Is there anything sacred that Congressman Tom Tancrdeo doesn’t view through a myopic, anti-immigration lens? Apparently not. His current target: Visiting Pope Benedicit XV1:

As thousands packed into a Washington, D.C., stadium to see Pope Benedict XVI, U.S. Rep. Tom Tancredo attacked the pontiff for statements about immigration. Tancredo, a Littleton Republican, accused the pope of welcoming illegal immigrants to the U.S. in order to build membership in the church.

Here’s what the Pope said:

“I want to encourage you and your communities to continue to welcome the immigrants who join your ranks today, to share their joys and hopes, to support them in their sorrows and trials and to help them flourish in their new home.”

Tancredo’s reaction?

Tancredo cited a March 1 editorial in the Wall Street Journal that said the Catholic Church “has been losing members rapidly — as much as a third of the native-born Catholic population. Meanwhile, it has gained members among foreign-born (mostly Latino) residents.”

I suspect the pope’s immigration comments may have less to do with spreading the gospel than they do about recruiting new members of the church,” Tancredo said. “This isn’t preaching; it is faith-based marketing.”

Tancredo, a Catholic by birth, is now an evangelical Christian.