PRESS RELEASE: Catholics United Implores Bishops: Please Stay Out of Partisan Politics

Posted November 21, 2012

More than 25,000 signatures gathered ask bishops to refocus mission on Gospel mandate to serve the poor

BALTIMORE – Catholics United, with its allies at Faithful America, today delivered a petition with more than 25,000 signatures calling on the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops to refocus their time and energy toward issues of social and economic justice rather than far-right partisan issues.

Exit polling data from the election showed that a majority of Catholics voted to reelect President Obama. Lay Catholics joined in support of the marriage equality referendums that passed in four states while the bishops’ conference was a strong vocal and heavy financial backer against the measures supporting marriage equality. The election results demonstrate the culture war narrative the bishops were pushing failed to convince mainstream Catholics to vote against their values.

“This election shows too many Catholic bishops were willing to inject themselves into partisan politics.” said Harold Burns, a Baltimore attorney and parishioner at St. Vincent de Paul Parish. “Not only did the bishops’ partisan activity fail to work, but worse, their actions have driven many Catholics away from the church.”

James Salt, executive director of Catholics United, led a press conference today outside of the bishops’ meeting at the Marriott Waterfront Hotel in Baltimore.

“It’s a shame that rather than being pastors to their flock, many bishops have decided to engage in divisive political games,” Salt said. “Hopefully, this election is a wake-up call for the bishops, and a strong reminder to cut their partisan ties and get back to serving the Gospel mandate of helping the poorest and most vulnerable.”

Founded in 2004, Catholics United, and its educational arm, Catholics United Education Fund, are non-profit, non-partisan organizations dedicated to promoting the message of justice and the common good found at the heart of the Catholic Social Tradition. For more information about Catholics United, follow us on our Facebook page (www.facebook.com/CatholicsUnited) or on our blog at www.OurDailyThread.org.