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Fred Thompson’s Catholic Outreach Guru

Via Catholics United comes this tidbit about the President of the conservative Catholic organization Fidelis, accepting a high-level faith outreach position for the “is he or isn’t he a candidate” Fred Thompson. Joseph Cella’s claim to fame at Fidelis is hitting strong on Democrats who favor abortion rights, which sadly in this day and age, gets you pretty far in the Catholic world. Of course, there’s no word from Cella on how he’s reconciled working for Fred Thompson, who openly lobbied the first Bush administrati on on behalf of pro-choice groups.

Catholics United points out that Cella is more than just your normal political operative, though. He’s one of a growing number of folks trying to bend Catholic teaching to fit an exclusively Republican agenda. Cella has for years run the National Catholic Prayer Breakfast (a front organization that provides a Catholic pretext to Republican faith-based outreach), and he used to edit a blog called redstate.com .

Moreover, to proove that Cella really only cares whether you’re a Republican (and not “pro-life” as he might argue), Cella vehemently opposed pro-life Democrat Sen. Bob Casey in his 2006 win over Rick Santorum in Pennsylvania . I guess that also goes to proove another law of physics: if two pro-lifers are running against one another, the better one has the “R” after their name. Oh, and Fidelis’ Political Action Committee gave exclusively to Republicans in 2002 and 2004.

Thompson can hire whoever he wants, of course. But Cella is just another in a long line of Catholic partisans (think Richard Neuhaus and Bill Donohue) who are only interested in spreading a Catholic message that fits comfortably into the Republican platform.


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