Catholic Bishops have become political operation fighting social justice

Who knew one of the most aggressive political operations in the U.S. in the year 2009 would be the Catholic Bishops?

Last week, Maine’s Bishop, Richard Malone, gloated after his campaign to repeal Maine’s marriage equality took away the rights of same-sex couples in that state. In Maine, the Bishop turned his church into a political operation.

This weekend, the Catholic Bishops are getting credit for undermining women’s rights in the new health care bill through the Stupak amendment:

Both sides credited a forceful lobbying effort by Roman Catholic bishops with the success of the provision, inserted in the bill under pressure from conservative Democrats.

The Bishops also led a sustained campaign on this issue. And, Obama and Hill leaders acquiesced:

Beginning in late July, the bishops began issuing a series of increasingly stern letters to lawmakers making clear that they saw the abortion-financing issue as pre-eminent, a deal-breaker.

At the funeral of Senator Edward M. Kennedy in August, Cardinal Seán O’Malley, the archbishop of Boston, stole a private moment with Mr. Obama to deliver the same warning: The bishops very much wanted to support his health care overhaul but not if it provided for abortions. The president “listened intently,” the cardinal reported on his blog.

Bishops implored their priests and parishioners to call lawmakers. Conservative Democrats negotiating over the issue with party leaders often expressed their desire to meet the bishops’ criteria, according to many people involved in the talks. On Oct. 8 three members of the bishops conference wrote on its behalf to lawmakers, “If the final legislation does not meet our principles, we will have no choice but to oppose the bill.”

The Bishops have made themselves into a political operation. That means they warrant the same kind of scrutiny every other political operation receives. No hiding behind the collars.

The Bishops want to take away people’s rights. Members of Congress and the Obama administration have to decide just how closely they want to align with the protectors of pedophiles.

On October 27, 2010, Joe was one of five bloggers who interviewed President Obama. Joe is a DC-based political consultant with over twenty-five years of experience at both the state and federal level. Joe has managed political operations and legislative efforts for both candidates and issues-based organizations. For seven years, he was the Director of State Legislation at Handgun Control, Inc. He served as that organization's first Political Director during the 2000 cycle. Joe is a graduate of the University of Maine School of Law. In addition, he has a Masters in Public Administration from Lehigh University and received his B.A. from the University of New Hampshire. Joe also has a fun dog, Petey, a worthy successor to Boomer, who got Joe through eight years of Bush and Cheney. Joe likes to think he is a world class athlete having finished the 2005 Chicago Marathon in the time of 4:10. He has completed six other marathons as well -- and is still determined to break the four hour mark.

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