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MCC’s Russell among 10 consultants named to new religious freedom committee

MCC’s Russell among 10 consultants named to new religious freedom committee

By Catholic News Service

WASHINGTON – Bishop William E. Lori of Bridgeport, Conn., has named 10 bishop-members and 10 consultants to join him on the recently established Ad Hoc Committee for Religious Liberty.

Bishop Lori, appointed Sept. 30 to head the committee by Archbishop Timothy M. Dolan of New York, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, was to report on the committee’s work during the Nov. 14-16 USCCB fall general assembly in Baltimore.

In announcing formation of the committee, Archbishop Dolan said its members will work with a variety of national organizations, ecumenical and interreligious partners, charities and scholars to “form a united and forceful front in defense of religious freedom in our nation.”

“Never before have we faced this kind of challenge in our ability to engage in the public square as people of faith and as a service provider,” the archbishop said in a statement. “If we do not act now, the consequence will be grave.”

New members of the ad hoc committee are Bishop John O. Barres of Allentown, Pa.; Archbishop Charles J. Chaput of Philadelphia; Bishop Daniel E. Flores of Brownsville, Texas; Archbishop Wilton D. Gregory of Atlanta; Archbishop John C. Nienstedt of St. Paul and Minneapolis; Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted of Phoenix; Bishop Thomas J. Paprocki of Springfield, Ill.; Archbishop Thomas J. Rodi of Mobile, Ala.; Archbishop J. Peter Sartain of Seattle; and Cardinal Donald W. Wuerl of Washington.

Consultants include Carl Anderson, supreme knight of the Knights of Columbus; attorneys Kevin Baine, Philip Lacovara and L. Martin Nussbaum; Father Raymond J. de Souza, a columnist and priest of the Archdiocese of Kingston, Ontario; Richard Garnett, associate dean and professor of law and political science at the University of Notre Dame; John Garvey, president of The Catholic University of America; Mary Ann Glendon, Harvard Law School professor; Judge Michael McConnell, Stanford University Law School professor; and Mary Ellen Russell, executive director of the Maryland Catholic Conference.