MAGA and the Corruption of Spiritual Warfare

Yesterday we talked about Abp. Vigano’s gulling of the MAGA Cult in his butt-covering war on the Holy Father over his own abject failure to remove McCarrick. These days, that stupid coup having failed, we now find him and his Cult of personality demonizing anybody who will not vote for a visible-from-space dimestore antichrist.

Remnant League of the Sacred Heart Launches Rosary Crusade, New Prayer by Archbishop Viganò, for Reelection of Donald Trump

It starts, as it always reliably does, with massive self-pity:

As the Revolution against the Kingship of Christ rages in America today, traditional Catholic Americans remember the Catholic Uprising in the Vendée–whereby the pioneer Traditional Catholics held the Catholic ground in Western France against the nascent New World Order.

Like our French forefathers, we face a Christophobic mob who would destroy everything we hold sacred. In the face of this aggression, we take up the weapon of the Rosary and turn to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. 

It is in this gloriously Catholic spirit of the Vendée that I invite you to join the Remnant League of the Sacred Heart each and every Friday from now until November 3 in praying the Rosary for the special intention of the re-election of Donald Trump in the face of yet another burgeoning New World Order. 

For those not familiar, the Rising in the Vendée was a tragic episode in the French Revolution when Catholics who did not want to have their faith brutally extirpated by revolutionary fanatics wound up having their live brutally extirpated instead. The death toll was somewhere between 58,000 and 200,000. Impressive given 18th century technology. And it did not discriminate between soldier and civilian. It was, in fact, an act of genocide.

Now, you may be asking yourself, “Where exactly is the genocide that the plump Vigano and his equally beefy white American conservative fanboi are experiencing?”

And that’s the thing, isn’t it? Some Confederate statues coming down and a couple of pieces of iron depicting St. Junipero Serra are not even remotely The Great Tribulation. But comfy white conservative Christians–acutely aware that they are not persecuted in the slightest and in denial over the fact that they are themselves complicit with the persecutors–are dying to cast themselves in the role of victim martyrs even as they kneel on the necks of the brown and the poor and make war on their defender, the Holy Father.

Remember, this is all about prayer for a man who punishes his infant nephew with cerebral palsy in a spat over Daddy’s money, who called for the innocent Central Park 5 to be executed, who mocks the disabled, POWs, and Gold Star families, who tears families to pieces, shags porn stars, has two dozen sexual assault and rape charges against him, sells our troops to be killed for Russian bounties, interferes in our elections, punishes good soldiers and pardons war criminals, and dooms 135,000 people to death in a Pandemic he could have prevented if he were not a criminal moron. By Inauguration Day, he will be responsible for more deaths than the Rising in the Vendée. But in the world of MAGA, this is all either a lie or simply excusable because of the ridiculous Deep State/Deep Church Conspiracy, this cult now believes instead of the gospel. In the words of Abp. Vigano’s letter to Trump: “Just as there is a deep state, there is a deep church, that betrays its duties and forswears its proper commitments before God.”

And Trump, who has not the slightest idea or interest in the Church except to accessorize his ego, instantly declared the letter a “tremendous letter of support from the Catholic Church” on Raymond Arroyo’s sycophancy fest on EWTN.

Now I don’t expect Trump to know the difference between Vigano and the Catholic Church. But Arroyo does and he did not bother to correct Trump or his audience–and that’s the trouble. Because the Trump Campaign and the QANONified nuts in the Francis-hating sector of the Church are increasingly in sync:

“You know who is putting [Viganò’s letter] in front of the president?” one official said, “It’s coming from [Dan] Scavino. He runs all of that side of things.”

“Around him and the rest, they have only one plan right now, or only one they are talking about: weaponize the base, the base, the base.”

Earlier this year, the Trump administration garnered attention for hosting telephone calls with bishops and other institutional Catholic leaders regarding both the impact of the coronavirus on Catholic schools and the decision of some bishops to begin limited reopenings of public Masses in the early stages of a national reopening.

In those calls, the president promised his administration’s support to Catholic initiatives, and to financially struggling Catholic schools. Bishops, including New York’s Cardinal Timothy Dolan, faced criticism for seeming to lend implicit support to the president’s reelection bid, a charge Dolan and others disputed, while defending their engagement with the president.

The administration is continuing to advocate for parochial school assistance in coronavirus relief legislation.

But Trump’s more recent Catholic overtures have been of a different stripe.

Both administration officials told CNA that after Trump’s June 2 visit to the St. John Paul II National Shrine, a decision was made by Scavino and other strategists that the president should cultivate Catholic support from leadership figures outside the mainstream.

