U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minnesota, and a candidate for the 2012 Republican Party's presidential nomination, has officially quit her home church in Minnesota that has been accused of holding anti-Catholic views, The Los Angeles Times reported Friday.

The Bachmanns had belonged to the Salem Lutheran Church in Stillwater, Minn., for more than 10 years, CNN reported Friday, citing Joel Hochmuth, director of communications for the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod, the broader denominational body of which Bachmann's former church is a member. The church council granted the Bachmanns' request to be released from their membership on June 21, Hochmuch said.

The Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, said Friday, in a statement, it was regrettable that there are still strains of anti-Catholicism in some Protestant circles, but we find no evidence of any bigotry on the part of Rep. Michele Bachmann. Indeed, she has condemned anti-Catholicism. Just as President Barack Obama is not responsible for the views of Rev. Jeremiah Wright, Rep. Bachmann must be judged on the basis of her own record.

Bachmann's standing in the Republican nomination contest has risen in the past two months, as she filled a representational void for conservative/libertarian voters created when former Gov. Sarah Palin, R-Alaska, delayed her decision on whether to run for president in 2012. Palin may still run, either as a Republican or as a Tea Party candidate, but political operatives say Bachmann has built up an impressive base that will be hard to overcome.

At the same time, however, Bachmann has drawn criticism for numerous actions considered to be, at best, poor judgment. In perhaps her most high-profile gaffe, Bachmann desired to have members of the U.S. Congress investigated for what she asserted were un-American actions. Her philosophically inadequate response to MSNBC Hardball Talk Show Host Chris Matthew's probing as to Who in the Congress is un-American, who is guilty of unpatriotic actions? concerned some Americans -- who viewed Bachmann as seeking to 'demonize' her opponents and engage in demagoguery. For that she lost points, as in general Americans want public officials to solve problems, not to point fingers.