Monthly Archives: February 2010

Catholic Coalition Petitions Bishops' Conference to End Pro-Abortion Grants

2-11-10 Posted by admin in Abortion, Blog, Marriage & the Family, Recent Articles 0 Comments

Press Release

Media Contact:  Brenda Steele     E-mail:

Washington, DC (11 February 2010) – American Life League, Human Life International, Catholic Advocate, Bellarmine Veritas Ministry and Real Catholic TV, members of the Reform CCHD Now coalition, launched a petition drive Thursday asking the bishops to suspend United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD) grants.

The effort comes after repeated calls over the past three months for explanations from the USCCB in response to the discovery of CCHD money spent to support organizations promoting abortion and same-sex marriage.

American Catholics will be asked to sign the following at

To ensure no more Catholic dollars are spent to support organizations advocating abortion or same-sex marriage, I respectfully request the bishops suspend all national CCHD grants until the grants process has been reformed.

“Transparency and responsible stewardship of the money donated by hard-working American Catholics to further the mission of the Church should be a top priority for those in positions of authority at the Bishops’ Conference,” said Catholic Advocate Vice President Matt Smith.

A copy of the petition will be presented to the following:

  • Bishop William Murphy of Rockville Centre, New York and Chairman of the USCCB Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development
  • Bishop Roger Morin of Biloxi, Mississippi and Chairman of the USCCB Subcommittee on the CCHD
  • Bishop Kevin Farrell of Dallas, Texas and Chairman of the USCCB Committee on National Collections
  • Cardinal Daniel DiNardo of Galveston-Houston, Texas and Chairman of the USCCB Committee on Pro-Life Activities
  • Archbishop Joseph Kurtz of Louisville, Kentucky and Chairman of the USCCB Ad Hoc Committee for the Defense of Marriage

CCHD donations are traditionally collected the weekend before Thanksgiving each year as one of the thirteen funds of the USCCB’s National Collections program. Donations average between $7 – 9 million annually.

Below is a summary of what has transpired since information on CCHD grant recipients first surfaced in August 2009 by the Bellarmine Veritas Ministry.

  • In October 2009, Human Life International, American Life League and the Bellarmine Veritas Ministry formed the Reform CCHD Now coalition. Twenty-one organizations are now members of the coalition.
  • On Oct. 2 Bishop Morin announced that CCHD grantee groups Young Workers United and the Chinese Progressive Association had been defunded in response to the reports.
  • In November 2009 the Reform CCHD Now coalition revealed the CCHD was supporting 31 organizations which are members of a radically pro-abortion, pro same sex marriage organization.
  • Also in November 2009 another detailed report was issued by American Life League and Bellarmine Veritas Ministry implicating MIV partners, CA Partnership partners, SFOP, Preble Street, Voces De La Frontera, and many others.
  • By Nov. 25, 2009 LifeSiteNews reported that five bishops had decided to discontinue the CCHD collection.
  • On Monday, Feb. 1 American Life League and the Bellarmine Veritas Ministry released further information on CCHD ties to the pro-abortion, same sex marriage Center for Community Change. Two top USCCB executives involved with the CCHD have served on the board of the CCC.
  • On Tuesday, February 2, 2010, released video evidence that within hours of the initial story breaking, the USCCB and Center for Community Change each removed any reference to the other organization from their respective websites.
  • On Tuesday, Feb. 2 Catholic Advocate called upon the Catholic Campaign for Human Development to suspend its grants pending “a complete review of its awards process.
  • The USCCB has yet to adequately respond to any of the charges since Bishop Morin’s Oct. 2 memorandum, but has instead attempted to reframe the reports as a personal attack against USCCB employees.

“We remain hopeful these issues will be addressed, potentially leading to a renewal of the CCHD, and making it an organization that is a source of unity rather than division in the Church,” said Human Life International’s Stephen Phelan.

Phelan added, “we respectfully ask the episcopal leadership of the USCCB to consider the petition in good faith.”


Is It Time For a Catholic Tea Party?

