It has become the recent tradition of the President of the USCCB to outline the top policy priorities of the U.S. Catholic Bishops, who represent a Church body numbering 68 million Catholic Americans. Our newly elected President of the USCCB, Archbishop Timothy Dolan, has carried on this tradition, and, just days before President Obama's State of the Union Address, has published his first letter to the members of the U.S. Congress.
For those who may ask, "Why does the Church feel the need to voice it's beliefs to our political leaders?", I think that the good archbishop puts it very well when he writes the following in this letter;
"From our experience and our tradition, we offer a distinctive, constructive and principled contribution to the national dialogue on how to defend human life and dignity, promote and protect marriage and family life, lift up those who experience economic turmoil and suffering, and promote peace in a world troubled by war and violence."