‘Only Catholic Option’: Faith Leaders Descend On Mar-A-Lago To Rally Support, Pray For Trump As Campaign Heats Up

[Photo Credit: The Daily Caller]

Thomas Wong Thomas Wong is an associate Weekend Editor at the Daily Caller.
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PALM BEACH — Mar-a-Lago, the Florida residence of former President Donald Trump, opened its tightly secured gates Tuesday evening to welcome hundreds attending “Catholic Prayer for Trump.” The gala served as a gathering of Catholic leaders to pray for the presumptive Republican presidential nominee “as he continues to get attacked from all sides,” according to the website for Catholics for Catholics, the 501c4 organizer.

The event took place March 19, the day Catholics celebrate the Solemnity of St. Joseph, foster father to Jesus, who is invoked as the world patron against communism, as well as fathers, families, workers and the Universal Church.

“The last 3 elections have been decided by the Catholic Vote [sic],” Catholics for Catholics founder and CEO John Yep told the Daily Caller. “There is no path to the White House for President Trump unless he wins this key voter bloc. We wanted to assemble Catholic Leaders [sic] from around the nation, bringing them together to pray for the President. In addition we wanted to make a strong and definitive statement that President Trump is the only Catholic option for 2024.”

Prominent speakers, including Roger Stone, Michael Flynn, Tim Ballard, Jim Cavaziel, Frank Pavone, Jack Posobiec and others, each delivered remarks addressing the themes of the event — the right to worship, the right to life, the rights of parents and the rights of children — often sharing anecdotes involving personal hardship and advocating for a return to the White House by Trump.


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Flynn, Trump’s former National Security Adviser, encouraged the attendees to remain “fearless” in the periods of uncertainty and suffering affecting individuals as well as the country.

Former Trump official Michael Flynn speaks at the Catholic Prayer for Trump event March 19, 2024. [Photo credit: The Daily Caller]

Former Trump official Michael Flynn speaks at the “Catholic Prayer for Trump” event March 19, 2024. [Photo credit: The Daily Caller]

“I have lived Psalm 23, my family and I,” Flynn said. “We lived it. This country is in the middle of Psalm 23: ‘Yea, though I walk in the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for Thou are with me.’ We are in the valley right now, America, Catholics.”

“For a president of the United States of America to stand there in his State of the Union and have to warn, have to make that statement [against socialism] — yet here we are. We are in the valley of the shadow of death and we have got to ‘fear no evil.’ We have got to be fearless.”

“You cannot become the president of the United States unless you got the Catholic vote. You can’t,” Flynn observed.

“And most of these crazy Catholics — I’ve been one my whole life — they still don’t know which way to vote. That’s how I found Fr. [James] Altman — he said you can’t be a Catholic and be a Democrat,” Flynn added. “This beautiful organization, ‘Catholics for Catholics,’ is just getting going, we are just getting started.”

Following his prosecution related to the Russian collusion investigation — in which Flynn twice plead guilty to lying to the FBI before reversing himself — Flynn was pardoned Nov. 25, 2020 by Trump, and the case was dismissed. (RELATED: EXCLUSIVE: In Final Interview, Defiant Flynn Insists He Crossed No Lines, Leakers Must Be Prosecuted)

Longtime political consultant and lobbyist Roger Stone likewise referenced his Jan. 25, 2019 arrest related to special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation. Stone was convicted in November 2019 for witness tampering, obstructing an official proceeding and five counts of making false statements. Stone was sentenced to 40 months in prison but Trump pardoned him Dec. 23, 2020. (RELATED: Roger Stone Personally Thanks Trump For Pardoning Him During Dinner At Golf Club)

“How does one lie about Russian collusion which now, without a doubt, does not exist?” Stone said. “I was gagged, could not defend myself. My wife and I lost our home, we lost our savings, lost most of our insurance, I lost my ability to travel and I was gagged by a judge who would not let me defend myself in public. … They put ungodly pressure on me to lie, they wanted me to bear false witness against the president. And I told them they could go to hell,” Stone claimed.

