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Trump campaign head: Catholics support Hispanic immigration to boost Church numbers—UPDATED

Deacon Greg Kandra - published on 08/23/16

From The Hill:

Steve Bannon, Donald Trump’s new campaign CEO, previously accused Catholics of supporting Hispanic immigration to prop up the church’s numbers on his radio program in the spring. “I understand why Catholics want as many Hispanics in this country as possible, because the church is dying in this country, right? If it was not for the Hispanics,” Bannon told Robert P. George, a Princeton law professor who, along with dozens of other leaders, wrote an open letter to fellow Catholics denouncing Trump. “I get that, right? But I think that is the subtext of part of the letter, and I think that is the subtext of a lot of the political direction of this.” The Hill first reported on Bannon’s March 8 comments Monday. Bannon railed against House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and said he was “rubbing his social-justice Catholicism in my nose every second.”

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UPDATE: The Franciscan Action Network on Thursday released a response. Their statement: 

Franciscans disgusted by Trump staffer’s anti-Catholic statementNot only is the statement anti-Catholic, it is also anti-immigrant and racist Washington, D.C.—The Franciscan Action Network is appalled by Donald Trump consultant Steve Bannon’s recent comment that the Catholic Church only supports immigration reform in the United States because “the Church is dying.” The statement smacks of anti-Catholic, anti-immigrant, racist undertones. Anti-Catholicism was once an ugly part of our nation’s history, but no matter one’s background or place of origin, the Catholic Church in the United States has always been a Church of immigrants and has “Welcomed the Stranger” as Jesus commanded. “Pope Francis has called on us to build bridges and not walls,” said Franciscan Action Network’s Executive Director Patrick Carolan. “In the past Donald Trump has attacked the Pope, and now his campaign is going after the Church itself. Enough is enough.” Our country has a history of racism and Catholics and people of faith must speak out as the Trump campaign continues to disparage women, minorities, different religions, and the disabled. The future of our democracy depends on the ability to have a free exchange of ideas without resorting to name calling or discrimination against different groups.
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