- Sep 24, 2020
Though questions have been raised about the credibility of an accusation by a former papal ambassador in the U.S. that Pope Francis brushed off warnings about ex-Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, the drama probably isn’t over yet.
Three high profile Catholic magazines in Italy criticized the leader of the populist party Northern League, Matteo Salvini, for his controversial stances against immigrants and minorities.
A close adviser to Pope Francis criticized legislation proposed by Italy’s anti-migrant League party to require ports and other public institutions to display a crucifix, saying Wednesday that the religious symbol isn’t “a team emblem” to be shown for political ends.
Recently two intrepid souls, both of whom reportedly hold Pope Francis’s confidence, sought to advance a long-overdue conversation on the division of the Church in America along political lines. They’re Jesuit Father Antonio Spadaro, editor–in–chief of the Jesuit publication “La Civilità Cattolica”, and Presbyterian Rev. Marcelo Figueroa, editor–in–chief of the Argentinean edition of “L’Osservatore Romano”, and whatever the gaps in details may be, the heart of their argument is long overdue.
Jesuit Father Antonio Spadaro and Reverend Marcelo Figueroa caused controversy by using the expression “ecumenism of hate” in a La Civiltà Cattolica article to describe the relations between Catholics and Evangelicals in the United States. It’s not fair to criticize Spadaro/Figueroa for inflammatory rhetoric without conceding that it is of a piece with the pontifical style which they are proposing as a model for Christian engagement. And it would be dismissive to consider that style to be just loose talk, without a pastoral purpose.
A recent article in a journal with close ties to the Vatican published an article asserting an unhealthy “ecumenism of conflict” between Catholics and Evangelicals on the right, claiming they are pushing a dangerous theocratic vision on America. However, those who have carried forward the fairly successful Evangelical-Catholic ecumenism in the United States have been some of the best and the brightest of mainstream Catholics.