San Antonio archbishop regrets tweets implying Trump is a racist

President Donald J. Trump and San Antonio Archbishop Gustavo Garcia-Siller (AP/CNS Photo/America Media composite)

Archbishop Gustavo Garcia-Siller of San Antonio, Tex., regrets that his recent tweets about President Trump “were not focused on the issues but on an individual.”

“All individuals have God-given dignity and should be accorded respect and love as children of God, especially in our conversations and interactions,” the archbishop said in a bilingual statement. “We should be aware of this in our discourse about the Office of the President of the United States, which is due our respect.”

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On Tuesday, Archbishop García-Siller tweeted that the president should “stop hate and racism, starting with yourself.”

The archbishop also released a video statement on Facebook.

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On Tuesday on Twitter, Archbishop García-Siller tweeted that the president should “stop hate and racism, starting with yourself.” He also pleaded with Mr. Trump to “stop fake prayer” and said he had caused “too much damage already” in a series of tweets that has since been deleted.

The tweets came after shootings in Dayton, Ohio, Gilroy, Calif., and El Paso, during which gunmen took the lives of more than 30 people. In the aftermath of the shootings, many have connected the violent action to Mr. Trump’s political rhetoric.

The tweets came after shootings in Dayton, Ohio, Gilroy, Calif., and El Paso, Tex.

“Here in South Texas the nearby community of Sutherland Springs was the scene of such a tragedy two years ago,” Archbishop García-Siller said. “This evil makes no sense and will never be fully understood. Disbelief and shock are the overwhelming feelings; and there are not adequate words. There can be no justifiable explanation for such scenes of horror.”

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The archbishop recalled the U.S. bishops’ document, “The Enduring Call to Love: A Pastoral Letter Against Racism,” which states: “Despite many promising strides made in our country, the ugly cancer of racism still infects our nation. Racist acts are sinful because they violate justice. They reveal a failure to acknowledge the human dignity of the person offended, to recognize them as the neighbors Christ calls us to love.”

“Every racist act—every such comment, every joke, every disparaging look as a reaction to the color of skin, ethnicity or place of origin—is a failure to acknowledge another person as a brother or sister, created in the image of God,” according to the document, which was approved last November.

 

“No one has the moral right to make racist statements,” Archbishop García-Siller said. “There is growing fear and harassment, and at times American public discourse uses rhetoric that instigates fear against foreigners, immigrants and refugees.... We do not need more division, but rather, we need to move forward in freedom to discuss these topics more deeply in light of the Gospel.”

According to a recent poll, 85 percent of U.S. adults believe political debate has become more negative. Around 55 percent believe Mr. Trump has worsened the tone of political rhetoric, and fewer than 24 percent believe he has improved it. 

Comments are automatically closed two weeks after an article's initial publication. See our comments policy for more.
katiecor@comcast.net
2 weeks 2 days ago

I agree with you - silence does not change the hate and rhetoric coming from 45. People stood by and said nothing when Hitler and the SS came rounding up their neighbors and killing them -let’s learn from history and call out the hate in a respectful manner.

katiecor@comcast.net
2 weeks 2 days ago

I agree with you - silence does not change the hate and rhetoric coming from 45. People stood by and said nothing when Hitler and the SS came rounding up their neighbors and killing them -let’s learn from history and call out the hate in a respectful manner.

Stanley Kopacz
2 weeks 2 days ago

One of the secrets to Trump's success is appeals to white racism and fears of the Twilight of White Dominance. Plain as day. Of course, he'll deny it while doing it. His followers don't demand coherence or consistency or truth.
The Bishop has to be nice, even to such a poor excuse for humanity and manhood as the Orange Poltroon. I don't.

Franklyn BUSBY
2 weeks 2 days ago

The challenge to your hypothesis is that the President has neither the intelligence nor the affinity for self-reflection to act so intentionally. These are the responses of a back alley rodent.

Stanley Kopacz
2 weeks 1 day ago

No intelligence or reflection of any positive sort, I agree. But he does seem to possess the demagogue skill set.

Robert Klahn
2 weeks 2 days ago

Sorry if this does not sound charitable, but apologizing for speaking the truth is wrong.

Evil does not just happen, evil is done by people. Those who do evil must be called out, personally, by name.

So, Archbishop García-Siller , you were right the first time, wrong to apologize for it.

Rudolph Koser
2 weeks 2 days ago

There should have been no apology. Telling the truth about a public person like the President is important. I wish more of the bishops would speak up to this racist and the hate he spews. Too many Catholics support this moral turd.

