It’s an illusion to imagine that that this papacy is detaching the Catholic faith from partisan politics, when its semi-official spokesmen harrumph that the true faith does not “build barrier-fences crowned with barbed wire.” Such language is not a sober statement of principle. It is a partisan intervention into the debate about immigration that is roiling politics throughout the West.
In addition to contradictions and self-deceptions, “Evangelical Fundamentalism and Catholic Integralism” manifests an unfortunate authoritarianism. Father Spadaro and Figueroa create an atmosphere of condemnation, and they do so while insulating themselves from any responsibility for the truth of the matters they discuss.
What precisely is Pope Francis’ teaching on the role of religion in public life? Does the turn to a more “pastoral” approach mean bishops should now refrain from teaching about sexual morality? Is it now wrong to pronounce the marital bond indissoluble, or to regard certain acts as intrinsically disordered? Is one even permitted to ask the Pope these and other questions?