Catholic Bishops Hope to Meet with McCain, Obama
For the first time in recent memory, leaders of the U.S. Catholic Conference of Bishops have invited the two presidential candidates to meet with them before the election. Neither Republican John McCain nor Democrat Barack Obama have replied to the invitations offered last month, said Sister Mary Ann Walsh, spokeswoman for the conference.
A spokeswoman for the McCain campaign said the senator wants to accept, but does not yet know if such a meeting will fit into his schedule. A spokesman for the Obama campaign could not be reached for comment.
Five bishops who lead policy committees — delving into matters including abortion, education, migration, international affairs and communications — want to discuss the candidates’ views on social issues, said Bishop William Murphy of the Rockville Centre diocese in New York state. He is chairman of the bishops’ domestic policy committee. The meetings, if they occur, will be private and off the record, he said.
“This isn’t born of any concern or worry or problem,” said Bishop Murphy. “We think it would be helpful for us to have that time and we think it would be helpful for the candidates to hear from the teachers of the Catholic church …as to what our concerns are.” (The Wall Street Journal)