February 13th, 2008
01:40 PM ET
7 years ago

Catholic leader criticizes Clinton invite

(CNN) - The archbishop of San Antonio, Jose Gomez, released a statement Wednesday criticizing the decision of a Catholic university there to invite Hillary Clinton to address students, saying that she and other candidates in the race held positions on abortion and other issues that were incompatible with Church teachings.

Clinton is scheduled to speak at St. Mary’s University in San Antonio Wednesday evening. Gomez said he was surprised to learn of the planned event.

"It is not my intention to tell people for whom to vote," said Gomez. "However, I encourage Catholics to understand the teachings of the Church on the broad spectrum of public issues that are of great concern today.

"I urge the faculty and the ministry staff at St. Mary's University to continue to carry out their responsibility to educate their students in their political duty in accordance with the teachings of the Catholic Church."

Clinton has been counting on a strong showing in Texas, which votes March 4.

Both Hispanics and Catholics have been major voting blocs for Clinton this cycle. In most of the contests to date, the New York senator has won a decisive majority of both groups.

In a 2005 Time magazine profile of Gomez - one of the most prominent Latino Catholics in the region - his former boss, Denver Archbishop Charles Chaput, emphasized his clout with both church and state. Gomez, Chaput said, is someone who "gets listened to in the state of Texas."

–CNN Associate Political Editor Rebecca Sinderbrand


Filed under: Hillary Clinton • Texas
soundoff (107 Responses)
  1. Obama Supporter

    If this arcbishop has any clout, he will cause Clinton votes in her Catholic base.

    Obama 08'

    February 13, 2008 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  2. Sandy

    I am a life-long Catholic, and have been volunteering in Barack Obama's campaign for a year in SA and recently in New Mexico.

    I think that abortion is a horrible violence.

    However, I do not think that Senator Clinton should be disinvited by St. Mary's University. I support her right to speak in a free society.

    I would like to make these points:

    1. It sounds the Archbishop believes that only Senator McCain and Mike Huckabee would be acceptable presidential candidate speakers at St. Mary's University.

    2. However, Senator McCain believes that we should be in an endless war. So his "pro-life" stance covers only babies before they are born. After they are born, the US can kill them as "collateral damage" in an endless war and that would be OK with the Archbishop?

    3. Last time I checked we do not live in a RELIGIOUS STATE like the folks in Iran where no one has the right to speak against what a handful of religious clerics enforce with the threat of imprisonment or death.

    February 13, 2008 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  3. Yelsin

    Boris Yeltsin elected as first Russian president on June 12, 1991 by a direct popular vote. His policy at the time: change. Most russian people wanted change for so many years. But his government failed miseably and most Russians lived worse under his presidency.

    Here in the US, we have many voters wanted change also now. Do we know each candidates' policy clearly? Are you sure the change you voted for is the change you will get? For sure there will be change, since Bush will leave the Whitehouse no matter what. Are we voting for the prosperity of this country and people?

    February 13, 2008 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  4. Papa Roach

    Good move! Just say NO to Hillary.

    February 13, 2008 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  5. RuthieM

    Clinton'll probably change her stance on abortion for the moment so she can speak here.

    February 13, 2008 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  6. California Independent

    That's it CNN..... keep picking at scabs. Tear the Democratic party apart. Makes room for us independents. BwaaHaaHaa!

    February 13, 2008 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  7. Joyce Francis Jacksonville,, FL

    At last - a man of God who is willing to stand up for his church's principles!!! They may not be mine or yours, but they are his, and its his church that Hillary, the liar, the thief, the pro abortionist, the enabler, is to speak at. Amen to this man for making it a point!

    February 13, 2008 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  8. Carl

    After reading this article, I remembered something Obama said while running for Illinois senator: "I running to be the senator, not the minister." Gomez has every right to oppose Hilary's visit or even Barak's . But who will he vote for in November? If Huckabee loses, he'll have no choice, but to vote for a pro-choicesupporter. But who knows, McCain may flip flop again.

    February 13, 2008 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  9. Kareem from Hampton VA

    Well I guess she should've went to Wisconsin!!

