PRESS RELEASE: Catholics United Calls on Paul Ryan to Get Serious About Ending Poverty, More Walk Less Talk

Posted August 19, 2014

Call on the media to provide a more accurate analysis of his past anti-poverty voting record

Washington DC - Rep. Paul Ryan is launching a nationwide book tour aimed at rebranding his public persona as it relates to poverty. In his book, which is being released by his publishers today, Ryan acknowledges having errored when referring to some Americans as “takers” and others as “makers”. He proceeds to argue the GOP should abandon this divisive rhetoric and broaden its appeal to a wider audience by embracing conservative policies aimed at reducing poverty.

Paul Ryan’s recent PR campaign has been widely covered in the media. Unfortunately, most of the recent media coverage fails to recognize how Ryan’s own voting record and policy agenda contradicts his stated interest in rebranding himself as a friend of the poor.

PRESS RELEASE: Catholics United Calls on Georgia Catholic School to Reverse Discriminatory Firing of Gay Teacher

Posted May 27, 2014

Intolerance towards gay people is turning young Catholics away from the faith

This past week in Macon, Georgia, the Catholic high school Mount de Sales Academy, fired a gay employee, Flint Dollar, after he posted on his personal Facebook account his intention to marry. In response to the schools actions, hundreds of students and parents have organized in support of the teacher.

The discriminatory firing of gay employees at Catholic institutions reflect a growing trend that is seemingly at odds with the leadership of Pope Francis. Pope Francis recently ended discriminatory policies against gay priests serving in the Vatican and has critiqued many church leaders obsessive concerns over issues of human sexuality. Last year, in response to questions about a suspected gay priest serving within his administration, Pope Francis famously declared, “Who am I to judge?”

Catholics United Education Fund is Hiring a Pennsylvania Organizer!

Posted April 28, 2014

Catholics United Education Fund seeks to hire a full time organizer, beginning in the spring of 2014, to conduct faith based organizing work in Pennsylvania. The organizer will be responsible for implementing media outreach, one-on-one membership engagement and online organizing tactics.

About Catholics United Education Fund

Catholics United Education Fund and its 501(c)(4) partner organization, Catholics United, are national organizations that promote the values of justice and the common good in our public debate. Working with our 50,000 members, we are a progressive religious organization that engages in public debate to leverage power for positive social change.

What we are looking for

RELEASE: Catholics United Calls on President Obama to Discuss Conservation, Climate Change at Thursday Meeting with Pope Francis

Posted March 24, 2014

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The nonprofit Catholics United today called on President Obama to address the moral responsibility to act on climate change and conserve our natural and cultural heritage at his March 27 meeting with Pope Francis at the Vatican.

“This state visit with the Pope provides President Obama a unique opportunity to highlight his significant environmental accomplishments amongst a highly receptive audience at the Vatican, and launch an international conversation about our shared moral responsibility to protect God’s Creation,” said James Salt, executive director of Catholics United.

Salt points to the Administration’s success in reducing carbon emissions and protecting natural landmarks, most recently Point Arena-Stornetta in Northern California, as relevant topics for discussion. The environment is a personal issue of concern for Pope Francis. He took the name Francis, the patron saint of nature, in part because of this deep commitment. This past January, the Vatican confirmed that Francis is currently writing his first encyclical on ecology.

RELEASE: Thoughts on the One-Year Anniversary of Pope Francis’ election

Posted March 13, 2014

In the first year of his pontificate, Pope Francis has made great strides in restoring the moral credibility of the Catholic church. However, if his pontificate is to succeed in the long term, important work still lies ahead.

Pope Francis has repaired the credibility of the Catholic church by unequivocally prioritizing the needs of the poor, by ending discriminatory policy towards gay people, and by removing right-wing clerics from positions of power within the curia.

However, there is one important question Pope Francis has failed to answer; how can the church elevate the role of women within the decision making process of the church. If Pope Francis wants to restore the credibility of the Catholic faith for future generations, he must find a way to demonstrate that women are equal partners in the apostolic life of the church.

The most importants steps Pope Francis can take to demonstrate his commitment to empowering women are:

RELEASE: US Catholics Ecstatic Over Pope’s Planned Visit

Posted January 24, 2014

WASHINGTON – Media sources have confirmed Vatican reports that Pope Francis intends on visiting the United States in September 2015. In addition to a planned visit to the eighth World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia, it’s been speculated the Holy Father may address the General Assembly of the United Nations during his trip.

