"What the Jesuit Order is for the left wing of the Roman Catholic Church, Opus Dei is for its right wing. (Hegelian politics at its finest, for the Roman Catholic Church cannot lose if it has strong ties with both ends of the political spectrum!)" (From Opus Dei in the USA)

To understand the uninterrupted forward movement of the Church of Rome in it objective of world domination, it must always be kept in mind that it "cannot lose if it has strong ties with both ends of the political spectrum." This is a particularly relevant principle at the present time; because there is a movement within the church which is even more extreme right-wing than Opus Dei, and it has set itself in opposition to Pope Francis' policies, worldwide and within the Vatican. Thus, reaction to Donald Trump's election to the US presidency was not uniform in the Vatican; and this was probably a reflection of the ideological differences within the hierarchy. Pope Francis is a Jesuit, and consistent with the opening quotation above, there is a widespread belief that he is a Socialist, although disputed by some. In the very same articles, the right wing nature of American Catholicism is contrasted with Francis' apparent left-wing leanings:

The pro-socialist viewpoint -

Pope is an anticapitalism socialist — thank God

Commentary: Conservatives right to worry about ‘radical’ Pope Francis

Thank God, Pope Francis really is an anticapitalist, socialist and revolutionary. Read his lips. He smiles. He drives a Ford Focus. The Vatican police report that he sneaks out at night wearing black, meets strangers, society’s rejects, the “homeless, addicted, refugees, indigenous, the elderly, migrants,” the unemployed. . .

Conservatives everywhere — from the GOP, Wall Street bankers, Big Ag and every climate denier, to union-busing politicians, Big Oil billionaires and traditional growth economists — every conservative should be concerned about this gentle pontiff’s deceptively disarming charm, his happy smile. He says he has no “political ideology.” He’s that good a diplomat. Yet his own words clearly brand him an anticapitalist, a socialist and a leader with a revolutionary mission. Thank God, because the world needs him.

The pope has a divine mandate to radically alter American politics

The pope’s words clearly reveal a man who’s been on top of financial, economic and political trends for a long time, worldwide and in America. This pope promises to radically transform an American political landscape that for many years has been dominated by the conservative capitalist ideology of Milton Friedman, Ronald Reagan, Alan Greenspan and Ayn Rand. Yes, Pope Francis is challenging generations of right-wing conservative ideology. . .

But far more dangerous for American conservatives, this new pope’s message will be regularly delivered by those clerics to America’s power elite: Six of the nine members on the Supreme Court are Catholics, including the chief justice. Three Catholics are in the direct constitutional line of succession if the president dies. Twenty-four of our 100 Senators are Catholic. So are 163 of the 435 members of the House. Add in their Catholic spouses, children, parents and friends, and this new pope is himself a global superpower. His radical, revolutionary “exhortations” will be influencing billions of all faiths worldwide, demanding not pious rhetoric but action to solve world problems. . .

The anti-socialist viewpoint -

Repeat after me: Pope Francis is not a socialist

Pope Francis has decried the manner in which many businesspersons fail to consider the plight of low-wage workers and the unemployed, the growing income inequality in many countries including the United States, and warming weather patterns. Thus, some American conservatives consider these enunciations as evidence that Pope Francis is a socialist, arguing that he should keep to his own fiefdom, take care of Catholic souls, and leave economic policy to business people.

Those views are wrong. Francis is not a socialist, although he often says too much of the world’s political and economic leadership rule at the expense of the rest of society with disastrous consequences.

A viewpoint falling between pro-socialist and anti-socialist -

A New Path for the Pontiff?: Pope Francis and Socialism

In his encyclical Centesimus Annus, Pope John Paul II wrote, “A person who is deprived of something he can call ‘his own’ and of the possibility of earning a living through his own initiative, comes to depend on the social machine and on those who control it. This makes it much more difficult for him to recognize his dignity as a person, and hinders progress towards the building up of an authentic human community.” This declaration speaks to the history of the relationship between the Roman Catholic Church and socialist movements, which has been both extant and strained since the 19th century. Pope Francis has since taken a different stance in addressing socialism and the liberalist movement surrounding it, seemingly thawing the cold nature of this historically uncomfortable relationship between socialism and the historically more traditionalist Catholic Church.

The Oxford English Dictionary defines socialism as the “political and economic theory of social organization that advocates that the means of production, distribution, and exchange should be owned or regulated by the community as a whole.” Though socialism has vastly differing connotations depending on one’s own ideology, it can almost always be interpreted as opposing unfettered market forces.