    February 13, 2008 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  10. sharon tomalavage

    One of the main reasons why I will not be voting for Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama is their pro-abortion stance. I realize there are many people who take a pro-choice view, however, most agree that "partial-birth" abortion is too close to infanticide for their conscience and voted decidedly against it. (Last polling showed approximately 85% voted FOR a ban on partial birth abortion–except for Obama and Clinton. One of these candidates went so far as to deny medicine or any kind of help for babies who actually survive this barbaric procedure. Hint: it's not Senator Clinton. I am a woman with a $35,000 yearly income who has struggled at times to raise my son (who is now 27 years old), but I will not vote for anyone who cannot give the unborn at least a fighting chance.

    February 13, 2008 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  11. KC

    Then there would have to be a NO to Obama as well. His positions are the same as Hillary.

    February 13, 2008 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  12. Sam

    No catholic should vote for a democrat based on their view of Abortion. The church needs to make a greater effort to stress this with American Catholics.

    February 13, 2008 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  13. Joe

    This is ridiculous. If you want to keep your tax-exempt status, you should be REQUIRED to stay out of the game of politics. A qualifier that "you don't want to tell people how to vote" is insufficient to mask the true intent of your comments, which are to pressure catholics or other christians generally to vote for the "moral" party, and against the wickedly immoral and promiscuous "left wing."

    February 13, 2008 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  14. Peace

    One bad news after the other accompanied Hillary.

    February 13, 2008 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  15. Kentucky

    Has this woman no boundries? Why on earth would she choose a Catholic school for a campaign rally? Gomez is correct in his statement, I just hope the rest of the latino population see her for what she is.

    February 13, 2008 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  16. VT DEM

    It is about time, he has been saying crap about her all along, but you know once they scream racism it is hard to speak up for yourself. Go Hillary, call him out on all the bull he has been saying.

    February 13, 2008 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  17. Debby Tulsa OK.

    We are never going to have a candidate that we agree with on everything. We have to look at what that person has done in the past and judge if that is the person we want to stand up for us. This election is very important to our country. We are in 2 wars are jobs are going away people need help with just day to day living. EXPERIENCE is very important to a lot of people. I know it is to me.

    February 13, 2008 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  18. Carl

    After reading this article, I remembered something Obama said while running for Illinois senator: "I'm running to be the senator, not the minister." Gomez has every right to oppose Hilary's visit or even Barak's for that matter. But who will he vote for in November? If Huckabee loses, he'll have no choice, but to vote for a pro-choice supporter. But who knows, McCain may flip flop again.

    February 13, 2008 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  19. Joe Benik

    This is just another instance of Catholic leaders pushing their church away from mainstream Americans. It is one thing for the church to take a position on abortion, but it is another to criticize a Catholic university for being a university in the true sense of the word - a place where people of differing views come together to learn from each other.

    As a practicing Catholic and a graduate of a Catholic university, I am disappointed in the archbishop's decision to make agreement with Catholic political positions a requirement for debate in a Catholic university.

    February 13, 2008 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  20. Bukky, Baltimore

    Oh Puh Lease... I am NOT a Clinton supporter but "Abortion' is not the only issue plauging the world. Let the woman speak...

    February 13, 2008 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  21. Liz

    They've been saying "no" to women in leadership roles for centuries.

    February 13, 2008 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  22. i8pikachu

    The Archbishop is right. Let us hope the university administrators invite other candidates across the spectrum.

    February 13, 2008 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  23. texas

    Obama people tell me why I should vote for Obama with out using the words "change" and "Hope".

    I know you can't THAT IS WHY THIS CATHOLIC IS VOTING FOR HILLARY!!!!

    February 13, 2008 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  24. Robert S., New Orleans, Louisiana

    Why should any presidential candidate be banned from a tax exempt non profit organization?

    February 13, 2008 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  25. Jim Rob

    This Archbishop needs to learn that Hillary does not want to force anyone to have an abortion -geeeeesh louise! Sorry, but that's just silly...and I'm not even voting for Clinton. She states that abortion should be minimized and that it's between the privacy of the parent and their god.

    Typical Republicants – love the embryo but once you're born; screw you you're on your own!

    February 13, 2008 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
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