Kentucky bishop Rev. John Stowe says Trump cannot be 'pro-life' as he is 'only concerned about himself'
'For this president to call himself pro-life, and for anybody to back him because of claims of being pro-life, is almost willful ignorance'
Rev. John Stowe, who has long been a staunch critic of President Donald Trump despite being on the same side of the debate on abortion, said in a live video chat with the International Catholic Movement for Intellectual and Cultural Affairs on July 31 that the POTUS was “so much anti-life.”
The Catholic bishop of the Diocese of Lexington did not hold back his condemnation of Trump's stance. “For this president to call himself pro-life, and for anybody to back him because of claims of being pro-life, is almost willful ignorance,” Stowe said. “He is so much anti-life because he is only concerned about himself, and he gives us every, every, every indication of that.”
He went onto explain what being pro-life actually means, channeling previous comments made by Pope Francis in his speech. “Pope Francis has given us a great definition of what pro-life means,” Stowe said. “He basically tells us we can’t claim to be pro-life if we support the separation of children from their parents at the U.S. border, if we support exposing people at the border to COVID-19 because of the facilities that they’re in, if we support denying people who have need to adequate health care access to health care, if we keep people from getting the housing or the education that they need, we cannot call ourselves pro-life.”
Back in 2017, the Pope had also questioned Trump’s pro-life stance when he criticized the president's attempts to end DACA, a federal immigration program that protected selected people who came to the United States illegally as children. “I have heard the President of the United States speak,” the Pope said at the time, according to the National Catholic Reporter. “He presents himself as a pro-life man. If he is a good pro-lifer, he should understand that the family is the cradle of life and you must defend its unity.”
Last year, Trump became the first sitting president to speak at the March for Life in Washington, an annual gathering to protest abortion as he advocated for limiting abortion access, saying he would “defend the right of every child, born and unborn, to fulfill their God-given potential." After the gathering included a confrontation between Catholic high school students from Kentucky and a Native American elder, Stowe criticized the fact that some of the students who attended the march were wearing “Make America Great Again” hats.
“It astonishes me that any students participating in a pro-life activity on behalf of their school and their Catholic faith could be wearing apparel sporting the slogans of a president who denigrates the lives of immigrants, refugees and people from countries that he describes with indecent words and haphazardly endangers with life-threatening policies,” Stowe wrote in a Herald-Leader op-ed. “We cannot uncritically ally ourselves with someone with whom we share the policy goal of ending abortion."
Stowe's recent comments came days before Trump took a jibe at former Vice President Joe Biden, a practicing Catholic, saying he would take away constitutional and religious freedoms if elected president, The Hill reported. “Take away your guns, take away your Second Amendment. No religion, no anything,” Trump said of Biden. “Hurt the Bible. Hurt God. He’s against God. He’s against guns. He’s against energy.”