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Steve Bannon attacks Catholic Church as ‘terrible’ on immigration: ‘They need illegal aliens’

Steve Bannon, waiting at a Lynchburg Regional Airport on May 13 in Lynchburg, Virginia, attacked the Catholic Church as “terrible” on immigration in an interview preview that aired Thursday on "CBS This Morning." The full interview will be on "60 Minutes" on Sunday. (Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images)\n

Former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon attacked the Catholic Church as “terrible” on immigration in a clip from an upcoming "60 Minutes" interview.

In a preview that aired Thursday on "CBS This Morning," CBS host Charlie Rose asked Bannon about Cardinal Timothy Dolan’s criticism of the Trump administration’s decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. The immigration policy — often referred to as DACA — permits exemption from deportation for some individuals who were brought to the United States illegally as children. The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops also denounced the decision to end the program.

Bannon dismissed their criticism, claiming that “the Catholic Church has been terrible about this.”

“The bishops have been terrible about this,” Bannon continued. “By the way, you know why? You know why? Because unable to really, to, to, to come to grips with the problems in the church, they need illegal aliens, they need illegal aliens to fill the churches. That's — it's obvious on the face of it. That's what, the entire Catholic bishops condemn him.”

Bannon further charged that the Catholic Church has “an economic interest in unlimited immigration.”

“As much as I respect Cardinal Dolan and the bishops on doctrine, this is not doctrine,” he said. “This is not doctrine at all. I totally respect the pope and I totally respect the Catholic bishops and cardinals on doctrine. This is not about doctrine. This is about the sovereignty of a nation. And in that regard, they're just another guy with an opinion.”

According to the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Catholic Church teaching says that “a country has the right to regulate its borders and to control immigration” but must do so “with justice and mercy.”

Bannon, who returned to Breitbart News as executive chairman after leaving the White House, has previously claimed that the church uses Hispanic immigration in order to inflate the number of Catholics in the United States.

Some criticized Bannon’s remarks as a misrepresentation of church teaching.

The full "60 Minutes" interview is scheduled to air Sunday.

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