Catholics United Executive Director James Salt made the following statement in response to the news:

“American Catholics are thrilled Pope Francis wants to visit the United States next year. Francis has inspired the world with his simple lifestyle, heartfelt concern for the poor and non-judgemental approach towards gay people. His voice is needed in America more than ever before, especially in Pennsylvania.

“Philadelphia Archbishop Charles Chaput will be the host of the
World Meeting of Families and is known for his strident opposition to abortion and the rights of gay people. The Pope’s visit to Pennsylvania could have a seismic effect in re-calibrating the American Catholic Church’s moral priorities, especially as they relate to the needs of the poor and how the Church can better minister to families with LGBT members.

RELEASE: Catholics United Welcomes Incoming Pueblo Bishop

Posted January 16, 2014

Group asks new bishop to restore funding for defunded immigrant rights group

WASHINGTON -- Monsignor Stephen Berg, Catholic vicar for the Diocese of Fort Worth, was today named bishop of the Diocese of Pueblo, Colo. Monsignor Berg replaces Bishop Fernando Isern who retired early from his assignment for unspecified health reasons. Bishop-designate Berg is one of the first bishops Pope Francis has appointed since the recent reorganization of the Vatican’s Congregation for Bishops, which vets potential candidates.

In 2012, Bishop Isern made international headlines when he withdrew funding from Compeñaros, an immigrant rights organization working in Durango, Colo. Compeñaros lost its funding for its association with the Colorado Immigrant Rights Coalition, or CIRC. CIRC offers statewide technical support services for immigrants-rights organizations and had embraced a non-discrimination policy for members of the LGBT community. Because of this association, Compeñaros was deemed unfit for funding.

RELEASE: It's Time for Bill Donohue to Hang it Up

Posted December 17, 2013

The permanently irascible, offensive pundit is a relic of a bygone era

WASHINGTON – Bill Donohue, president of the The Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, has been president of the group for 20 years. The stated purpose of this organization is to defend the rights of Catholics in public life, yet when right-wing media commentators call the Pope a “Marxist,” or espousing anti-religious redistributionist views, Donohue is silent.

Beyond this stunning omission, his nearly incessant string of embarrassing statements in the media, wherein he defames and degrades whole swaths of people, represents a thankfully dying era in Catholicism. He claims his organization’s purpose is to “defend the Catholic Church,” but his behavior has only hurt it.

RELEASE: Catholics United Responds to Bp. Tobin's Tone-Deaf Statement on Mandela

Posted December 10, 2013

After Holy Father prays Nelson Mandela's life would inspire generations to act for justice, Tobin chooses to divide

WASHINGTON – Catholics United Executive Director James Salt made the following statement after reading Providence, R.I., Bishop Thomas J. Tobin's remarks on Nelson Mandela:

"In a time when we should be seeking true moral leadership, and honoring those who fight for justice, Pope Francis has been a shining example of why Catholics are proud to be Catholic. On the passing of Nelson Mandela, the Holy Father prayed that 'the late president's example will inspire generations of South Africans to put justice and the common good at the forefront of their political aspirations.' We share the Holy Father's prayers.

"Regrettably, Catholics are leaving the Church in droves because of divisive political statements, and we desperately need more leaders like Pope Francis. It's sad Bishop Tobin appears he'll never have the moral authority of either Pope Francis or Nelson Mandela.

RELEASE: Faith leaders and Campaign to Unload hold vigil, ask Cerberus Capital to honor promises

Posted December 09, 2013

Private equity firm accepts letter asking it honor divestment pledge; work remains

NEW YORK – This morning, nearly a year after Cerberus Capital Management pledged to divest from assault weapons manufacturing, members of NYC faith communities gathered outside the international headquarters of the private equity firm on Third Avenue. After a short silent vigil and statements from faith leaders, representatives delivered a letter calling for Cerberus CEO Stephen Feinberg to honor his firm’s unfulfilled promise.

Carrying crosses, Stars of David and Islamic crescents representing those lost to gun violence since the 2012 school massacre at Newtown, Conn., vigil holders presented the letter to a Cerberus representative. The Campaign to Unload, a national coalition dedicated to assault weapon divestment, was the principal organizer.

“Investors in the gun industry are beginning to see these interests as toxic. This gathering was a reminder to gun investors like Cerberus that advocates for gun safety are not going away,” said Jennifer Fiore, executive director of the Campaign to Unload. “It’s been nearly a year and we’re just getting started.”