February 13th, 2008
01:40 PM ET
10 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. BarBara L. Chavez

    I hope that Obama will be able to also attend and allowed to speak at St. Mary University. Beside I truely feel deep in my heart, that the one to bring the Colors (Races) together will be BARACK OBAMA.

    A Very Strong Chicana from Fontana
    and a Deligate from California

    February 13, 2008 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  2. sharon tomalavage

    In reply to Sandy. Nice try, but your remarks concerning McCain's acceptance of soldiers being killed is off the mark. #1 these soldiers (as heroic and worthy of our respect and admiration as they should be) volunteered to serve. They, like police officers in every city/state know what can happen, this is why we respect and admire them so much. Unborn children have no such choice. They are innocents who have not yet experienced any of life's choices. Shame on you Sandy for not recognizing that.

    February 13, 2008 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  3. EricTx

    We Latino's in Texas need to come together and vote obama. I was leaning toward hilary till I see she forced our fellow latino Solis Doyle to step down (fired for all purposes). Is this what we can expect. Hilary giving us Latino voters promises and then when she gets our vote, throwing us to the side because she got what she wanted. We need to come together as Latino's and make a stand. I am voting obama

    February 13, 2008 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  4. jamdown

    Sandy – very eloquently said. Your comments are right on target.

    February 13, 2008 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  5. Jaime Nava

    Tax the Church heavily and you'll see how quickly they separate from the state.

    February 13, 2008 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  6. Jason NYC

    If the catholic church would like to continue to ride its high horse with regard to abortion, it needs to modernize (by a few centuries) its views on birth control and sex education. This is especially important in the southern states where teen pregnancy is the highest.

    February 13, 2008 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  7. Patrick

    Sandy, supporting the Iraq war means you care about people in my opinion. I was for the war to help all the innocent Iraqi's being slaughtered by Saddaam Hussien. Pulling out too early will cause genocide to happen. How can you say McCain isn't protecting life with his position? I am for the war b/c I want LESS people to die.

    February 13, 2008 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  8. MI Independent

    Obama is all talk and people are so desperate after the Bush years that they will believe anything positive someone SAYS. How about looking at what Obama has DONE – minimal when compared with Hillary.

    The media will not vet this guy, but the republicans will. I did my homework and what I see scares me. NO TRACK RECORD. He uses the same exact rhetoric that Bush used during his first run at the white house "I'll be a uniter, not a divider". Remember, talk is cheap, it's what you do. Obama is an inspirational speaker, not a leader BASED ON HIS MINIMAL RECORD.

    I will not vote for Obama under any circumstances and I think the democrats will not win in November if this guy is carrying the banner.
    I always was amazed at how Americans could vote Bush into office not once, but TWICE. Watching people fall for Obama's empty promises reminds me how gullible Americans are for pretty words. Obama is just a liberal version of Bush. We will never learn.

    February 13, 2008 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  9. Kenny H.

    Whatever happened to the seperation of church and state? When choosing a candidate to vote for, the abortion issue should not at all be the defining means by which a candidate is judged. Look at all the Catholics that voted for GWB, for two terms. He's certainly no Catholic, and look at all of the senseless deaths he's caused in Iraq and Afghanistan to date.

    So with that in mind, please do not allow the abortion issue to cloud your judgement at the polls folks. It's time for serious change and a brand new direction in this country. And for those folks who still haven't figured it out yet, all of Senator Obama's plans regarding the issues, are right there on his website.

    Just go to his website, and click on where it says "issues" and you're there. It's very comprehensive and detailed, and makes a lot of sense. My vote will be cast to move forward in this country, and not backward as some would choose to do.

    February 13, 2008 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  10. To RuthieM and all others

    Clinton is not like obama to say anything,do anything to win. He is giving planned,prepared inspiration speech to win election just like George W.bush, trying to deceive people. Obama thinks he can away with it, by deceiving people with his FAKE speech that does not do any good except may be give him votes. If he is president, he will do just like Bush, with all inspiration speech he has no stuff to say because he had done nothing in his life to improve the country.

    February 13, 2008 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  11. rj

    she choose a Catholic school for a campaign rally to make a good impression to the Hispanic population which a majority tend to be Catholic

    February 13, 2008 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  12. Maurice Jr

    As a devout Catholic, I think the church needs to stay out of politics and policy. Last time I checked it was a free country. Students opposed to the platform of Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama who both support a woman's right to choose can chose not to vote or attend their rallies. I am so tired of my church trying to have its cake and eat it too.

