A group of Catholic nuns are defending their support for President Donald Trump after many on social media criticized them for attending one of his campaign rallies over the weekend.
Three nuns wearing masks emblazoned with the acronym “MAGA,” the abbreviation for Trump’s signature phrase “Make America Great Again,” stood behind the president as he held a rally in Circleville, Ohio, Saturday. Pictures of the women quickly went viral. One of the nuns held a Bible while the others held rosary beads.
According to Breitbart, the nuns belong to the Children of Mary’s order, which describes itself as “a community in the service of the Church to satiate the Thirst of Jesus to be loved in the Most Blessed Sacrament.” LifeSite News reported that the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Cincinnati and the Diocese of Columbus “have told clergy to distance themselves from the order.”
Reflecting on the polarized political climate, the nuns became the target of anti-Trump social media users while Trump supporters rejoiced in their presence at the rally.
The Children of Mary explained to The Washington Examiner the reason behind their support for the president. “We, as faithful Catholics, consider it our duty, a joyful duty, to support a president, regardless of party affiliation, who upholds the Gospel of Life,” they said. The women stressed their belief that the most important issue of the 2020 presidential election was “the intrinsic evil of taking human life through abortion.”
While the nuns from the Children of Mary, like many other Catholics, see abortion as the most important issue facing the country, a recent poll from EWTN and RealClear Opinion Research found that most Catholic voters see other issues, including the economy and jobs, the coronavirus, healthcare and civil unrest as more pressing concerns.
The poll, published last week, found that in spite of the Catholic Church’s clear teaching on abortion, 45% of Catholics believe that the Supreme Court should uphold the precedent of the Roe v. Wade case that legalized abortion nationwide.
The survey also asked respondents who they planned on voting for in the 2020 presidential election; 52% of respondents backed the Democrat candidate for president, former Vice President Joe Biden, while 40% supported Trump.
Biden, a Catholic himself, has drawn fire for his support for abortion, with one church in South Carolina going so far as to deny him communion. Exit polling from the 2016 presidential election showed Trump narrowly beat Hillary Clinton with Catholic voters, taking 50% of the Catholic vote to his opponent’s 46%.
The “MAGA nuns” are not the only religious sisters to declare their support for the president because of his work on behalf of the pro-life movement. Sister Deirdre “Dede” Byrne made an appearance at the Republican National Convention this summer contrasting Trump’s record as “the most pro-life president that this nation has ever had” with the Biden-Harris ticket, which she lamented was “the most anti-life presidential ticket ever, even supporting the horrors of late-term abortion and infanticide.”