2-11-10 Posted by admin in Uncategorized 16 Comments

By Deal Hudson

Over 750 “tea parties” were held on April 15 of last year, protesting the excesses of the Obama administration — in particular, the pork-stuffed stimulus bill. Initially, the mainstream media tried to ignore the movement. They downplayed its size and influence, until the steady slide of President Obama’s popularity, the growing opposition to Congress’s health-care reform proposals, and Republican victories in New Jersey, Virginia, and Massachusetts forced them to acknowledge its influence.

Since then, the media strategy has been to portray the tea party as a gathering of disgruntled extremists, in spite of the fact that the limits on government spending they advocate would have been considered common sense in both political parties only a decade ago.

For American Catholics, the equivalent of centralized federal power is the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB). The USCCB, the kind of episcopal conference authorized by Vatican II, has no canonical authority of its own. But its voice is considered authoritative by the media, and it is treated as such by those who applaud its lobbying efforts in Congress and the White House.

Criticism of the USCCB among lay Catholics, as well as many priests and bishops, has been a constant since its march to the political left in the years after its creation in 1966. Pastoral letters, including the ones on the economy (1986) andwar and peace (1983), created a clear line of demarcation between the liberal politics of the conference (aligned with the Democratic Party) and the Catholics, both lay and religious, who interpreted the Church’s social teaching differently (in a way inclining them toward conservatism and the GOP.)

The pro-life advocacy of the conference, along with its opposition to same-sex marriage, has always set it apart from other politically liberal institutions. Unfortunately, the USCCB’s choice of coalition partners and memberships often threaten to undermine the clarity of its witness.

Nowhere is this better illustrated than in the series of reports from the Reform CCHD Now Coalition. These reports show two things clearly:

1. Bishops have given Catholic money to organizations advocating abortion and same-sex marriage (two such organizations were defunded last November).

2. The bishops have joined coalitions, like the Leadership Conference for Civil and Human Rights, that also advocate abortion and same-sex marriage.

These reports differ from previous attempts to address the politics of the USCCB in two ways: First, their Internet links allow anyone to read the various smoking guns unearthed by the research. The second factor is timing — the reports come after both the 2008 presidential election and the furor surrounding Notre Dame’s decision to bestow an honor on a pro-abortion president.

The Notre Dame incident brought home to thousands of Catholics, in a way they had never understood before, that many venerable mainstream Catholic institutions were strongholds of dissent.

Yet the Notre Dame story might not have gone so far
if many Catholics were not already furious with the role a bishops’ document played in the election of Barack Obama in the first place.

The 2007 version of the bishops’ “Faithful Citizenship” document, prepared in advance for distribution for the 2008 election, contained several passages that, if taken out of context, gave the green light to Catholic voters to ignore Obama’s aggressively pro-abortion stance. (Obama won the self-identified Catholic vote over Sen. John McCain 54 percent to 44 percent, though among religiously active Catholics he lost by 1 percentage point.)

That document did not emerge from the USCCB without a fight — a number of bishops opposed it; I am told that Archbishop Raymond Burke, then still in St. Louis, was literally shouted down when he tried to explain his opposition to the problematic passages. The best any bishop has been able to say to me regarding “Faithful Citizenship” is that “it was difficult, it was a compromise.”

But such compromises are brewing a tempest for a potential tea party revolution among the faithful. In some ways, the very notion of a tea party goes against the grain for Catholics, with their inbred sense of deference to authority. Those same Catholics, however, are beginning to realize that there are some matters where they can speak out without acting in disobedience to the authority of their bishop.

In response to my recent story on the USCCB’s membership in a pro-abortion civil rights organization, a Notre Dame alumnus from the class of 1965 sent me this message: “Is it time for us to start throwing tea bags at the USCCB?” This is a man who, ten years ago, would not tolerate a word uttered against either Notre Dame or the bishops. The times may be changing.

Planned Parenthood Abortion Clinic Put On Probation

By Brenda Steele

Lila Rose and Live Action have succeeded in getting an Alabama Planned Parenthood abortion clinic put on probation. The clinic in Montgomery, AL has one week to answer charges it has provided abortions to underage girls, as young as 13-15, without parental consent. They must come up with a plan to address these state violations in the future or risk being closed.