“The president doesn’t get why the bishops aren’t with him for doing work on religious liberty – especially after the shrine visit, he was pissed about that,” one official said.

The official told CNA that Scavino, himself a Catholic, views the support of figures like Viganò as a means of delivering Catholic votes without the implicit or explicit support of diocesan bishops.

The president’s shrine visit came at the height of protests and demonstrations across the county, following the killing of George Floyd. It also came one day after the controversial dispersal of demonstrators in Lafayette Park, opposite the White House, to accommodate a presidential photo-op in front of the historic St. John’s Episcopal Church.

Washington Archbishop Wilton Gregory issued a stinging critique of the shrine visit, calling it “reprehensible,” and saying the shrine had been “egregiously misused and manipulated in a fashion that violates our religious principles.”

The next week, on June 10, Trump’s Twitter account retweeted a long letter from Archbishop Carlo Viganò, former papal nuncio to the United States, in which the archbishop lavished praise on the president and repeated his own theories about an international conspiracy to use the coronavirus pandemic to bring about a one-world government.

“Both of us are on the same side in this battle,” Viganò wrote to Trump, calling criticism of the president’s June 2 visit to the National Shrine of St. John Paul II part of an “orchestrated media narrative” against the president.

Viganò gained national headlines in 2018, when he claimed that he had warned Pope Francis about allegations of sexual abuse against former cardinal Theodore McCarrick, and then called on the pope to resign. Since then, the archbishop has lived in self-imposed exile, writing frequent open letters that make apocalyptic claims, proffer globalist conspiracy theories, and denounce sitting diocesan bishops and the Second Vatican Council.

Viganò last month denounced Washington’s Archbishop Gregory as a “false shepherd” after Gregory’s criticism of Trump’s shrine visit.

One administration official said Scavino saw Viganò’s letter as a way of touting support for Trump in the face of Gregory’s opposition.

“He thinks it’s a punch back against [Archbishop] Gregory,” said the official.

On July 2, Trump’s Twitter account tweeted about an appearance by Taylor Marshall on the One America News Network, in which Marshall said “there is a war on Christianity,” and praised the president’s leadership.

Marshall has recently been associated with the traditionalist priestly Society of St. Pius X, who are in “irregular communion” with the Catholic Church. He has tweeted that Catholic men should not attend diocesan seminaries, spoken about his “resistance” to Pope Francis, and has recently clashed with Bishop Robert Barron, who reportedly referred to him as an “extremist,” amid a disagreement over the role of clerics and laity amid the destruction of the statues of saints.

In Vigano World–and Americanist White Conservative Catholic World–the identification between schismatic, Francis-hating Reactionary antichristian KKKatholicism is nearly total.

It’s all so simple. MAGA are–literally– the Children of Light. Opponents of Trump are not, you know, honest people who might have qualms of conscience about the torrent of lies, cruelty and evil he has poured out on the world. They are not people who think this is a teensy weensy bit problematic:


No. They are Children of Darkness–servants of Satan himself. So Vigano and the Righteous pray thusly and without the slightest sense of irony:

Give courage to those who, in spiritual combat, fight the good fight as soldiers of Christ against the furious forces of the children of darkness.

Keep each one of us, O Lord, in your Most Sacred Heart, and above all him whom Your Providence has placed at the head of our Nation.

Bless the President of the United States of America, so that aware of his responsibility and his duties, he may be a knight of justice, a defender of the oppressed, a firm bulwark against Your enemies, and a proud supporter of the children of light.

Proud indeed. One might even say “diabolically proud”.

Look. It’s not hard to see what Vigano and the MAGA Cult are doing here. Vigano’s got a good grift going and if he can tie it into Trump’s grift, all the better for him. The Cult have consistently shown themselves impervious to reason and even common decency, so this scam is as good as any for ginning up the troops and creating synergy between the Puritan enemies of the Church and the Patriotic enemies of America. The former brag about being the Only True Catholics while hating the Magisterium, the least of these, and common decency, much less the fruits of the Spirit. The latter brag about being the Only Real Americans while betraying our troops to Russian bounties, spitting in the face of vets who gave their legs for their country, and nakedly signaling their Nazi sympathies again and again.

So should we be silent as the Pope is silent when Vigano slanders him?

Only if we are the subject of the slander. Jesus was silent when he was attacked. He was not silent when Mary of Bethany was attacked. He was not silent when his Father’s House was desecrated by the moneychangers. He was emphatically not silent about the lies and hypocrisy of the Pharisees in Matthew 23. He was not silent in warning (Matthew 24) that the bills would come due for Jerusalem if they did not repent.

