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The Deacon's Bench

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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