After leaving the White House, Steve Bannon, took off to influence European policies. The former Trump adviser hoped to push his hard-line brand of populism across the continent.
After spending much time with European far-right figures like France’s Marine Le Pen and Poland’s Konrad Szymański, Bannon has decamped to Vatican City. He has set his sights on a new target he would like to take down, Pope Francis.
Francis stands out in Vatican City as a much more progressive sort of Pope. He has been unafraid to comment on issues both social and political. He has been critical of Donald Trump’s immigration views, once saying, “A person who thinks only about building walls, wherever they may be, and not of building bridges, is not Christian.”
Expressions like that one have drawn the ire of Bannon and other conservatives. Bannon has said of Pope Francis, “He’s the administrator of the church, and he’s also a politician. This is the problem. … He’s constantly putting all the faults in the world on the populist nationalist movement.”
Bannon has partnered with Cardinal Raymond Burke who was demoted by the pope for his hard line views. Burke has also made waves by calling for Francis’ resignation.
According to NBC News:
Burke and Bannon reportedly met at the Vatican in 2014 and are both involved in building an incubator for budding right-wing ideologues in Italy. Bannon described the project as “an academy that brings the best thinkers together” to train “modern gladiators.”
The Vatican has not responded to the NBC News report.