The Donald Trump campaign has launched a new advisory support group for the Republican presidential nominee, which gathered for the first time Thursday at Trump Tower in Manhattan.
The Catholic Advisory Group—a key element of Trump's Faith and Cultural Advisory Committee—is meant to provide input on issues and policies important to Catholics. Many of those issues—click here to see them—are also important to evangelicals and other faith-based voters.
"The formation of this group represents Donald J. Trump's endorsement of a range of issues and policies important to Catholics and other Christians, and his desire to have access to the wise counsel of such leaders," the campaign said in a written statement. Joseph Cella, Founder of the National Catholic Prayer Breakfast, will reportedly serve as the campaign's liaison with the group's members.
A number of other high-profile Catholics have responded to the announcement.
"On the issues and policies of greatest concern to Catholics, Donald Trump will fight for Catholics whereas Hillary Clinton is openly hostile to those issues of greatest concern to Catholics and will attack the core teachings of the Catholic Church, and has worked against them as first lady, as U.S. senator and as secretary of state, and would continue to do so if she is elected president," U.S. Rep. Sean Duffy (R-Wis.) said. "Catholics are particularly concerned that she would pack the Supreme Court with three to five young ideological liberals whose decisions will have far-reaching and long-lasting implication for the Catholic Church and the lay faithful on everything from the pro-life issue to religious liberty to health care and educational mandates, just to name a few."
"America is on the wrong track, as economic opportunities wane and families face a coarsened society where people of faith feel bullied, disrespected and marginalized," American Conservative Union Chairman Matt Schlapp added. "We have slipped so far, so fast, at a pace quickened by our failure to uphold the dignity of unborn life. There are moments when people of deep faith have to stand up. Voters who know deep in their soul that America needs to heal also know we need refreshing, bold conservative leadership. 2016 is one of those times and I'm proud to support Donald Trump for president."
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