An excellent article from Catholic Culture.

An excerpt.

“One day the US bishops’ conference is urging Congress to take action to undo the contraceptive mandate. The very next day the conference is urging Catholics to lobby their Congressmen for more funding for food stamps. Can anyone fail to notice that the second message dilutes the impact of the first?

“Actually if you’re trying to influence Congress, having constituents call their representatives is more effective than issuing your own public statement. You might say, then, that this week the USCCB acted more decisively in favor of food stamps than against the contraceptive mandate. But that’s a side issue.) …

“If you hear that the US bishops’ conference is going to issue another statement tomorrow, however, you can’t predict what they will want. It might be a statement about religious freedom, but it might also be about food stamps or climate change of immigration or tax cuts or day care or bank regulations or foreign aid or disaster relief or …who knows?

“Which is precisely my point. Who knows what the bishops want? Every member of Congress has heard dozens of different pleas from the USCCB. Sometimes the liberal legislators are sympathetic; sometimes it’s the conservatives. Nobody in Congress is with the bishops’ conference on every issue, yet virtually every politician can point to some issue on which he has agreed with the USCCB. The net result is that when campaign season arrives,every politician in America can claim to represent the political preferences of the US bishops—on the issues that really matter, you know.”