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Trump tweets praise for Pope Francis enemy

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Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, then-Apostolic Nuncio to the United States, in 2015. (Patrick Semansky/AP)

US President Donald Trump has praised a letter sent to him by one of Pope Francis’s most virulent opponents, who claim Black Lives Matter protests and the coronavirus crisis are a political conspiracy.

Italian Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, a former Vatican envoy to Washington, is notorious for his accusations of corruption and abuse at the highest levels of the Vatican, including against the pope.

“So honoured by Archbishop Vigano’s incredible letter to me. I hope everyone, religious or not, reads it!” Trump tweeted late Wednesday, including a link to the letter, published on ultra-conservative Catholic website LifeSite.

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Retired Vigano, who gained a following after calling on the pope to resign in 2018, said the world was witnessing “the formation of two opposing sides… the children of light and the children of darkness”.

He said the protests following the death of George Floyd in the US were “instrumental to the purposes of those who would like to see someone elected in the upcoming presidential elections who embodies the goals of the deep state”.

Vigano said “investigations already underway” would also “reveal the true responsibility of those who managed the COVID emergency not only in the area of health care but also in politics, the economy, and the media”.

He blamed it on a “colossal operation of social engineering”.

He also defended Trump’s controversial decision to pose in front of a church near the White House, holding up a bible, after the area was forcibly cleared of anti-racism protesters.

Vigano has the support of the Catholic Church’s ultra-conservative wing, who are notoriously opposed to Pope Francis.

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