Donald Trump's Catholic Outreach

President Donald Trump shows his signed Executive Order on Promoting Free Speech and Religious Liberty during a National Day of Prayer event at the White House in Washington May 4. (CNS photo/Jim Lo Scalzo, EPA)
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This week Matt Malone, S.J., and Kerry Weber discuss a range of political issues, from the recent chatter about whether or not pro-life people are welcome in the Democratic Party, to President Trump’s public engagement with the Catholic Church. Senior Editor Kevin Clarke also offers his expertise.

Joining them is Michael O’Loughlin, the national correspondent at America, who talks about how President Trump has made Catholic news in the last few weeks, first by signing an executive order concerning religious liberty flanked by nuns and cardinals, and second by announcing that he will meet Pope Francis later this month.

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Mr. O’Loughlin described why Trump may have chosen to sign his latest executive order alongside  Catholic leaders. “I was thinking about when the Affordable Care Act was signed into law seven years ago there was another Catholic sister who was involved in that process, Sister Carol Keehan, who is head of the Catholic Health Association. And she got a little bruised throughout that process…. The president ultimately said that Sister Keehan’s backing of the bill was what allowed it to pass because Catholic health care is so important in this country.”

Mr. O’Loughlin, who wrote the book The Tweetable Pope: A Spiritual Revolution in 140 Characters, also detailed the communications (direct and indirect) between the pope and President Trump ahead of their May meeting in Rome. “There is a little bit of debate [as to] when the pope is talking about the United States and when is he talking broadly,” he said. “I think the answer can be both.”

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