Former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon attacked the Pope for criticizing populist movements and sensationally claimed the Catholic Church is on the verge of bankruptcy.
The former Breitbart News chairman, who attended a private Catholic military school, blasted Pope Francis for his comments against populist leaders.
Speaking to MSNBC’s Richard Engel, Bannon said: ‘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.’
While Bannon said he created a ‘platform for the alt-right’ in Breitbart, Francis has cautioned against the movement, warning two years ago that it could lead to the election of another Adolf Hitler.
Bannon, who previously gave a talk about his global nationalist vision via Skype at a conference in the Vatican in 2014, has become highly critical of Francis in recent years.
Many of Francis’ positions on topics such as populism, immigration and nationalism in Europe go against former Donald Trump advisor Bannon’s ideology.
The 65 year old has praised Trump, Hungarian prime minister Viktor Orbán and French far-right leader Marine Le Pen for their anti-immigration stances, while Francis has called for every country to welcome as many refugees as they can.
In response, Bannon has linked up with several Vatican hardliners, including conservative cardinal Raymond Burke who has supported calls for Francis to step down.
Now Bannon has blasted Francis for ‘mismanaging’ sex abuse scandals across the globe, and claimed the Catholic Church could go bankrupt.
Bannon added: ‘The Catholic Church is heading to a financial crisis that will lead to a bankruptcy.
‘It could actually bring down, not the theology, not the teachings, not the community of the Catholic church but the physical and financial apparatus of this church.’
Bannon is said to be developing an alt-right compound in Rome with Dignitatis Humanae Institute, reports the Daily Beast.
He previously said it would be ‘an academy that brings the best thinkers together’ to train ‘modern gladiators.’
MSNBC will broadcast Steve Bannon’s interview in ‘On Assignment with Richard Engel this Sunday at 9 p.m. ET.