- The Washington Times - Thursday, October 13, 2016

Philadelphia Archbishop Charles Chaput used a weekly column to excoriate a “scheming” Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign for anti-Catholic bigotry on Thursday.

Thousands of hacked emails by Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta have embarrassed Mrs. Clinton since last Friday and revealed her key allies talking about ways to ignite a “Catholic Spring.” Documents obtained by the nonprofit WikiLeaks show Mr. Podesta and Sandy Newman, president of the nonprofit group Voices for Progress, mulling ways to end the “middle ages dictatorship” of the Catholic church.

“We created Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good to organize for a moment like this,” Mr. Podesta said Feb. 2, 2012, in response to Mr. Newman’s “Catholic Spring” idea. “But I think it lacks the leadership to do so now. Likewise Catholics United. Like most Spring movements, I think this one will have to be bottom up. I’ll discuss with Tara. Kathleen Kennedy Townsend is the other person to consult.”

Archbishop Chaput blasted the exchange, as well as another by John Halpin of the Center for American Progress that labeled Catholics “severely backwards” on gender relations.

“It would be wonderful for the Clinton campaign to repudiate the content of these ugly WikiLeaks emails. All of us backward-thinking Catholics who actually believe what Scripture and the Church teach would be so very grateful,” Archbishop Chaput wrote. “In the meantime, a friend describes the choice facing voters in November this way: A vulgar, boorish lout and disrespecter of women, with a serious impulse control problem; or a scheming, robotic liar with a lifelong appetite for power and an entourage riddled with anti-Catholic bigots.”

The archbishop’s column also discussed “obvious flacks for the Obama campaign” who visited him in 2008 and “surpassed their Republican cousins in the talents of servile partisan hustling.” Although he was not impressed with their pitch, the religious leader said activists and many American Catholics, “helped to elect an administration that has been the most stubbornly unfriendly to religious believers, institutions, concerns and liberty in generations.”

U.S. intelligence agencies claim Russian state actors are behind the theft of Mr. Podesta’s emails. WikiLeaks says it has roughly 50,000 more emails, which it will make public prior to the presidential election Nov. 8.

• Douglas Ernst can be reached at dernst@washingtontimes.com.

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