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Archbishop Chaput: both major presidential candidates are 'problematic'

August 12, 2016

Archbishop Charles Chaput of Philadelphia has offered his personal thoughts on this year's American presidential race, revealing that he has not yet decided how he will vote.

"Both major candidates are-- what's the right word? so problematic-- that neither is clearly better than the other," the archbishop writes, in a column for his archdiocesan newspaper. He emphasizes that he is offering his personal reflections on the race, and recognizes that Catholic voters may take different approaches to their decisions. But he insists that voters have a moral obligation to defend the right to life. 

Since both major-party candidates have obvious defects, Archbishop Chaput reasons, Catholic voters may be tempted to vote for a 3rd-party candidate, to abstain from voting in the presidential contest, or to cast a strategic ballot for a candidate they do not enthusiastically support. "I don't yet know which course I'll personally choose," he writes.



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  • Posted by: Randal Mandock - Aug. 15, 2016 10:28 AM ET USA

    Someone else pointed out in this forum that Trump's misstatements embarrass the PC crowd on the right and provide ammo for the progressivists on the left, but they do no real harm when understood in context (Trump is new at politics, he's a man on a construction crew at heart, he doesn't understand the Christian moorings of his moral perspective) and elaborated. His opponents' well-planned "mistakes," on the other hand, get people killed and follow Obama in closing down Catholicism in the U.S.

  • Posted by: unum - Aug. 13, 2016 11:38 AM ET USA

    I'm a big fan of Archbishop Chaput. However, he speaks as a bishop (whether is says it is personal or not) and Catholics follow! These words disappoint! He would have been consistent with Church teaching if he reiterated the Church's teaching about our civic obligation to become informed and to participate in elections. He might also have mentioned the importance of understanding the candidates' positions on freedom of religion and the right to life.

  • Posted by: TheJournalist64 - Aug. 13, 2016 7:04 AM ET USA

    But which of the candidates will cause the most problems for our witness and practice, and which is more likely to throw the Archbishop in prison?