Summary:

An interview given by Georgia lawmaker Marjorie Taylor Greene about the RCC aiding immigrants has ignited an vicious row between her and the Catholic League's Bill Donohue.

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A devil of a row has erupted between Catholic League president Bill Donohue and Georgia Republican Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene over a recent interview in which she referred to bishops lending aid to immigrants as an example of “Satan controlling the Church.”

Donohue has demanded that Greene be sanctioned by House leadership for lashing out at the RCC during a recent hour-long interview with Church Militant.

The interview was called “Marjorie for Pope”—and she’s not even Catholic. Of course, there are some who say even Pope Francis is not a true Catholic.

RNS points out that the Detroit-based, right-wing Catholic website has been rebuked by its own diocese and condemned by detractors for incendiary rhetoric decried as racist and homophobic.

Michael Voris interviewing Marjorie Taylor Greene. Church Militant screenshot.

Early in the interview, Church Militant head Michael Voris, above, asked the lawmaker about the Catholic Church’s longtime support for undocumented immigrants. Voris expressed frustration with Catholics who assist migrants at the border, and singled out Catholic Relief Services.

Greene, a long-standing critic of the existing border policies, described such efforts as “Satan controlling the church.”

The church is not doing its job, and it’s not adhering to the teachings of Christ and it’s not adhering to what the Word of God says we’re supposed to do.

She went on to speak of “Christian love,” but argued that such love should be used to further American interests, not a “globalist policy,” and accused Catholic church leaders of harming American taxpayers. 

Yes, we are supposed to love one another. But their definition of what love one another means means destroying our laws. It means completely perverting what our Constitution says.

Donohue was beside himself with rage, blasting off a letter to the House Ethics Committee. It reads:

As president of the nation’s largest Catholic civil rights organization, I am requesting that you levy sanctions against Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene for her virulent anti-Catholicism. On April 21, Greene was interviewed by Michael Voris, the head of Church Militant.

In their discussion about the role of Catholic Charities working with immigrants, Greene said the Catholic Church was run by Satan. Here is what she said. ‘I thought we had a separation of church and state, right? No, what it is, is Satan’s controlling the church.’

I asked for an apology and she publicly said there would be none. She responded by saying that her sweeping condemnation of the entire Catholic Church was meant only to apply to the bishops, as if that makes her hate speech acceptable.

Greene has a history of offending African Americans and Jews, so bigotry is something that is apparently baked into her. The time has come for her to be either reprimanded or censured. Her irresponsible behavior has already caused her to be removed from committee assignments. Accordingly, her burst of anti-Catholicism now demands stronger sanctions against her.

In a follow-up post, Donohue, wrote:

Fairly criticizing the Church for its position on abortion is one thing; criticizing its teaching on priestly celibacy is another. Most Catholics, Jews, Muslims and Protestants are good people. But there are some within each group that are intolerant of Catholicism.

Among the first two, it is the militant secularists within their ranks that are a problem; among the latter two, it is their extreme interpretation of their religion that is the problem.

Angry ex-Catholics and militant secularists within the Jewish community are consumed with hostility over the Church’s sexual ethics. Practicing Catholics and observant Jews are not the problem—it is those who have lost their way.

Greene, according to RNS, fired back in a lengthy statement posted to Twitter. In it, she defended her comments and insisted Donohue should instead apologize to her.

She described herself as a “cradle Catholic” who stopped attending Catholic services after she had children, citing concerns about the child sex abuse crisis. (Greene was reportedly baptized around 2011 at North Point Community Church, an evangelical Protestant megachurch based in Alpharetta, Georgia).

Just so we’re clear, bishops, when I said ‘controlled by Satan,’ I wasn’t talking about the Catholic Church. I was talking about you [Donohue] … I refuse to use kinder, gentler language as Bill Donohue might prefer when I talk about his disgusting and corrupt friends, who have made him rich with the donations from ordinary churchgoing Catholics.

She added:

The bishops are also busy destroying our nation using taxpayer money to advocate for the illegal invasion across our borders. They dare to dress up Democrat vandalism and lawlessness as somehow ‘religious,’ which perhaps explains their distaste for me.

California Democratic Congressman Ted Lieu, who is Catholic, criticized Greene from the House floor on Thursday, calling her remarks “bigoted.”

Scott Jennings, a CNN contributor and Republican strategist, also derided her comments as “unfortunate.”

We have to love one another — that’s the mandate from Jesus to the church.

A representative for Catholic Relief Services sent RNS a statement rebutting Greene and Voris’ characterization of the group’s work. They said CRS does not resettle refugees or undocumented migrants, but instead “assist(s) the poor and vulnerable overseas.”

We’ve been focused on tackling the issues that force people away from their homes before it happens. The root cause of migration is often violence and poverty that drive people into the unknown, searching for safety and stability. By creating jobs and working to reduce violence, families can stay in their communities, and not have to uproot just to survive.

Representatives for the Archdiocese of Atlanta, which encompasses most of Greene’s district, declined to comment.

People describe politics as a dirty business, and it often is, but when politics and religion become entwined, the fitness of people in leadership roles comes into bigger question.

Veteran journalist and free speech activist Barry Duke was, for 24 years, editor of The Freethinker magazine, the second oldest continually active freethought publication in the world, established by G.W....