A Kentucky Catholic bishop is admonishing the Covington Catholic Excessive Faculty college students who confronted a Native American man in Washington, D.C., in a video that went viral final week ― insisting that the teenagers can’t declare to be “pro-life” whereas sporting President Donald Trump’s “Make America nice once more” hats.
The Rev. John Stowe, the bishop of the Diocese of Lexington, stated that being “pro-life” additionally means valuing the lives of immigrants and refugees ― one thing he stated he strongly believes Trump has didn’t do.
“It astonishes me that any college students taking part in a pro-life exercise on behalf of their college and their Catholic religion could possibly be sporting attire sporting the slogans of a president who denigrates the lives of immigrants, refugees and other people from nations that he describes with indecent phrases and haphazardly endangers with life-threatening insurance policies,” Stowe wrote in an op-ed for the Lexington Herald-Chief on Wednesday.
He stated he’s “ashamed” that the scholars’ actions have contradicted the targets of the March for Life, the large annual anti-abortion rally the teenagers had been in D.C. to attend.
Covington Catholic Excessive Faculty, an all-boys college in Kentucky, stepped into the nationwide highlight after a video emerged final week that appeared to indicate its college students, many sporting MAGA hats, mocking a Native American demonstrator on the Lincoln Memorial. Extra movies that emerged later from totally different angles introduced a extra difficult view of the incident, indicating that it was a three-way confrontation involving the scholars, Native American demonstrators and a gaggle of Black Hebrew Israelites.
Covington Catholic Excessive Faculty, which is below the purview of the Diocese of Covington, has confronted heated backlash for the reason that incident. The varsity and diocese have shuttered their web sites and social media accounts. Diocesan workplaces and the highschool had been closed on Tuesday after threats of violence and the potential of massive crowds of protesters, the diocese stated in a press release.
Each places reopened on Wednesday with a heavy police presence. The diocesan workplaces had been briefly evacuated within the afternoon after experiences of a suspicious package deal.
On Saturday, as information of the confrontation on the Lincoln Memorial was rising, the diocese condemned the teenagers’ actions and pledged to take disciplinary measures “as much as and together with expulsion.” After the discharge of the extra movies, the diocese stated Tuesday that it launched a third-party investigation and is gathering info to find out “what corrective actions, if any, are acceptable.”
Stowe stated that he didn’t wish to place the blame fully on the teenagers or interact in a dialogue in regards to the context of the video. As an alternative, he stated he wished to level out MAGA hat has no place on the March for Life.
He stated that American Catholics’ anti-abortion advocacy has develop into separated from the “much more fundamental fact of the dignity of every human particular person.” Catholics have to take different points under consideration earlier than deciding whether or not to help Trump, he stated.
“We can not uncritically ally ourselves with somebody with whom we share the coverage aim of ending abortion,” the bishop wrote. “Whereas the church’s opposition to abortion has been steadfast, it has develop into a stand-alone situation for a lot of and has develop into disconnected to different problems with human dignity.”
Surveys point out that Stowe shouldn’t be alone in American Catholic circles in his criticism of Trump. The overwhelming majority of Hispanic Catholics (74 p.c) and a slim majority of white Catholics (52 p.c) surveyed stated they’ve a detrimental opinion of Trump, in accordance with a Public Faith Analysis Institute examine performed final fall.
Whereas Stowe is staunchly anti-abortion, many American Catholics have extra difficult views of the problem. Catholics are cut up about Roe v. Wade, the landmark Supreme Courtroom choice that legalized abortion nationally, in accordance with the PRRI. White Catholics had been extra probably than Hispanic Catholics to say that Roe v. Wade was determined appropriately (54 p.c versus 42 p.c).
Nonetheless, most white Catholics (64 p.c) and Hispanic Catholics (56 p.c) stated they’re against legal guidelines that may forestall federally funded well being care suppliers from discussing abortion with their sufferers.
And regardless of the various Catholic teams that flocked to this 12 months’s March for Life, solely 40 p.c of Catholics polled stated that abortion is a essential concern for them.
In truth, American Catholics procure abortions at about the identical price as American ladies general, in accordance with a report from the Guttmacher Institute.
If the anti-abortion motion seeks to make abortion “unthinkable,” Stowe wrote, it also needs to be championing “deep adjustments in society and insurance policies that may help those that discover it tough to afford kids.”
He identified that racism can also be a “life” situation, echoing statements made in a pastoral letter crafted by American Catholic bishops in November. The letter condemned the current rise of anti-Semitism, Islamophobia and xenophobia within the U.S. and explicitly addressed the oppression of Native, Hispanic and black People.
“College students should grapple with this historical past and ask themselves how they’re going to stay in another way,” Stowe wrote in his op-ed. “The affiliation of our younger individuals with racist acts and a politics of hate should additionally develop into unthinkable.”