Barack Obama says he was "deeply honored to have the support and counsel" of all 26 members of his Catholic National Advisory Council, whom he called "committed Catholic leaders, scholars and advocates," and who dissent from three of their church's key doctrines: abortion, embryonic stem cell research and school vouchers.
He should dump them, says Catholic League president Bill Donohue. "The best advice I can give Sen. Obama about his Catholic National Advisory Council is to dissolve it immediately," Donahue said.
The reason? "Of the 26 Catholic former or current public office holders he has listed as either National Co-Chairs (5), or as members of the National Leadership Committee (21), there is not one who agrees with the Catholic Church on all three major public policy issues."
Those who defy the Catholic Church on two of these issues, abortion and embryonic stem cell research are forbidden to receive Communion as long as they continue to back those procedures, effectively excommunicating themselves.
Donahue explained that on the issue of abortion, which church doctrine condemns, "their record is disgraceful. Consider the scorecard as issued by the most radical pro-abortion organization in the nation, NARAL [formerly the National Abortion Rights League]. Of the two National Co-Chairs who have a NARAL tally, one agrees with the extremist group 65 percent of the time and the other agrees 100 percent of the time. Of the 20 National Leadership Committee members with a NARAL score, 17 have earned a 100 percent rating. Of those who have less than a perfect score, not one is in favor of school vouchers."
While noting that practicing Catholics have every right to be insulted by Obama's advisory group, Donahue asked, "What is the purpose of having an advisory group about matters Catholic when most of its members reject the Catholic position? If Obama wanted input from gay leaders, would he choose those who don't reflect the sentiments of the gay community? In short, to choose Catholic dissidents to advise him about Catholic concerns is mind-boggling."
Donahue concluded, "If these are the best 'committed Catholic leaders, scholars and advocates' Obama can find, then it is evident that he has a 'Wright' problem when it comes to picking Catholic advisors."
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