.- The United States bishops have successfully infiltrated U.S. politics and influenced decision-making on all levels, even taking over the Republican Party, claims freelance writer Don Collins in the Feb. 10 issue of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.
Collinsâ comment was a response to an online comment by Barbara Anderson, who pointed out the strong influence the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops has had on immigration policy.
âDespite the new pope's encyclical disclaimer about trying to influence public policy, Rome and these bishops have been hard at work trying to shape U.S. public policy for decades,â claims Collins.
He underscores the fact that five male Catholic justices have been confirmed for the U.S. Supreme Court and says much of the credit for Samuel Alito's confirmation to the Supreme Court should be given to the bishopsâ behind-the-scenes work.
âThose who occupy chairs in the citadels of religiosity are naturally covetous of the âtrue faithâ they embrace -- not because it represents the truth but because it represents temporal power of the most useful kind,â wrote Collins.
âThat, for example, the world's richest institution, the combined resources and property of the Catholic Church, exposes the obvious basis for its biases on contraception, abortion and male-only priests as a means of flock control -- particularly over women but also in a much broader sense over the American body politic,â he continued.
Collins also commented on the U.S. bishopsâ 1975 Pastoral Plan for Pro-Life Activities, which he describes as âa superbly detailed blueprint of the bishops' strategy for infiltrating and manipulating the American democratic process at national, state and local levels.â
The plan, he wrote, âcalled for the creation of a national political machine controlled by the bishops. In large measure, this machine has, dragging along its unwitting evangelical brethren, taken over the Republican Party.â
He cites the plan, which states: "It is absolutely necessary to encourage the development in each congressional district of an identifiable, tightly knit and well organized pro-life unit. This unit can be described as a public interest group or a citizen's lobby."
Collins also cites Colgate University political science professor Timothy Byrnes, who interviewed the late Bishop James McHugh and said that in 1973, after the passage of Roe v. Wade, âthe bishops had explicitly declared that they wished 'to make it clear beyond a doubt to our fellow citizens that we consider the passage of a pro-life constitutional amendment a priority of the highest order.'"
Collins, who is a board member of the Federation for American Immigration Reform, said given all this data the bishops may indeed have their way and âreal immigration reform as proposed in House Resolution 4437 will not occur.â Instead, he suggests, the government will bend to the bishopsâ demands in their recent pastoral letter on immigration.