The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops spent nearly $30 million lobbying in Washington through 2008-09, according to a new report from the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life.
That may not be good news for conservative-minded Catholics, however, given a significant fact about the USCCB. Except on matters of sex and abortion, the USCCB generally hews to the liberal line on public policy matters. Numerous commentators point to the bishops' pastoral letter and other teachings on the economy, and their support for universal healthcare, for instance, as proof the USCCB is virtually the religious arm of the radical left of the Democratic Party. That is true particularly on immigration.
But other prominent evangelical organizations, generally regarded as more conservative than the bishops, are among the top nine names in Pew's list. According to Pew, the USCCB is No. 2. on the list of religious groups lobbying in Washington, D.C.
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Photo of meeting of United States Conference of Catholic Bishops: AP Images