Far-Right Catholics blame the Pope for Covid

April 23, 2020
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Following the outbreak of the Covid pandemic, arch-Catholics with strong ties to the far-Right in America and Italy are apportioning blame onto one of their favourite targets: Pope Francis. This anti-Bergoglian network (Pope Francis’s birth name is Jorge Mario Bergoglio), comprises newspapers, sites, associations, foundations and figures such as Steve Bannon and Roberto Fiore (the leader of Forza Nuova). It perceives the coronavirus as divine punishment for the Pope’s relatively liberal attitudes towards migration, homosexuality and environmental protection.

An Italian documentary (not yet translated to English) that aired this week lays bare the extent of the hatred felt by those on the Catholic Right — both from within the Vatican hierarchy and political figures from abroad — towards not only the Pope, but also the decision to close churches during lockdown too:

Benjamin Harnwell, Dignitatis Humanae Institute founder and a co-leaseholder with Steve Bannon of the Certosa di Trisulti:

“The Pope says things that have no roots in the church’s history. He says some very un-Christian like things. That could be because of malice, because he is an enemy of the church.”

Matteo Salvini, leader of The League

“I support the requests of those who say, in an organized, calm, secure manner to let us back in the churches for Easter. Even if in 3, 4 or 5 days, let us assist in the Easter mass. We are allowed to go to the tobacco shop because we can’t be without cigarettes. Why not mass? For many curing the soul is as important as curing the body.”

Roberto Fiore, leader of Forza Nuova:

“The church gave in to strong international powers that forced it to stop saying mass. It did not give any sacraments and this is something unprecedented in history… With the excuse of the health emergency, they shut our churches… It’s crazy. They tell us that the stronger we are spiritually the more we react to illnesses.”

Professor Roberto de Mattei, President of Lepanto foundation (‘in defence of the principal and institutions of Christian civilization’):

“Pope Francis is surely contributing to the confusion within the church. Normally in periods of confusion, popes have been the solution to the problem throughout history. Today, for the first time in history, we find ourselves in a situation where the Pope instead of being the solution to the problem, is the cause of the problem. He is contributing to the self-destruction of the church. He is a diffuser of Satan’s smoke within the church.”

Alain Escada, President of Coalition Pour la Vie et la Famille (strong ties to far-Right parties in Italy):

“The Pope’s objective is to overturn the church. The cardinals, bishops, Catholic head of states, head of parties, presidents of association and Catholic movements around the world are all aware of this. Everyone knows he’s a subversive and therefore we must act to ensure that he leaves the papal throne. We must get rid of Bergoglio as soon as possible.”


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