When the U.S. bishops' conference announced on May 19 that it was withdrawing its membership in a civil rights coalition, it cited the group's backing of Elena Kagan's nomination to the Supreme Court and positions that do not reflect the values of the conference as reasons for leaving. According to the Catholic Advocate, those positions involve advocacy for abortion and same-sex "marriage."
Although the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) cited the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights' (LCCR) support of Supreme Court nominations as a significant factor in why it severed ties with the group, Catholic Advocate, which first broke the story, said that LCCR was also a known supporter of abortion and same-sex “marriage.”
“We applaud the USCCB for their commitment to human rights and for taking this opportunity to underscore the most basic human right – life itself,” said Deal Hudson, director of Catholic Advocate in a statement on Thursday.
The U.S. bishops announced the split with LCCR on Wednesday, with Bishop William Murphy of Rockville Centre writing that 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.”
Bishop Murphy chairs the USCCB Committee on Domestic Justice and Peace.
“Catholic Advocate applauds the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops for withdrawing their membership from groups with positions that contradict the Catholic Church,” Hudson added in his statement. “We hope that more Catholic organizations follow the USCCB's example and dispel any possible confusion about their protection of life and the defense of marriage.”