Trump and Catholic social doctrine

On November 8, 60% of voters identifying themselves as Catholic cast their votes for the now president-elect, Donald J. Trump. White born-again or Evangelical Christians supported Trump even more strongly, with 81% of their vote. It has been a long, contentious campaign, with historically low levels of trust and personal likability for both major party candidates.

Nevertheless, enough people of faith were willing to take a chance on the Republican candidate and the party’s platform to help swing an electoral-college victory. Now, as the nation moves into what at present feels like an equally contentious transition process, Catholics who voted for Trump are hoping their trust was well-placed.

For reasons unique to this campaign and this president-elect, there is not a lot of certainty at this point what policies will be in place in the new administration. Campaign promises are campaign promises, of course, and no candidate signs a solemn oath to fulfill each and every one of them.

For President-elect Trump, the usual autumn prognostications are more difficult to make than usual, both because of his personal penchant for not signalling policy decisions too far in advance and because his campaign-trail positions have changed many times, occasionally contradicting those of his running mate, Gov. Mike Pence, the Republican party leadership, and even Trump himself.

What then, can Catholics — both those who supported the Trump-Pence team and those who did not — look for from a Trump administration when it comes to key issues of public policy?

Here Aleteia presents an overview of these issues drawn from a summary of key social doctrine by the US Conference of Catholic Bishops (passages reproduced in italics) with notes on what we know so far and what we can and should watch for. Continue reading

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