In 1878, thirty years after the publication of Karl Marx’ Communist Manifesto and in the middle of a depression in the United States and Western Europe, Pope Leo XIII condemned “socialists, communists, [and] nihilists” for being part of “the deadly plague” corrupting society and “leading it on to the verge of destruction.” Leo denounced these activists for seeking to “debase the natural union of man and woman” and “assail the right of property sanctioned by natural law.” This centralization of economic power would have hurt the clout of local authorities, whom the Catholic Church has historically tended to support.

In 1891, amid another time of economic stagnation in parts of the West, Leo affirmed that “working for gain is creditable, not shameful, to a man, since it enables him to earn an honorable livelihood; but to misuse men as though they were things in the pursuit of gain, or to value them solely for their physical powers—that is truly shameful and inhuman.” Leo adhered to the philosophy of earlier saints such as Thomas Aquinas while showing compassion to the 19th-century poor urban population. Aquinas’s philosophy developed what later Catholic philosophers would further develop and call subsidiarity: the principle that local, competent authorities should take priority in making decisions and settling disputes before more centralized ones do. Under this view, long espoused by Republicans and states’ rights activists, central authorities should only undertake tasks that local ones cannot do effectively. Because the central planning of socialism contradicts this principle of subsidiarity, there has historically been little room for it in the minds of Catholic popes. . .

While Francis’s predecessor Benedict XVI wanted governments to allow the Church to show benevolence to those suffering, Pope Francis wishes to attack the causes of poverty at their source at what he sees as the source, which he views as capitalist markets. Thus, it can be expected that Francis will do more in the future to attempt to bring about his vision, which while not explicitly one of socialism, is still one that emphasizes governments and corporations as holding the solutions, rather than local entities and the Church. . .


Wherever Pope Francis falls in the political spectrum between socialism and conservatism, he has made it clear that he is opposed to unbridled capitalism, and it is obvious that he thereby falls afoul of the ideology and policies of the American Catholic hierarchy which inspires both the Religious Right and the Republican Party. At present right-wing conservatism appears to be in the ascendancy. A startling feature of the present religio-political reality in the United States is the emergence of the right-wing ideology that is even more extreme than that of Opus Dei, and the control which it exercises over President Donald Trump. This is the religio-political ideology known as "Radical Traditional Catholicism." The following report emphasizes its anti-semitism, but there is much more to it than that:


Radical traditionalist” Catholics, who may make up the largest single group of serious anti-Semites in America, subscribe to an ideology that is rejected by the Vatican and some 70 million mainstream American Catholics. Many of their leaders have been condemned and even excommunicated by the official church.

Adherents of radical traditional Catholicism, or “integrism,” routinely pillory Jews as “the perpetual enemy of Christ” and worse, reject the ecumenical efforts of the Vatican, and sometimes even assert that recent popes have all been illegitimate. They are incensed by the liberalizing reforms of the 1962-65 Second Vatican Council, which condemned hatred for the Jews and rejected the accusation that Jews are collectively responsible for deicide in the form of the crucifixion of Christ.

Radical traditionalists are not the same as Catholics who call themselves “traditionalists” — people who prefer the old Latin Mass to the mass now typically said in vernacular languages — although the radicals, as well, like their liturgy in Latin. They also embrace extremely conservative social ideals with respect to women.

Some claim that radical traditionalist Catholicism is the true Catholic Church. (Perhaps history bears this out, and the ideology merely unmasks the real identity of the papacy):

To be Catholic is to be a "radical traditionalist"

One cannot be Catholic without being traditional. If one is Catholic one must be radical. The word comes from the the Latin radix, meaning root. How can Catholic be anything but radical, particularly living within this secular world and the new “pagan ideology” that has taken over parts of the Church as so aptly phrased by Bishops Schneider.

The reason that we are labelled such is that we are right. Those who put these labels on us are conflicted and schizophrenic because on one hand, they might like a little Latin Mass once or twice per year but on the other hand they have become “pagan Catholics” as our Holy Father so aptly called them a few days ago. If all you can do is look away from the real problems and crisis facing the Church and mock and deride then you are nothing more than a coward and part of the problem; and this goes for you if you are laity or priest or a bishop. You are lukewarm and you will be spat out on the last day. . .

If you are not a radical traditionalist, then you are simply, not Catholic.

However this may be, those in control at the Vatican do not take kindly to the propagation of radical traditional Catholicism. This is documented by the following article:

Radical Catholic blogs may be a cesspool, but saying so won’t help

Earlier this month, Basilian Father Thomas Rosica, who serves as an English-language aide to the Vatican Press Office, launched a fierce attack on radical traditionalists in the Catholic blogosphere.

As reported by the Catholic News Service, Rosica stated, “Many of my non-Christian and non-believing friends have remarked to me that we ‘Catholics’ have turned the Internet into a cesspool of hatred, venom and vitriol, all in the name of defending the faith!” . . .