A member of Live Action, the pro-life, youth led movement based in California, posed as a 14 year old seeking an abortion without the consent of her parents. She was told by a clinic worker that “someone else besides a parent could give consent.” This advice and counsel were caught on an audio tape the activist participating in the sting was concealing.

Live Action, a non-profit student group, led by 21 year old president, Lila Rose, has visited dozens of abortion clinics across the country. Members pose as underage pregnant girls seeking abortion counseling.

According to Lila Rose it is “routine at Planned Parenthood abortion clinics to be told medical lies and to be subjected to manipulative counseling.”

“They will do or say anything in order to sell more abortions to more women, whether it is covering up sexual abuse or lying to women about medical facts,” says Rose. “Our team has visited dozens of Planned Parenthood clinics undercover. Planned Parenthood, while claiming to support patient self-determination, operates with an ‘abortion-first mentality.'”

Lila Rose and her youth-led movement are “dedicated to building a culture of life and ending abortion, the greatest human rights injustice of our time.” They employ sting operations at abortion clinics throughout the nation, gathering information and proof that many are providing inaccurate medical counseling and abortion services to underage girls.

Planned Parenthood take notice: Lila Rose and the pro-life youth of Live Action who work alongside her, will find you out if, in fact, you are dealing in unlawful abortion practices.

Kudos to Lila Rose, to Live Action, and to all the other young pro-lifers in America who are becoming a pro-active voice in helping to stop abortion. They have courage, conviction, and commitment, but most of all they have a strong faith, and know what they are doing is God’s work.

Sign the Petition to Reform CCHD!

2-10-10 Posted by admin in Featured Issues 2 Comments

Sign the Petition to Reform CCHD!

The Reform CCHD Now Coalition is sponsoring a petition at Reform CCHD NOW! asking that no more Catholic dollars be spent on organizations that support positions that are antithetical to Catholic Social Teaching on the issues of abortion and same-sex marriage. Sign the petition by clicking the image above and let the Bishops know that you believe that CCHD grants should be stopped until the process can be reformed!

Dominican Sisters of Mary on Oprah

2-9-10 Posted by admin in Blog, Featured Articles, Gallery, Recent Articles 1 Comments

By Brenda Steele

Today’s Oprah Show featured the Dominican Sisters of Mary alongside a trained Caucasian Geisha living in Tokyo. The idea behind today’s program was to give the world a glimpse of the lives of women living in “secret” communities.

Journalist, Lisa Ling, interviewed both the Geisha and the Sisters of Mary.

Sayuki (her Japanese name), born in Australia and Oxford educated, takes her role as a trained Geisha very seriously.  She wanted to make a point, which she did several times, that sex is not now and never was a part of this tradition. In an odd way, her interview made a good introduction to the Dominican Sisters of Mary whose vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience require complete dedication and a desire to serve others.

Residing outside of Ann Arbor, MI, the Dominican Sisters of Mary have become widely known in Catholic circles due to their overwhelming success in attracting young women to religious service. Currently, there are 100 nuns whose average age is 26, though the youngest apostolate is 18. The Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist began in 1997 with 4 sisters.

Their mission statement reads, in part:

The Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist is a Roman Catholic community of women religious . . . . .Through profession of the vows of chastity, poverty, and obedience, along with a contemplative emphasis on Eucharistic adoration and Marian devotion, our community exists for the salvation of souls and the building of the Church throughout the world.

Lisa Ling spent a day and night with the sisters at their convent, even rising at 5:00 a.m. for Morning Prayer. She followed the sisters throughout their day of prayer, Mass, silent meals, periods for meditation, duties, classes, the Rosary, athletic recreation twice daily, Compline, and time for personal prayer and study at the end of the day.

It would have been impossible for both the studio audience and the TV not to notice the happiness that exuded from the faces of the Sisters of Mary postulates, novitiates, and consecrated nuns as they lived their day.

