On Elections, Philly Archbishop Says ‘Right to Life’ Reigns Supreme

Catholic Archbishop Charles J. Chaput answers questions following a news conference on July 20, 2011 in Denver, Colorado. Chaput was announced Tuesday as the Archbishop-designate for the diocese of Philadelphia, one of the country's largest dioceses in the United States. The church in Philadelphia is still reeling from a sex …
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In his most recent column, Philadelphia Archbishop Charles J. Chaput (pictured) tells the faithful that despite the flaws of both presidential candidates, the right to life takes pride of place when considering which candidate to vote for.

Though it is “blasphemous” to assume that God prefers any political party, Chaput muses, God “is always concerned with good and evil and the choices we make between the two.” For Catholics, he adds, while no political or social issue stands alone, they are not all “equal in foundational importance or gravity.”

Among them, one reigns supreme.

“The right to life undergirds all other rights and all genuine social progress,” the Archbishop notes. “It cannot be set aside or contextualized in the name of other ‘rights’ or priorities without prostituting the whole idea of human dignity.”

So, although in the Archbishop’s mind both candidates for the White House have “astonishing flaws,” there is a real hierarchy in the importance of the issues that compose the platform of the two candidates.

In his column, Chaput also takes issue explicitly with the two prominent Catholics in America’s political eye: Hillary Clinton’s running mate, Tim Kaine, and the current Vice President, Joe Biden.

These two “prominent Catholics,” the Archbishop states, “both seem to publicly ignore or invent the content of their Catholic faith as they go along.”

Anyone who claims the Catholic label while not actually believing what the Catholic faith holds to be true and letting it guide their thoughts and actions “is simply fooling himself or herself — and even more importantly, misleading others,” he adds.

Furthermore, while one presidential candidate is guilty of “bombast and buffoonery,” the prelate suggests, the other “should be under criminal indictment,” at least in the eyes of many.

Archbishop Chaput hastens to note that his column is a collection of personal comments that should be read “as thoughts from a brother in the faith, not as teachings from an archbishop.” He also underscores that each candidate is “problematic” and neither is ideal.

Still, reading between the lines there is good reason to infer that when November comes along, Chaput will be standing firmly in the #NeverHillary camp.

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