National Security & Defense

The Corner

In the Podesta E-mails from WikiLeaks: Catholic Church a ‘Middle Ages Dictatorship’

In the John Podesta e-mails released by WikiLeaks, we find Sandy Newman, president of Voices for Progress, e-mailing Podesta on February 10, 2012:

Hi, John,

This whole controversy with the bishops opposing contraceptive coverage even though 98% of Catholic women (and their conjugal partners) have used  contraception has me thinking . . . There needs to be a Catholic Spring, in which Catholics themselves demand the end of a middle ages dictatorship and the beginning of a little democracy and respect for gender equality in the  Catholic church. Is contraceptive coverage an issue around which that could happen. The Bishops will undoubtedly continue the fight. Does the Catholic Hospital Association support of the Administration’s new policy, together with “the 98%” create an opportunity? Of course, this idea may just reveal my total lack of understanding of the Catholic church, the economic power it can bring to bear against nuns and priests who count on it for their maintenance, etc. Even if the idea isn’t  crazy, I don’t qualify to be involved and I have not thought at all about  how one would “plant the seeds of the revolution,” or who would plant them.  Just wondering . . .

(A lot of Catholics will probably concur with Newman’s self-assessment of a “total lack of understanding of the Catholic Church.”)

John Podesta, himself a Roman Catholic, objected to the characterization of his faith that way, right? He was offended that a man he considered a friend and ally used a term more appropriate for the Taliban or ISIS to describe his church, right? 

Nah. Podesta responds:

From:john.podesta@gmail.com

To: sandynewman@gmail.com

Date: 2012-02-11 11:45

Subject: Re: opening for a Catholic Spring? just musing . . .

We created Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good to organize for a moment like this. But I think it lacks the leadership to do so now. Likewise Catholics United. Like most Spring movements, I think this one will have to be bottom up. I’ll discuss with Tara. Kathleen Kennedy Townsend is the other person to consult. 

It took a while, but it appears we’ve finally found a “Middle East dictatorship” that the Clinton camp wants to overthrow in a revolution.

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