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The U.S. bishops are remaining largely silent in the face of the Clinton campaign's anti-Catholicism.
In an exclusive investigation, ChurchMilitant.com contacted all 194 dioceses in the United States for a response to the anti-Catholic bigotry exposed in the Clinton campaign, which ChurchMilitant.com has extensively covered.
Wikileaks emails released on October 13 revealed messages originally written in 2011 involving top-level staffers mocking faithful Catholics in the most derogatory terms. Catholic John Halpin, a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress (a liberal think tank created by John Podesta, Hillary Clinton's campaign chief), denounced the Catholic Church in an email to Jennifer Palmieri, the communications director for the Clinton campaign.
In the e-mail, Halpin said
, "Many of the most powerful elements of the conservative movement are all Catholic (many converts) from the [Supreme Court] and think tanks to the media and social groups."
He went on to say, "It's an amazing bastardization of the faith. They must be attracted to the systematic thought and severely backwards gender relations and must be totally unaware of Christian democracy."
In another email, John Podesta, Clinton's campaign chief, was found discussing "revolution" in the Catholic Church with his friend Sandy Newman, the founder of Voices for Progress. Newman wrote, "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 also went on to write about plotting rebellion in the Church,
writing, "I have not thought at all about how one would 'plant the seeds of the revolution,' or who would plant them."
Podesta replied to Newman: "We created Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good to organize for a moment like this."
Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good is an organization dedicated to pushing a liberal agenda within the Catholic Church, in particular on social issues such as abortion, contraception, gay "marriage" and so forth.
In the course of contacting the various dioceses, ChurchMilitant.com was never able to talk to a senior clergyman to answer whether the bishop had any response to the Clinton campaign's anti-Catholicism.
Not one diocese with whom ChurchMilitant.com made contact was willing to condemn the anti-Catholic sentiment expressed by Clinton's aides. If our calls did not go straight to voicemail, we were met with a slew of responses refusing comment, or referrals to the USCCB's general statement on political discourse.
A pattern started to emerge of silence and deflection, or claims that the diocesan spokesman or bishop were out of the office or traveling and unavailable to comment. In two instances, the diocese hung up on ChurchMilitant.com when diocesan staff were pressed on their unwilligness to comment — particularly in the diocese of Savannah, Georgia, and the New Jersey Catholic Conference.
A sample of responses ChurchMilitant.com received from various dioceses include:
- "We're not going to get involved in that." -Spokane, Washington
- "At this point, we don't have a comment." -Manchester, New Hampshire
- "I am all set. No comment." -Norwich, Connecticut
- "We're non-partisan." -Illinois Catholic Conference
- "We don't address internal campaign issues, but we focus on public policy." -Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
- "I can't say anything that hasn't already been said." -Wilmington, Delaware
- "No comment." -Atlanta, Georgia
- "Haven't researched the issue." -Tulsa, Oklahoma
- "No comment." -Rochester, New York
- "No comment." -Lansing, Michigan
- "We'll pass." -Bismarck, North Dakota
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