Trump adviser provokes row with Catholics

What happened?

Donald Trump’s presidential campaign CEO has accused US Catholics of only being in favour of immigration to boost Church membership. “I understand why Catholics want as many Hispanics in this country as possible, because the Church is dying in this country if it was not for the Hispanics,” said Steve Bannon, who is reported to be Catholic himself. He had previously complained that House Speaker Paul Ryan was “rubbing his social-justice Catholicism in my nose every second”.

What the US media are saying

Several outlets reported the reaction of the Franciscan Action Network, which said Bannon’s comments were “anti-Catholic, anti-immigrant” and had “racist undertones”.

There was also wider discussion of Donald Trump’s lack of appeal among Catholic voters. Under the headline “Donald Trump has a massive Catholic problem”, the Washington Post claimed that Trump is “cratering” among Catholics. Polls show that he has the support of only 32-34 per cent of Catholics, compared to Hillary Clinton’s 55-61 per cent. Catholics are important in the election; they comprise a quarter of voters and are regarded by some as a coherent voting bloc. “But Catholics have long been a swing vote in presidential elections, and right now they’re swinging hard for Clinton,” the paper said.

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