WASHINGTON, May 14, 2004 (LifeSiteNews.com) - In his May 14 e-letter, Crisis Magazine editor Deal Hudson expresses serious concern that the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) organization may have unexpectedly just deflated efforts to pass the Federal Marriage Amendment (FMA) to the US Constitution.  Hudson says that “Of course, the amendment is also running into opposition from homosexual activists and the radical left. But now it looks like it might be encountering resistance from another sourceā€¦ the USCCB”. He emphasizes, “Yes, you read that correctly.”

The nationally influential orthodox Catholic activist and Washington insider notes that all recent public statements of the USSCB have supported the dignity of marriage and passage of the Federal Marriage Amendment. But, Hudson asks “are they now backing away from their previous position?”  Hudson reports that at a recent who’s who meeting of religious leaders and several prominent senators that was convened by Senator Sam Brownback, Monsignor William Fay, General Secretary of the USCCB, stated, according to others who were at the meeting, that the bishops didn’t want to see the FMA become a “political issue.”  This contradicted what the conference stated last September. Hudson says Msgr. Fay was also reported to have made a surprising comment that the bishops didn’t want to impinge on anyone’s rights, whereas, he notes, “the current language of the amendment says nothing about rights”. Hudson continues, “The bishops’ conference itself has been clear that limiting marriage in this way isn’t an infringement on anyone’s rights” and that the state “can justly give married couples rights and benefits it does not extend to others.”  Hudson bemoans that “Fay’s comments—if accurate—are especially discouraging because the ‘don’t politicize the issue’ tactic is identical to what’s coming from the Democratic National Committee (DNC). He explains “it’s common knowledge that the lobbying staff of the USCCB supports the Democrats on just about every issue but abortion. But the question of same-sex marriage has put these staffers in the tricky situation of needing to support the FMA while also wanting to help those Democratic congressmen who could likely oppose it. No wonder they’re hedging on the issue.”“Fay may not be intentionally trying to undermine the amendment”, Hudson concludes, “but”, he says, “that could very well be the ultimate result… especially if the bishops’ conference doesn’t start speaking up more forcefully on this.”  The USCCB, like the CCCB in Canada, is a non-canonical church organization without any formal teaching authority. Unfortunately, these recently created church organizations and their entrenched, often leftist bureaucrats, have frequently taken liberal, unorthodox positions on issues. They have also somehow managed to intimidate many bishops to abdicate their individual decision making and teaching authority, on many important issues, to conference bureaucrats over the past four decades.  See   Canada Catholic Bishops Plenary Council Neutral on Homosexual Unions http://www.lifesite.net/ldn/2003/sep/03091001.html