Confidant of Pope Francis condemns US religious right

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By RACHEL ZOLL

AP Religion Writer

A close confidant of Pope Francis has written a blistering critique of how the American Christian right and some U.S. Catholics mix religion and politics.

The Rev. Antonio Spadaro (spa-DAH-roh) accused evangelical political activists and Catholics who work with them of using religion to promote conflict and hate.

Spadaro wrote Thursday that some of these activists have wrongly framed Donald Trump’s ascent to the presidency as a “divine election.” And Spadaro accused conservative Christian activists of trying to bring about a religious purification of the United States through deportations and the building of walls to keep out immigrants.

Spadaro is editor of the influential Jesuit journal La Civilta Cattolica. The Vatican approves the articles in the magazine, which has become something of an unofficial mouthpiece of the papacy under Francis.

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