By Dan Gilgoff, God & Country
Deal Hudson, a prominent conservative Roman Catholic activist—he used to spearhead Catholic outreach for the Republican National Committee and for George W. Bush's presidential campaigns—wrote a column yesterday headlined "Fake Catholic Groups Working Overtime for Healthcare Bill."
The groups Hudson refers to are Catholics United and Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good. Both got off the ground after the 2004 election, aiming to provide a progressive, Democratic Party-allied alternative Catholic voice to conservative Catholic groups and to some outspokenly conservative bishops. Those interests had helped George W. Bush win the Catholic vote in '04 despite facing a Catholic Democratic opponent.
"The same fake Catholic groups that helped President Barack Obama get elected," Hudson writes on his InsideCatholic website, "have rallied to the cause of the health-care bill, abortion funding and all."
"The fakeness, admittedly, is journalistic hyperbole," Hudson told me when I called to ask about his allegation. But he stood by his charge, arguing that a pro-abortion-rights Catholic—or one who would abide government-subsidized abortion coverage in healthcare reform—is an oxymoron.
"This has to do with a nonnegotiable teaching of the church," Hudson said. "You can't compromise on an issue like the protection of unborn life. It's a compromise that takes you out of the realm of what can arguably be described as Catholic."
Would be interested to hear your thoughts on this. Are self-described Catholic groups like Catholics United and Catholics in Alliance, which Hudson notes are staffed largely with alumni from the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, legitimately Catholic? Or are they fake?