A Fielder
2 weeks 2 days ago

This article makes the archbishop look well-intentioned, but absolutely spineless. How sad. God given dignity never the stopped the bishops from firing an LBGT employee, or denying communion to the divorced and remarried. Why is it so important now in relation to Donald Trump? What will happen to our community of moral discernment when we can not hold vicious people and criminals accountable. The president has created a hostile work (and living) environment in this country. There should be social and legal consequences for him, not just simple platitudes about human dignity.

Franklyn BUSBY
2 weeks 2 days ago

Amen!! Can you imagine any of the JPII and Benny XVI-appointed hierarchs standing in the front line of a march with Rev. Dr Martin Luther King, Jr.? Or with the Berrigan brothers (good Jesuits, they) in opposition to the Vietnam war?

J Jones
2 weeks 2 days ago

A, did you watch the video or find the whole statement? Please do. This Hispanic American leader made a statement in his overt and extraordinary pain and distress, apologized for its delivery but he does NOT apologize for the the larger truth.

Adeolu Ademoyo
2 weeks 2 days ago

Here are the critical issues of the moment. Do not be diverted. A racist god father told his audience in different rallies that those who do not look like him and those who do not look like members of his audience are invaders, rats, sub-humans, vermin. The same racist god father in different tweets said those who do not look like him live in cities -where no human being will want to live. This means that to this racist godfather, those who live in these places are sub-humans. The same racist god father tweeted that four American Congress women who do not look like him should go back to where they came from. By this the racist god father is claiming that these four American Congress women are not Americans or are less American than him and those who look like him!

The same racist god father went to different rallies to call those who do not look like him invaders. The audience of the racist god father responded enthusiastically to the racist god father's lead: "Shoot them", "send them back". The racist god father grinned in acknowledgement to his audience's enthusiastic chant "shoot them" "send them back". "Them" means those who do not look racially and ethnically like the racist god father and members of his audience.

Finally, on Saturday August 3rd, 2019 another racist who is being charged by the Federal Government as a domestic terrorist killed 22 people and injured others in El Paso, Texas. This racist shooter and domestic terrorist called the racial group he targeted invaders who have come to replace his (the racist shooter) own racial group in the United States of America.

Recall that the racist god father and members of his audience had earlier called the racial /ethnic group of the victims of the shooter and domestic terrorist invaders, who have come to replace the race of the racist god father and his audience in the United States of America. This means that the racist god father, his audience and the racist shooter and domestic terrorist are using the same language to describe people who do not look like them.

These are the critical issues. Do not be diverted. Do not let fallacious posts divert you. Do not fall for the traps of those who post to deliberately divert from the main issue. Always remember how the racist god father often divert with his silly racist tweets in order to move on to the next racist tweet to work up his base in preparation for the 2020 election. It is a game, a ploy, please do not fall for diversion. Like we say when we play tennis-fix your eyes on the ball! In other words, do not be diverted by those who want to diminish the impact of the racism the racist god father is using as a platform for his re-election. Fix your eyes on the ball.

The critical question remains and which is that: Given that the racist calls his victims invaders who deserve to be shot, can a racist empathize with the victims of his racism, those he-the racist calls invaders and who deserve to be shot or sent back to where they came? That is the critical question of the moment.

So speak up as Christians. Our Christian faith is not a racist faith. Our Christian God is not racist. Do not be afraid, said our Lord Jesus Christ. HE, our Lord is always with the just, and with you. Christ came for the vulnerable and the marginalized and our dear Pope Francis told us to always be with the marginalized, the socially and economically invisible to unjust power and those at the margins, and the periphery of human society. So do not be afraid. Stand firm on and with Christ and with the truth. Do not be diverted. Do not be afraid. May God Bless you all.

J Jones
2 weeks 2 days ago

Thank you, Adeolu. Keep writing.

Annette Magjuka
2 weeks 1 day ago

100% correct.

J. Calpezzo
2 weeks 2 days ago

The Archbishop should be removed. Clearly Trump is a racist. If the church doesn't have the huevos or good sense to call out another Hitler, then the leadership should be bounced.

J Jones
2 weeks 2 days ago

The article poorly represents the full statement by a Hispanic American man from Texas days after Hispanic Americans and Mexicans were hunted down and massacred in Texas specifically because they WERE Hispanic Amerivan and Mexicans in the US. This Hispanic American DID and DOES have that good sense. His apology, when encountered in its wholeness makes that crystal clear.

karen oconnell
2 weeks 2 days ago

we have to work really hard not to be swept into the regressive....adolescent rehetoric espoused by Herr Dumpf. he doesn't think or care about what he says.....- but we need to do so for- our country's sake....for our families.......... and for our own individual sense of who we are/ want to be..

