- The Washington Times - Wednesday, October 12, 2016

A leading Catholic advocacy group on Wednesday called for the resignation of Hillary Clinton’s campaign spokeswoman, Jennifer Palmieri, after hacked emails show Ms. Palmieri and other Clinton allies openly talking about Catholics being “severely backwards” and charging that they don’t know “what the hell they’re talking about.”

In its statement, CatholicVote.org said there is now a pattern on the part of the Clinton campaign of dismissing or even making fun of large blocs of Americans.

“Hillary Clinton has already called half of her opponents’ supporters ‘a basket of deplorables’ and ‘irredeemable’ and now it comes out that her campaign spokeswoman dismissively question[ed] the sincerity of Catholic Americans’ faith,” said Brian Burch, president of CatholicVote. “Everyone has a unique faith journey, and it’s just insulting to make blanket statements maligning people’s motives for converting to another faith tradition. Had Palmieri spoken this way about other groups she [would be] dismissed. Palmieri must resign immediately or be fired.”

The messages in question come from the WikiLeaks hack of Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta’s private email. Mr. Podesta doesn’t appear to have been involved in the April 2011 email discussion between Ms. Palmieri and John Halpin, a senior fellow at the liberal Center for American Progress, which Mr. Podesta used to head.

Mr. Podesta received each message but apparently did not respond.

In the exchange, Mr. Halpin mocks media mogul Rupert Murdoch for raising his children in the Catholic church and said that most “powerful elements” in the conservative movement are all Catholic.

“It’s an amazing bastardization of the faith. They must be attracted to the systematic thought and severely backwards gender relations and must be totally unaware of Christian democracy,” Mr. Halpin said.

“I imagine they think it is the most socially acceptable politically conservative religion. Their rich friends wouldn’t understand if they become evangelicals,” Ms. Palmieri responded.

“Excellent point,” Mr. Halpin wrote back. “They can throw around ‘Thomistic’ thought and ‘subsidiarity’ and sound sophisticated because no one knows what the hell they’re talking about.”

Republican nominee Donald Trump, Mrs. Clinton’s opponent in the 2016 presidential race, ripped the anti-Catholic remarks during a campaign rally Tuesday night.

“The new emails show members of the Clinton team attacking Catholics. This is deeply offensive. It’s just the latest evidence of the hatred that the Clinton campaign has for everyday Americans,” the billionaire said.

• Ben Wolfgang can be reached at bwolfgang@washingtontimes.com.

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