Philly prelate says both Clinton and Trump have ‘astonishing flaws’


Ahead of the 2016 presidential elections, a leading American Catholic prelate is saying that neither candidate is clearly better than the other, because both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump have “astonishing flaws.”

“This is depressing and liberating at the same time,” Philadelphia’s Archbishop Charles Chaput wrote in his Aug. 12 column for Catholic Philly, the news outlet of the archdiocese he leads.

“Depressing, because it’s proof of how polarized the nation has become,” Chaput wrote. “Liberating, because for the honest voter, it’s much easier this year to ignore the routine tribal loyalty chants of both the Democratic and Republican camps.”

In his column, Chaput argues that because of the financial reality of both candidates, with Trump being worth roughly $4.5 billion according to Forbes and Clinton $45 million, neither lives “anywhere near the solar system where most Americans live, work and raise families.”


Here is the direct link to Archbishop Chaput’s column:


“For Catholics, no political or social issue stands in isolation. But neither are all pressing issues equal in foundational importance or gravity. The right to life undergirds all other rights and all genuine social progress. It cannot be set aside or contextualized in the name of other “rights” or priorities without prostituting the whole idea of human dignity.”


I’m surprised Chaput isn’t a Trump man. He always struck me as a Republican tried and true.


He always struck me as a Catholic tried and true.




This may be the kind of guidance I’ve been searching for.


Given that you have such a high opinion of Chaput’s opinions on politics do you believe that he is indicating that a vote for Trump may not be an exercise of sound Catholic moral teaching?


[quote=Archbishop Chaput]The next few months will determine the next decade and more of our nation’s life. We need to be awake, we need to clear our heads of media noise, and we need to think quietly and carefully before we vote. None of us can afford to live the coming weeks on autopilot.

I particularly liked his closing. I’ve been struggling to be content this election year cycle due to our very poor options for President this year particularly given the effect it will have on our nation over the next decade and quite frankly (due to judicial appointments) much longer than that. I need to see this election as liberating, not defeating. I’ve been feeling let down that my efforts to fight for the unborn are being undone and have become depressed that we we’ve been left with the likes of two major candidates (Trump and Clinton) that can’t be trusted while the two leading 3rd party options (Johnson and Stein) are anti-life like the two majors.

But that won’t deter me from voting this year. I will no longer hold my nose and vote for the lesser of evils. I’ve decided just now to be liberated and feel 100% comfortable with my upcoming vote - especially this election cycle.

This year, a lot of good people will skip voting for president but vote for the “down ticket” names on their party’s ballot; or vote for a third party presidential candidate; or not vote at all; or find some mysterious calculus that will allow them to vote for one or the other of the major candidates.  I don’t yet know which course I’ll personally choose.  It’s a matter properly reserved for every citizen’s informed conscience.    

I thought this part helpful.


It’s just because for anyone taking their faith seriously there hasn’t been much of a choice other than a republican in over 20 years. Now we are pretty much left with no one good to vote for who has a chance of winning. :frowning:


In book it’s not that much of a difficult decision. The DNC nominee, if she won, would have the option of appointing judges who will skewer religious freedom of Catholics for the next 50 years.

Trump has flaws but given the platform of the GOP is much more in line with key Catholic teaching, orthodox Catholics and pro-lifers would be able to hold Trump’s feet to the fire much than they would the DNC nominee. And the libertarian candidate cannot win.

If the Democrats keep the White House, it’s going to be another long four years for American unless the occupants knife their base in the back over and over.

And what’s more, the establishment in DC could say “even after Obama, the TEA PARTY, Occupy, Black Lives, Matter, Bernie and Trump, at the end of the day, these freedom-loving/idealistic American voters come crawling on their bellies back to us”.


Well yeah I can’t tell you who to vote for but I can tell you that I have a good reason for not wanting to vote for either of them


The Tea Party is responsible for the current fix by dividing the GOP base.

They should just go quietly back into the night and let the party rebuild, if that is still in the cards.



The reality that for the exception of the late Justice Scalia, the more conservative justices are probably not going to be replaced for a while. The ones who might retire because of age are the ones who tend to vote liberal. SCOTUS isn’t at the verge of turning predominantly liberal.


But losing even one conservative judge to a liberal is going to hurt. We already only had 4 reliably conservative judges, and wouldn’t it be nice to replace the liberal judges with conservative ones. Maybe the court would give back a babies right to life.


Yes, I liked these comments. It sounds to me like he doesn’t know what he is going to do yet. And he does mention right to life - but also that it does not exist in a vaccuum. I am in the camp that thinks the GOP is already only marginally better on right to life than the Democrats - but the margin does matter. I think the Democrats are better on other “Catholic” issues such as the environment, social programs, progressive taxes.

I think he’ll go Trump in the end. Just my opinion. But I am taken aback (and impressed) by his forthright assessment of what Trump represents. I think a lot of us who are committed to one or the other are engaged in quite a bit of wishful thinking…reworking even of what we have been given.

Pray for a truly informed conscience.


Nothing surprising…however what is not only surprising but disturbing is the number of the lay faithful who seem to view Trump with blinders on, summarily dismissing all his faults and flaws…many of who have more critical of statements made by the Holy Father than by Trump.:shrug:


My post related to whether folks believed that Chaput was cautioning people to vote for Trump.

What you have provided is your own personal take on the choice of candidates.

That’s not really the question I posed.


I agree. And since when is a candidate judged on how much money he has? JFK had millions and I doubt there’s been a “poor” candidate for years. Money isn’t the telling part, but morals are. HRC is stridently pro abortion, anti religious and more. Did the good Archbishop miss this? Not saying vote for Trump, but I believe it would be sinful voting for HRC unless she has a moment of conversion.


You might want to look into the Solidarity Party.

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