Pope Francis is highly regarded by many who see him as a man committed to peace, acceptance, and aiding those in need, but there are a number of Catholic conservatives who feel the pontiff is leading the faithful down the wrong path.
According to the New York Times, White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon has, over the years, formed alliances with a number of the Pope’s detractors.
They include Cardinal Raymond Burke, a very vocal critic of the Roman Catholic Church’s leader, and Thomas Williams, a former priest whom Bannon hired as a Breitbart correspondent.
Benjamin Harnwell, a close friend of Cardinal Burke, has forged a relationship with Bannon as well.
BuzzFeed News reports that in 2014, Bannon delivered an address at a Vatican conference organized by Harnwell’s conservative Catholic group called the Institute For Human Dignity.
During that speech, which was given via Skype, Bannon reportedly said, “We’re at the very beginning stages of a very brutal and bloody conflict…” and asserted that if not stopped it would destroy, “everything we’ve been bequeathed over the last 2,000, 2,500 years.”
Moments later, he reportedly commented, “We are in an outright war against jihadist Islamic fascism. And this war is, I think, metastasizing far quicker than governments can handle it.”
While the message is quite different than the one of inclusion and acceptance communicated by the Pope, it allegedly has a number of supporters within the Catholic Church.
As the New York Times points out, “And in Mr. Trump, and more directly in Mr. Bannon, some self-described ‘Rad Trads’ — or radical traditionalists — see an alternate leader who will stand up for traditional Christian values and against Muslim interlopers.”