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Fr. Mark Hodges Fr. Mark Hodges

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Catholic leaders rally conscience voters to oppose Trump

Fr. Mark Hodges Fr. Mark Hodges

WASHINGTON, D.C., March 8, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) -- Nationally renowned Catholic leaders are calling on the faithful to oppose Donald Trump for president.

Princeton Jurisprudence Professor Robert P. George and George Weigel of the Ethics and Public Policy Center wrote a letter “to all men and women of good will,” published in the National Review and signed by 35 other leading Catholics, urging voters to “reject” Trump at the primary polls.

The letter was signed by Catholic leaders at The Heritage Foundation, the Witherspoon Institute, the Faith and Reason Institute, the Hudson Institute, Logos journal, the Federalist, National Review, the Sudan Relief Fund, World Youth Alliance, the Catholic Association, Catholic Voices USA, CatholicVote.org, the National Catholic Prayer Breakfast, the Ethics and Public Policy Center, and professors at the University of Georgetown, Notre Dame, the University of Delaware, the University of Dallas, Southern Methodist University, the University of Iowa College of Law, Baylor University, the Catholic University of America, Sacred Heart Major Seminary, the University of St Thomas, and the University of Mary, along with other distinguished Catholic psychologists, authors, and thinkers.

The letter commends past Republican administrations with being "imperfect...but serviceable" vehicles for promoting "causes at the center of Catholic social concern."  Namely, abortion, euthanasia and the sanctity of innocent human life "and other victims of what Saint John Paul II branded 'the culture of death,'" and, "defending religious freedom" against "the enemies of conscience," and, natural marriage, and, "re-establishing constitutional and limited government, according to the core Catholic social-ethical principle of subsidiarity."

The letter goes on to say those issues of Catholic concern are shared by most of the current Republican candidates.  "At the beginning of the current presidential electoral cycle, it seemed possible that further progress in defending and advancing these noble causes was possible through the instrument of the Republican Party."

However, the letter warns, progress on those Catholic social concerns "is now in grave danger."

"Donald Trump is manifestly unfit to be president of the United States," the letter flatly states.  "His campaign has already driven our politics down to new levels of vulgarity. His appeals to racial and ethnic fears and prejudice are offensive to any genuinely Catholic sensibility. He promised to order U.S. military personnel to torture terrorist suspects and to kill terrorists’ families — actions condemned by the Church and policies that would bring shame upon our country."

Then the letter addresses the Trump candidacy on its list of Catholic social concerns.  "There is nothing in his campaign or his previous record that gives us grounds for confidence that he genuinely shares our commitments to the right to life, to religious freedom and the rights of conscience, to rebuilding the marriage culture, or to subsidiarity and the principle of limited constitutional government."

The letter admitted that "good people, including Catholics" are supporting Trump because he "speaks to issues of legitimate and genuine concern: wage stagnation, grossly incompetent governance, profligate governmental spending, the breakdown of immigration law, inept foreign policy, stifling 'political correctness.'”

Nevertheless, the letter urges Catholics "and all our fellow citizens" to vote for other Republican candidates, "who are far more likely than Mr. Trump to address these concerns, and who do not exhibit his vulgarity, oafishness, shocking ignorance, and —we do not hesitate to use the word— demagoguery."

The letter opines, "Mr. Trump’s record and his campaign show us no promise of greatness; they promise only the further degradation of our politics and our culture."

The Catholic professors, journalists, ethicists and leaders conclude by urging all "to reject (Trump's) candidacy for the Republican presidential nomination by supporting a genuinely reformist candidate."

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