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Pope to US Catholics: Study, pray, vote your conscience

Pope Francis speaks with journalists on board the flight from Baku to Rome, Sunday, Oct. 2, 2016. Pope Francis praised Azerbaijan on Sunday as a model for a world divided by violent extremism, sidestepping criticism of the government for the sake of encouraging religious tolerance in an often-volatile region where Catholics are a minority. (Luca Zennaro/Pool Photo via AP)
October 02, 2016 - 3:36 PM

Pope Francis has some advice for American Catholics struggling to choose a president: Study the issues, pray, and then vote your conscience.

Francis was asked Sunday en route home from Azerbaijan how he would counsel the American faithful who are being asked to choose between Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Donald Trump.

Francis said he would never interfere in an election campaign, saying "the people are sovereign."

"I'll just say this: Study the proposals well, pray, and choose in conscience."

Francis did intervene in the campaign earlier this year when, on his way home from a visit to the U.S.-Mexican border, he was asked about Trump's proposal to build a wall to keep Mexicans out of the U.S. Francis said anyone who builds a wall isn't Christian. Trump fired back, saying it was "disgraceful" for a religious leader to question's someone's faith.

Many American Catholics have been struggling to decide between the two candidates over a host of issues that makes each one unpalatable on faith-based and other grounds.

News from © The Associated Press, 2016
The Associated Press

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