The Deacon's Bench

The Deacon's Bench

Clinton holds rally at Catholic college

What are people thinking? It still surprises me that something like this is allowed to get this far, and actually take place:

Archbishop Jose Gomez complained Wednesday about plans for a rally by Democratic Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, an abortion rights supporter, at a Catholic university.

The archbishop released a statement noting that Clinton and some other presidential candidates’ support for abortion rights and embryonic stem-cell research were not in line with Catholic values. The Rev. Pat Rodgers, an archdiocese spokesman, said Gomez was responding to telephone calls and e-mails from concerned Catholics.


Clinton held a rally at St. Mary’s University, the oldest Catholic college in the city, on Wednesday evening.

“I was neither advised nor consulted by the university before the decision was made to have Senator Clinton speak at the university,” Gomez said in the statement released by the Archdiocese of San Antonio.

Gomez said he was not trying to tell people how to vote, but he noted that U.S. Catholic bishops have affirmed a statement calling on Catholics not to honor or give platforms to political candidates and officeholders “who act in defiance of our fundamental moral principles.”

The school issued a statement saying it does not endorse political candidates and acknowledges fundamental differences between the teachings of the church and the positions of political candidates.

The school is an independent liberal arts college with its own president and board of directors but is under the spiritual leadership of the archdiocese.

Clinton spokeswoman Adrienne Elrod said in a statement that the campaign respects the archbishop’s point of view and appreciates the invitation to speak at the school.

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Jeff Miller

posted February 14, 2008 at 1:26 pm

Unfortunately it is all too common at Catholic universities and other Catholic institutions. Not long ago Obama held a rally at a Catholic high school’s gym. The speakers at Georgetown and other Jesuit universities are often pro-abortion. And of course today being Valentines Day the play Vagina Monologues are being performed at 20 Catholic campuses today (though the numbers are going down each year.).What is the exception is when the Bishop speaks out about it when it happens and there are too few like Archbishop Jose Gomez and Archbishop Burke who take action when this happens.

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posted February 15, 2008 at 12:58 pm

I think the Archdiocese has not done anything to advance the Catholic faith by its recent attempt to ban Mrs. Clinton from speaking on the campus of an independent Catholic university. The bishops and their representatives at the USCCB meet regularly with various senators including Mrs. Clinton. The suggestion that it is okay for the bishops to hear from her but not the lay faithful (and those persons not part of our faith community but associated with St. Mary’s) indicates a very low opinion of the laity. I appreciate the opportunity to hear from any and all of the presidential candidates and others in public life. Since there are a lot more of us lay faithful than bishops, we need a large space to do so. I think I am capable of listening to her and others without being drawn into sin. If Archbishop Gomez thinks this is difficult, I suggest he first start with himself and his brother bishops and stop interacting with such senators and others in public life. If he thinks we lay folks are feeble minded types who don’t have the same ability as the bishops, I think he insults the lay faithful.

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Deacon Greg Kandra

posted February 15, 2008 at 1:43 pm

Kvorn: It is one thing for bishops to meet with a candidate to discuss policies and discern whether they are in sync with Catholic teaching.It is quite another for a Catholic institution to host a rally in support of that candidate, implying tacit approval of his or her positions. Dcn. G.

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