Sister Frances Mary, 22, when asked by Oprah, “How did you know you wanted to become a nun?” responded by saying, “It wasn’t something audible; it was just something that came from here”(as she clutched her hands to her heart, beaming all the while.)

Another touching response came from Sister Mary Judith when Oprah  asked about nuns being married to Christ — “It’s hard to have Christ as a spouse, when something goes wrong in the relationship, I know it’s me!”

There were the inevitable questions about sex. Nothing seems to throw these sisters, one of whom answered, “We’re human, we all have urges. I might have an urge to eat chocolate, but that doesn’t mean I have to indulge myself.”

Oprah asked if a sister could leave the convent if she realized she had made a mistake about becoming a nun. The sisters explained to her that it takes 7 to 9 years of discernment before one becomes a consecrated nun. In fact, the smiling countenances of the young women suggest no one is likely to leave the Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist.

Oprah found out these nuns don’t live in a world devoid of technology. Sister Joseph Andrew said that when she’s in a hurry she “grabs her prayer books and her Blackberry!” She doesn’t want any young woman interested in joining the order to be left waiting to be contacted. Their technological savvy is underscored by the sophistication of their website. The sisters may not often watch television, but they do know how to reach out through the Internet.

Oprah seemed a bit in awe of these happy, selfless women who have put aside the material things of this world to instead “preach and teach the Truth.” Mother Assumpta, who has been a nun since the age of 17, responded when asked about having given up the possibility of motherhood, “I think every woman is called to be a mother. We are simply called to be spiritual mothers.”

The Dominican Sisters of Mary have come to Ann Arbor, Michigan from all walks of life to take their vows. Each felt something was missing in their former lives; something was “calling” them to service. Whatever the reason, these women, full of energy and youth, are spending their lives in prayer for the Church and in apostolic work throughout the United States and beyond.

Oh, and thank you, Oprah, for featuring them on your show.

Marco Rubio, A Catholic Candidate Who Will Not Compromise

By Deal W. Hudson

Move over Sarah Palin – the GOP has a new star on the rise! Former speaker of the Florida house, Marco Rubio, has pulled twelve points ahead of Florida Governor Charlie Crist in the GOP senatorial race.

Although the election is not until August, some political observers are speculating Crist will pull out of the race in time to get back in it as a Democrat or an Independent.  Crist’s support has fallen from 53 percent in August to 37 percent as of February 1.

Rubio’s rise has been so meteoric he was pictured on the cover of  New Times Magazine (1/6/10) under the headline, “The First Senator from the Tea Party?”  The answer to that question, in my opinion, is “No” for several reasons.  The first being the article’s implication that Rubio’s candidacy is appealing to some sort of extreme political element, when, in fact, Rubio is a fiscal and social conservative with strong appeal to moderates and independents.

Only 38 years old, Rubio, the son of a bartender and maid, is the father of four young children. When I met him for dinner a few weeks ago in DC, Rubio left the table to call home and tell his children ‘goodnight’ just before bedtime.  Rubio, from the Cuban community of Miami, obviously didn’t do this for show — he often spoke in a self-effacing way about his wife, Jeanette, who reminds him to take out the garbage and “move those boxes.”

A few days ago I caught up with Rubio as he drove from Miami to Melbourne for a series of four appearances on the Friday before the Super Bowl. Football (Dolphins & Gators), by the way, is one of Rubio’s few hobbies.  A former high school and college defensive back, he would play flag football on the weekends, when he had time.   “I read a lot, “ Rubio says, “Right now I am reading, Peggy Noonan’s When Character Matters.”His choice of reading didn’t surprise me.

The old-fashioned virtues are important to Marco Rubio.  His home, in a working class neighborhood of West Miami, is close to the home his parent’s bought in 1984 after moving back from Las Vegas. “The neighborhood is just home, close to my family, where I grew up, and where I feel comfortable.”

Cubans are known for having close ties to their families. For Rubio, being a father is the “most important” job he has. “As my kids gets older, if I get that job wrong I will regret it the rest of my life.” His children, ages 2 through 9, are two boys and two girls. His wife, Jeanette Dousdebes Rubio, a Miami Dolphins’ cheerleader in 1997, was born in Miami to Columbian parents.

