Normally, I would include the story below as part of my usual weekend update collection, but the firestorm that it’s created has been so huge that I’ve decided to devote a single post to it.
Several days ago, Wikileaks released some email exchanges dating back to 2011 and 2012 between Hillary Clinton’s current campaign manager, John Podesta (Catholic), political organizer and president of Voices for Progress, Sandy Newman (Jewish), Clinton’s current campaign communications director, Jennifer Palmieri (Catholic), and Democratic strategist, John Halpin (Catholic). In the emails, the Catholic church is criticized for its ban on contraception, its lack of gender equality, and its general dearth of progressive tendencies. The correspondents ponder if the controversy over the Catholic hierarchy’s objections to federally mandated coverage of contraception in employers’ insurance plans could possibly be used to spark a “Catholic Spring,” bottom-up revolution within the church.
Reaction from Catholic conservatives was swift (see far below).
My take: Political interference in religion is theoretically verboten but it’s a cherished American tradition. However, it’s more than a stretch to try to directly link Clinton with this “Catholic Spring” controversy. But let’s be honest. The Catholic hierarchy is certainly out of step with much of its membership in regards to a number of issues. The vast majority of Catholics approve of contraceptives and use them. However, abortion and the use of abortifacients are certainly murder. Should priests marry? Should women be ordained as priests? Should homosexual behavior be accepted? Should same-sex marriages be performed by the church? These are the issues that drive Catholic liberals. While Catholic spokespersons would like to have the public believe the membership is in lockstep, there is actually a very wide range of beliefs within the church, both among the clergy and the laity. Catholicism will pragmatically cave to pressure as we saw with Francis’s recent enigmatic ruling on the debate over communion for divorced and remarried Catholics. However, despite the sturm und drang, the vast majority of Catholics have only an extremely shallow understanding of their church’s teachings and only 24% attend obligatory mass every Sunday.
What’s missing in this controversy is Jesus Christ and God’s Word. Catholicism is all about the church, the hierarchy, the magisterium, the pope, the institution, the system, the rituals, the rules. Conservative Catholics vie with liberal Catholics for the future of their institutional church, but only a very small number from either side have accepted Jesus Christ as their personal Savior. Instead of worrying about politics, they need to obey the Holy Spirit and remove themselves from an apostate system. Being a Catholic means trying to be a Christian without Christ.
A few Catholics may switch their vote to Trump because of this controversy but in the big picture it doesn’t matter either way. Repent of your sins and accept Jesus Christ as your Savior. That’s the important thing! Then ask the Lord to lead you to an evangelical church in your area that preaches the Good News! of salvation by God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ alone and teaches God’s Word without compromise.
- Clinton’s revolution against the Catholic Church
- Podesta and the Clinton camp’s unwitting compliment to Catholicism
- Chaput suggests Clinton apologize for emails on Catholic Church
- Tim Kaine: No Reason for Hillary Clinton to Apologize for Her Campaign Trashing Catholics
- After ‘Catholic Spring’ email leak, US bishops warn American ideals at risk
- Ahead of Al Smith Dinner, Cardinal Dolan says Hillary owes Catholics an apology
- Trump draws intense boos for saying Clinton ‘hates Catholics’ during New York charity dinner
“But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.” – Ephesians 2:13