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‘Catholic Lobby’ Called Fragmented

From Times staff and wire service reports

A political scientist at King’s College in Wilkes-Barre, Pa., says that just as there no longer is a unified “Catholic vote” in America, the “Catholic lobby” also is fragmented.

Father Thomas J. O’Hara, who has examined 31 separate Washington-based Catholic interest groups advocating various public policy positions, said many scholars mistakenly considered the Catholic lobby “a monolith.”

“That really is a distorted view,” he said.

O’Hara, who has written a chapter on the multifaceted Catholic lobby in a new book, “Religion in American Politics,” said, “There are Catholic pacifists, feminists, traditionalist and advocates of positions on many policy issues. Some are to the left of the bishops, and some are to the right.”

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