In the wake of the Second Vatican Council, too much preaching and catechesis focused only on peace and justice issues, or presented a subjective and sentimental understanding of the Catholic faith. Pastors and catechists are not the only ones at fault. The Catholic faithful themselves have too often preferred a fuzzy, feel-good message.

Indifference, and indifferentism, have produced a notoriously lax and ineffectual form of American Catholicism.

Catholics who are looking for a faith with rigor, discipline and a tough line are invariably drawn to the traditionalist message. It is possible to find a strong, joyful traditional Catholic witness that combines clarity and charity, and those who relish Catholicism with grit should search out such communities.

Unfortunately, such teachers and parishes are hard to find, and too often the “Church of the Internet” takes over. Self-appointed online teachers fill the vacuum, and a poisonous, self-righteous extremism takes the place of true, simple, and humble piety.

When even the Vatican views Radical Traditional Catholicism with horror at their extremism, how alarmed should Bible Christians who believe the prophetic Word be about its controlling influence in the Trump White House! The White House Chief Strategist and Senior Adviser to the President is a Radical Traditional Catholic:

Stephen Bannon’s worldview is deeply troubling

Standing squarely behind President Trump and whispering in his ear is his chief strategist, Stephen Bannon, who is shaping up to be the second most powerful person in the White House.

Bannon is the former editor of the right-wing Breitbart website (a platform for far-right extremists) and is the architect of Trump’s cruel and chaotic visa ban. He has become so powerful that liberal and conservative pundits alike speak of the Bannon Regency and (only half in jest) of “President” Bannon. . .

Yet Bannon’s radical worldview should unnerve anyone who still thinks American democracy is based on religious and political tolerance. And his outlook clearly syncs with Trump’s gut instincts. So the Breitbart provocateur has become the White House ideologue-in-chief.

Thus it behooves those who believe in traditional American values to scrutinize Bannon’s sayings and doings (although he likes to operate in secret). A good place to start is the speech he gave to a Catholic conference on poverty in the Vatican in 2014. The conference was hosted by a conservative Catholic group close to Cardinal Raymond Burke, a voice of Catholic orthodoxy and traditionalism who has publicly clashed with the inclusive views of Pope Francis.

In his remarks Bannon railed against the decline of capitalism, the church, and the West, a trio of crises, he said, that underlay the rise of populist anger. Himself a member of the elite, as a Harvard grad and former Goldman Sachs banker, he denounced the crisis of “crony capitalism” that had cheated the middle classes in the United States and Europe. (Note that Trump has filled his cabinet with crony capitalists and Goldman Sachs bankers with no sign of protest from Bannon.)

As for the cure, this self-styled provocateur claims it lies in political upheaval. . .

Bannon has established ties with an opponent of Pope Francis within the Vatican:

Steve Bannon Carries Battles to Another Influential Hub: The Vatican

When Stephen K. Bannon was still heading Breitbart News, he went to the Vatican to cover the canonization of John Paul II and make some friends. High on his list of people to meet was an archconservative American cardinal, Raymond Burke, who had openly clashed with Pope Francis.

In one of the cardinal’s antechambers, amid religious statues and book-lined walls, Cardinal Burke and Mr. Bannon — who is now President Trump’s anti-establishment eminence — bonded over their shared worldview. They saw Islam as threatening to overrun a prostrate West weakened by the erosion of traditional Christian values, and viewed themselves as unjustly ostracized by out-of-touch political elites. . .

While Mr. Trump, a twice-divorced president who has boasted of groping women, may seem an unlikely ally of traditionalists in the Vatican, many of them regard his election and the ascendance of Mr. Bannon as potentially game-changing breakthroughs.

Just as Mr. Bannon has connected with far-right parties threatening to topple governments throughout Western Europe, he has also made common cause with elements in the Roman Catholic Church who oppose the direction Francis is taking them. Many share Mr. Bannon’s suspicion of Pope Francis as a dangerously misguided, and probably socialist, pontiff.

Until now, Francis has marginalized or demoted the traditionalists, notably Cardinal Burke, carrying out an inclusive agenda on migration, climate change and poverty that has made the pope a figure of unmatched global popularity, especially among liberals. Yet in a newly turbulent world, Francis is suddenly a lonelier figure. Where once Francis had a powerful ally in the White House in Barack Obama, now there is Mr. Trump and Mr. Bannon, this new president’s ideological guru.

For many of the pope’s ideological opponents in and around the Vatican, who are fearful of a pontiff they consider outwardly avuncular but internally a ruthless wielder of absolute political power, this angry moment in history is an opportunity to derail what they see as a disastrous papal agenda. And in Mr. Trump, and more directly in Mr. Bannon, some self-described “Rad Trads” — or radical traditionalists — see an alternate leader who will stand up for traditional Christian values and against Muslim interlopers. . .

