On the April 25 edition of Fox News' America Live, host Megyn Kelly interviewed Catholic League president Bill Donohue to highlight opposition by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) to recent regulations by the Obama administration intended to expand access to reproductive health. Kelly introduced the segment by citing critics' claims that the regulations are a "war on religion" by the Obama administration -- a theme Fox has obsessively pushed -- and by promoting the claim that members of the USCCB are "furious over what they view as encroachment on religious liberty."
But the reproductive health regulation isn't the only policy that the Conference has recently criticized. On April 17, the USCCB issued a statement criticizing the GOP budget proposal over cuts that would hurt "poor and vulnerable people and programs that meet their basic needs and protect their lives and dignity." From the USCCB:
As Congress began working on the FY 2013 budget and spending bills this week, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) wrote several letters that repeated and reinforced the bishops' ongoing call to create a "circle of protection" around poor and vulnerable people and programs that meet their basic needs and protect their lives and dignity." The bishops' message calls on Congress and the Administration to protect essential help for poor families and vulnerable children and to put the poor first in budget priorities. The bishop's letters oppose measures that reduce resources for essential safety net programs.
In the letters, Bishops Stephen E. Blaire of Stockton, California, and Richard E. Pates of Des Moines, Iowa, chairmen of the Committees on Domestic Justice and Human Development and International Justice and Peace, respectively, urged Congress to resist proposed cuts in hunger and nutrition programs at home and abroad saying that "a just spending bill cannot rely on disproportionate cuts in essential services to poor and vulnerable persons."
The statement outlined several "moral criteria to guide these difficult budget decisions," including "whether it protects or threatens human life and dignity," the "needs of those who are hungry and homeless," and "ordinary workers and families who struggle to live in dignity in difficult economic times." According to Bishop Stephen E. Blaire, "The House-passed budget resolution fails to meet these moral criteria."
The statement further recommended that if cuts were needed, "savings should first be found in programs that target more affluent and powerful interests."
Moreover, nearly 60 Catholic leaders released a statement on April 13 saying that the GOP budget "is morally indefensible and betrays Catholic principles of solidarity, just taxation and a commitment to the common good."
But despite hosting a Catholic leader for a nearly six-minute segment on policy and a supposed Obama administration "war on religion," Kelly managed to ignore this criticism by Catholics of Republicans and balance the otherwise non-stop promotion of the proposal and its author, Rep. Paul Ryan.