The Catholic Vote

Neither presidential candidate from the major political parties has proven to be entirely decent and moral.

WikiLeaks released a series of e-mails from Jennifer Palmieri, Hillary Clinton’s communications director, and John Halpin, a fellow at the Center for American Progress. This e-mail trail entitled: “Conservative Catholicism” discusses several Catholic converts involved in the media. Halpin writes to Palmieri and John Podesta, Clinton’s campaign chairman: “Many of the most powerful elements of the conservative movement are all Catholic – many converts. … It’s an amazing bastardization of the faith…(t)hey must be attracted to the systematic thought and severely backwards gender relations and must be totally unaware of Christian democracy…I imagine they think it is the most socially acceptable politically conservative religion. Their rich friends wouldn’t understand if they became evangelicals.”

Podesta received an e-mail from Sandy Newman, president and founder of the group Voices for Progress: “There needs to be a Catholic Spring, in which Catholics themselves demand the end of a middle ages dictatorship and the beginning of a little democracy and respect for gender equality in the Catholic Church.” Newman goes on to write: “Even if the idea isn’t crazy, I don’t qualify to be involved and I have not thought at all about how one would ‘plant the seeds of the revolution,’ or who would plant them.” Podesta replied:“We created Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good to organize for a moment like this. But I think it lacks the leadership to do so now. Likewise Catholics United. Like most Spring movements, I think this one will have to be bottom up.”

This occurs the same week that Republican candidate Donald J. Trump’s boorish past behavior hit a new low with the release of a video with language that is so offensive and denigrating to women that it cannot and should not be repeated in a newspaper like this.

What are we as Catholics to do? Neither candidate offers completely a leadership and a moral vision that is in any way compatible with a Catholic or indeed a truly integrated world-view. Catholics should not feel they are choosing “best of the worst.” They must truly inform themselves on the issues that affect all human beings, the most important, of course, being life itself and its protection and sanctity.