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Pope Francis has advice, but no endorsement, for U.S. voters

 (Associated Press)
(Associated Press)

No, Pope Francis will not be making an endorsement in the U.S. presidential race.

But the leader of the Roman Catholic Church offered this advice to American faithful: “Study the proposals well, pray, and choose in conscience."

The pope struck a more reserved tone in remarks this weekend than he has in the past. In February, when asked about Trump’s signature campaign pledge, Francis said that a person who “only thinks about building walls … and not building bridges is not Christian.”

Trump quickly fired back, calling it “disgraceful” for a religious leader to question his faith. And he warned that if Islamic State attacked the Vatican, the pope “would have only wished and prayed” that he were president.

Catholic voters have often been a swing vote in presidential elections. A Pew Research Center survey in June showed Hillary Clinton with a 17-point lead among Catholics powered by an overwhelming advantage with Latino Catholics. Their poll at a similar point in the 2012 election showed President Obama and Mitt Romney statistically tied.

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