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Group Of Catholics Protests Political Views Of Catholic Church

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Alex DeMetrick has been a general assignment reporter with WJZ...
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BALTIMORE (WJZ)–Same-sex marriage, abortion and contraceptives. America’s Catholic bishops have taken a strong stand opposing each.

Alex DeMetrick reports they were asked by other Catholics to stop mixing those positions with politics.

Long before same-sex marriage went to a public vote in Maryland, Baltimore’s archbishop spelled out his position.

“Help us defend marriage.  Foster family life in a time of cultural confusion,” said William Lori, Baltimore archbishop.

But outside a Baltimore hotel, a handful of Catholics brought a petition with 25,000 signatures.

“We’re here today as Catholics who love the church but hate the politics of the bishops,” said James Salt, Catholics United.

The bishops happened to be holding their national conference inside the hotel. It’s the body whose position on social issues surfaced prominently in the last election.

“They tried to make this election about contraception, gay marriage and abortion,” Salt said. “We want the church to be known for its ability to inspire.  For that means getting back to the core message of Jesus and the gospels, which calls us to care for one another, especially the poor and vulnerable.”

“We don’t dream up issues, OK?  We get them from Jesus and his gospel,” said Cardinal Timothy Dolan, conference president.

The bishops did take up the economy as an issue. But after considerable debate, voted down two amendments staking out new positions on the economic forces battering the poor.

As for the petitioners out front, it was closer to communion than confrontation.

“You’re praying for us, right.  Just keep it up.  Keep it up,” Bishop Lori said.

The two-day conference by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops wraps up Tuesday evening.

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