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.”

Advertisement

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.

[Don’t miss the latest news from the church and the world. Sign up for our daily newsletter.]

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.”

[Want to discuss politics with other America readers? Join our Facebook discussion group, moderated by America’s writers and editors.]

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.
J Jones
2 weeks 1 day ago

No one is blaming President Trump for the fact of mass murders. You are correct that they are a phenomenon which preceded him. He is being blamed for engaging with a smile and laughter and humor when someone answered "Shoot them!" to his question about how to stop what he has repeatedly called "an invasion" at the southern border.

A few weeks later, a man stated publicly online that he planned to "shoot them" for an invasion across the southern border. And he shot them. 48 of "them", and 22 are now dead.

There is no parallel with any previous American president.
It is clear that a lot of Americans are having a hard time accepting that there IS a parallel between a President who laughed about the shooting of "invading" Latinos and the murderous motivations of a man who slaughtered Latinos in Texas simply because they were "invading" Latinos.

E.Patrick Mosman
2 weeks 1 day ago

"There is no parallel with any previous American president." probably because no other American President ever faced an
"invasion" of our borders and a Congress that has failed to enact needed Immigration legislation to end this illegal immigration. Perhaps you could explain how and why Obama was never blamed for any of the massacres that occured on his watch. And why the silence on which or maybe all of the Democrat presidential candidates was responsible for the
Ohio mass murderer.

J Jones
2 weeks 1 day ago

No other President or Presidential candidate has laughed at the suggestion the United States government solve policy issues by murdering human beings. That is what we are talking about here.

E.Patrick Mosman
2 weeks 1 day ago

"murdering human beings. That is what we are talking about here."
Really? It appears that quite a number are blaming President Trump and holding him personally responsible for the terrible action of a mentally troubled individual based on a look. and failure to respond to your liking to an unknown voice in the crowd. And nowhere has the President ever called for killing anyone except to call for renewal of the death penalty for mass murderers.
By the way where is the outrage at parents who turn their children plus thousands of dollars to coyotes to smuggle them into America and we are faced with thousands of' unaccompanied children,Trump's fault?

J Jones
2 weeks ago

Please go back and watch the video in which Trump ******smiled, laughed and responded twice****** to the suggestion that the government "shoot them" as a policy solution.

E.Patrick Mosman
2 weeks ago

I watched it and saw nothing that would could be considered racist, suggest agreement or that anyone should go out and shoot anyone. Of course those suffering TDS find evil intent in a smile.
By the way was Obama' s" they bring a knife we bring a gun" comment the reason for the mass murderers during his time as President?

J Jones
2 weeks ago

The President of the United States smiled, laughed and joked twice when a supporter proposed "Shoot them" in response to the President's request for a solution to illegal entry across the southern border.

E.Patrick Mosman
2 weeks ago

I stand by my comment, TDS is rampant. By the way you ignored Obama's much more direct comment advocating shooting those who opposed him and his policies. Why?

J Jones
2 weeks ago

The current President of the United States smiled, laughed and joked twice when a supporter responded to the President's request for suggestions re: how to
solve a policy dilemma at the southern border by "shoot[ing] them".

E.Patrick Mosman
2 weeks ago

So you repeat yourself but fail to acknowledge that Obama said, not smiling or joking. "we bring a GUN" to a knife fight was
a direct call for shooting your opponent than anything President Trump has said. Get real, TDS is your driving force.

J Jones
2 weeks ago

The current President of the United States asked a crowd for a policy solution to illegal crossings by human beings at the southern border. A supporter shouted "Shoot them!" The current President of the United States smiled, laughed, joked twice. Weeks later, a US citizen went to the southern border and shot "them" as a policy solution.

Stuart Meisenzahl
2 weeks ago

J Jones
Congrats on your tenacity but repetition of the same statement does make your argument stronger....it just makes this thread longer.
I believe Mr. Mossman asked you in the context of your accusation to justify OBAMA’S famous injunction “YOU BRING A KNIFE,WE BRING A GUN” . You seem to fear it will be the last item in the exchange so you repeat yourself in order to ignore the point.
It might just have been another “what about...” except you seem so afraid to tackle it!

J Jones
2 weeks ago

The current President of the United States smiled, laughed and joked twice when a supporter shouted "Shoot them!" in response to the President's request for policy solutions to illegal crossings of the southern border by human beings. Seven days ago, an American citizen went to the southern border and shot "them" as a policy solution. Police reported today that he said he went looking for "Mexicans", that group of human beings the current President of the United States has repeatedly described as "murderers", "rapists", "invaders", etc.

Trump is stuck with it, the country is stuck with it and the terrorized Hispanic American and Mexican communities of El Paso and Juarez are stuck with it. Watch the video statement by this Latino man in Texas days after Latino people in Texas were massacred precisely because they WERE Latino human beings in Texas. THAT is what the article is about.

