PRESS RELEASE: Catholics United Responds to Diocese of Orlando’s Refusal to Keep Partisan Politics Out of Its Pulpits

Posted October 30, 2012

WASHINGTON – In response to increasing reports of politicization and partisanship from the pulpits, Catholics United last week sent Catholic parishes in Florida a pledge form. This form had a simple goal: stop partisan activity from tarnishing the sanctity of our Catholic churches and places of worship. But, for officials at the Diocese of Orlando, a one-page request to prevent partisanship from occurring in diocesan parishes was a bridge too far.

“The [pledge forms] appear to be an attempt to silence pastors on issues that are of concern to the Church this election season and contrary to the agenda of Catholics United,” said officials in a statement released on the diocesan website Friday. “It is the recommendation of this office that pastors do not sign the pledge.”

If one thing of this statement is true, it’s that Catholics United has an agenda to encourage houses of worship to cease being political rally sites and return to teaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ.


PRESS RELEASE: Catholics United’s Statement on Knights of Columbus Anti-Marriage Equality Spending Report

Posted October 18, 2012

WASHINGTON – Equally Blessed, a coalition of pro-LGBT Catholics, has released a report that discovered the Knights of Columbus, a Catholic fraternal service organization, spent nearly $16 million since 2005 on far-right wing social issues, including $6.25 million opposing civil same-sex marriage. Of this, more than $600,000 has been donated in 2012 alone to anti-marriage equality ballot initiatives in Maine, Maryland, Minnesota and Washington.

The report comes immediately on the heels of a Pew Charitable Trust poll which has found a record increase in the number of Americans, roughly one-in-five, who no longer associate with any religion. Leading researchers believe these individuals are abandoning religion over the mixing of religion with right-wing political movements, such as opposition to civil same-sex marriage laws. The Knights of Columbus’ over-emphasis on divisive social issues corresponds with the appointment of Supreme Knight Carl Anderson, a former political appointee of President George W. Bush.

The following is a statement from Catholics United’s Executive Director, James Salt:


PRESS RELEASE: Catholics to Paul Ryan: It Takes More Than a Photo-Op to Solve Poverty

Posted October 17, 2012

Congressman Ryan “helps out” at a faith-based soup kitchen in Youngstown to whitewash his devastating budget proposal

CINCINNATI – Last weekend, the Republican vice presidential candidate, Congressman Paul Ryan, made an unannounced stop at a northeast Ohio soup kitchen run by the local St. Vincent de Paul Society. In his brief stop, Rep. Ryan set up a photo opportunity: he rolled up his sleeves and got to work cleaning a few pots and pans and quickly met the remaining patrons served by the establishment. The clicking cameras of the press pool captured every moment depicting Congressman Ryan serving the less fortunate.

But, sadly, it was all for show.

The charity’s president, Brian Antal, said the entire event was an after hours political stunt, the candidate “ramrodded” himself and his staff into the situation and ultimately brought partisanship into a place where it didn’t belong.

“It’s a statute of 501(c)(3) (law) that we don’t get involved in politics,” Antal said. “(We’re) a faith-based organization.”


Keeping the Politics Out of Our Pulpits

Posted October 04, 2012

As the election season heats up, more and more pastors are attempting to inject partisan politics into our houses of worship. In order to help maintain the sacredness of our sanctuaries, Catholics United is sponsoring a campaign aimed at asking our pastors and bishops to refrain from using churches for partisan activity this election cycle.

We are looking for Catholics and people of faith to help us circulate this pledge and present it to your pastor and bishop for them to sign.

Your can download the pledge here!

Once you've gotten your pastor or bishop to sign this pledge, mail it to:
Catholics United Education Fund
PO Box 33524
Washington, DC 20033

If you are interested in getting more involved, send us an email here at info@catholics-united.org or give us a call at 202-903-0856.


PRESS RELEASE: Catholics United’s Executive Director Responds to Archbishop Myers’ Pastoral Letter on Marriage

Posted September 25, 2012

WASHINGTON – Today, Archbishop John J. Myers of the Archdiocese of Newark, N.J., released a 16-page statement on the archdiocesan website and participated in local media interviews, decrying public support for civil same-sex marriage equality, comparing it to incest. Archbishop Myers went on to say those who disagree with his views on marriage rights should refrain from participating in Holy Communion. A summary of the pastoral letter will be distributed this Sunday at Catholic churches.

