Archbishop Charles Chaput of Philadelphia has described emails from Hillary Clinton’s campaign team which attack Catholicism as “ugly” and “contemptuously anti-Catholic.” The Catholic Herald has the story.
Archbishop Chaput, one of several US Catholic leaders who spoke out against the emails, was particularly angered by an exchange of emails between John Podesta, chairman of the Clinton campaign, and Sandy Newman, president and founder of the campaign group Voices for Progress.
Mr Newman wrote: “This whole controversy with the bishops opposing contraceptive coverage even though 98 per cent of Catholic women (and their conjugal partners) have used contraception has me thinking … 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.”
In another email, John Halpin of the Centre for American Progress mocked the conservatism of Catholics, especially converts: “They must be attracted to the systematic thought and severely backwards gender relations and must be totally unaware of Christian democracy.”
In a follow-up email he added: “They can throw around ‘Thomistic’ thought and ‘subsidiarity’ and sound sophisticated because no one knows what . . . they’re talking about.”
Archbishop Chaput wrote, ironically, on his Diocesan website: “Of course it would be wonderful for the Clinton campaign to repudiate the content of these ugly WikiLeaks emails. All of us backward-thinking Catholics who actually believe what Scripture and the Church teach would be so very grateful.”
A less forceful statement from Archbishop Joseph Kurtz of Louisville, Kentucky, President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, talked of the importance of freedom of religion, which “ensures the right of faith communities to preserve the integrity of their beliefs and proper self-governance."
“There have been recent reports that some may have sought to interfere in the internal life of the Church for short-term political gain. If true, this is troubling both for the well-being of faith communities and the good of our country,” he wrote.