“Yes, I confess to you I was angry, I was frustrated. I was depressed, I was drinking too much. I was scared, not so much for myself, but for my wife. … Yes, I became distraught. And then, thanks to the solid advice of a phenomenal number of clergymen … I finally realized my only salvation existed in being restored in the blood of the Cross. So I confessed my sins. I pledged to the Lord to walk in his way. I admit to you I am a sinner,” added Stone.

“Yes, only through fervent prayer were my prayers answered, did President Donald Trump see that I was the target of a politically orientated and motivated prosecution-made-persecution and they were just trying to squeeze me to get at him … The president answered my prayers to Jesus Christ,” Stone remarked.

“We are gathered here tonight at the home of the most pro-life president this country has ever seen,” pro-life advocate Frank Pavone declared. “This is not the time to pretend that President Trump is running against some perfect pro-life advocate. I don’t expect President Trump or any candidate to do my job. My job as a pro-life leader is to articulate this message, persuade people on this message. I don’t expect them to do my job. In fact, it wouldn’t bother me if these candidates [don’t] even talk about the issue very much at all … I need their signature on the right kind of legislation … on the appointment of judges.” (RELATED: Vatican Dismisses Pro-Life, Trump Supporting Priest From Clerical State For ‘Blasphemous Communications’)

Frank Pavone speaks at the "Catholic Prayer for Trump" event March 19, 2024. [Photo credit: The Daily Caller]

Frank Pavone speaks at the “Catholic Prayer for Trump” event March 19, 2024. [Photo credit: The Daily Caller]

The event ended with a recitation of the Rosary, as well as a prayer of consecration to St. Joseph for the former president as his campaign continues. Trump, after being confirmed at a Presbyterian church as a child, now identifies as a “non-denominational” Christian; Melania Trump was the first Catholic first lady since Jackie Kennedy. (RELATED: Trump Calls Himself ‘The Chosen One’ To Take On China)

Recitation of the Rosary at the Catholic Prayer for Trump event March 19, 2024. [Photo credit: The Daily Caller]

Recitation of the Rosary at the “Catholic Prayer for Trump” event March 19, 2024. [Photo credit: The Daily Caller]

Earlier in the afternoon, the Trumps voted in the Florida Republican presidential primary. The primary results for Arizona, Florida, Illinois, Kansas and Ohio were shortly thereafter called for Trump.

In a major development Tuesday, not far from both events, former Assistant to the President Peter Navarro reported to federal prison to begin a four-month sentence after being convicted in September of two counts of contempt of Congress. (RELATED: Peter Navarro Speaks Out One Last Time Before Reporting To Prison)

While Flynn declined to comment on Navarro’s situation on the record to the Daily Caller, President Trump made comments to reporters after voting with the former first lady.

While he did not attend the Catholic gala at Mar-a-Lago, President Trump recognized the choice Catholics would make at the ballot box during a Dayton, Ohio, rally Saturday.

“And what’s happening with the Catholics? The Catholics are under seige!” Trump said. “Any Catholic that votes for this numbskull is crazy because you are being persecuted. Now I’m being persecuted, I think, more than anybody, but who the hell knows?”

Catholics in 2016 accounted for 20% of the electorate, with 52% voting for Donald Trump and 44% voting for Hillary Clinton, according to Pew Research. While only 19% of Hispanic Catholics voted for Trump in 2016, 64% of White, non-Hispanics helped send him to the White House. In 2020 President Trump was the choice of 50% of Catholics in general but 57% of White Catholics, according to Pew Research. Joe Biden in 2020 received 49% of the Catholic vote, including 42% of the White Catholic vote.

In a statement to the Daily Caller, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) spokesperson Chieko Noguchi said:

The USCCB is non-partisan and therefore does not endorse or oppose any particular candidate or political party. Through their teaching document, Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship, the bishops encourage everyone to “think with the mind of Christ” when participating in public life and engage with civility as we respond to pressing issues of our day.

In 2016, Pew found 56% of Protestants voted for Trump, to Clinton’s 39%; in 2020 Trump enjoyed 59% of the Protestant vote, to Biden’s 40%.