Mr. Bannon publicly articulated his worldview in remarks a few months after his meeting with Cardinal Burke, at a Vatican conference organized by Mr. Harnwell’s institute.

Speaking via video feed from Los Angeles, Mr. Bannon, a Catholic, held forth against rampant secularization, the existential threat of Islam, and a capitalism that had drifted from the moral foundations of Christianity.

That talk has garnered much attention, and approval by conservatives, for its explicit expression of Mr. Bannon’s vision. Less widely known are his efforts to cultivate strategic alliances with those in Rome who share his interpretation of a right-wing “church militant” theology. . .

While not the primary emphasis of this analysis, it is worthy of note that the Radical Traditionalist Catholics oppose the secular state, as well as Islam which is regarded as an existential threat to Christianity. Of course, opposition to the secular state includes the entire spectrum of ideologies in the Roman Catholic Church and the Catholic-Evangelical alliance which dominate the political scene in America:


The State must be Openly, Publicly, and Officially Christian

But the Crusades and the Inquisition and the KKK and the Religious Right combined are but a drop in the bucket compared to the denial of civil rights occasioned by the Secular State. Secularism, not Christianity, has made the 20th century the most violent century in recorded history. Everyone can see that the Inquisition and the Crusades were evil; only a few have come to see secular government as an even greater evil. (Italics emphasis in the original.)

Steve Bannon is an opponent of the secular state:

Why Steve Bannon wants to destroy secularism

Just what does Steve Bannon believe? For some, his thinking can be boiled down to racism. For others, he is merely a sinister opportunist taking advantage of Trump and the “alt-right”, a far-right movement in the US, for economic gain and fame. But what if he is fundamentally driven by something else? Like: religion.

During a 2014 conference hosted by the very conservative Human Dignity Institute at the Vatican, Bannon laid out his belief in “traditionalism”. To him, it signifies, among other things, a third-way attempt to counter the “crony capitalism” of neoliberalism, and the “state sponsored capitalism” of the Soviet Union and China.

His traditionalism is predicated on a rather speculative historical argument. He argues that a form of “enlightened capitalism” defined western political economies from the second world war until roughly the downfall of the Soviet Union. This type of capitalism was predicated on the Judeo-Christian tradition, which, for reasons Bannon does not explain, was adequately able to represent the culture and economic interests of the working classes.

However, increasing secularization in the west eroded the Judeo-Christian tradition. This set the stage by the 1990s for enlightened capitalism to be supplanted by a new form of political economy, namely neoliberalism. The defining feature of neoliberalism, as Bannon describes it, involves the establishment of an international class of political and corporate elites – the “Davos party” – who presumably lack the values necessary to represent the economic and cultural interest of anyone else besides themselves.

This religious worldview provides one compelling explanation as to why he is willing to work with the political fringe. What is driving the populist movement is, according to him, primarily a reaction to neoliberalism. A return to Judeo-Christian traditionalism will allow for the necessary economic forms that will pave the return to enlightened capitalism, which in turn will “wipe out” the racist elements of right-wing parties. It will also provide the necessary virtues, Bannon argues, to resist the global threat of “radical Islam”.

His alleged Leninism is to be found here. He aims to destroy the political establishment and infuse the re-established state with Judeo-Christian traditionalism. This will aid in redirecting the central bureaucratic state away from globalism and towards economic nationalism.

Perhaps Bannon’s apocalyptic worldview will have little influence on Trump. Regardless, it is a dangerous ideology that entails a number of dubious political assumptions. His repeated claim that the racial fringe will be washed out by the political revolution to come is pure naivete.

More problematic is the question of where Bannon derives his understanding of traditionalism. There are plenty of traditionalists Bannon could mention who have pointed out the shortcoming of liberalism: the moral philosopher Alasdair MacIntyre or even the theologian John Milbank come to mind.

Instead he references none other than Julius Evola – one of the intellectual godfathers of European fascism who promoted a spiritual type of racism – whose reception in Russian under Putin has inspired a traditionalist movement from which Bannon believes there is much to learn.

The most bothersome feature of Bannon’s talk is the fact that a Catholic group at the Vatican responded to it with enthusiasm. Their questions demonstrate that they knew Bannon’s desire to make his message receptive to rightwing populist parties. Excitement over his idea of a renewed Judeo-Christian Europe seemingly trumped such concerns. This is same political ideology that galvanized evangelicals to vote for Trump.


Steve Bannon may be the only "radical traditionalist" Roman Catholic in the White House; but there is a strong and influential Catholic presence. The following article in a Catholic publication reveals both the influential Catholic presence in the White House and an overwhelming involvement of right-wing Catholics in the transition from the election to the inauguration:

Trump’s Catholics: Who Is Part of the Church Flock?

