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. Monty GOP Delaware

    Reading some of the blogs hear leads me to notice that the HRC supporters are quite sensitive and outright intolerant. Just an observation....

    Maybe they have been conditioned by years of bitter fighting with others so they constantly feel that if you don't agree with them, then you must be totally against them.

    February 13, 2008 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  2. LisaMpls

    I'm Catholic, and I think the archbishop's comments go too far. There is no requirement that you believe in pro-life or that you are a Catholic to attend the University. The students need to be exposed to more than a narrow view of life.

    Furthermore, many Democrats' positions go much farther than Republicans' positions to love and help thy neighbor. He sounds like a one-issue voter. How unfortunate.

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

    sharon tomalavage
    your words were right on target! i couldn't agree more

    February 13, 2008 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  4. John

    Please do not compare Obama to the crazy president we have in office right now.

    February 13, 2008 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  5. A real Texan

    To the Texas:




    February 13, 2008 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  6. Corey, Maryland

    Silly Christians and Catholics. I apologize that some people have different ideologies than you do. If you want a theocracy so much, move to Iran.

    Obama Richardson 08!!!

    February 13, 2008 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  7. Jerry

    Maurice Jr
    the catholic church isn't a democracy. I'm not even a catholic, but i am amused at how some catholics say how devout they are on the way to criticizing their leadership. I am not saying that the leadership is right or always correct in thought, but it is interesting to see them try to address their faith as if it were american politics.

    February 13, 2008 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  8. Patrick, Portland, Oregon

    Ummm, I think the catholic church is against the death penalty too.. oh but wait, those are already born poor black men. Shut up archbishop and keep your personal beliefs to yourself. God will be the one that judges us, not some snot nosed pompus irrelevant religous figure. Shame on all of you who throw religion into the public sector and judge others. I pray for all of you that there is no hell cause you will all be there judging away.

    February 13, 2008 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  9. MediaJunkie, Arlington, VA

    "However, I encourage Catholics to understand the teachings of the Church on the broad spectrum of public issues that are of great concern today."
    Good, broad spectrum. That means there are other issues aside from abortion and gay marriage Archbishop. Catholics aren't supposed to be for war and capital punishment either, but nobody's threatening to withdraw communion over that.

    February 13, 2008 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  10. bob


    February 13, 2008 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  11. Stephina

    I'm Catholic, live in Texas and I support Clinton as my first choice and McCain as my second choice.

    Where they stand on abortion is non issue for me.

    February 13, 2008 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  12. Heather

    Jim Rob on this post is right. Catholic are running around worrying about the unborn and then after people are born, screw them if they are not Catholic.

    We have 1000s of people coming back from Iraq PERMANENTLY mentally and physically damaged and Republicans and Catholics just keep running around worrying about OTHER people's unborn. Instead of stumping on abortion, they should be stumping on what we will do for all our Vets, their families and children.

    Republican's use abortion to get in office.
    Shame on you to vote Republican just because of your abortion views. You must not care so much about your neighbor (and doesn't God say, love your neighbor).

    February 13, 2008 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  13. observer#1

    While Hillary is pro abortion, Obama's view of abortion is horrible. I just watched a news report on it last night. . Should a child survive a partial abortion, Obama's stand is to deny any medical treatment of any type whatsoever to the child. Hillary was against this practice.

    February 13, 2008 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  14. Chuck

    Mostly old, mostly white, mostly celibate...men...shouldn't be making reproductive decisions for young, fertile women.
    Go Hillary...

    February 13, 2008 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  15. no_more!

    Priest molesting children is against the church teachings too, but that doesn't stop them! No wonder Catholics are against abortion!
    I was raised going to Catholic school. The first thing I did when I became of age was to get the he!! out of the Catholic religion, never to return!