And the proof of this, in our time, is Francis himself, modeling exactly this. He has consistently practiced silence when he himself has been demonized. But he does not hesitate to speak out when others are made the butt of this kind of demonizing talk.

Imitate him as he imitates Christ.


12 Responses

  1. George Weigel, who in 2016 called Vigano “the best nuncio we’ve had thus far”, has a new book out, entitled “The Next Pope”.

    Interesting title, in a time such as this.

  2. I feel like I’m watching a group of people under the thrall of an illusion spell. They believe they are walking inside a fancy mansion, dining on expensive food while surrounded by elegantly dressed people. But in reality, they are waddling around in a swamp, eating mud while dressed in rags.

    Do they realize just how toxic, repulsive and unappealing their ideology is to anybody outside their group?

    When I look at Pope Francis, I see someone who I think genuinely cares about his fellow human beings and is trying to do what he thinks best, given the position he is in and the constraints he is operating under. Do I agree with everything he does? Of course not, but then again, I’m not supposed to; I’m not a a Catholic.

    However, what really gets me is how the qualities I admirable, namely his show of empathy for people in unorthodox marital situations, solidarity with marginalized indigenous communities, commitment to social and economic justice and care for the shared environment we all live in, these things, are the ones his detractors hate him the most for.

    Its like they don’t realize that the Catholics they hate and vilify the most are the ones who actually give the Church any semblance of legitimacy and moral authority in worldly affairs. But I guess they would rather be the lords of an empty and ruined castle than to live as commoners of a prosperous and happy village.

    I guess we’ll see how this all plays out.

    1. You ask “Do they realize just how toxic, repulsive and unappealing their ideology is to anybody outside their group?”

      That outsiders see it this way would probably be seen as something to be proud of. The crazy end of conservativism would see being popular with the “wrong” people as a bad thing – an indication that you are watering down the faith (or rather what they think the faith to be).

  3. How terribly, terribly sad. How many years did we hear them demanding the Bishops to do something about the sins of others, while they did nothing to alleviate the pain and misery that gives rise to sexual sin? They built up and fortified the very structures that cause pain and misery in order that they might exist in those structures more comfortably. “More for me and less for you” is the meritocracy they believe in–the America they believe in so ardently.

    In short, they don’t like people. They like ideas only, because ideas don’t live and breathe. The internet was the perfect vehicle to bring such toxic ideas and hatred to the spectacular culmination we are witnessing.

    Gilded churches with altar rails won’t help them when the majesty of human souls was denied. Their image of the Divine Mercy tacked to the front door, fluttering in the wind won’t help either. Those things will pale in comparison to the human beings they maligned and turned their backs on.

  4. Two of the top carpetbagger converts are making book on the next Pope, cha-ching Catholics. Please God, reform the RCIA process.

    1. I remember what a big deal was made of the words we say before Confirmation, when I went through RCIA – we spent a lot of time talking about what it means to say before God, “I believe and profess all that the holy Catholic Church believes, teaches, and proclaims to be revealed by God,” especially in light of the fact that we could spend years and years in preparation and still not know ALL of Church teaching. When you are in awe of and trembling before God, it’s a bit scary to make a profession like that. Similar to how it’s a bit scary to make lifelong vows to your spouse when you can’t possibly know all of what’s to come. Prayer, discernment, and a deep trust in God are required before you undertake a profession or vow like that.

      These carpetbaggers’ (what an astute term) unfaithfulness to that profession astounds me. Did they say those words before God *knowing* they did not believe what the Church taught at Vatican II was true, or *knowing* they thought the Church is wrong about whether it’s permissible to “resist” the Holy Father? If so, shouldn’t they have found an offshoot sede church to join that better lined up with their pre-existing beliefs?

      1. When I was active in RCIA, catechists were mindful of inquirers who were overly negative about the tradition they were leaving or who felt attracted to Catholicism for cultural or political reasons. I think the American church in the 90s and 00s saw an influx of poorly-formed political converts seeking to dominate or hide from the world rather than serve and love it. Pope Francis is utterly alien to them, as would be Jesus, it seems.

        More damaging, and perhaps encouraged by the EWTN phenomenon, the same period produced a cohort that converted almost as a career choice, it seems. A group certain that they immediately possessed some special insight into the faith unattainable by the rosary praying nona in the back of the church or even the Pope. And, for a price, they would share it with you. We see the fruits now.

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