February 13th, 2008
01:40 PM ET
13 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. Mary

    If the Catholic church would take responsibility for promoting procreation instead of forms of birth control then maybe they would have some credibility. All you have to do is look at Mexico – too many people, not enough resources – very Catholic. The Catholic church is run by men. Another misogenist organization. Go HIllary!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    February 13, 2008 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  2. Rose Villarreal

    The catholic church should not have nothing to say about politics,
    Due to separation of church and state. This will intefere with votes
    to the candidates.!!!! I think that H. clinton is the best
    go clinton .

    February 13, 2008 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  3. Kim

    As a purely independent non-voting observer from Africa and a first time blogger here, it suddenly makes sense why the majority of Clinton supporters are at the lower end of the economic sprectrum. People with high hopes, big dreams and seemingly impossible goals strive for execellence and higher ideals and in so doing achieve more in life. It clearly shows why the message of hopes and dreams does not go well with the majority of Clinton supporters. Look at the clear difference in education and income levels and it all makes sense. ( For you high achievers in Clinton's camp, notice I said "majority" not "all" )

    And I am not saying Clinton supporters are less intelligent or lazy. Could it be that they just do not believe that dreaming big leads to higher achievements in life? Do they tell their children to dream big or are they resigned to the fact their children are destined for the same average achievements? It's a mindset....Really listen to Obama's message. You don't have to like the man. Just listen to the message.

    Let the name calling and cursing begin :}!

    February 13, 2008 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  4. Mary from CA

    Going off of what Jason from NYC said...

    This is just a thought from a college-aged Obama supporter from a Catholic background:

    I think it's possible that pregnancy rates are higher in Southern States because of the larger population of people (teen mothers and their families) who hold negative beliefs about abortion. They are less likely to abort and more likely carry a baby to term. It is unlikely that those teens who are getting abortions (esp. in other areas) are being counted in teen pregnancy statistics. I may be wrong – but I think these statistics are based on birth rates. Maybe that is why teen pregnancy rates seem higher in Southern States? I could be wrong, I just wanted to offer an alternative way of viewing that issue.

    I definitely agree with you that the Catholic church needs to update its stance on birth control and sex education!

    February 13, 2008 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  5. Purvis Smiley

    I wonder if the church would similarly complain about candidates who believe in the death penalty, which the Catholic Church opposes.

    Can't say one thing and do another...

    February 13, 2008 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  6. Bob

    mexicans just follow whos the most giving away welfare and they wonand how many illegal alien go to poll?

    February 13, 2008 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  7. david knight

    david knight, boston

    archbishop jose gomez should worry about poverty, racism, the state of catholic education, healthcare and issues/problems in his universe and stay out of the rule of law in this country. hillary clinton deplores abortion but supports a woman's right to choose as i do. according to the catholic church the vast majority of american woman are living in a state of mortal sin because they use contraception. the church has lost europe and is now in the process of losing america. i am a gay catholic man with three children and am now attending the unitarian universalist arlington street church in boston. as a catholic i don't know what i will do in the future.

    February 13, 2008 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
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