Peter Schwimer
2 weeks 2 days ago

I'm disgusted that the Archbishop felt the need to apologize. I dont have the bully pulpit that either Trump or the Archbishop has, but I guarantee that as a mere layman the Archbishop would have had no problem calling me out should I have said half the things Trump does.
Hypocrisy knows no bounds in the Church.

J Jones
2 weeks 2 days ago

This Hispanic American man in Texas is trying to cope in the days after the Hispanic American and Mexican community in Texas was hunted down and massacred precisely and only because they are Hispanic American and Mexican. I cannot imagine the horror and the trauma.

Franklyn BUSBY
2 weeks 2 days ago

A quote from C. S. Lewis' (a good Anglican, he) Screwtape Letters:

“About the general connection between Christianity and politics, our position is more delicate. Certainly we do not want men to allow their Christianity to flow over into their political life, for the establishment of anything like a really just society would be a major disaster. On the other hand we do want, and want very much, to make men treat Christianity as a means; preferably, of course, as a means to their own advancement, but, failing that, as a means to anything — even to social justice.”

Donna Zuroweste
2 weeks 2 days ago

No surprise. The Napa Institute 1%ers, whose "seminar" he recently attended, threatened removal of their financial backing for one of their own. Hence his reversal.

Prophet silenced. Always follow the money. He allowed Power over to crush Truth, antithetical to prophecy.

It takes great courage to speak Truth to Power, and face being killed. He was not up for it. Case closed.

J Jones
2 weeks 2 days ago

This Hispanic American man is living through the immediate aftermath of the hunting down and massacre of Hispanic Americans and Mexicans because they are Hispanic. Let's save our rage and blame for racists and mass murderers, not victims.

Mary Therese LEMANEK
2 weeks 2 days ago

He "regrets" speaking the truth? How disappointing...I thought that this was a sign sanity, discipleship and transformation.

J Jones
2 weeks 2 days ago

This Hispanic American man in Texas is living through the massacre in Texas of Hispanic American and Mexican human beings. I cannot imagine the horror and trauma. I saw a glimpse of it in his obvious distressing the video.

david_roccosalva@yahoo.com
2 weeks 2 days ago

disappointing, in deed. but then again, galileo made a force apology, too.

THOMAS E BRANDLIN, MNA
2 weeks 2 days ago

J. Jones, your comment about Mr. Long-Garcia writing this on the fly leads me to ask, Does it matter? I knew Mr. Long-Garcia when he restored the Catholic publication in Los Angeles to greatness (no pun intended on MAGA as in, MLAGA). He is a great journalist and a fine Catholic gentleman.
I think Archbishop Garcia-Siller is to be commended for his humility and trying to make amends for going after an individual, rather than the problem. What interests me is the mis-defining of racism. Fascinating that the President asks for unity and a societal condemnation of racism and is called a racist. Or, that he did tell the four representatives to go back to where they came from in a broader sense as when we say, "My people came from Europe," and is called racist. Yet we don't hear the rest of the tweet that when they see how successfully the countries of their ancestry handle the issues they speak of, then they can come back and tell us how to handle these issues in this country.

J Jones
2 weeks 2 days ago

I agree 100% with everything you say. JD is a wonderful journalist. I have confidence that he can handle my request that he consider editing this piece, published no more than 24 hours after the release of the statement, to present the whole and uninterrupted statement by this Hispanic American man from Texas in the immediate aftermath of the hunting down and massacre of Hispanic Americans and Mexicans in Texas. He apologized only for the delivery, not the larger truth.

J Jones
2 weeks 2 days ago

Duplicate

Richard Barbieri
2 weeks 2 days ago

Update: Jesus regrets driving money changers from Temple, “den of thieves” comment; also “whited sepulchers” and “generation of vipers.” Concerned about contributing to divisiveness.

J Jones
2 weeks 2 days ago

This is an HISPANIC HUMAN BEING trying to cope after the HUNTING DOWN and MASSACRE of HISPANIC HUMAN BEINGS because they WERE Hispanic human beings.

J Jones
2 weeks 2 days ago

I am stunned by the lack of compassion for this Hispanic American man in Texas in the immediate aftermath of the massacre of Hispanic Americans and Mexicans in Texas. Have none of us never experienced grief and trauma and then confusion about how best to help others also experiencing grief and trauma? If you can acknowledge that shared human experience, then imagine that experience compounded by the horror of knowing that every single Latino in the United States is at risk of being hunted down and murdered because they are Latinos in the United States. This man told the truth. Listen to his full statement. He is still telling the truth. Look at his eyes, listen to his voice in the video. This is a traumatized human being you are attacking. THIS IS A LATINO MAN IN TEXAS DAYS AFTER LATINO PEOPLE IN TEXAS WERE HUNTED DOWN AND MASSACRED IN TEXAS FOR BEING LATINO IN TEXAS.