E.Patrick Mosman
1 week 6 days ago

Have you or anyone of the anti-Trump suffers of TDS actually read the El Paso killer's manifesto?
Here is what he wrote about Trump:

"My ideology has not changed for several years," Crusius wrote. "My opinions on automation, immigration, and the rest predate Trump and his campaign for president. I [am] putting this here because some people will blame the President or certain presidential candidates for the attack. This is not the case. I know that the media will probably call me a white supremacist anyway and blame Trump's rhetoric. The media is infamous for fake news. Their reaction to this attack will likely just confirm that."
Source:
https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/columnists/has-anyone-actually-read-the-el-paso-manifesto
"That was the only time Trump appeared in the manifesto, and it appears clear that Crusius borrowed his "fake news" characterization of the news media from the president. But that is not what Trump's critics have charged. They have charged that Trump inspired Crusius to kill. They have charged it so often in the last few days that it has hardened into a general perception that Crusius was inspired by the president. But read the manifesto. It's just not there."
Time to offer your apology as did the Archbishop.

J Jones
1 week 6 days ago

I hear you. You and others choose not to acknowledge that the President of the United States had the opportunity to use the Office of the President of the United States to immediately and unequivocally condemn in the clearest and most serious of terms his supporter's suggestion of "Shoot them!" in response to his request for policy solutions re: illegal crossings by Latino human beings at the southern border. You and others choose not to acknowledge that, instead, the President of the United States heard the suggestion "Shoot them!" and the President of the United States paused, smiled, laughed and joked twice. I hear you. You and others choose not to acknowledge that. You choose to repeatedly reduce the President's response to a "smile" when that is not the fact of what happened. I hear you. You and others choose not to acknowledge that it is dangerous when the most powerful person in the room (in this case, the President of the United States) interrupts himself to smile, laugh, joke twice at the suggestion that a problem be solved by shooting other human beings. I hear you. Why you and others choose not to acknowledge that is beyond me. But you and others are making that choice. One hundred sixty eight hours ago, Hispanic human beings in Texas were hunted down and massacred because they WERE Hispanic human beings in Texas. I cannot imagine how frightening the choice made by you and others to refuse to acknowledge the President's conduc must be to many in the Hispanic community. Nor can I imagine how frightening that choice must be to the Hispanic man in Texas whose full video statement is available at the Facebook page of the San Antonio Archdiocese. https://m.facebook.com/ArchdioceseOfSanAntonio/

Stuart Meisenzahl
1 week 6 days ago

J Jones
More frightening than any of your causal contrivances is your perverse and pigheaded refusal to acknowledge that the very perpetrator of the El Paso slaughter does in his own written Manifesto deny the exact causality you now allege. But of course you always know better because you claim the ability to read the hearts and minds of others.
You are constantly requesting others “to reread” or “review” various written statements, essays and videos. It is suggested that you take your own advice and read this ugly El Paso Manifesto for the first time . Mr Mossman has kindly provided you with the pertinent part in his comment above.

J Jones
1 week 6 days ago

Stuart, I acknowledge your choice not to address the conduct of the President of the United States.

E.Patrick Mosman
1 week 6 days ago

As you are into repeating the same old,same old TDS inspired anti-Trump drivel to malign our President I will do the same:
Time to offer your apology as did the Archbishop.

E.Patrick Mosman
2 weeks 1 day ago

Deleted

Annette Magjuka
2 weeks 1 day ago

There is a distinct right wing narrative that has been developed over the last fifty years or more. The narrative always transfers the systemic problems with racism, family instability, education, health care--EVERYTHING--to the individual. So it is not that Trump is a white nationalist in a white nationalist environment. It is about a lone priest CALLING Trump a racist that we should talk about. It is a brilliant and malevolent strategy that keeps the justice seekers on the defensive, while people get targeted and shot, healthcare dollars get diverted to profits for CEO's, public education funding is gutted, the environment is devastated, and on and on. Speak truth to power, with no apologies! The problem with the institutional Catholic Church is that it has an unholy alliance with the far right. It is an enabler.

Stuart Meisenzahl
2 weeks 1 day ago

Annette
Imagine that:: “calling upon a person to be held individually responsible for his/her own actions” .......outrageous!!—- it is government’s job “to be responsible” as the organizer of the great collective.!

E.Patrick Mosman
2 weeks 1 day ago

It would be of interest if you could define the term "distinct right wing narrative" or simply "right wing" keeping in mind that the German NAZI party National Socialist German Workers' Party, the Russian USSR Union of Soviet Socialist Republics and/or the socialist rulers of Cuba, Venezuela, Argentina and several socialist European countries.

