Catholic Bishops Leave Coalition Group Backing Pro-Abortion Pick Elena Kagan
by Steven Ertelt
May 20, 2010
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — The nation’s Catholic bishops have left a coalition of organizations that recently endorsed the Supreme Court nomination of pro-abortion Solicitor General Elena Kagan. The Coalition for Constitutional Values is running a television and Internet commercial praising President Barack Obama’s selection.
If confirmed, Kagan would replace retiring pro-abortion Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens.
The Coalition for Constitutional Values is a project of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights (LCCHR), a coalition of 200 groups. The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops was a member of the LCCHR, and as a member pays an annual membership fee.
Catholic writer Deal Hudson, in a national editorial, called on the USCCB to leave the coalition over the nomination of Kagan, who would join the 5-4 majority on the Supreme Court that has kept legal abortions in place since 1973.
In a press statement,Bishop William Murphy of Rockville Centre, New York, the chairman of the bishops Committee on Domestic Justice and Peace, said the USCCB was leaving the coalition.
In light of recent events, it has become increasingly clear that the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops continued membership in the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights is not possible because of the LCCRs expanded and broadened agenda, he said.
The interests of the Leadership Conference and those of the USCCB have diverged as the LCCR has moved beyond advocacy of traditional civil rights to advocacy of positions which do not reflect the principles and policies of the bishops conference," he added.
Hudson had said Kagan endorsement by the coalition did not reflect pro-life Catholic teachings and went against its own claim to work toward creating an America as good as its ideals.
"Do those ideals for the bishops include putting pro-abortion justices on the Supreme Court, thus thwarting any efforts to overturn Roe v. Wade? This endorsement of the Kagan nomination is typical of public positions taken by the LCCHR for many year," Hudson wrote.
"Make no mistake about it, the Coalition for Constitutional Values speaks for all the members of the coalition, including the USCCB," he added.
But Hudson said the Kagan endorsement wasn’t the first pro-abortion activity the coalition has promoted.
He wrote: For many years, LCCHR has lobbied hard against the confirmation of pro-life judges and justices. In the midst of the debate of pro-abortion nominee Dawn Johnsen, [Deputy Director] Nancy Zirkin asserted that civil-rights groups are upset that Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) hasn’t made the abortion advocate a higher priority. Theres frustration shes not at the top of the list, Zirkin said.
"The avid support for Elena Kagan, whose support for abortion rights has been widely documented, must be regarded as the final straw, a clear signal that the USCCB needs to withdraw from membership in the Leadership Conference for Civil and Human Rights," Hudson concluded.
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