Catholic Bishops Seek to Meet With McCain, Obama
From The Wall Street Journal:
BOSTON -- America's Catholic bishops have a few thoughts on politics, and this year they want to share them directly with the candidates.
For the first time in recent memory, leaders of the U.S. Catholic Conference of Bishops have invited the two presidential candidates to meet with them before the election. Neither Republican John McCain nor Democrat Barack Obama have replied to the invitations offered last month, said Sister Mary Ann Walsh, spokeswoman for the conference.
A spokeswoman for the McCain campaign said the senator wants to accept, but does not yet know if such a meeting will fit into his schedule. [ED.: I suggest you find the time in your schedule, Senator. Can we please get Sen. Brownback and Gov. Keating to stress the importance of this to Sen. McCain?] A spokesman for the Obama campaign could not be reached for comment.
Five bishops who lead policy committees -- delving into matters including abortion, education, migration, international affairs and communications -- want to discuss the candidates' views on social issues, said Bishop William Murphy of the Rockville Centre diocese in New York state. He is chairman of the bishops' domestic policy committee. The meetings, if they occur, will be private and off the record, he said.
The invitation was extended prior to last week, when bishops chastised two Catholics who support abortion rights -- Democratic vice presidential candidate Sen. Joe Biden, and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi -- for their remarks concerning abortion. Bishops, in particular, faulted Ms. Pelosi for suggesting that the church has not agreed to the time when human life begins.