A coalition of right-wing Catholics wants American bishops to withdraw their appointment of two American lay advisers to the forthcoming worldwide Synod of Bishops in Rome in October and replace them with two conservatives.

The unofficial National Catholic Coalition this week asked Archbishop John L. May of St. Louis, president of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops, to name conservative activist Phyllis Schlafly and Notre Dame law professor Charles Rice to represent American lay Catholics at the synod, which will focus on the role of the laity.

Kathleen Sullivan, executive director of the coalition, said the bishops' appointees -- Dolores Leckey, director of the bishops' national Secretariat for the Laity, and Lucien Roy, director of the office for ministry formation for the Chicago archdiocese -- are not qualified.

Because both are employes of the church "with very limited outside connections," she said, they "would not be able to advise {the bishops} on the very crucial roles of lay Catholics in the secular world."

In contrast, said Rep. Henry J. Hyde (R-Ill.), who appeared briefly at the news conference called by the coalition on Wednesday, Schlafly is "a spokesperson for many Catholics. She speaks for the mainstream Catholic and has a grasp of women's issues that is unequaled," he said.

Schlafly, author and speaker who is president of the right-wing Eagle Forum, has been associated with a range of conservative causes, from opposition to an Equal Rights Amendment to the Panama Canal treaty.

While the letter to May and the announcement of the news conference focused on the qualifications of Leckey and Roy, the coalition's underlying complaints seemed to be with the liberal trends of American bishops.

The bishops, said Rice, "for many years have been out of phase with the Catholic people." He faulted the bishops for the state of "catechetics" in the church today, for "family life programs, sex education in schools" and the church's failure to uphold the "responsibility of the state to defend the common good in war and peace."

The latter referred to the bishops' pastoral controversial letter opposing nuclear warfare, which the National Catholic Coalition was founded four years ago to "counter," a press release said.

Hyde said he took time out from the Iran-contra hearings to participate in the coalition's activities because "I am interested in my church . . . . I'm concerned about the salvation of souls."

Rep. Robert K. Dornan (R-Calif.) complained bitterly about liberal colleagues in Congress "quoting my Catholic bishops in my face. Not a week goes by in which we don't see the bishops involved in all kinds of political matters."

Sullivan complained about hearing a priest criticize Lt. Col. Oliver North from the pulpit. Clergy, she said, should deal with "moral issues, instead of economics and national defense, which should be the role of the laity."

At the synod, American bishops will be represented by May, Cardinal Joseph L. Bernardin of Chicago, Archbishop Rembert G. Weakland of Milwaukee and Bishop Stanley J. Ott of Baton Rouge. In addition, Pope John Paul II this week named Archbishop Roger Mahoney of Los Angeles and Bishop Anthony Bevilacqua of Pittsburgh to the conclave.