James Mullin
2 weeks 1 day ago

Does anyone know - or care - that mass shootings in the US spiked 500% during THE OBAMA PRESIDENCY. The fact that a Catholic bishop would care so little for the truth as to accuse this president of racism is emblematic of how the modern Catholic Church is emptying its pews. This is simply more of the twisting of truth concerning Trump's remarks after the Charlottesville riots. It's a disgrace and a source of shame for being Catholic.

Edwin Hess
2 weeks 1 day ago

"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. "

And where are the results of the poll on the political rhetoric of those on the left? Fairness demands it, but was it even asked?

Christopher Scott
2 weeks 1 day ago

Why is the Catholic Church involved in repeating secular political talking points when it comes to addressing what is clearly spiritual identity crisis in society today? Are church leaders today too embarrassed and ashamed to point this out. Or do they not believe it? Then why are you in the Church, what are you doing here? When Catholics hear other Catholics condemn others with damnable certainty using inflammatory language and hateful rhetoric it makes you wonder how they were even catechize. It’s not the Church’s job to be politically woke, especially when political wokeness appears to be part of the problem. It make you wonder if they’re fools or tools. I’d like to give them the benefit of the doubt and say they’re fools, but sadly it appears to be both.

Stuart Meisenzahl
2 weeks ago

Christopher
I believe that you are dead on correct.
In this increasingly insane world of political correctness everything is now viewed as “correct” or “incorrect” based on some newly constructed “woke line line of thought” .
There are no nuances left; there are no interpretations ......just “my woke way” or “the incorrect way”. Everything, every word and every phrase has a deep political or racial implication.....it must have such an implication!
Words with hundreds of years of utterly neutral usage are now charged with emotional accusation.
Ordinary street talk is forbidden. On every topic .one is required to pick his way through an acceptably neutral vocabulary thicket or be cast into the everlasting darkness of those whose political incorrectness makes them part of “the great Un-woke”.
Consider just the Editors’ insidious use in these pages of “suggested tweets” which are frequently intended to drive home a series of newly announced “woke points” that one dare not disagree with. The headlines attached to articles that appear in these pages are more often than not just blatant “click bait” and include such psycho babble phrases as “toxic masculinity “ .
You hit it dead on ...”.it is not the Church’s job to be political “woke” especially when “political wokeness” appears to be part of the problem”. It is the Church’s job to comment on moral implications and the Archbishop did just that while retracting a judgmental conclusion as to a person.
There is a world of difference in asserting that a word or phrase is racist as opposed to the stark assertion that a person using it is a racist. Even then one must decide whether the judgement on a word or phrase is actually just another accretion to the newly discovered vocabulary of politically incorrect terms. One can be insensitive...even grossly insensitive....without being a racist.

Christopher Scott
2 weeks 1 day ago

Duplicate

Fred Keyes
2 weeks 1 day ago

The bishop was right to apologize. He certainly understands that calling out racism is a very good thing to do. But judging someone a racist is God's job, no? Hate the sin, never the sinner.

J Jones
2 weeks 1 day ago

Fred, I am going to meditate on your comment.

J Cosgrove
1 week 6 days ago

Who are we to believe, the white liberal editors of America or the niece of Martin Luther King on Twitter.

Alveda King: ‘Listen to my words … President Trump is not a racist!!!’

FRAN ABBOTT
1 week 5 days ago

I agee. President Trump seems to have no deeply held convictions. Rather, he is a true Machiavellian who USES racism, as well as xenophobia and misogyny, to get what he wants. I believe he is a lot worse than a racist, God help him.

J Jones
1 week 4 days ago

Well said, Fran.

Mark M
1 week 6 days ago

It’s not rocket science. The bishop was following the orders of his secular masters to hit on President Trump. He did so like the politician he really is. Then he got nervous because he lacks a spine and received some justified backlash. So he made some mumble jumble recant of the tweets. He will stil get some crumbs from the DNC table. Bet on it.

J Jones
1 week 6 days ago

One hundred sixty eight hours ago, Hispanic human beings in Texas were hunted down and massacred precisely because they WERE Hispanic human beings in Texas. The Archbishop is an Hispanic human being in Texas.

J Cosgrove
1 week 6 days ago

The El Paso murders had nothing to do with Trump nor a hatred for Hispanics per se. He identified with the New Zealand murderer. He actually praised non-whites as instrumental in building the US in his manifesto. The politics of the El Paso murderer were quite twisted/crazed and were not even close to those that Trump has been pushing. It was a long rant about how be believed the country is deteriorating rapidly.

J Jones
1 week 5 days ago

The mass murderer in El Paso told the police his target of his massacre was "Mexicans".

J Cosgrove
1 week 5 days ago

Yes, that is true, but that does not make it a racist crime per se. He was not arguing to go into Latin America and kill Mexicans or any other group from there. He was hoping they would go back. He praised non-whites as an essential part to the building of the United States so this would include former Mexicans and other ethnic groups. He did not praise Trump and his politics were very left of center. This is a very screwed up individual but one has to really stretch his actions to be racist or say Trump is racist.