Rubio doesn’t think the surge of support for his candidacy is about him personally:

“I think it’s about our message.  On multiple fronts, the American people think this administration is going in the wrong direction.  They want to elect people to go to Washington, stand against this agenda, and offer a clear alternative.”

The Obama administration, for Rubio, lacks a belief in what has made this country the most free and prosperous country in history, the American free enterprise system. “The White House,” he argues, “has enacted policies that hurt the environment for business.  Government should help investment,” Rubio explains, “with a reasonable tax policy, predictable, without an overly burdensome regulatory system — one that ensures the public safety and welfare.”

He points out that Gov. Crist praised Obama’s stimulus package. Rubio opposed it because he doesn’t believe that government should be spending money “we don’t have,” adding, “The debt we are saddling our children with is unconscionable.”

For Rubio, Obama’s lack of awareness of how his policies are impacting individuals and families also explains the negative reaction to health care reform.  “People are reacting to the notion that the state is going to be in charge of another aspect of our lives.”  Everyone understands that people need broader health insurance, but they are “not prepared to turn over their liberties to get it — they don’t want to live in such a country.”

Rubio has not been shy about mentioning his Catholic faith on the campaign trail.  He told me that he hasn’t met any objections: “I don’t think my views should offend anyone — you can’t force religious views on anybody, but it’s an essential part of who I am, how I view the world, how I try to live, and part of that is we are all flawed and need forgiveness.”

We talked briefly about Catholic politicians who are elected and then cave in on issues like abortion, euthanasia, and the protection of marriage.  “I have a consistent record on those issues, and they are not going to change with the polls or the times. Roe is morally and constitutionally wrong and should be overturned. Marriage is between a man and woman; it is the cornerstone of society, the best way to raise children, the product of a thousand years of wisdom.”

For Rubio, his pro-life convictions are the “cornerstone” of everything else. “A society that does not respect the sanctity of life cannot make sense of anything else, and it leads to absurd and dangerous policies.” Without a belief in protecting preborn life, “the entire society is endangered, and social justice cannot be the outcome of such an unjust system.”

As the son of Cuban exiles, Rubio’s core beliefs were shaped, not just by his Catholic upbringing, but by his parents’ stories, and the stories of many in the Cuban community of Miami.

“We are not just immigrants, we are immigrants of a unique kind –- the Cuban exile community has a real passion for liberty because we know that politics matters and has consequences. This awareness runs through the veins of our community, that liberty is not something that is self-perpetuated.”

Yes, Rubio is articulate.  He still has the dash and charm of a young man. But he’s a seasoned politician, having just finished eight years in the Florida legislature rising to Majority Whip, Majority Leader, and Speaker of the House.

Keep your eye on Rubio; he’s got a personality, quickness of mind, and fearlessness, not often found in politics.

The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights (LCCHR) Greatest Hits

By Matt Smith

Deal Hudson recently asked the question – “Why Did the USCCB Join This Civil Rights Organization?”

In his article about the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) membership in the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights (LCCHR), he cited how member groups “must share LCCHR’s principles and purposes.” The USCCB has joined other coalition members of the LCCHR including the Human Rights Campaign, National Organization for Women, People for the American Way, and Service Employees International Union. They signed up to support “Equal rights, equal opportunities and equal justice with regard to race, religion, ethnic origin, gender, disability, age, or sexual orientation; and in which every group is accorded an equal opportunity to enter fully into the general life of the society with mutual acceptance and regard for difference.”

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) membership, and the ability of LCCHR to use that membership to present a viewpoint to a Catholic member of Congress, could lead to some confusion on where the bishops stand on an issue.

Catholic Advocate wanted to provide our members a short summary of a few of LCCHR’s Greatest Hits and what it means in relation to other activities of the Bishops’ Conference.

Greatest Hit 1 & 2:

Two of LCCHR priorities for the 111th Congress include “Ratification of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW)” and “passage of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA).”

