Your thoughts on Catholics being conned by Donald Trump

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In a recent opinion piece by Franciscan Sr. Fran Ferder and Fr. John Heagle, they write that many Catholics voted for former President Donald Trump because of his "pro-life" stance. But those Catholics were conned by narcissistic sociopath with patterns of exploiting, lying, blaming, manipulating, entitlement, impulsive behavior and avoiding responsibility. Letters to the editor are edited for length and clarity. You can join the conversation by following the guidelines below.


This validates my four-year nightmare and my feeling of abandonment by the Catholic Church. I have come so close to leaving the church I have devoted my life to. I hope that we can turn the page.

Pope Francis has been a refreshing apostle for Christ. I am sharing this in hopes that people I know will read and take time to reflect.

MARTHA SUE MARTIN
Houston, Texas

Letters to the Editor

***

The article "How Catholics got conned by Donald Trump" is filled with serial falsehoods, half-truths, and subjective opinions unworthy of a Catholic publication.

We knew former President Donald Trump was a playboy, wealthy building contractor and TV producer. However, we were not electing a pastor but a successful businessman we hoped would fix the worst economy in 70 years and America's standing in the world due to Barack Obama getting us into wars, his collusion with Russia, his terrible trade deals, decimation of the military and the disastrous deal with Iran.

To everyone's surprise Trump also became a champion for religious Americans. How did he "con" us by rebuilding the military, ending endless wars, creating jobs for all minorities, protecting our borders, bringing peace to the Middle East, increasing religious freedom, and supporting the sanctity of life? That is simply a vicious cheap shot.

MARIO GOVEIA
Perrysburg, Ohio

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I thought this article was well-presented with mostly everything that is publicly known about Donald Trump and why he was morally unfit to be elected.

But I have a problem with the title. Electing Trump was no "con job." The obvious facts and facets of who Trump was and his policies were available to every voter before he was elected. His supporters chose to ignore the obvious — twice. There is no con with willing support and complicity. 

SATHIYA BLY
Ventura, California

***

This is a well-written article. Our lack of true Catholic leadership caused many Catholics to worship Donald Trump like a golden calf.

God created the Catholic Church on earth to change society. God never created a government or endorsed a man-made government to change the world. Never did Christ tell his followers to go to Rome and write manmade laws to change the world.

Yet, many Catholic leaders think protest marches in Washington, D.C., are being Catholic. These same leaders think choosing the right government leaders full fills their role as a leader. We need to evangelize our neighbors and get as many people as possible to listen to the teachings of Christ.

Over 150 years ago, there was a great need for hospitals as our country grew. Catholic nuns created hundreds of hospitals thru out our country and then created excellent nursing schools that exist today. Catholics did not march on Washington, D.C., and demand the government build hospitals. Time for new Catholic leadership in the U.S.

GERALD GROSEK
Lead, South Dakota

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Sr. Fran Ferder and Fr. John Heagle ask "How do we explain the fact that nearly 57% of white Catholics voted for Trump in this last election?" They offer four answers.

Allow me to add a fifth: racism. Many of the white people who voted for a white supremacist are, to one degree or another, racists, and that includes the "many Catholic bishops" who voted for Donald Trump too.

The necessary changes that need to take place in the U.S. church will never take place at all unless we boldly expose and explore the role that racism has played in white Catholic support for Trump.

JEFFREY JONES
Hamburg, New York

***

In the article, "How Catholics got conned by Donald Trump," the author lists the psychology of Donald Trump, not Catholics.

The main protagonists are the prelates who align themselves with radicalized right wing so-called conservatives starting with Ronald Reagan because it fit their agenda of maintaining the status quo of the church's power structure through subversion of Vatican II by giving them access to the White House and a stream of anti-abortion money used as they wished.

Trump Catholics start with abortion as their reason for supporting the GOP yet end with racist statements with which we've all become familiar. Trump didn't believe in being politically correct so he took his gloves off. Hateful, hurtful, dishonest statements not previously allowed in public discourse were now shouted from the rooftops. Prelates said and did nothing effectively condoning this behavior.

The issue isn't Trump, it's the nature of some humans. It's a part of the U.S. Catholic Church, measured by the percentage of Catholics who voted for Trump, that has been there since the time of segregated churches and neighborhoods. It's not a matter of Trump conning Catholics. It's because that's who some Catholics are.

MICHAEL J. MCDERMOTT
Tyler, Texas

***

Thank you for the carefully written, well-documented article by Fran Ferder, a Franciscan sister and a clinical psychologist and Fr. John Heagle.

Too bad most of our American bishops will not read the article and practically none of the lay people who have been taken in by the inept shepherding of our bishops will read the article.

So often as children we were taught about the importance of conscience formation. I found it astounding that clergy in leadership appear to have such poorly formed consciences. They seem to lack the ability that most 10-year-olds have to discern right from wrong, the truth based on evidence as different from a lie or exaggeration and inaccuracies.

They who have preached ad nauseam about "bad habits" seemed not to recognize the ongoing thousands of falsehoods uttered by the person occupying 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. Those bad habits created an alternate universe/reality for so many of that individual's followers.

My heart is sick for the gospel so poorly preached and lived by the American Catholic church's leaders today. May we all pitch in and pick up the pieces and live the gospel today.

(Sr.) CAROL ZIEGLER, SND
South Euclid, Ohio


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