Press Release: NETWORK Responds to Donald Trump’s “Letter to Catholics”

For Immediate Release: October 7, 2016
Ashley Wilson, [email protected], 202-601-7856

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – In his latest attempt to pander to voters, Donald Trump and his campaign released Donald Trump’s message to Catholics. In response, Sister Simone Campbell, SSS, Executive Director of NETWORK and leader of Nuns on the Bus said, “We have been carefully following this election and were interested to see a candidate directly address Catholic voters, but Mr. Trump’s message distressed and disappointed me.”

The letter fundamentally demonstrates Mr. Trump’s flawed understanding of the diverse views of Catholics in America. In the first presidential election in the era of Pope Francis, Catholics are more than ever considering a broad range of issues including economic inequality, immigration, hunger, and homelessness. Those acting as single-issue voters are far less frequent than in the past. Pope Francis’s visit to the White House in September 2015 established this, “Mr. President, together with their fellow citizens, American Catholics are committed to building a society which is truly tolerant and inclusive, to safeguarding the rights of individuals and communities, and to rejecting every form of unjust discrimination.”

“Perhaps this letter was an attempt to address Mr. Trump’s problem connecting with Catholic voters” said Sister Simone, “but his message to Catholics is a political ploy and it won’t fool anyone.” A recent poll by Public Religion Research Institute shows Secretary Clinton favored over Mr. Trump among white Catholic voters (44% Clinton vs. 41% Trump)and non-white Catholics (76% Clinton vs. 13% Trump) alike.

Sister Simone continued, “Donald Trump is once again trying to use dog whistle politics to appeal to voters; he tried using the old code words and failed. What Donald Trump doesn’t realize is that in this election, Pope Francis voters are carefully weighing their choices to vote for the common good.”

Sister Simone concluded, “One letter to Catholics will not undo a long campaign of hateful rhetoric and discrimination espoused by Donald Trump.”

NETWORK urges voters to focus on the issues related to the common good this election, and has created candidate side by sides comparing Mr. Trump and Secretary Clinton on NETWORK’s core Mend the Gap issue areas: Tax Justice, Living Wages, Family-Friendly Workplaces, Democracy, Healthcare, Citizenship, and Housing.


NETWORK, advocates for justice inspired by Catholic sisters, educates, organizes, and lobbies for economic and social transformation. They have a more than 40-year track record of lobbying for critical federal programs that support those at the margins and prioritize the common good.

Sister Simone Campbell, SSS is available for interviews. For inquiries, contact Ashley Wilson [email protected] or 202-601-7856.