    February 13, 2008 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  13. Barry

    So, will Gomez advise against letting candidates who support the death penalty to speak there, also?

    February 13, 2008 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  14. Adam, CA

    "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."

    And they should vote for republicans for their stance on the death penalty war and ending poverty?

    Neither party actually embraces christian values in a broad sense.

    February 13, 2008 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  15. Jerry

    its because you live in a free society that you can make your opinions known. The archbishop isn't hindering hillary's free speech. St. Mary's is a PRIVATE college regilously affiliated with the archbishop. He is free to interpret his doctrine and apply that to those under him. What do you say to all those catholics under him who agree with him. It would be one thing if we were talking about a public institution, but should we place controls on all private organizations on who and who cannot speak there. This wasn't someone outside criticizing the administartion, but someone over it. This isn't a religious state, but religious overseers still have the right to oversee whom they've been charged.

    February 13, 2008 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  16. Dr. Truth, Boston

    He added "however child abusers are welcome to speak as this is very much in keeping with the Catholic tradition"

    February 13, 2008 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  17. Justin

    It's pretty sad that you can't listen to another person's opinions based solely on your religion. I'm no Hillary supporter, but this is pathetic. If everyone ignored everyone else (or tried to) that had the opposite opinion, this world would go nowhere. Be a little more open-minded. I'm not telling you to change your views by any means, but don't shut anyone out. If you truly are strong in your convictions, you should have no trouble listening to someone and sorting out what you agree and disagree with. Give others respect.

    February 13, 2008 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  18. Archbishop

    The archbishop should first clearly put its support behind Huckabee and other people who believing in God. Has different opinion on one thing is important, has totally different believing is most important issue for the archbishop. But what you know about the archbishop, they have been working side by side with other false gods in the past all the time.

    February 13, 2008 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  19. Wayne, Greenville TX

    Papa Roach February 13th, 2008 2:36 pm ET

    Good move! Just say NO to Hillary.

    As a ex-Catholic, I said NO to the Catholic Church, and the holier-than-thou clergy who tried to tell us what to do while doing nothing about all the pedophiles in their ranks.

    Before you criticize anyone else, Archbishop Gomes, make sure YOUR house is in perfect order.

    February 13, 2008 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  20. Michael Clarke

    As a practicing, communicant Roman Catholic and Clinton supporter, I would like to ask Archbishop Gomez if he would prefer that we put our support behind one of the candidates in the race who has been married several times, or who publicly rejects the Trinity and the Eucharist. (McCain and Huckabee) I'm not sure it's appropriate for a diocesan bishop to pick and choose which tenets of canon law to hold presidential candidates up to.

    February 13, 2008 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  21. AJ, IL

    Why is Obama's name being brought up in this discussion? The archbishop of San Antonio, Jose Gomez criticizes St. Mary's University for inviting Hillary to speak there due to Hillary's pro-choice stance. Maybe Hillary should stick to doing small townhall meetings. Many Hillary supporters are bad-mouthing Obama, why? Because he is leading in states won, the popular vote, and total delegates!

    Obama in 08!

    February 13, 2008 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  22. Natalie

    I'm glad Gomez is taking a stand. I wish others in the Catholic institution would.

    February 13, 2008 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  23. Sandra

    Gomez needs to speak out about the molestation of children by the Church's priests. When I was a child I use to wonder why some priests were at my parish and then all of a sudden they were gone.

    February 13, 2008 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  24. Susan

    Clinton will change her stance on abortion if it means the White House. She is such a fake. We're on to you Toots!

    Note to Hillary:
    If you would like some credibility with women

    1. Divorce your serial philandering sex addicted husband

    2. Learn to tell the truth

    3. Recognize your intellect is not that great and you need help occasionally.

    4. It's not all about you 24/7

    5. Find your own way without being attached in some way to the coattails of a man.

    February 13, 2008 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  25. J Sett

    I think this is the religious politics that Sen. Obama has been talking about. These have divided us for far too long. There are plenty of things that both Sen. Clinton and Sen. Obama can agree with the church on. I am sure that all parties want a stronger economy, more accessible healthcare, and as little war as possible and both Sen. Clinton and Sen. Obama stand for that.

    A Stronger America '08

    February 13, 2008 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
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