The USCCB has announced that it will have to cut its ties (a paid membership) with the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights after the LCCR endorsed President Obama’s Supreme Court nominee, Elena Kagan. Bishop William Murphy, chairman of the USCCB Committee on Domestic Justice and Peace explained:
In light of recent events, it has become increasingly clear that the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ continued membership in the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights is not possible because of the LCCR’s expanded and broadened agenda. The interests of the Leadership Conference and those of the USCCB have diverged as the LCCR has moved beyond advocacy of traditional civil rights to advocacy of positions which do not reflect the principles and policies of the bishops’ Conference. In recent years, the Leadership Conference has joined others in advocating or opposing nominees for the Supreme Court, a practice which clearly contradicts USCCB policy and compromises the principled positions of the bishops. The latest example of this is the LCCR support of the Solicitor General’s nomination to the Supreme Court.
More specifically, as Deal Hudson chronicled over at InsideCatholic, the LCCR has been advocating pro-abortion nominees and opposing pro-life nominees for the Supreme Court as well as lobbying against bans on same-sex marriage and for abortion. Practices which even more clearly contradict the principled positions of the bishops. Pulling out of the LCCR in no way signals a change in the USCCB’s “commitment to oppose all forms of racism, unjust discrimination, and bigotry,” as Bishop Murphy emphasized in his statement. Rather, it emphasizes the bishops commitment to the principle underlying these worthy causes: the dignity of every human person.