Sen. Barack Obama, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, has apparently dissolved his Catholic National Advisory Council. According to the latest information obtained by CNA, evidence of the committee’s continued existence remains elusive.
Bill Donohue, president of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, said in a June 9 press release that there is no mention of the advisory council on the Obama website and Obama’s National Catholic Outreach Coordinator has not responded to Catholic League inquiries about the council.
In recent months two Catholic advisors to Obama have been the subject of controversy. One of Obama’s Catholic advisers, Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius, was recently rebuked by Archbishop of Kansas City Joseph Naumann because of her pro-abortion views and asked by the archbishop not to present herself for Holy Communion.
The other Obama advisor who has drawn fire is Chicago priest Fr. Michael Pfleger who reportedly withdrew his name from the Advisory Council after video of him mocking Obama’s Democratic opponent Sen. Hillary Clinton was publicized. Amid critical media coverage, Fr. Pfleger was asked by Cardinal Francis George, the Archbishop of Chicago, to take a two-week leave of absence from his parish.
Bill Donohue had called on Sen. Obama to dissolve the campaign’s Catholic National Advisory Council because of what he said was the senator’s selection of “dissident Catholics.” Donohue said most of the public officials on the council had a 100 percent rating from NARAL, a pro-abortion group.
Noting the lack of publicity for the Catholic National Advisory Council, Donohue said “It would appear, then, that the group no longer exists.”
The Catholic League informed CNA on Tuesday that no further information on the fate of the advisory council has surfaced. The League also pointed to a report from BeliefNet in which one of the advisory council’s members said that she chats on the phone with other members, but does nothing more.