The prominent staff picks include Kellyanne Conway and Steve Bannon.

Donald Trump has named several Catholics to advise him in his inner circle and serve in his cabinet following the presidential oath of office on Jan. 20.

Some of those Catholics — such as Kellyanne Conway, Trump’s former campaign manager who will be a counselor to the president — come to the administration with solid pro-life credentials and are respected in Catholic circles. Others, such as Stephen Bannon, a chief strategist for Trump who also served on the campaign, bring a fair share of controversy.

But overall, Jay Richards, a professor at The Catholic University of America’s Busch School of Business and Economics, told the Register that he is “cautiously optimistic” with the team Trump is assembling.

“I’m very impressed, not just with the Catholics in the transition, but with the transition overall,” said Richards, who is also executive editor of, an internet media outlet that, according to its website, promotes “freedom, smaller government and human dignity.” . . .

Kellyanne Conway

Richards said he was especially pleased that Conway, who declined an offer to be the White House press secretary, will have a close advisory role in the Trump administration.

“She will be much more valuable giving advice as a counselor than if she were the press secretary, reciting talking points all day,” said Richards, who like many other observers credits Conway with saving Trump’s campaign when she joined it last summer as a special adviser.

“Kellyanne is the reason he won. His campaign was at a lull when she came on board, and she changed it a lot,” said Kristan Hawkins, president of Students for Life of America, who told the Register that the presence of Conway and other pro-lifers in key roles signals that pro-lifers will have “a seat at the table” in the Trump White House. Said Hawkins, “So far, Trump is appointing people with solid pro-life credentials to important positions, and, for me, that is a positive sign that he is going to keep his promises to pro-lifers and the pro-life movement.” . . .

Steve Bannon

Meanwhile, Bannon, who joined the Trump campaign around the same time as Conway, brings with him considerably more baggage. . .

Bannon, a former U.S. naval officer who went on to work as an investment banker at Goldman Sachs before leaving the financial world for media, told Bloomberg News that he grew up in a “blue-collar, Irish Catholic, pro-Kennedy, pro-union family of Democrats.” . . .

Describing himself as a Ronald Reagan admirer, Bannon has said he is not a white nationalist, but rather an “economic nationalist” suspicious of the political and financial elite. In June 2014, he gave a talk at the Vatican, sponsored by the Dignitatis Humanae Institute, where he blamed the 2008 financial crisis on the greed of the banking industry and added that he opposed bailouts for that industry. In the same talk, Bannon said the West was facing a crisis of capitalism after losing its Judeo-Christian foundations. He added that secularism had sapped the strength of the Judeo-Christian West to defend its ideals. . .

Sean Spicer

Sean Spicer, another high-profile Catholic member of the Trump team, will be front and center as the new White House communications director. He has been the Republican National Committee’s communications director since 2011 and a chief strategist since 2015. He also worked as a senior communications adviser for Trump during the transition. . .

Andrew Bremberg

Meanwhile, at Franciscan University of Steubenville, the administration and faculty are just as proud of Andrew Bremberg, the incoming director of the White House Domestic Policy Council, who earned his bachelor’s degree at Franciscan before attending law school at The Catholic University of America. . .

Andrew Puzder

Andrew Puzder, the president-elect’s nominee for labor secretary, is, like Bannon, a somewhat controversial pick. . .

In August 2016, Puzder delivered a speech in Chicago, before Archbishop José Gomez of Los Angeles and members of the Catholic Association of Latino Leaders, on the topic of free enterprise, which he said enables people to use their God-given talents. “My Catholic upbringing taught me that jealousy and resentment were wrong and that if I put my faith in God and worked hard to fulfill my potential, everything else would take care of itself,” said Puzder, who added that only in the United States could a “working-class Catholic kid” like himself aspire to success with a realistic chance of achieving it. . .

Michael Flynn and Others

Retired U.S. Army Gen. Michael Flynn will serve as Trump’s national security adviser. Flynn, a lifelong Democrat until throwing his support behind Trump, grew up in Rhode Island in an “Irish-Catholic family of blue-collar Democrats,” according to Politico. . . [Flynn is now out.]

The Trump team also includes U.S. Rep. Mick Mulvaney, R-S.C., who is the incoming director of the Office of Management and Budget. Mulvaney has been a member of the congressional Pro-Life Caucus. On his website, Mulvaney said he has been “committed to standing up for the lives of the unborn in Congress.” . . .

