The Rev. Andrew Weaver writes about the Conservative Catholic Influence in the Institue for Religion and Democracy, and its growing influence. They constitute about a third of the board (about the same proportion of Catholics in the country, I think), but have undermined the general ecumenical work between Catholics and protestants. What is interesting is how anti-Catholic, also, their theology truly is, especially when it comes to capitalism.
He writes: While Father Neuhaus and his Catholic cohorts have built and sustained an organization that has consistently labored to generate suspicion and hostility about mainstream Protestant leaders, not a penny has been spent nor staff member assigned to attempt to change anything about the Catholic Church. This conduct constitutes the single greatest breach in ecumenical good will between Roman Catholics and Protestants since Vatican II.
Weaver quotes a former editor of First Things: The America toward which Richard John Neuhaus wishes to lead us -- [is] an America...in which moral and theological absolutists demonize the country's political institutions and make nonnegotiable public demands under the threat of sacralized revolutionary violence, in which citizens flee from the inner obligations of freedom and long to subordinate themselves to ecclesiastical authority, and in which traditionalist Christianity thoroughly dominates the nation's public life (Linker, 2006).
Is Neuhaus aware that American Idol and Project Runway are more important than church these days, and that young people are simply ignoring adults about sex?
Weaver concludes: Imagine the outcry from Catholic leaders, a fully justified response, if a highly influential group of Protestants obtained a million dollars a year from left-wing sources to generate a propaganda campaign against the leadership of the Catholic Church over the issues of the ordination of women and divorce. Moreover, this Protestant-directed group constantly sought to undermine Catholic leaders and missions through twisted and demeaning distortions of what they said, while seeking no reforms in their own communions. This is exactly the situation we have at IRD.
Although I generally think Protestant Christianity has rendered "god-talk" to be redundant, and has not called young leaders of great talent, I do believe that there is a deliberate attempt to destroy the liberal, magnanimous, social justice tradition that is a crucial part of American culture - via Henry Ward Beecher, Walter Rauschenbushc, Henry Fosdick, William Sloane Coffin among others. Perhaps protestants were right: Catholics would undermine the American traditions of sympathy, mutual aid and civil rights.