    February 13, 2008 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  16. Hoping for the Armed Revolution, San Diego, CA

    As a scientient human being who was raised Catholic but who purposefully excommunicated himself when he was fourteen due to the shear insanity of the Church's dogma and hyprocrisy of its clergy and now, more recently, its disgraceful handling and continued cover up of the sexual abuse of its clergy, I am left shaking my head as to why anyone would look to these charlatans for moral guidence and hand over their hard earned money to this corrupt institution via their weekly tithe. Having said that, Bishop Gomez should lose tax exempt status for his diocese given he is now a political pundit and operative. There is a circle of hell waiting for you Papa Gomez.

    February 13, 2008 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  17. O8

    Yes but the Clintons want to tell people how to think, how to vote, their sense of entitlement does not end with Bill being an AA but also with her already saying she is the president, and she will win TX< OH< an PA..............
    not only sense of entitlement, but again she uses the minorities as she sees it fit for political gain..........
    did anyone see she had a little boy in a sombrero give her flowers, the child looked lost.. then the other day her campaign had a 5 year old ask some silly question about marriage to BILLL of all people..........

    gee sounds desperate, to use children _ well younger children _ not interns.

    now the Billary campaing is copying Senator's Obama's style and even words
    Watch and listen carefully_

    February 13, 2008 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  18. O8

    TEXAS, OH< AND PA remember she voted for the war.................

    February 13, 2008 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  19. J C

    Its time for the arch bishop to stay away from the political scene..The abortion issue is a way to avoid talking abt the other major problems our country faces..Bush had a majority republican congress and a republican leaning supreme court but they never banned abortions...Even if there is an outright ban abortions will still continue because people will break the law....Its time to get serious abt our economy because if people are doing well in their lives then maybe just maybe the number of abortions will drop but banning it will not much to stop it...By the way i am a Staunch pro life Catholic...

    February 13, 2008 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  20. SOS

    Sandy..Right on.
    I have lived in San Antonio for 13 years. St Marys University, puts out some pretty prominant Attorneys. [not the most moral and socially acceptable career path]
    With that being said. I think Hillary is the lest of the Catholics Churches problems.
    But, if you want to take the moral high ground start cutting out the graduate programs that are immoral or contribute to immorality of society....but then again the money would stop flowing.
    Again, bashing Hillary makes global news. Say a few hail mary's and stay out of Politics, for it will not save your soul.

    February 13, 2008 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  21. Frank

    Another CNN's pro Obama newsbitz. Did you noticed it – most of the headlines here are pro Obama? I'm Still waiting for CNN to post a positive headlines for Hillary.

    I'm a CNN fan and now I beg you to be fair in your coverage and reporting.

    February 13, 2008 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  22. Ron Mepwith

    Once again, a member of the catholic heirarchy is trying to force the tenets of the church on others. Yes, force. That is something the catholic church understands much more clearly than love and neighborliness. As a former born catholic, I soon found out that those who run the church are not very admirable, and that they do not hesitate to lie.

    February 13, 2008 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  23. Kay Tuner

    Why are people afraid of OBAMA's speeches? They do not seem to understand how wise this guy is. Look at his skillful management of his campaign. How many candidates managed to attract crowds for the growth of our democratic party? Historic!.
    Whoever qualifies Obama speeches as fake, does not understand the quality of his management. American people are very good in knowing what is best for them. They are not stupid. Voting for Obama is the right thing to do. Wait until the primaries are over and see how he will manage the general election.

    February 13, 2008 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  24. Cindy

    I'm not at all familiar with other proclamations by the archbishop of San Antonio, Jose Gomez, or why we should care about his singular opinion. Does he always use the Church for political purposes? If so, would he welcome anti-abortion candidates who approve of torture, disregard for the Constitution, and "preemptive" war?

    How vocal was Gomez about pedophile priests and the Church's continued efforts to protect those who victimize children? Is this the real reason they oppose abortion so strongly – to provide more children for their sadistic pleasure? Gomez has no moral standing in my view.

    February 13, 2008 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  25. Busted by CNN again

    Bye Bye, I'm out of here.

    February 13, 2008 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
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