by Steven Ertelt
February 8, 2007
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — Presidential candidate John Edwards said Thursday he will retain two staff members who had posted profane messages on their personal blogs bashing the Catholic Church over its positions against abortion and on other issues. Edwards, who backs abortion, said the staff members made the post prior to working for him.
The former North Carolina senator said he was offended by the content of the posts — which included inflammatory and profane attacks on the church — but said he wouldn’t fire them.
His comments about the staff members came two days after Bill Donohue, president of the pro-life Catholic League, called for their firing.
"I’ve talked to Amanda and Melissa; they have both assured me that it was never their intention to malign anyone’s faith, and I take them at their word," Edwards said, according to AP.
"The tone and the sentiment of some of Amanda Marcotte’s and Melissa McEwen’s posts personally offended me," Edwards’ statement read. "It’s not how I talk to people, and it’s not how I expect the people who work for me to talk to people."
In addition to criticizing the church on abortion, the posts derisively referred to Pope Benedict XVI as a “dictator" and Marcotte wrote that the Catholic Church’s teaching against the use of contraception forced women to “bear more tithing Catholics.”
The national Catholic based advocacy group Fidelis also called on Edwards to fire the staff members.
Joseph Cella, the head of the group, said the decision not to fire the staff members would likely hurt Edwards’ ability to draw Catholic support.
“Keeping such an anti-Catholic staffer on his payroll will do significant damage to John Edwards as he seeks to court voters in the heavily Catholic states like Pennsylvania, New Hampshire and Michigan,” Cella said.