ecumenism of hate."

(Philadelphia, PA)—[LifeSiteNews] Archbishop Charles Chaput responded to a recent article that smeared American Catholics for their "ecumenism of hate" with evangelicals by explaining that they're "merely for fighting for what their Churches have always held to be true." (Photo: Philadelphia Archbishop Charles Chaput/via LifeSiteNews.com)

On July 13, La Civiltà Cattolica, which the Vatican reviews and approves prior to publication, criticized American "value voters" who have banded with evangelicals to fight abortion and same-sex "marriage". 

This "strange ecumenism" fosters an "xenophobic and Islamophobic vision that wants walls and purifying deportations," thus making it an "ecumenism of hate," Jesuit Father Antonio Spadaro and Marcelo Figueroa wrote in the article. The "ecumenism" of Pope Francis, for which they advocate, "moves under the urge of inclusion, peace, encounter and bridges," they wrote.

Spadaro is a close papal collaborator and often called the pope's "mouthpiece." Figueroa, a Presbyterian pastor, runs Argentina's edition of the Vatican newspaper, L'Osservatore Romano. 

Spadaro and Figueroa's dismissal of the attacks on religious liberty in the U.S. "sounds willfully ignorant," Chaput wrote. "It also ignores the fact that America's culture wars weren't wanted, and weren't started, by people faithful to constant Christian belief." 

The article was "an exercise in dumbing-down and inadequately presenting the nature of Catholic/evangelical cooperation on religious freedom and other key issues," Chaput wrote.

Chaput reminded "progressives" who are "wary" of religious liberty that religious freedom is what allows faith communities to serve the poor and "those in need."

"The divide between Catholic and other faith communities has often run deep," Chaput continued. "Only real and present danger could draw them together. The cooperation of Catholics and evangelicals was quite rare when I was a young priest. Their current mutual aid, the ecumenism that seems to so worry La Civilta Cattolica, is a function of shared concerns and principles, not ambition for political power." 

"It's an especially odd kind of surprise when Believers are attacked by their co-religionists merely for fighting for what their Churches have always held to be true," Chaput wrote. Chaput noted that earlier this month, one of the main funders of the LGBT movement said he wants to "punish" those who oppose the homosexualist agenda.

"It doesn't take a genius to figure out whom that might include," he wrote. "Today's conflicts over sexual freedom and identity involve an almost perfect inversion of what we once meant by right and wrong"...

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