Mulvaney has also been active in his local community as a founding member of the Indian Land Rotary, a youth baseball coach and a parishioner of St. Philip Neri Catholic Church. He is also a founding member of Our Lady of Grace Catholic Mission in South Carolina and has been credited for his outreach to the Latino community. . .

Retired U.S. Marine Corps Gen. John F. Kelly, the incoming secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, grew up in an Irish-Catholic family in Boston.

We are thirty-seven years beyond the beginning of the Ronald Reagan presidency. Consider the presence of Roman Catholics in the Reagan administration, the influence of the Vatican, and collaboration between the American Bishops and Reagan's presidency! Roman Catholic domination of American politics is now so far advanced that even a presidency that is hostile to the agenda of the present Pope nevertheless continues that domination. The extent of Roman Catholic influence over the transition to the Trump presidency brings that domination into stark relief.


First, consider the valuable information on "Roman Catholic Rightists" (Rome's religio-political army "legates") provided by the following 1996 report:


Organizations Press For Anti-Liberal Causes

LITTLE HAS BEEN written in the public press about far right Catholic organizations. Instead, major publicity has been given to Protestant fundamentalist organizations like Pat Robertson’s Christian Coalition and James Dobson’s Focus on the Family. Yet there is an extensive network of extremist Catholic groups who function on their own or whose members collaborate with the better known groups led by Protestants.

Among the well-known Catholic far right leaders are such persons as Patrick Buchanan, Republican candidate in the 1996 presidential primaries; William Bennett, who managed Lamar Alexander’s 1996 presidential campaign; Phyllis Schlafly, who heads the Eagle Forum; attorney William Ball, perennial defender of aid to parochial schools; William F Buckley, editor of National Review; Robert Dornan, member of Congress and 1996 Presidential candidate; William E. Simon, former Treasury Secretary; and Paul Weyrich, founder of the Free Congress Foundation and the Heritage Foundation. [Cf. The Heritage Foundation.]

The Catholic right wing is basically built around issues set forth by the Vatican, including abortion, the role of women, opposition to contraceptive re search, and various matters pertaining to sex, such as family planning, sex education in the schools, homosexuality, and aid to parochial schools. In one sense they are led by the Vatican’s chief agents in the U.S.: Cardinals John O’Connor, Bernard Law, Anthony Bevilacqua, James Hickey, Roger Mahoney, and Joseph Bernardin. Cardinal O’Connor, for example, is the ecclesiastical advisor of The Catholic Campaign for America; and Cardinal Law, the episcopal advisor of Women Affirming Life. . .

No discussion of Catholic rightists is complete without mentioning the role of Paul Weyrich, a deacon in the Roman Catholic Church who founded the Heritage Foundation, [cf. Heritage Foundation for right-wing identification] and the Free Congress Foundation (FCF) whose major media project is National Empowerment Television which William Bennett chairs. Both Heritage and FCF were funded initially by the Coors beer family of Colorado. In the 1980s the FCF developed a Catholic Center “which played an important role in the development of a self-consciously Catholic wing of the Religious Right,” according to A New Rite.

Russ Bellant in The Coors Connection cites Weyrich’s connection with Laszlo Pastor, “a convicted Nazi collaborator” for his role in World War II, Weyrich’s activities in Chile where Pinochet was the military dictator, and support through The Freedom Fighter of Renamo, which the State Department estimated massacred about 100,000 Mozambicans.

One of Weyrich’s major contributions to right wing politics was to persuade televangelist Jerry Falwell to form the Moral Majority and get into politics. Another major contribution of Weyrich was to persuade Pat Robertson also to get involved in politics, according to Richard Viguerie in his book, The New Right. Falwell indicated that the Moral Majority had a membership of 30 percent Roman Catholics and 20 percent fundamentalists; the rest were Mormons, Jews and others. Ralph Reed claimed that the Christian Coalition’s 1995 Catholic membership was 16.3 percent. There are clear interconnections. . .

Particularly worthy of note in the context of Roman Catholic influence over the Trump presidency is the reference to Paul Weyrich as a co-founder of the Heritage Foundation (there are many references on this website to the prominent, if not dominating, role of Weyrich in the Religious Right movement.) This identifies the Foundation as a right wing Catholic organization. It is not clear in the following report how many of the persons listed in the "Breakdown" section are also members of the Heritage Foundation, but many are, and in any event they have all been influential in the Trump presidency transition, and continue to wield influence in the presidential administration:

Trump's Jesuit/Catholic transition team responsible for making cabinet appointments and policy decisions

Heritage Foundation transition team advisors

Now, the transition is getting an assist from Heritage Foundation officials including Becky Norton Dunlop, a distinguished fellow at the foundation; former Reagan Attorney General Ed Meese, a distinguished fellow emeritus at Heritage; Heritage national security expert James Carafano; and Ed Feulner, who helped found Heritage. Rebekah Mercer, a Heritage board member and major pro-Trump donor, is on the transition team’s 16-member executive committee, and a transition team source said she is working with Heritage to recruit appointees for positions at the undersecretary level and below (though she has struggled to find people interested in taking lower-level jobs, according to a New York Times report).