J Jones
2 weeks 2 days ago

If the rest of the United States would speak in unqualified terms about the racism and xenophobia
of the President of the United States and huge numbers of the citizenry, the community which has been victimized - Latinos in the United States - would not have to try to figure out how to say it in ways which satisfy the rest of us.

Will Nier
2 weeks 2 days ago

Much a do about nothing. Mr. President speaks the truth.

E.Patrick Mosman
2 weeks 2 days ago

Another liberal, Archbishop Garcia-Siller, has to equate the President's reference to the "invasion" by illegals storming our Southern border to apply to even legal immigrants in order justify
his arguments maligning President Trump. Perhaps the Archbishop could explain what legal authority justifies his aiding and abetting those who are by definition law breaking illegal immigrants?

J Jones
2 weeks 1 day ago

This is a LATINO MAN IN TEXAS days after the MASSACRE OF LATINO PEOPLE IN TEXAS. The murdered human beings were MASSACRED because they were LATINO HUMAN BEINGS IN TEXAS.

John Love
2 weeks 2 days ago

Frankly, I am a little more worried about the emotional state of the many of the commenters here than I am about AB Garcia-Siller's tweets and retraction.

Anthony John Cooke
2 weeks 2 days ago

Thank you so much for your comments. So very fair and two the point Mr Jones. I live in Canada and have the privilege of calling this latino man, a good friend and great priest. I like so many people around the world are always shocked at the USA for the way they continue to defend their use of guns. It should never be a right to carry a gun, and now there are more guns then people should that not be enough sales for the NRA?
I pray that one day your country will be able to overcome this need for guns.

david_roccosalva@yahoo.com
2 weeks 2 days ago

But shouldn't the archbishop tell the truth? Trump is a racist.

J Jones
2 weeks 2 days ago

He did tell the truth. He apologized for his delivery. Read the whole statement, watch the video.

Robert Rebman
2 weeks 2 days ago

Thank you, Archbishop. God bless you and your work. Christians have an obligation to be honest and to speak out about injustice. It isn't always comfortable or popular. Thank you again for your courage.

Vincent Gaglione
2 weeks 1 day ago

While refreshing to hear a Church leader express a judgment with which I totally agree, I think that the good Bishop had second thoughts about his tweet out of a sense of charity. That is, unfortunately, a virtue that the president and his defenders seemingly do not share.

The Bishop made a statement of judgment in his tweet, a judgment that a majority of citizens agree with, even if they don’t mind it. Those who don’t mind it may not be racists. Being charitable like the Bishop, even the president may not be a racist. But the ultimate face of Catholic Christianity is charity, is goodwill to all in spite of the abuse heaped on a Christian. Because so many of us don’t really believe heart and soul in charity, that is how the Catholic Church of the Middle Ages got into the business of defending behaviors and behaving contrary to Christian beliefs.

The defenders of the president here need to ask themselves the question whether or not they think the president behaves like a Christian. Then the questions of racism, sexism, duplicity, avarice, etc., fall by the wayside to the most basic judgment of all. And on that question, I sincerely believe, that he is not and behaves so. I do find it so very hard to share the charity that the good Bishop exhibits.

Stuart Meisenzahl
2 weeks 1 day ago

Vince
I will readily agree that Trump is not acting in a Christian manner on any number of issues but that does not ipso facto make him guilty of racism any of the other “isms” currently being thrown around like so much confetti.
Being Christian is not co-extensive with sound judgement, good government, or providing equality before the law.
If that were the case there would not be the current mass exodus from Catholic Latin American. Being a good Christian has nothing to do with good Government
If this country only elected individuals who lived up to the ideals of Christianity, then the brothers Kennedy would never have been elected, nor Lyndon Johnson, nor even Franklin Roosevelt ,and certainly not Woodrow Wilson the Father of the current Progressive Movement.

J Jones
2 weeks 1 day ago

Stuart, you are correct. Not every person lacking in Christian charity is a racist. The President of the United States, however, is a racist.

Stuart Meisenzahl
2 weeks 1 day ago

J Jones
As you yourself noted below in response to F Keyes, you need to meditate upon your judgmental conclusion.

