"Yet these two young men not only equaled but surpassed their Republican cousins in the talents of servile partisan hustling," the archbishop charged. "Thanks to their work, and activists like them, American Catholics helped to elect an administration that has been the most stubbornly unfriendly to religious believers, institutions, concerns and liberty in generations."
"I never saw either young man again. The cultural damage done by the current White House has – apparently - made courting America's bishops unnecessary," the archbishop lamented. "But bad can always get worse."
The archbishop noted other emails in the leak showing staffers at the Center for American Progress insulting Catholics and Catholic converts, claiming they "must be attracted to the systematic thought and severely backwards gender relations and must be totally unaware of Christian democracy."
He cited a letter from a nationally prominent non-Catholic attorney experienced in Church-State relations. The attorney declared the emails "some of the worst bigotry by a political machine I have seen… (a) Church has an absolute right to protect itself when under attack as a faith and Church by civil political forces."
He suggested it would be nice if former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton repudiated its content: "All of us backward-thinking Catholics who actually believe what Scripture and the Church teach would be so very grateful."
Yet Archbishop Chaput appeared no friendlier to Clinton's leading rival. He recounted a friend's description of the leading political candidates: "A vulgar, boorish lout and disrespecter of women, with a serious impulse control problem; or a scheming, robotic liar with a lifelong appetite for power and an entourage riddled with anti-Catholic bigots."
The archbishop lamented that in a country where the concept of choice is "the unofficial state religion," the menu is "remarkably small."
His unnamed attorney interlocutor also reflected on the state of the country, saying that before the leaks there was been "strong evidence" of the current administration's hostility to religious organizations.
"Now there is clear proof that this approach is deliberate and will accelerate if these actors have any continuing, let alone louder, say in government," the attorney said, according to the archbishop's column.
The attorney charged there is an active strategy to shape Catholicism into the religion the political leaders wish.
"Look where we are now. We have political actors trying to orchestrate a coup to destroy Catholic values, and they even analogize their takeover to a coup in the Middle East, which amplifies their bigotry and hatred of the Church," the attorney said.
(Story continues below)
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After 2008, Catholics United would go on to run efforts in Colorado and in Pennsylvania critical of the Catholic Church. It would also go on to take funding from the Gill Foundation of Tim Gill, a politically savvy Colorado-based millionaire businessman, and from the Arcus Foundation of billionaire heir Jon Stryker. Both men are deeply influential LGBT activists involved in funding Catholic dissenting groups and efforts to restrict religious freedom they consider discriminatory.
Catholics United's aligned organization, Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good, received hundreds of thousands of dollars from billionaire George Soros' Open Society Foundations from 2006-2010.
Kevin J. Jones is a senior staff writer with Catholic News Agency. He was a recipient of a 2014 Catholic Relief Services' Egan Journalism Fellowship.