The transition team also includes other prominent activists and thinkers with close ties to Heritage, such as former Ohio Secretary of State Ken Blackwell, the activist involved with several conservative groups who is running Trump’s domestic transition team. He has written for Heritage and has personal relationships with many at the organization. . .


Mike Pence, self-described "evangelical Catholic"

Chris Christie, Roman Catholic

Newt Gingrich, Roman Catholic, Council on Foreign Relations

Michael T. Flynn, Roman Catholic

Rudy Giuliani, Roman Catholic, 9/11 coadjutor, alleged Knight of Malta

Jared Kushner, fan of the Count of Monte Cristo ("Count of the Mount of Christ;" story about the Jesuit General getting revenge on all of the Order's enemies during its suppression) [This one seems to be somewhat of a stretch.]

Steve Bannon, chief strategist and Senior Counselor for the Presidency of Donald Trump, former executive chair of Breitbart News, Jesuit-trained from Georgetown

Lou Barletta, Roman Catholic

Chris Collins, Roman Catholic

Tom Marino, Roman Catholic

Devin Nunes, Roman Catholic

Anthony Scaramucci, Roman Catholic, Council on Foreign Relations

Eric Trump, Jesuit-trained from Georgetown and serves as board member of Georgetown's Business, Society, and Public Policy Initiative

Ivanka Trump, attended Jesuit Georgetown for two years

David Malpass, Jesuit-trained from Georgetown, Vice President of the Council for National Policy, leading appointment selections for positions involving economic issues

Keith Kellogg, trained by Jesuit at Santa Clara University, leading appointment selections for positions involving national defense issues

Michael Catanzaro, trained by Jesuits at Fordham University and St. Ignatius High School, leading the policy implementation team for energy independence

Andrew Bremberg, graduate of Catholic University of America Executive Legal Action Lead

James Carafano, Jesuit-trained from Georgetown University , reported to be the primary aide to the State Department of Trump administration transition team

Ed Feulner, Roman Catholic former President and founder of Heritage Foundation; Jesuit-trained from Regis and Georgetown Universities

Ken Blackwell, Jesuit-trained from Xavier University, leading appointment selections for positions involving domestic issues.

Boris Epshteyn, Trump's foremost spokesman; Jesuit-trained from Georgetown.

The Heritage Foundation has been Roman Catholic from its founding. A Jesuit connection is also suggested by the educational backgrounds of many of the people associated with the organization.

The role of the Heritage Foundation in the transition and administration of the Trump presidency is confirmed by numerous major publications. A sampling follows:

The D.C. Think Tank Behind Donald Trump

In early December, Mike Pence took the stage in the Presidential Ballroom at the Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C. “We did it,” the incoming vice president told the cheering crowd. Donald Trump, he said, had secured a mandate. “It was a victory,” Pence insisted, “that was born of ideas.”

That may seem far-fetched, given that Trump’s worldview relies more on bravado than briefing books. But in fact, the new administration is pursuing a right-wing agenda that rests squarely on a long tradition of conservative ideas: repealing Obamacare, rolling back government regulations, tightening immigration laws, tilting the Supreme Court to the right. And no group is more responsible for helping to craft Trump’s agenda than the Heritage Foundation, the conservative think tank that hosted the party where Pence delivered his remarks. “I’m trying not to be too giddy,” Jim DeMint, the foundation’s president, confessed that night.

The Heritage-Trump alliance is one of the more improbable developments in an election season that was full of them. A year ago, Heritage’s political arm dismissed Trump as a distraction, with no track record of allegiance to conservative causes. Today the group’s fingerprints are on virtually every policy Trump advocates, from his economic agenda to his Supreme Court nominees. According to Politico, Heritage employees acted as a “shadow transition team,” vetting potential Trump staffers to make sure the administration is well stocked with conservative appointees. At a Heritage event shortly after the election, John Yoo, author of the notorious Bush-era memos authorizing torture, trotted out a series of one-liners about the foundation’s influence. “I’m surprised there are so many people here, because I thought everyone at Heritage was working over at transition headquarters,” Yoo joked. “I asked the taxicab driver to take me to Trump transition headquarters, and he dropped me off here instead.”

