Three isms, linked in infamy. Yes, there really was a group called Catholics for Trump. And various polls report that somewhere between 50 and 55% of Catholics in 2020 voted for Trump.
I find parallels between 30% Catholic Germany in the late 30's and their transformation into fascism and our current U.S.A. drift into it quite fascinating. Back then, recent Vatican documents made public reveal that Catholics in Germany were asking their priests and bishops if they could support the new fascism via A. Hitler they liked.
The Catholic hierarchy adopted a policy with both fascist Italy and German of "neutrality", even related to the emerging anti-semitism within the populace and German political leadership. There was much documented anti-semitism within Church leadership as well.
Pius XII's predecessor, Pius XI was quite liberal and had assigned J. LaFarge S.J., an American Jesuit who was editor of America magazine and and staunch advocate of opposing racism was tapped by Pius XI to write a Encyclical on opposing anti-semitism. Encyclicals are the highest form of Papal teaching.
LaFarge delivered the document a year or so later, but Pius XI died before it could be published. It was bitterly opposed by LaFarge's Jesuit superior and it is believed he exerted influence on its not being acted on prior to XI's death.
I learned some of this history through access to the locked section of the Santa Clara University library where I worked as a student. I had access to books and documents stored there with my employment. It began for me the process of working my way intellectually out of the Church and all religion. This included insights into the Church's long early history of anti-semitism, notoriously expressed, though not limited to the Inquisition. The Church in the modern era, starting in the 1960's began to excise anti-semitism from its teachings and culture.
Pius XI had acted to create Vatican City as a separate Italian political entity apart from Rome as a move to distance the Church then from the emerging fascism regime in Italy.
Pius XII leveraged d his familiarity and respect for the Germans while serving in Germany in key Church ambassadorial positions with his neutrality policy when succeeding Pius XI. Though some German and Polish Catholic clergy were oppressed by the emerging fascism government, Pius XII believed his neutrality policy would provide cover and protection for the Church in Germany and the rest of Europe as it was overtaken by Nazi leaders. The policy of genocide of Jews materialized and the holocaust began.
It is clear that German, Polish and Italian Catholicism, with its highly authoritarian structure, had conditioned its faithful to respect authoritarian government in the political sphere. The same seems to be true with American Catholicism, which has avoided democratization in spite of operating in the American form of democracy. The Church's highly historically inconsistent policies regarding abortion, largely denied or understood by roughly half of American Catholic clergy and laity has clearly influenced Catholic support for Republican authoritarians for several decades.
I have studied deeply my former Church's policies on both support for authoritarian regimes around the world and its current position on abortion as I worked my way out of the fold several decades back. One merely has to look at the relationship between the Church and both South American and Central American right wing regimes and its support of those country's wealthy elite keeping it financed to observe this truth. Mexico, with its revolution and tamping down of the Church's influence stands as an exception.
So, American Catholic support for fascist Trumpism is completely understandable, though deeply troubling. This factual reality further convinces me that few Trump supporter minds will be changed on the destruction of American democracy from within. Major portions of our electorate find authoritarianism quite acceptable.