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By Diogenes (articles ) | Apr 15, 2005

Would you, as an American voter:

  • Oppose legislation that would make it more difficult for immigrants to obtain drivers [sic] licenses and other state-issued identification documents, with the goal of ensuring full access by immigrants to such state-issued identification documents.
  • Support legislative provisions that would assist developing countries with energy efficiency, renewable technologies, and ameliorating the impact of global warming on the poor.
  • Support legislation to provide full funding of programs such as the Conservation Security Program, which rewards farmers and ranchers who practice good stewardship and environmental protection on land that is in active production.

OK, OK. I'll stop now. CWN readers have already figured out that I'm cherry-picking from the legislative agenda of the US bishops' conference. But with all due respect to TXCatholic, let me point out that the USCCB agenda is not published; it's available only to those who take the initiative to ask for the full written version.

Now I wonder why the bishops don't want their whole political program lit up in neon lights, and broadcast all over the internet? Hmmm.

Maybe our wise religious leaders worry that it would cause crises of conscience. Let's say, just for example, that I, personally, don't

Support provisions in legislation relating to US bilateral and regional trade agreements consistent with the Bishops’ criteria for ethical trade, including as developments warrant: Dominican Republic-Central America Free Trade Agreement; Andean Free Trade Agreement; US-Southern African Customs Union FTA; and Free Trade Area of the Americas.

Would it still be OK for me to receive Communion? Would Cardinal McCarrick feel "comfortable?"

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  • Posted by: O'Solanus - Apr. 18, 2005 2:07 PM ET USA

    If TXCatholic found anything relating to the Bishops' legislative agenda on the web, he found a press release stating the following: "NOTE: The list of legislative issues is available on request by contacting the USCCB Office of Government Liaison, 202-541-3140; OGL@USCCB.org" Although they maintain a voluminous website, the Bishops clearly do not want their agenda to be widely known, nor readily available.

  • Posted by: - Apr. 17, 2005 12:59 PM ET USA

    Ahh, so the lay members of the conference may be passing off there own opinions as those of the Bishops. How underhanded is that?

  • Posted by: - Apr. 16, 2005 10:35 PM ET USA

    Well, with all due respect to Diogenes, I found it on the web. It is published and you can easily find it through google. It is published -- and you don't have to ask for it. Hmmm...more misinformation from Diogenes. Another big surprise!

  • Posted by: Gil125 - Apr. 16, 2005 5:09 PM ET USA

    The essential thing may be that these are not really positions of the bishops at all. Last time I looked, the USCCB had more paid staff members (most of them lay) than there are bishops. Many in offices whose work is turning out "positions of the bishops" on such subjects as you have quoted. I think at one of the meetings of actual bishops during the sex scandal (now history, as Atlanta's Archbishop says) a few of bishops suggested firing a cannon at the staff. The idea went nowhere.

  • Posted by: - Apr. 16, 2005 4:20 PM ET USA

    The U.S. Bishops don't really need a conference. They need to follow Church Doctrine and instruct the faithful to do the same. I wonder where most of these bishops stand on the "Five non-negotiable Issues"? I wonder how many of them are receiving the Blessed Sacrament in good conscience? Luckily, here in St. Louis we're blessed with the leadership of Archbishop Raymond Burke. I wish there were more like him.

  • Posted by: Ignacio177 - Apr. 16, 2005 1:56 PM ET USA

    Would it be wise if individual bishops withdrew from USCCB as a sign of protest? What about cutting economic support. --Starve the beast.

  • Posted by: benedictusoblatus - Apr. 16, 2005 9:24 AM ET USA

    The world got along quite well before the USCCB and would do even better if it should turn out the lights and lock the doors. After all, the time bishops spend in these idiotic meetings is time spent away from the sanctuary praying, the library studying, the pulpit preaching and the confessional absolving. Bishops have time to waste with these bureaucratic organizations, but they can't bring themselves to answer mail from Catholics concerned about their salvation. Shame, eternal shame.

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