A group of twenty Catholic and conservative leaders have written a letter to President Barack Obama protesting the appointment to his faith-based advisory council of a man they say is "a virulent anti-Catholic bigot." The letter lamented the president’s "failure to act" and called on him to remove the appointee.
The letter concerned Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships appointee Harry Knox, who had described the Knights of Columbus as an "army of oppression" for supporting California’s Proposition 8.
Signatories to the letter included L. Brent Bozell III of the Media Research Center, American Life League President Judie Brown, Catholic League President Bill Donohue, Notre Dame Law Professor Emeritus Charles Rice, and conservative leader Phyllis Schlafly.
Noting President Obama’s claim that the Council would "bring everyone together – from both the secular and faith-based communities," the group’s letter voiced concerns about Knox.
The letter said Knox, a former licensed Methodist minister who is a leader with the homosexual activist group Human Rights Campaign (HRC), is "the hate-filled antithesis of this noble objective."
In the past, Knox had attacked Pope Benedict and some Catholic bishops as "discredited leaders" because of their opposition to same-sex "marriage."
Though saying the Knights of Columbus had done good works, he nevertheless characterized its members as "foot soldiers of a discredited army of oppression" because of the Catholic charitable fraternity’s support for the successful California ballot measure Proposition 8.
Proposition 8 restored the definition of marriage to being between a man and a woman.
In their letter to President Obama, the group said they assumed President Obama and his Administration were previously unaware of Knox’s "deplorable, abusive attitude towards the Church and Pope Benedict XVI." Referring to recent press reports exposing what they said was Knox’s "loathsome and clearly bigoted rhetoric," the signatories said there was now no excuse for inaction.
"As Catholics, we call on you to remove Mr. Knox from his position and to formally disassociate yourself from his militant anti-Catholicism. Failure to do so will result in the tainting of your Faith-Based Council—and indeed, your entire administration—as anti-Catholic," the group said.