The Lutheran denomination that GOP presidential candidate Rep. Michele Bachmann quit in June sought to explain its belief that the papacy is the anti-Christ after reports questioned whether Bachmann is anti-Catholic.
The denomination says on its Web site: “We identify the anti-Christ as the papacy. This is an historical judgment based on Scripture.’’
The Republican, who has surged in recent presidential polls, denied that she is anti-Catholic in a 2006 debate. “It’s abhorrent, it’s religious bigotry. I love Catholics, I’m a Christian, and my church does not believe that the pope is the anti-Christ, that’s absolutely false.’’Bachmann also said that her pastor, the Rev. Marcus Birkholz, told her he was “appalled that someone would put that out.’’According to Hochmuth, the pastor told Bachmann that WELS “primarily views the office of the papacy as the anti-Christ, not the individual popes themselves.’’
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