What it means…

CEDAW includes a provision in Article 12 “access to health care services, including those related to family planning” which would counter the Hyde amendment and the Stupak-Pitts amendment language the Bishops’ Conference worked to support. Also under CEDAW, “Countries that restrict or outlaw abortion are reprimanded and instructed to change their laws.” ENDA would require Catholic churches or institutions affiliated with the Church to hire individuals who do not share the Church’s beliefs. Both of these LCCHR priorities run counter to efforts by the Bishops’ Conference.

This clearly is diametrically opposed to the basic declaration found on the USCCB website – “Human life must be respected and protected absolutely from the moment of conception. From the first moment of existence, a human being must be recognized as having the rights of a person—among which is the inviolable right of every innocent being to life.” Many in the Catholic church believe the sanctity of human life is the civil and human rights issue of our generation. Yet, the Bishops’ Conference belongs to an organization with the words in their name and without the support for the most basic of civil rights in their actions.

Greatest Hit 3:

LCCHR opposed the Federal Marriage Amendment

What it means…

On July 14, 2004, Bishop Wilton D. Gregory, President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) at the time stated:

“The Bishops of the United States are extremely disappointed that the Senate failed to close off the debate on the Federal Marriage Amendment, thereby preventing a vote on the substance of the amendment. Marriage, the union of one man and one woman, has always been recognized as the foundation of human society, but today marriage is sadly in need of protection. It is a shame that the Senate did not have the opportunity to vote on this amendment that is so necessary to the well-being of our nation.”

At the same time the Bishops’ Conference was working on passage of the Federal Marriage Amendment, it was paying dues to an organization out rallying groups in opposition to the same amendment.

We could continue with the list of “Greatest Hits,” but it is more of the same type of music you would not want to download.

Even if the USCCB claims they do not sign onto every coalition letter led by LCCHR, the organization does not delineate with their press releases or other materials which group has joined their voice on a particular issue. The Bishops’ Conference claims “non-partisanship,” however, when you read through the legislative priorities and past actions by the LCCHR it lines up with the Democrat National Committee platform. The Bishops’ Conference paying dues and being listed as a “coalition member” raises serious concerns about the type of representation being made of Catholic teachings to the Congress and Executive branch. Further participation with such groups will continue to highlight questions of neutrality and effectiveness in articulating the teachings of the Church in Washington.

Why Did the USCCB Join This Civil Rights Organization?

By Deal Hudson

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) has some surprising associations. For example,  (LCCHR), founded in 1950, lobbies the Congress and White House on behalf of its 200 coalition members, which includes the USCCB.

Members of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights of the LCCHR must pay annual dues depending on the size of the group ($1,000 minimum) and “must share LCCHR’s principles and purposes.” These criteria were confirmed by Lisa Haywood, membership services director:

Equal rights, equal opportunities and equal justice with regard to race, religion, ethnic origin, gender, disability, age, or sexual orientation; and in which every group is accorded an equal opportunity to enter fully into the general life of the society with mutual acceptance and regard for difference.

As a general statement, this contains nothing objectionable; the trouble is with its application. In short, the LCCHR lobbies on behalf of abortion rights and same-sex marriage.

The question naturally arises: Why did the bishops’ conference join this organization? When LCCHR staff sit in front of a member of Congress, they can legitimately say they are representing the Catholic bishops.

There is nothing ambiguous about LCCHR’s lobbying activity on behalf of abortion, same-sex marriage, and “family planning.” All the items on the LCCHR Web site listed here affirm their support of “marriage equality” and opposition to bans on same-sex marriage — policy positions directly opposed to the teaching of the Catholic Church.

For example, this press release from February 2004 expresses LCCHR’s opposition to the Federal Marriage Amendment. In it, deputy director Nancy Zirkin states:

The proposed amendment would not only prohibit states from granting equal marriage rights to same-sex couples, but apparently seeks also to deprive same-sex couples and their families of fundamental protections such as hospital visitation, inheritance rights, and health care benefits, whether conveyed through marriage or other legally recognized relationships, running afoul of basic principles of fairness as well as causing harm to real children and real families.