J Jones
2 weeks 1 day ago

Stuart, The commenter below is engaged in truth-telling is a spiritually sound way. THAT is worth some meditation. I continue to acknowledge your denial that the President of the United States is engaged in racism. We are hearing from the President of the United States the same language that motivated a man to hunt down and massacre Latinos in Texas precisely because they were Latinos in Texas. The President smiled and laughed and joked when someone proposed "shoot them" as a policy solution.

I acknowledge as well that I read your comments because I look forward to your truly marvelous vocabulary! "Obdurant determinism" is my favorite to date. Thanks! More more more!

Stuart Meisenzahl
2 weeks ago

J. Jones
You obviously like, admire, and respect the good Archbishop enough to defend him against those who are even farther to the left than you seem to be.
The Archbishop recanted his stated judgement that Trump is a racist......it would seem to be an object lesson for someone like yourself as an admiring defender of the Archbishop to be as humble and gracious..” Verbum Sap Sat”

J Jones
2 weeks ago

I was not familiar with this truth-telling Latino man in Texas prior to the massacre of Latino people in Texas precisely because they were Latino human beings in Texas. If you have not studied his full statement, I encourage you to do so. He communicates very clearly. The headline focused on one part of his full and powerful statement on racist language and conduct and the unequivocal need to address it. Thanks for the Latin!

Vincent Gaglione
2 weeks ago

Hi Stuart,

“Being Christian is not co-extensive with sound judgement,…” That’s a very interesting reply. When we get to the pearly gates I have the sneaking suspicion that the final judgment on each of us by the Almighty will less likely be on our “sound judgment” but rather on our Christianity. And that, of course, was my point. “Sound judgment” may be life preserving; Christianity is soul preserving.

Vinny

Stuart Meisenzahl
2 weeks ago

Vince
Noted your comment on final judgement but feel compelled to add that you seem to downplay that the Creator provided us with bodies Intimately connected to our souls. The former requires “sound judgement” etc to protect and maintain it . Were it otherwise the human race would have ceased to exist: a pure and singular spiritual concern would have sent each individual to his own cave to only contemplate God and his imminent but welcomed starvation. I am reminded of the religious orders whose rules recognize monastic life still requires work to maintain life and “the requisite sound judgement “ of an Abbott to assure its continuation.

FRAN ABBOTT
1 week 5 days ago

Vincent Gaglione — WELL SAID!!!

E.Patrick Mosman
2 weeks 1 day ago

The following is a reminder of the mass killings that took place on President Obama's watch and neither the Republicans nor the media were calling him a racist or blaming him for the mass murders. There was no outcry of "White supremacy " a new category and there was no FBI investigation of another new category "domestic terrorism" for which there is no Federal law. The democrats and media ignore the recent past blinded by TDS.
Of course Obama's cozying up to the Muslim Brotherhood and the Iranian mullahs both terrorist or sponsors of terrorism could have triggered several of the Muslim murderers.

-Binghamton shootings 2009 Apr 3 Binghamton New York 14 including the gunman 4 wounded.

-Fort Hood shooting 2009 Nov 5 Fort Hood Texas 13 including the gunman 30+ wounded, it was the deadliest mass shooting on an American military base.

-Geneva County massacre 2009 Mar 10 Geneva and Samson Alabama 11 including the gunman 6 wounded.

-Aurora shooting 2012 Jul 20 Aurora Colorado 12 70 people were wounded, 58 from gunfire, 4 from tear gas, and 8 from injuries sustained fleeing.

-Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting 2012 Dec 14 Newtown Connecticut 28 including the gunman 27 at the school (including the gunman) and the attacker's mother at her home. 20 of the dead were children aged 6–7 years old.

-Washington Navy Yard shooting 2013 Sep 16 Washington Navy Yard Washington D.C. 13 including the gunman 8 wounded, 3 from gunfire.

-Charleston church shooting 2015 Jun 17 Charleston South Carolina 9 1 wounded.

-Umpqua Community College shooting 2015 Oct 1 Roseburg Oregon 10 including the gunman 8 wounded.

-San Bernardino attack 2015 Dec 2 San Bernardino California 16 including both gunmen 24 wounded. Attackers brought pipe bombs as well as firearms, they targeted a San Bernardino County Department of Public Health training event and Christmas party.

-Orlando nightclub shooting 2016 June 12 Orlando Florida 50 including the gunman 53 wounded.

-Las Vegas shooting 2017 Oct 1 Las Vegas Nevada 59 including the gunman 851 wounded, 422 from gunfire.

-Sutherland Springs church shooting 2017 Nov 5 Sutherland Springs Texas 26 including the gunman 20 wounded and an unborn child not counted in the 26 dead was also lost.

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