Catholic scholar and author George Weigel expressed his doubts about the meeting’s make up. "If the Obama transition team thinks that meeting with the refugees from the Catholic revolution that never was is a way to open a dialogue with the Catholic Church in the United States, they're far less clever than I think they are. This strikes me as simply a pay-off to people who, from the Obama campaign's point of view, helped with the ground game in 2008."
The proof of the social justice groups’ commitment to promoting Catholic concerns will be in "how these ‘Platform for the Common Good’ folks help the rest of the Catholic Church defeat the Freedom of Choice Act and maintain the Bush administration's AIDS and malaria-reduction initiatives in Africa, which has helped millions more poor people than any of these groups has ever managed to do," Weigel explained to CNA.
Bishop of Madison Robert Morlino also added that the transition team must do more to dialogue with the Catholic Church. "Recognizing the stark contrast between the positions on abortion of the President-elect and the teachings of the Catholic Church, it would be a mistake for the President-elect's transition team to pretend that this meeting satisfied his promise of dialoguing with the Catholic community," he said.
The bishop of Phoenix, Thomas Olmsted, also weighed-in on the meeting by addressing what a Catholic organization should be emphasizing. He told CNA that “Being 'right' on any number of other issues will never outweigh the taking of human life through abortion. It would be my hope that any group calling themselves 'Catholic' would make this message abundantly clear, and express grave concern over the possibilities that the new administration may increase funding for abortions with public money or even erode conscience protections for Catholic hospitals and healthcare workers."
Finally, Brian Burch, who heads a group of four lay Catholic organizations in the political, legal, research and educational fields, also expressed misgivings about the ability of the social justice consortium to rein in Obama’s policies.
"We are pleased to hear that the Obama transition team is interested in talking with Catholics, but caution that such conversations must be weighed against his reported plans on abortion policy, including his Cabinet selections thus far. Specifically, we remain concerned that the new Administration is composed of leading abortion advocates who are preparing to overturn a large number of existing pro-life laws, while proving hundreds of millions of new taxpayer dollars for abortion.
"The fact that transition officials are consulting a select group of Catholic organizations who supported Obama's candidacy is not surprising. Whether these groups, some of whom claim to adhere to Catholic teaching, are able to hold him accountable on the issue of life, remains doubtful."