11-June-2008 -- Catholic News Agency |

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Has Obama Dissolved His Catholic Advisory Council?

New York, Jun 10, 2008 (CNA).- Sen. Barack Obama, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, has apparently dissolved his Catholic National Advisory Council. According to the latest information obtained by CNA, evidence of the committee’s continued existence remains elusive.

Bill Donohue, president of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, said in a June 9 press release that there is no mention of the advisory council on the Obama website and Obama’s National Catholic Outreach Coordinator has not responded to Catholic League inquiries about the council.

In recent months two Catholic advisors to Obama have been the subject of controversy. One of Obama’s Catholic advisers, Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius, was recently rebuked by Archbishop of Kansas City Joseph Naumann because of her pro-abortion views and asked by the archbishop not to present herself for Holy Communion.

The other Obama advisor who has drawn fire is Chicago priest Fr. Michael Pfleger who reportedly withdrew his name from the Advisory Council after video of him mocking Obama’s Democratic opponent Sen. Hillary Clinton was publicized. Amid critical media coverage, Fr. Pfleger was asked by Cardinal Francis George, the Archbishop of Chicago, to take a two-week leave of absence from his parish.

Bill Donohue had called on Sen. Obama to dissolve the campaign’s Catholic National Advisory Council because of what he said was the senator’s selection of “dissident Catholics.” Donohue said most of the public officials on the council had a 100 percent rating from NARAL, a pro-abortion group.

Noting the lack of publicity for the Catholic National Advisory Council, Donohue said “It would appear, then, that the group no longer exists.”

The Catholic League informed CNA on Tuesday that no further information on the fate of the advisory council has surfaced. The League also pointed to a report from BeliefNet in which one of the advisory council’s members said that she chats on the phone with other members, but does nothing more.

Obama’s Catholic National Advisory Council Members (as published May 12, 2008)

Former Congressman Tim Roemer of Indiana Sr. Catherine Pinkerton, Congregation of St. Joseph Governor Jim Doyle of Wisconsin Governor Kathleen Sebelius of Kansas Senator Christopher J. Dodd of Connecticut Senator Edward M. Kennedy of Massachusetts Senator John Kerry of Massachusetts Senator Patrick Leahy of Vermont Representative Xavier Becerra of California Representative Lacy Clay of Missouri Representative Rosa. DeLauro of Connecticut - Representative Anna Eshoo of California Representative Raul M. Grijalva of Arizona Representative George Miller of California Representative Linda Sanchez of California Mary Jo Bane, Professor, Harvard Kennedy School Nicholas P. Cafardi, Catholic Author and Scholar, Pittsburgh, PA Lisa Sowle Cahill, Professor of Theology, Boston College Tom Chabolla, Assistant to the President, Service Employees International Union M. Shawn Copeland, Associate Professor of Theology, Boston College Ron Cruz, Leadership Development Consultant, Burke, VA Sharon Daly, Social Justice Advocate, Knoxville, MD Richard Gaillardetz, Murray / Bacik Professor of Catholic Studies, University of Toledo Grant Gallicho, Associate Editor, Commonweal Magazine Margaret Gannon, IHM, A Sister of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, Scranton, PA Don Guter, Judge Advocate General of the Navy (2000-2002); Rear Admiral, Judge Advocate General's Corps, U.S. Navy (Ret.), Pittsburgh, PA Teresa Heinz, Chairman, Heinz Family Philan11J.ropies Cathleen Kaveny, Professor of Law and Professor of Theology, University of Notre Dame Victoria Reggie Kennedy, President, Common Sense About Kids and Guns Peggy Kerry, Independent Consultant, New York, NY Jim Kesteloot, President and Executive Director, Chicago Lighthouse Vincent Miller, Associate Professor of Theology, Georgetown University David O'Brien, Loyola Professor of Catholic Studies at the College of the Holy Cross Reverend Michael Pfleger, Pastor of Faith Community of St. Sabina, Chicago, IL Sr. Jamie Phelps, O.P., Director and Professor of Theology, Institute for Black Catholic Studies, Xavier University Peter Quaranto, Senior Researcher and Conflict Analyst, Resolve Uganda (Notre Dame Class of 2006) Dave Robinson, International Peace Advocate, Erie, Pennsylvania Vincent Rougeau, Associate Professor of Law, University of Notre Dame Mary Wright, Inter-Faith Liaison, Louisville, KY

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