The partnership between Trump and the Heritage Foundation represents a return to prominence for the conservative think tank. For decades, Heritage was the preeminent policy shop in Washington. Founded in 1973 by Paul Weyrich and Edwin Feulner, two Republicans who were tired of organizations that refused to get their hands dirty by meddling in politics, it pioneered a new approach, one specifically oriented around right-wing advocacy rather than nonpartisan research. The agenda-shaping worked. “Of a sudden,” the Democratic senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan observed in 1980, “the GOP has become a party of ideas.”

Trump’s shadow transition team

The Heritage Foundation has emerged as a driving force as Trump tries to staff up the federal government.

A year ago, the political arm of the conservative Heritage Foundation dismissed Donald Trump as a big-government enthusiast and left-wing sympathizer.

Now, the Heritage Foundation has emerged as one of the most influential forces shaping President-elect Donald Trump’s transition team, embedding the veteran Washington group into the operation of a candidate who ran loudly against the Beltway. . .

Part gatekeeper, part brain trust and part boots on the ground, Heritage is both a major presence on the transition team itself and a crucial conduit between Trump’s orbit and the once-skeptical conservative leaders who ultimately helped get him elected.

Heritage is “absolutely the fulcrum, and essential to staffing the administration with people who reflect Trump’s commitments across the board,” said Marjorie Dannenfelser, head of Susan B. Anthony List, a prominent group that opposes abortion rights. “I can say it’s been a source of great confidence during the election to know that principled people were planning for a Trump administration.” . . .

It is not an exagerration to state that the Roman Catholic presence in the governance of the United States is now ubiquitous, notwithstanding the contest between Pope Francis and his right-wing opponents. The division between "Liberals" and "Conservatives" even exists within the ranks of his Jesuit Order:

The Pope and the Jesuits

When Jesuit journals publish articles undercutting papal positions or when individual Jesuits do the same in public pronouncements, they promote a concept of the Church quite different from that of the Church’s leader — the man to whom Jesuits take a special vow of obedience.

The Society of Jesus is one of the great glories of the Roman Catholic Church but like so many other one time bulwarks of the faith it has in recent times been riven by internal dissent. . .

It is one thing to survive the pen of Pascal and the persecution of politicians, but for Jesuits to come into collision with the Pope, given their special mission, contributes mightily to the current crisis in Catholicism. . .

The post-conciliar [Vatican II] upheaval in the Church was not a “grass-roots” movement from the pews. It originated primarily among the priests and religious. It was they who proved to be the most discontented classes, and their discontent eddied outward until it engulfed the whole Church. Inevitably, the Jesuits were crucial to this process.

The image of the Jesuits has often been a contradictory one. Sometimes the Society has been portrayed as made up of extraordinarily crafty reactionaries, serving the interests of the Church ruthlessly but deviously. Often, however, it has been perceived as the Church’s “premier” liberal order, not hampered by the narrow kinds of orthodoxy and piety which afflict ordinary Catholics.

Both images can be entertained, because the Jesuits are a diverse group of men. In the post-conciliar period especially, they have been the leaders of increasingly radical efforts to reshape the Church, ultimately beyond all recognition, and simultaneously the leaders of movements to defend and strengthen orthodox Catholicism. . .

Just as Jesuits began to discover psychology in a way they had scarcely known before, so also many began to chafe at what they regarded as the narrowness of their own training — mainly the classics and neo-Scholastic philosophy and theology (although many Jesuits had for some time been doing graduate work in secular disciplines in the most prestigious universities). There was a heightened desire to confront the modern world at the point of its greatest brilliance. Young Jesuits (as well as some older ones) became sympathetically engaged with Hegel, Marx, the Existentialists, and modern Protestant theology. as well as with the social sciences. As with psychology, however, a long thirst seemed to make it difficult for many Jesuits to drink in moderation. An “openness” to newer modes of thought soon became, for many, a wholesale acceptance of systems which could be reconciled with Christianity only with difficulty if at all, and a concomitant compulsion to brush aside almost everything from the Catholic past as irrelevant at best, perhaps even false and pernicious. . .

Under such conditions it was not only impossible to maintain the traditional Jesuit esprit, and the institutional arrangements which went with it, but also difficult to articulate new visions which could command wide assent. Not only was the Society deeply divided between “liberals” and “conservatives” (not entirely along the lines of age), those who favored innovation could no longer agree even among themselves as to what kind.

Thus, an array of Roman Catholic publications portray an institution riven by controversy, with "conservatives" pitted against "liberals," and a "liberal" Jesuit Pope opposed even within his own Jesuit Order. The Radical Traditionalists have their presence within the Vatican, and even at the very highest level of the Donald Trump presidency, although Trump is not a Roman Catholic or to all appearances a man of strong ideological convictions. Nevertheless, the Church of Rome holds all of the levers of power in the United States of America. Hegelian politics is alive and well in the Church of Rome and in America. What comes next?!