WASHINGTON, September 22, 2005 ( – A speech given by a prominent official of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, praising a well-known pro-abortion rabbi, has raised the ire of US pro-life advocates and at least one organization is calling for his resignation and an apology to the pro-life movement.

Dr. Eugene Fisher, Associate Director of the Secretariat for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs, wrote on the occasion of the death of Rabbi Balfour Brickner that he was “one of the great leaders of Reform Judaism and one of the greatest American religious leaders of the second half of the twentieth century.”

Fisher, called Rabbi Brickner “a man of social vision and moral courage who never backed down from the good fight for the rights of others.” Except, according to Catholic pro-life activist, Randy Engel, director of the U.S. Coalition for Life in Export, PA., Rabbi Brickner failed to defend the most fundamental right of all, the right to life.

A leader in the liberal Jewish community, Brickner was in full support of abortion and contraception and a founding member of NARAL, the leading abortion promoter in the US. Brickner was also prominent in his support of the homosexual agenda to undermine the traditional family.

Brickner served on the boards of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA), the PPFA Board of Advocates and the PPFA Clergy Advisory Board, Planned Parenthood of New York City. Rabbi Brickner was a founder of Religious Leaders for a Free Choice, a New York-based pro-abortion organization that attempts to subvert the religious message to support the killing of the unborn.

A pro-abortion feminist website,, quotes Rabbi Brickner castigating the media for ignoring the support for abortion among religious leaders. “The media has ignored the pro-choice religious stance for years,” he is quoted saying “The media has played and pandered to the Roman Catholic community and their position as though it is in some ways definitive toward reproductive choice.”

And yet, Dr. Fisher in his address called Brickner “a biblical prophet” and “a mensch.” Fisher said, “We in the Catholic community involved in interreligious and social work have lost a great friend. And the world has lost one of its most important voices. May he rest in peace with the Lord, and may his name forever be a blessing.”

Brickner helped draft the 2000 SEICUS (Sex Education and Information Council of the United States) “Religious Declaration on Sexual Morality, Justice, and Healing,” which upholds contraception, abortion and homosexual rights including the right to “the blessing of same sex unions,” cradle-to-grave sex instruction and population control.

The US Coalition for Life calls for Dr. Fisher’s resignation along with that of his superior, Rev. Arthur Kennedy, executive director of the Secretariat.

Engel writes, “The members of the hierarchy who permitted this scandalous statement to be issued need to issue an apology to the pro-life community. In addition, the Vatican should remove Dr. Fisher from any advisory position to the Holy See on Jewish ecumenical relations.”

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Full text of Dr. Fisher’s address:

To Contact the USCCB Secretariat for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs:
  3211 4th St. NE, Washington, D.C. USA

  Fax: 202-541-3183
  e-mail: [email protected].

Most Reverend Stephen E. Blaire, Bishop of Stockton, CA
  Chairman of the Secretariat for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs.
  1105 N. Lincoln Street
  Stockton, CA 95203

  Fax: 209-941-9722
  e-mail: [email protected]