Regarding its abortion advocacy, LCCHR supports the ratification of the United Nations’ notoriously pro-abortion Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW): “The Convention is the only human rights treaty which affirms the reproductive rights of women and targets culture and tradition as influential forces shaping gender roles and family relations.”

LCCHR also praises the work of Planned Parenthood, saying it “delivers vital reproductive health care, sex education, and information to millions of women, men, and young people worldwide.” And a letter from LCCHR to Attorney General Michael Mukasey supporting the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances (FACE) Act argues:

The DOJ bears a critical role in enforcing and protecting women’s basic rights affecting their health, privacy and safety through the positions it takes in key constitutional and statutory interpretation cases, and in many other ways. For example, it is responsible for enforcing the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances (FACE) Act, which is key in protecting women’s access to reproductive health care.

For many years, LCCHR has lobbied hard against the confirmation of pro-life judges and justices. In the midst of the debate of pro-abortion nominee Dawn Johnsen, Nancy Zirkin asserted that civil-rights groups are upset that Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) hasn’t made the abortion advocate a higher priority. “There’s frustration she’s not at the top of the list,” Zirkin said.

Zirkin’s comment is consistent with the LCCHR’s history of opposition to judges who are pro-life and against same-sex marriage. LCCHR opposed the confirmation of J. Leon Holmes “because of a series of very troubling statements that he made during his legal career that called into question his impartiality on important issues of gender equality, civil rights, women’s rights.” Other pro-life nominees opposed by LCCHR include Charles Pickering Sr.Victor J. Wolski,Clarence ThomasMatthew W. McConnell, and D. Michael Fischer.

Finally, it should be noted that the USCCB participated in the 2007 and 2008 annual dinner to raise funds for the Leadership Conference of Civil & Human Rights. Evidently, the USCCB regards the work of LCCHR so highly it wants to provide support over and above its annual dues.

Last October, I questioned the USCCB’s membership in the So They Might See coalition, which had called for a FCC investigation into the so-called “hate speech” of Rush Limbaugh. USCCB spokesman Helen Osman explained that the USCCB “shares So We Might See’s general commitments to improving access to broadband among the under-served; to reducing violence in all media; and to reducing the excess of advertising in children’s programming.”

A similar argument will not succeed in explaining the relationship between the bishops’ conference and this civil-rights group. The “general commitments” of LCCHR include both the promotion of abortion on demand and same-sex marriage as civil rights.

The Saints and Pro-Lifers Victorious at Super Bowl XLIV

By Brenda Steele

Now who on earth could have found the Pam and Tim Tebow ads to be offensive after viewing them last night? Neither ad was explicit in its pro-life message, rather more affirmative of the never-ending job of mothering, but in a fun way.

To say the pro-abortion crowd overreacted to these ads is an understatement. I wonder if they aren’t just a little bit chagrined this morning after protesting so long and so loud. However, their haranguing, has in fact, served the pro-life community well. Many more people paid close attention to the Tebow ads than would have otherwise. Hopefully, we’ll soon know how many chose to visit the Focus on the Family website to get the “full Tebow story” following last night’s ads.

Yes, along with the Saints, we pro-lifers scored a victory at Super Bowl XLIV. Millions are now aware and are curious about Pam Tebow; they will go to the FOTF website, and hopefully they will be touched by her story and think hard about the sanctity of life no matter the circumstances.

Read more on the story at

By Steven Ertelt, Editor

Washington, DC ( — After millions of people across the United States and around the world watched the Focus on the Family commercials featuring Tim Tebow and his mother Pam, pro-life advocates say pro-abortion groups clearly overreacted in their outrage and complaining about what turned out to be positive, life-affirming ads.

Although the pro-life organization didn’t set out to air the commercials to get free press, Focus on the Family turned what wound up as the first advocacy ad during the Super Bowl into a publicity bonanza featuring Tebow’s heartwarming story.

The long-awaited pro-life Super Bowl ad was broadcast in the first quarter Sunday and a different version — sans Tim Tebow pretending to tackle his mother — aired repeatedly before the game.