Trump, Bannon, Burke, and Pope Francis
It appears that at least a few left-wing commentators believe that the Trump administration – and Stephen K. Bannon, in particular – wants essentially to take over the Vatican and influence American Catholics more than Jorge Mario Bergoglio, also known as Pope Francis. (That might not be such a bad idea in certain respects, but I digress...)
From Catholic World News:
In a Washington Post column, E. J. Dionne strings out the absurdity to imply that Bannon – a man mostly unknown in Church circles until a few months ago – is now a lead player in a dramatic struggle 'to define the meaning of both Americanism and Catholicism.' If you are prepared to believe that a single friendly meeting is enough to serve as evidence of conspiracy, I doubt that I'll be able to change your mind. But it's absurd.
Bannon had this meeting nearly three years ago with conservative American cardinal Raymond Burke, who has been at odds with Francis over a doctrinal matter addressed (sort of) in a recent papal document. By way of dubia, Burke and three other cardinals have formally asked Francis for clarification on the matter. The pope has not responded to the dubia but has made it known that he's not pleased with the cardinals' actions.
It just so happens that Burke is more supportive of the Trump administration than other prelates, including, it would seem, the pope.
In yet another absurd hit piece from The Washington Post's website, Emma-Kate Symons wrote:
Burke ... is also using his position within the walls of the Vatican to legitimize extremist forces that want to bring down Western liberal democracy, Stephen K. Bannon-style. Simply put, the Vatican is facing a political war between the modernizing Pope Francis and a conservative wing that wants to reassert white Christian dominance[.] ...
But the virulently anti-Islam ('capitulating to Islam would be the death of Christianity'), migrant-phobic, Donald Trump-defending, Vladimir Putin-excusing Burke is unrepentant and even defiant, continuing to preside over a far-right, neo-fascist-normalizing cheer squad out of the Holy See.
WaPo sure loves to publish left-wing lunacy.
So does Esquire.
From Bill Donohue of the Catholic League:
At one time I used to subscribe to Esquire. It was a well written, often provocative and entertaining magazine, one that covered a wide range of subjects. But it lost its way in recent years, evolving into a series of screeds. Its nuttiest writer is Charles P. Pierce, a man whose fondness for all matters Catholic is, well, not so kind[.] ... He calls Bannon a 'political thug,' and Burke a 'theological thug[.]' ...
Pierce wrote a piece right after the election branding Bannon as Trump's David Duke. Just last week he repeated his charge that Bannon is a white supremacist. Now he says he is taking over the world. I do not exaggerate.
It's interesting how an effective Republican strategist can cause the left to froth at its collective mouth. Remember the left's frequent attacks on Karl Rove during the George W. Bush administration? Now Bannon is the prime target, one reason being that he was effective in helping Trump win the Catholic vote. Hillary-supporting Catholics (and non-Catholics) are still in a tizzy about that.
As for Burke, he's a staunch defender of Catholic orthodoxy who speaks with clarity and understanding. Unfortunately, he's not the pope. In fact, Francis demoted Burke a few years ago, and he might "demote" him even more if he can.