Ed Martin, the Phyllis Schlafly acolyte who will be speaking at a Washington, D.C. rally planned for Saturday and dubbed “Stop the Steal” by its organizers, was joined by far-right Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò on Martin’s weekly prayer call Friday.
Viganò is a leader of the hard right within the Catholic Church who has lavished praise on President Donald Trump while promoting right-wing conspiracy theories about the “deep state” and the “deep church.” Since the results of the presidential election came rolling in, the religious right has jumped on the false voter fraud narrative being peddled by Trump and the Stop the Steal campaign, claiming that forces of evil were at work to prevent God’s will.
On Martin’s Friday call, Viganò described the current post-election period as a “historic moment for the future of the United States of America.”
“Forces of evil have gathered in coalition against God, against our Christian civilization, against your beloved country, against the family, against all of it, against the values for which your forefathers fought and gave their lives,” Viganò said.
He directly addressed the election, saying that “the kingdom of darkness has sought to subvert the outcome of the presidential elections, through such deception and fraud as to suggest a real attack on the very foundation of human social coexistence.”
He prayed that God would bless Trump and “drive back into Hell the enemy of mankind.”
Viganò is a fierce critic of Pope Francis. National Catholic Reporter, an independent Catholic news outlet with a progressive outlook, published a profile of Viganò in 2018, which suggested that his eagerness to publicly attack church officials may be traced to his being denied a promotion to cardinal.