William Kilpatrick: The Other Scandal

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By William Kilpatrick, Crisis Magazine, September 7, 2018

The Pope’s popularity in Italy has dropped from 88 percent in 2013 to 71 percent in 2018. But you’d be mistaken to think that the decline has to do with Archbishop Vigano’s charge that Francis had covered-up for Cardinal McCarrick. The poll was taken before that story broke.

According to the poll’s author, much of the dissatisfaction with the pontiff has to do with his welcoming approach toward migrants. So even before Vigano’s bombshell accusation, Italians were distancing themselves from the Vatican.

In a sense, the Catholic Church in Italy had set itself up for rejection. In the months leading up to the March election, it doubled down on its policy of greater openness to immigrants whether legal or illegal. In a dozen different ways, Church leaders let it be known that refusal to welcome the migrant was, in effect, a rejection of Christ.

Yet voters ignored the Church and voted in large numbers for the anti-immigration parties. And there is no sign that they’ve regretted their choice. According to recent polls, many practicing Catholics prefer the hardline immigration policies of the new Interior Minister, Matteo Salvini, to those of Pope Francis. As an Ipsos poll reveals, support for Salvini had doubled in four months among Catholics who attend Mass at least once a week. The director of the Ipsos Research Institute said, “There is a clear difference between a significant part of Catholic opinion and the hierarchy of the Church.”….continued…. crisismagazine.com/2018/the-other-scandal