Marjorie Taylor Greene, the controversial Republican U.S. Representative from Georgia, said in a statement issued on April 27 that she believes Catholic bishops are “satanic” and accuses them of “destroying our nation” through their support for migrants.
The more than 700-word statement targets the Catholic bishops and Bill Donohue, the head of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights. Mr. Donohue challenged an April 25 interview Ms Greene gave Church Militant, a fringe media organization which was commissioned by her the local bishop not to use “catholic” in his name and frequently attacks Pope Francis, supports right-wing political causes and traffics in disinformation. In this interview, Ms. Greene said that Satan is “controlling” the Catholic Church in the United States.
In response, Mr. Donohue issued a statement on April 27, demanding an apology on behalf of Catholics and calling Ms Greene a “loose cannon”.
Marjorie Taylor Greene said in a statement that she believed Catholic bishops were “satanic” and accused them of “destroying our nation” through their support for migrants.
Later that day, Ms Greene released her own statement, doubling down on her comments about Satan, attacking Mr Donohue and saying she had left the Catholic Church because of the clergy sex abuse scandal.
“I stopped attending Catholic Mass when I became a mother, because I realized that I could not trust Church leaders to protect my children from pedophiles, and that they were harboring monsters even within their own ranks,” Ms Greene said.
“Just to be clear, bishops, when I said ‘controlled by Satan,’ I wasn’t talking about the Catholic Church,” she continued. “I was talking about you.”
At least one lawmaker called out Ms Greene for her comments. Representative Ted Lieu, a Democrat from California, said in a speech on the House floor Thursday that the comments were “bigoted” and called on Republican leaders to condemn them. Olivia Troye, former national security adviser to former Vice President Mike Pence, called Ms Greene’s comments ‘disgusting’ in a tweetsaying they could “lead to threats” against Catholics.
“Just to be clear, bishops, when I said ‘controlled by Satan,’ I wasn’t talking about the Catholic Church,” Ms Greene said. “I was talking about you.”
The controversy involves three people – Ms. Greene, Mr. Donohue, and Church Militant leader Michael Voris, who each have a habit of making exaggerated comments about current events and culture war issues in order to draw attention. pay attention to their causes.
“It’s not about Catholicism. It’s not about Christianity. It’s about every single one of those players trying to get more revenue and more attention,” David Gibson, director of the Center on Religion and Culture at Fordham University, said America. “The Catholic League, Church Militant and Marjorie Taylor Greene, they are all right-wing, but they each have their own agendas, they each have their own platforms and profiles that they want to elevate. They need money. This is more of a promotion than any real substance or grievance.
Last year, Ms Greene’s colleagues voted for remove her from congressional committees, citing his belief that some school shootings were hoaxes and that the 9/11 attacks were staged and his sharing of videos with anti-Semitic content. She also supports the lie that former President Trump won the 2020 election.
“It’s not about Catholicism. It’s not about Christianity. It’s about every single one of those players trying to get more revenue and more attention, says David Gibson America.
In her April 27 statement, Ms Greene accused the bishops of trying to destroy the United States by supporting more generous immigration policies. Like other Tories who have made similar accusations, Ms Greene has suggested that Catholic organizations are taking advantage of government contracts to provide care for migrants.
“The Bishops are also busy destroying our nation by using taxpayers’ money to advocate illegal invasion across our borders. They dare to disguise Democratic vandalism and lawlessness as somehow ‘religious’, which perhaps explains their distaste for me,” she said. “What more can we expect from criminals and abusers who live lives of inexplicable luxury funded by the rest of us, draped in sheets ends while altar boys are raped.”
The Catholic League was founded in 1973 and Mr. Donohue has led the organization since 1993. Just a few years after taking office, some church observers noted that Mr. Donohue had transformed the organization into a politically conservative group ready to engage in culture wars and even to confront other Catholics. Mr Gibson said the Catholic League’s actual influence within the US hierarchy is unclear. The use of “Catholic” in his name is confusing, he added.
In her April 27 statement, Ms Greene accused the bishops of trying to destroy the United States by supporting more generous immigration policies.
“Marjorie Taylor Greene’s role in the Republican Party is akin to Bill Donohue’s role in the Catholic Church,” he said. “They are both outliers in a sense, but they are both closely identified with their respective organizations. And that’s a problem.
In some areas, Church Militant and the Catholic League seem to share common views. Both groups, for example, have blamed homosexuality in the priesthood for the abuse crisis, despite studies and expert opinions that have dismissed this theory. But when it comes to their thoughts on the American hierarchy, they differ sharply. While the Catholic League is independent of the institutional church, Mr. Donohue regularly issues press releases defending church leaders from perceived slights in the media and has been repeatedly interviewed by Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York.
The leader of the Church Militant, Mr. Voris, has a darker view of the Catholic bishops and Pope Francis.
In a video segment of the clash posted on the Church Militant website on April 27, he described the bishops as “perverts in the mitre” and said the US hierarchy was an “international gay crime syndicate.” (Mr. Voris said in 2016 that he had had sex with other men before.)
In a video segment of the clash posted on the Church Militant website, he described the bishops as “perverts in the mitre” and said the US hierarchy was an “international gay crime syndicate”.
The language used in Ms Greene’s statement is similar to that frequently used by Church Militant. In the video, Mr Voris and four other Church Militant commentators praised the statement and read the parts they found particularly compelling. Mr. Voris gave a nod to Ms. Greene’s assessment of American Catholicism.
“She seems to have her finger on the church’s terms right now,” he said.
(A request to Ms. Greene’s office asking if Church Militant helped draft her statement did not receive an immediate response. The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops also did not respond to a request for comment. )
Both Ms Greene and Mr Voris accused Mr Donohue of being a “pet dog” for the US bishops and questioned his salary of $900,000.
“I myself, baptized and married into the Catholic Church, left because I would not subject my children’s spiritual and physical sustenance to these monsters,” Ms Greene said. “Bill Donohue, on the other hand, makes a million dollars a year, partly by sending emails to defend corrupt bishops. He has done nothing in his long career to reform the appalling state of the clergy.
On Thursday, Mr. Donohue responded by posting on his website a letter he sent to congressional leaders asking them to censure Ms. Greene.
“Now is the time for her to be either reprimanded or censured. Her irresponsible behavior has already resulted in her being removed from commissions. As a result, her push for anti-Catholicism now demands stronger sanctions against her,” a he wrote.
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