Catholic AG in Virginia calls church “the largest special group interest in America”

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Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, a Roman Catholic, had some stinging words for church leaders in a recent speech where he said bishops have “helped create a culture of dependency on government, not God.”

The 2013 Republican gubernatorial candidate offered that assessment during a wide-ranging Sept. 29 speech to the Cherish Life Ministries Christian Life Summit held in Northern Virginia.

Video of Cuccinelli’s speech shows the conservative lightning rod touched on an array of topics, including the evils of abortion, his views on wayward Americans straying from their Christian roots, and the price paid by the outspokenly faithful.

“Those people who take their faith seriously are viciously assaulted for it in the public arena,” Cuccinelli said.

“As attorney general, my decisions are sometimes attacked for supposedly imposing my religion on other people,” he added. “When in fact all we ever do — even if I don’t like the decision — it is governed by fidelity to the law.”

Turning to the Catholic church, Cuccinelli criticized leaders as “soft and weak” for taking positions that have “paved the road to the denial of liberty.”

He cited the federal health care act whose rules on contraceptive access have upset many church leaders who see that as infringing on their moral convictions.

Cuccinelli said the church has grown so accustomed to lobbying government for charitable purposes — those functions are best left to “the church if they’re done at all in society,” he said — that it’s evolved into “the largest special group interest in America.”

Speaking later about the church’s role in promoting government dependence, Cuccinelli suggested churches have abdicated their responsibility by leaning on government to tackle the “business of serving the poor.”

Read more. And you can watch the video of his remarks below.

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