“A big thing for me is that President Trump is pro-life, especially with how far the left has moved on abortion,” said Pels, citing recent congressional debates over the Born Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act, a bill that would require medical care be given to a child who survives an abortion.
Pels also said she approves of how Trump had “stopped giving aid to fund abortions in other countries,” referring to the president’s Protecting Life in Global Health Assistance policy.
Pels acknowledged that while “some of [Trump’s] past comments have been problematic and conflicted with Catholic beliefs,” she said his actions as president have outweighed his past statements and behavior, “especially when you look at what the actions of the left would have been, which are absolutely egregious,” Pels said.
Another Mass attendee at CPAC cited the president’s pro-life views as the reason she will be voting for him in November.
Bernadette Repisky spoke to CNA after Mass at the conference on Thursday evening. Repinsky traveled to CPAC from the Philadelphia area, and she previously attended the conferences in 2012 and 2016.
Repinksy told CNA that she “loves” Trump because of his pro-life views, and that she believes that “he’s doing more for my country than any president has ever done in my lifetime, and I’m in my fifties.”
Trump had previously supported the right to an abortion, something Repinksy said does not bother her. She also offered her view on criticisms of the president’s moral character, which include allegations of sexual assault and harassment.
“So he might've been a Democrat in his former life, might've been a playboy in his former life, but I don't judge him by that,” she told CNA. “That's for God. I judge him by what he's doing right now and what he says he's going to do for us and for this country.”
“I stand behind him one hundred percent.”
While every Catholic CNA spoke with at CPAC indicated plans to vote for Trump, even with reservations, nationwide polling shows that the Catholic vote in November is likely to be far more diverse.
In the recent EWTN News/RealClear Opinion Research poll, 46% of Catholics said that there was a “sure” or “good” chance they would vote for Trump, and an additional 8% of respondents said it was “possible” they would vote for the president. Slightly more than a third--36%--said they would “never” vote for Trump.
(Story continues below)
Subscribe to our daily newsletter
At Catholic News Agency, our team is committed to reporting the truth with courage, integrity, and fidelity to our faith. We provide news about the Church and the world, as seen through the teachings of the Catholic Church. When you subscribe to the CNA UPDATE, we'll send you a daily email with links to the news you need and, occasionally, breaking news.
As part of this free service you may receive occasional offers from us at EWTN News and EWTN. We won't rent or sell your information, and you can unsubscribe at any time.
Fifty percent of Catholics surveyed by the poll said they would consider voting for a third party candidate.
This was the first year that daily Mass was celebrated at the conference, held at National Harbor outside of Washington, D.C., with priests volunteering from nearby parishes.
Matt Schlapp, chairman of the American Conservative Union, which hosts CPAC, told CNA that the decision to include daily Mass at the event came in response to widespread support for a vigil Mass celebrated on the final day of the conference last year.
“There's so many kids who are here from schools, and CPAC ends on a Saturday, and then most of them then get on airplane Sunday morning,” Schlapp told CNA. “And so we started with a vigil Mass last year and I got so much great feedback. I had people stop me in airports and train stations saying, thank you for doing Mass on Saturday night.”