Last week, both major-party presidential nominees were invited to speak at the 18th Annual Catholic Leadership Conference held in Denver, Colorado.
Donald Trump told the group he had a scheduling conflict, while Hillary Clinton waiting until two days before the event to let organizers know she wouldn't be there. Unable to attend, but wanting to address the group, Trump penned the following letter.
Unfortunately, my schedule precludes me from meeting and talking with you at the Catholic Leadership Conference today in Denver.
First, I would like to send my warm greetings to the Denver Archbishop Samuel Aquila. In discussions with my Catholic Advisory Group, it is clear Archbishop Aqulia's leadership in the Denver Archdiocese has been exemplary, as was the leadership of his predecessor, Archbishop Charles Chaput.
Second, should I be elected president, I look forward to working with these two respected leaders of the Catholic Church in America, their brother bishops, and Congress, on issues of critical importance to the Catholic Church and Catholics.
Catholics in the United States of America are a rich part of our nation's history. The United States was, and is, strengthened through Catholic men, women, priests and religious Sisters, ministering to people, marching in the Civil Rights movement, educating millions of children in Catholic schools, creating respected health care institutions, and in their founding and helping the ongoing growth of the pro-life cause.
I have a message for Catholics: I will be there for you. I will stand with you. I will fight for you.
As First Lady, U.S. Senator, Secretary of State, and two-time presidential candidate, Hillary Clinton has been hostile to the core issues and policies of greatest concern to Catholics: life, religious liberty, Supreme Court nominations, affordable and quality healthcare, educational choice and home schooling.
For instance, Hillary Clinton supports forcing The Little Sisters of the Poor, who have taken care of the elderly poor since 1839, pay for contraceptives in their health care plan (even though they have never wanted them, never used them and never will), and having the government fine them heavily if they continue to refuse to abide by this onerous mandate.
That is a hostility to religious liberty you will never see in a Trump administration.
Hillary Clinton's hostility to the issues of greatest importance to Catholics is made worse by her running mate Senator Tim Kaine.
Once pro-life and against partial birth abortion, Kaine now has a 100 percent voting record from the National Abortion Rights Action League. Kaine once was for traditional marriage, even saying "it is a uniquely valuable institution that must be preserved", but as of 2013, Kaine no longer supported traditional marriage. And on religious liberty? Shockingly, even Kaine supports forcing the Little Sisters of the Poor to pay for contraceptives in their health care plan, and to have the government fine them heavily if they refuse.
On issues and policies of greatest concern to Catholics, the differences between myself and Hillary Clinton are stark. I will stand with Catholics and fight for you. Hillary Clinton has been openly hostile to these core Catholic issues for a long time, and is only going to be worse with Tim Kaine now following her lead.
On life, I am, and will remain, pro-life. I will defend your religious liberties and the right to fully and freely practice your religion, as individuals, business owners and academic institutions. I will make absolutely certain religious orders like The Little Sisters of Poor are not bullied by the federal government because of their religious beliefs. I will protect and work to expand educational choice, the rights of homeschooling families, and end Common Core. I will repeal and replace Obamacare so you can have better and more affordable health care. I will keep our country and communities safe while respecting the dignity of each human being. I will help Catholic families and workers, and all families and workers, by bringing jobs back to our country where they belong. And I will appoint Justices to the Supreme Court who will strictly interpret the Constitution and not legislate from the bench, like Justice Clarence Thomas and the late and beloved great Catholic thinker and jurist, Justice Antonin Scalia.
We are at a crossroads in our country. Much like 1980. But the stakes are higher now—the highest they have ever been. We have two candidates representing entirely different agendas for our country that will take it in two completely different directions for generations to come. And our direction offers a much brighter future for our beloved country.
Thank you for giving me the time to share my thoughts with you on some of the critical issues facing us today.
Please keep me and my family in your prayers.
God bless you and may God bless the United States of America.
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