Catholic, Protestant leaders to hold press conference: ‘there should be no religious litmus test for Roberts’

.- This morning, religious leaders will gather in the nation’s capital to protest what they see as an unfair religious litmus test being used in the senate’s scrutinizing process of Judge John G. Roberts, President Bush’s Catholic nominee for the Supreme Court.

Leaders of the groups, Priests for Life, the National Clergy Council and the Christian Defense Coalition will gather at the Russell senate office building to share their thoughts with reporters at 11 a.m.

Many, including members of the American Life League have expressed concerns that Judge Robert’s Catholic faith could be held against him. They said today that “This form of religious bigotry should not be tolerated by the American public, especially when it is spearheaded by individuals who claim to have faith in the same religious beliefs as the person they are targeting."

The group is planning their own gathering today protesting members of the senate judiciary committee who claim to be Catholic and pro-choice.

Father Frank Pavone, president of Priests for Life said that, "Anyone familiar with American history and the United States Constitution should be embarrassed by the suggestion that a nominee for the Supreme Court has to run a religious gauntlet on his way to confirmation. Religious convictions are not excess baggage or obstacles on the road to public service."

National Clergy Council president, Rev. Rob Schenck added that, "There is no religious test for office in the United States, but what some members of the Senate Judiciary Committee are saying is Judge Roberts, if you want to be on the Supreme Court, you better not take your Christian faith seriously.”

“That's a religious test”, he said, “and this is unconstitutional."

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