President Donald Trump thanked for his support one of the most virulent adversaries of Pope Francis, the Italian prelate Carlo Maria Vigano, who sent him a letter in which he considers that the riots following the death of George Floyd are part of a political plot.
“I am so honored by the incredible letter that Archbishop Vigano sent to me. I hope everyone – religious or not – will read it! ” wrote the president on Wednesday evening in a tweet.
The link refers to the ultraconservative American Catholic site Lifesite, which publishes the letter dated June 7 where the Italian prelate criticizes confinement during the pandemic and justifies the repression of the recent riots in the United States.
Mgr Vigano came out of anonymity by calling for the resignation of Pope Francis in August 2018 and by publishing on the same site a scathing list of accusations about his handling of sexual abuse in the Church. This ex-member of the Roman Curia ended his career in Washington as a nuncio (ambassador to the Holy See) between 2011 and 2016.
In his long letter of unconditional support for Donald Trump, the Italian prelate defends for example the controversial exit of the president in front of a church close to the White House, Bible in hand, after the brutal dispersion of the demonstrators with tear gas.
He believes that the attacks that followed against the president “are part of an orchestrated narrative” aimed at “legitimizing violence and crime” for electoral purposes, for the advent of “a new world order” inspired by “Masonic ideals” and anti-Christians.
For the former Vatican ambassador, the riots of the past few weeks have been “sparked” by people seeking to lead to “repression, legitimate, but which would be condemned as unjustified aggression against the population”.
“It is quite clear that the use of protests is for those who would like to see someone chosen in the next presidential election who embodies the objectives of the deep state,” he wrote.
Last May, the Italian had already been at the initiative of a petition, also in very conspiratorial tone, calling for the resumption of worship in churches, judging that the security measures around the coronavirus pandemic were aimed at freedom religious. This text was signed by very traditionalist cardinals, notoriously opposed to the Pope and regularly accusing him of “heresy”.
Many American religious leaders had for their part castigated Donald Trump’s decision to have demonstrators violently dispersed to have a Bible with his hand photographed on 1er June, in front of Saint John’s Church, a building belonging to the Episcopalian Church which had been degraded the day before during demonstrations.
His visit the next day at the Saint John Paul II National Sanctuary, in the northeast of the federal capital, had also made the Catholic hierarchy jump.
“I find it disconcerting and reprehensible that a Catholic site [soit] so blatantly hijacked and manipulated [et] who violates our religious principles, “denounced the Archbishop of Washington, Wilton Gregory, the first African-American bishop to access this prestigious position in 2019 by decision of Pope Francis.
The next day, Pope Francis had deemed any form of racism “intolerable” in reaction to the death in Minneapolis of George Floyd, while condemning the violent reactions that followed.
“We can neither tolerate nor turn a blind eye to any form of racism or exclusion, and pretend to defend the sanctity of all human life,” declared the Sovereign Pontiff, only American Catholic fundamentalist sites focusing on the fight against abortion regularly attack for its socio-economic messages focused on the defense of the poor.