PRESS RELEASE: Progressive groups also subject to IRS scrutiny, despite claims by Catholic far right

Posted May 15, 2013

Those who lack moral credibility should be ashamed for politicizing personal issues

WASHINGTON – Anne Hendershott, a far-right Catholic political activist aligned with Glenn Beck, today made the claim that the IRS’s 2010 audit of her personal finances was directly motivated by her criticisms of “ObamaCare” and the law’s proponents, such as social justice organizations like Catholics United. Talking to Glenn Beck’s online publication, TheBlaze, Ms. Hendershott repeatedly misstates facts about Catholics United and other Catholic groups.

More importantly, however, Ms. Hendershott erroneously implied that only conservative organizations were the subjects of heightened IRS scrutiny. In 2010, Catholics United Education Fund, an affiliate of the progressive advocacy group Catholics United, attempted to incorporate as a tax-exempt non-profit organization. The application languished for years, required multiple follow-up informational requests and cost thousands of dollars in legal fees. After many months of examination, the registration was approved.

Catholics United Executive Director James Salt made the following statement in response to Ms. Hendershott’s recent publicity blitz:

“Ms. Hendershott likes to throw around the ‘fake Catholic’ slur at anyone who disagrees with her narrow vision of Catholicism. The fact Pope Francis is now the spiritual leader of our faith should give partisan operatives like Ms. Hendershott pause. Despite the Holy Father’s abounding concern for environmental justice and care for the world’s poor, it’s amazing that supposedly ‘real’ Catholics like Ms. Hendershott have done little to nothing to advance these important church priorities. Instead, people like Ms. Hendershott overly focus on social wedge issues that divide our community. Perhaps Ms. Hendershott is the one who should examine her conscience before issuing pointless politically charged broadsides.”

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.

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