More Trouble for Giuliani from Conservative Catholic Activists

A few weeks ago we noted the formation of an anti-Giuliani Catholic front, including Joseph Cella of Fidelis and Steve Dillard of Catholics Against Rudy, right-wing activists key to forcing the withdrawal of Harriet Miers from nomination to the Supreme Court. Now more self-identified Catholic activists are mobilizing against Rudy Giuliani, himself a Catholic and the leading GOP candidate for president.

Acting under the rubric of “Republicans Against Rudy Giuliani,” two activists put out a press release targeting the candidate for “liberal views on foundational issues of abortion, homosexuality, judges, and gun control” – in particular, his dressing in drag for comedy sketches:

Republicans upset with Rudy Giuliani’s anti-family policies protested on Sunday, June 10th when the “Republican” presidential candidate appeared in Irvine. A “Rudy Giuliani in drag” was among dozens of sign-holding protestors outside the hotel. …

“Imagine what heads of state would think of an American president known for dressing up as a woman,” said Bob Cielnicky, a southern California pro-life leader. “What was Rudy Giuliani thinking when he did this publicly three times as mayor of New York? Obviously not the Presidency.” …

“It’s appalling to see some Republicans abandoning their Republican Party core principles for Rudy Giuliani,” said Ken Fisher, a conservative Republican activist in Orange County, California. “If you support Giuliani, you aren’t supporting family values.”

Fisher is president of Concerned Roman Catholics of America, which seeks to “undo the last thirty-plus years of watered-down Catholicism.” One section of the group’s website attacks the “Pro-Sodomite, Pro-Abortion” Knights of Columbus, listing politicians associated with the Catholic fraternal order. Fisher is joined by Cielnicky, who has been involved with various groups in California including the Life Priority Network, the Alliance Against Abortion Funding, and Californians Against Assisted Suicide.

In addition, the New York Observer reports on the question of whether the Roman Catholic Church itself will get involved against Giuliani’s bid. Some U.S. bishops made headlines in 2004 by announcing that they would not permit Democratic candidate John Kerry to receive communion in their dioceses; one clergyman told the Observer, “We’ll wait and see if the dozen or so bishops who all went after Kerry, if they go after Giuliani for the same thing.”