J Jones
1 week 5 days ago

When human beings of Mexican heritage are in the United States, they already ARE "back" where they came from. They are in their centuries' old geographic, cultural and national homeland with ties that stretch back further than the vast majority of persons on this land and in this nation, second only to Native Americans. 192 hours ago Hispanic human beings in Texas were hunted down and massacred precisely because they WERE Hispanic human beings in Texas.

Stuart Meisenzahl
1 week 5 days ago

J Jones
Please,.... you argument conveniently stop with “the people of Mexican heritage “ living in current US Territory centuries before it became US territory. That is true.
But if you pursue that logic then you must note that the Olmec, Toltec ,Inca and Aztecs were all over present day Mexico and Central America before the Spanish arrived and then transformed the entire region into what you now refer to as “Hispanic”. Your argument that “Hispanics were there first” and are”back” simply ignores that the essential nature and history of conquest ( the US Conquest)’p is such that it cannot simply be unwound by ignoring it.
Multiple Central American peoples were also indigenous in the current Mexican territory. You can be quite sure that this fact does not afford them any special rights to live in Mexico.even though they are now just as Hispanic as the residents of Mexico. The US Conquest cannot be just argumentatively unwound/ignored anymore than the Spanish Conquest can be unwound/ignored ....not to mention the multiple changes in Mexico’s own Borders brought about by various means including simple decrees and physical occupation .

J Jones
1 week 5 days ago

192 hours ago, Hispanic human beings in Texas were hunted down and massacred in Texas precisely because they were Hispanic human beings in Texas, a place Hispanic human beings have lived in for centuries.

J Cosgrove
1 week 4 days ago

You are actually undermining your argument. By your comment you are implying any Hispanic no matter where they lived has the right to live in the United States since some other Hispanics lived here before the country was founded or in parts of it that were added. The El Paso murderer acknowledged that many Hispanics were good people who helped build the country. He was morally evil to single out some for murder. He also had a lot of other twisted ideas. To try to extrapolate this to others which you have done is also quite twisted.

J Jones
1 week 4 days ago

216 hours ago Hispanic human beings in Texas were hunted down and massacred in Texas precisely because they were Hispanic human beings in Texas.

J Cosgrove
1 week 4 days ago

You just keep repeating the same irrelevant statement. No one is defending or justifying the El Paso murderer. You are trying to denigrate a large number of people because of the actions of one demented person unrelated to the ones you are trying to smear. If anything it is the politics of the left that he said led him to his actions.

J Jones
1 week 4 days ago

216 hours ago Hispanic human beings in Texas were hunted and massacred precisely because they were Hispanic human beings in Texas.

J Cosgrove
1 week 5 days ago

Our lifestyle is destroying the environment of our country … creating a massive burden for future generations. Corporations are heading the destruction of our environment by shamelessly over-harvesting resources … the next logical step is to decrease the number of people in America using resources. If we can get rid of enough people, then our way of life can become more sustainable’

Who wrote? Certainly not Donald Trump.

Christopher Scott
1 week 4 days ago

Society today is suffering from what many people (including many atheists) are calling the “God hole”. The function of the Church is to speak to this phenomenon. The Catholic Church is not a politically party that gets their talking points from the secular media or the social science departments at the universities. If you want to try and solve the social ills of society today by playing on the edges with various policies systems, laws and regulations without address the God hole from a Catholic/Christian perspective then you don’t believe it...

J Jones
1 week 4 days ago

Christopher, please watch or read the full statement.

Advertisement

The latest from america

Light streams into St. Gabriel’s Passionist Parish in Toronto. (Photo courtesy of Larkin Architect Limited)
The daily light show at St. Gabriel's in Toronto is not just aesthetically moving, writes Dean Dettloff. It is part of a church design that reminds us of human dependence on the earth.
Dean DettloffAugust 23, 2019
“The Church is a family of families,” Pope Francis writes in “Amoris Laetitia.”
Kerry WeberAugust 23, 2019
Our commitment to God is expressed through living out the gospel, but also in your fidelity to prayer. Day in and day out. “Showing up and shutting up,” as my friend likes to say about daily prayer.
James Martin, S.J.August 23, 2019
In this Aug. 20, 2019 drone photo released by the Corpo de Bombeiros de Mato Grosso, brush fires burn in Guaranta do Norte municipality, Mato Grosso state, Brazil. (Corpo de Bombeiros de Mato Grosso via AP)
A record number of wildfires and the rapid deforestation of the Amazon are prompting Latin American bishops to plead for international action, writes America’s correspondent in Brazil, Eduardo Campos Lima.
Eduardo Campos LimaAugust 23, 2019