Archbishop Myers’ actions reflect a growing reality that the American bishops’ far-right politics are driving an increasing number of Catholics away from the faith. In late 2011, the Diocese of Trenton, N.J., commissioned a survey of nearly 300 fallen-away Catholics. Among the “take-aways” from the survey, according to survey authors Fr. William J. Byron, S.J., and Dr. Charles Zech, are that many fallen-away Catholics perceive that gays and lesbians “are unwelcome in the church,” leading to a rift with the faith.


PRESS RELEASE: New York Times Editorial Validates Catholics United’s Work Defending Church Sanctuaries from Partisan Politics

Posted September 20, 2012

In response to intensifying political activity from the pulpit, Catholics United takes action

WASHINGTON – Catholics United, along with Faithful America, last week delivered a petition of more than 27,000 signatures calling on Timothy Cardinal Dolan, Archbishop of New York and the president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, to set straight an Upper East Side parish which printed bulletin remarks endorsing Mitt Romney for president. Soon after, the church issued an apology and The New York Times columnist Jim Dwyer wrote a piece covering the story.

Bill Donohue, president of the New York-based Catholic League, wrote a press release smearing Catholics United, Faithful America and The New York Times for attempting to keep partisanship out of the pulpit. In response to the entire debacle, the Times wrote an editorial urging vigilance in the fight to keep churches free of partisan activity.


PRESS RELEASE: Paul Ryan’s Priorities Reflect Teachings of Ayn Rand, Not Jesus Christ

Posted August 11, 2012

Ryan, Romney's VP pick, has publicly renounced Ayn Rand yet has failed to change any of his policies that were shaped by her influence

WASHINGTON – Mitt Romney’s newly announced vice presidential candidate, Catholic Congressman Paul Ryan, has a long-standing standing relationship with the teachings of atheist philosopher Ayn Rand. Because of their stern pronouncements against serving the weak, poor and marginalized, the teachings of Ayn Rand are antithetical to Catholic social teaching.

On April 16, the Catholic bishops condemned Paul Ryan’s budget proposal as failing a “basic moral test” in that it slashes food assistance to the poor and radically redefines safety net programs such as Medicare.

Despite the formative influence of Ayn Rand on his involvement in public life, on April 26, Congressman Ryan publicly claimed to have renounced the teachings of Ayn Rand, yet has failed to explain how any of his policies have changed.


PRESS RELEASE: Catholics United Reminds Bishops: Christians Indeed Persecuted, but Not Here

Posted July 05, 2012

During wrap-up of bishops’ election-year “Fortnight for Freedom,” Catholics express disappointment at division caused by politics from the pulpit

WASHINGTON – Last Sunday, in the small town of Garissa in Kenya, 17 Christians were shot to death while attending church. This was not a random attack -- they were massacred simply for living their beliefs.

Today, at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, the US Catholic bishops ended the “Fortnight for Freedom” campaign, which claimed that because employees of Catholic hospitals and universities now have coverage of contraception, the Catholic Church in America is somehow under intense persecution.


PRESS RELEASE: Catholics United Issues Statement on Supreme Court Health Care Ruling

Posted June 28, 2012

WASHINGTON – Catholics United Executive Director James Salt released the following statement after the announcement of the Supreme Court ruling on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act:

“Today’s ruling is a victory for the soul of America. As a nation built on the principles of community, personal responsibility and solidarity, this ruling affirms the moral fiber of this nation is strong. Catholics United is grateful the Supreme Court overcame the politics of division to serve the least among us.”

Founded in 2004, Catholics United is a non-profit, non-partisan organization 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


PRESS RELEASE: Catholics United Condemns Disgusting, Violent Comments Against Nuns on the Bus

Posted June 25, 2012

Iowa DJ asks Congressman Tom Latham to “pistol whip” women religious; Latham finds this hilarious

WASHINGTON – Iowa radio host Jan Mickelson launched a volley in the “War on Women” today, suggesting Republican Congressman Tom Latham order the women religious riding on the “Nuns on the Bus” tour be pulled over and beaten for publicly protesting Congressman Paul Ryan’s budget plan. Congressman Latham not only did not condemn this suggestion, but evidently found it amusing.

Transcript from the discussion:
MICKELSON: There’s a bus full of nuns headed towards Washington to lobby against
the Ryan plan. Do you guys, do you have any power to pull the “Nuns on the Bus” over and “pistol whip” them?

LATHAM: It’s always fun to be on your show. [Laughter]

“This is yet another disgusting attack on women religious for the crime of standing up for the poor and marginalized,” said James Salt, executive director of Catholics United. “Anyone who thinks comments like this are humorous give up their ability to be taken seriously in civil society. I call for Rep. Latham to immediately and unequivocally condemn this ‘joke.’”