PRESS RELEASE: Catholics Ask Maine's Congressional Delegation to Support HHS Compromise

Posted February 24, 2012

Washington, DC – More than 100 Catholics in Maine have signed a petition expressing support for President Obama’s accommodation for a conscience exception of birth control coverage at religious institutions. Catholics from across the state are asking statewide leaders to affirm their support for President Obama’s compromise which respects religious liberty while expanding access to comprehensive health care coverage.

In the petition, members of Catholics United in Maine are calling on elected leaders to recognize the Department of Health and Human Services’ birth control coverage accommodation protects the religious identity of all Catholic organizations while maintaining access to health care for all employees. Catholics United members from Maine will hand deliver this petition on Monday to their Congressional delegation in Portland.

PRESS RELEASE: Self-appointed ‘Catholic leader’ smears Catholics United; group responds

Posted February 18, 2012

Washington, DC – In a blog post written Thursday, February 16, William “Bill” Donohue, CEO of the Catholic League, stated falsehoods about Catholics United as a result of one mention of the organization at a Congressional hearing regarding women’s access to birth control.

The Catholic League is a self-styled “civil rights group” based in New York. In the post, Mr. Donohue claimed Catholics United is “a George Soros-funded anti-Catholic front group.” He went on to say Soros has “poured a ton of money” into the organization.

“Absolute nonsense,” said James Salt, executive director of Catholics United. “Our 40,000-member organization has never received a cent from Mr. Soros or any of his affiliated groups. I’m puzzled why Mr. Donohue continues to spread this falsehood. Furthermore, I find Mr. Donohue’s use of the smear term ‘anti-Catholic’ highly offensive and disgusting. As a fellow person of the Catholic faith, I expect Mr. Donohue to be above that.”

Salt said though his organization has never received money from Soros, he’d welcome contributions if they were made to further the mission of Catholic Social Teaching and in a spirit of good faith.

PRESS RELEASE: Catholics United Calls on Catholic Bishops to Act in Good Faith, Recognize Virtue of Compromise

Posted February 11, 2012

Bishops are increasingly isolated from Catholic institutions most affected by the decision.

Washington DC – After demonstrating initial support for the Obama Administration's recent compromise on the HHS rule affecting religious exemption and access to contraception, yesterday evening, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops took the unfortunate step of escalating their campaign to include opposition to all forms of mandated contraception coverage. In a statement on their Website, the Catholic bishops announced that they will now pursue a legislative solution that rescinds mandated coverage for contraceptive services in all health care plans.

In contrast to the position of the Catholic bishops, many significant Catholic organizations directly affected by the HHS rule - such as the Catholic Health Association, the University of Notre Dame, the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities and Catholic Charities USA - publicly supported and welcomed the Obama Administration's willingness to accommodate their religious concerns.

PRESS RELEASE: Catholics United Supports Obama Administration's New Compromise Regulation on HHS Contraception Rule

Posted February 10, 2012

Calls on Catholic Bishops, women's health advocates to recognize solution values religious liberty of Catholic institutions while maintaining access to health care for all employees

WASHINGTON, DC – Today the Obama Administration announced that the President would be issuing a new regulation fully respecting the religious liberty of Catholic organizations while maintaining access to contraceptive services for all employees.

PRESS RELEASE: Rep. Bill Johnson Attends Pro-life Rally Then Attacks Protections for Unborn Children

Posted January 24, 2012

Rep. Bill Johnson Attends Pro-life Rally Then Attacks Protections for Unborn Children

Catholics United calls on Ohio Congressman to recognize the need to protect all unborn human life from Mercury poison

Washington DC – Yesterday Rep. Bill Johnson attended the annual March for Life and gave a speech in support of the need to protect prenatal human life. Only a few hours later, he then took the floor of the United States House of Representatives and railed against new public health standards that will specifically protect unborn babies and infants from Mercury poisoning. Mercury is a heavy metal that severely harms the brain development of children. Coal burning power plants are responsible for the majority of all Mercury pollution in the United States. In response to Rep. Bill Johnson's actions, Catholics United executive director, James Salt, issued the following statement:

Catholics United Condemns Racism in GOP Primary

Posted January 20, 2012

Catholics United’s executive director has joined more than 40 national Catholic leaders to send an open letter today denouncing Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum for using racial stereotypes on the campaign trail.

An Open Letter to Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum:

As Catholic leaders who recognize that the moral scandals of racism and poverty remain a blemish on the American soul, we challenge our fellow Catholics Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum to stop perpetuating ugly racial stereotypes on the campaign trail. Mr. Gingrich has frequently attacked President Obama as a “food stamp president” and claimed that African Americans are content to collect welfare benefits rather than pursue employment. Campaigning in Iowa, Mr. Santorum remarked: “I don’t want to make black people’s lives better by giving them somebody else’s money.” Labeling our nation’s first African-American president with a title that evokes the past myth of “welfare queens” and inflaming other racist caricatures is irresponsible, immoral and unworthy of political leaders.

PRESS RELEASE: Catholics United Recognizes Silver Lining in HHS Ruling

Posted January 20, 2012

Washington DC – Today the Department of Health and Human Services issued a final ruling on the scope of the religious exemption for contraceptive services under the Affordable Care Act of 2010. Today's ruling requires Catholic institutions to provide their employees with access to contraceptive services. Despite the Catholic Church's teaching that contraception should not be used to prevent pregnancy, 98% of sexually active Catholic women use some form of birth control.

On a conference call with faith leaders ahead of today's ruling, Valerie Jarrett, Senior Advisor to the President, announced that the administration was still open to working with religious institutions in drafting a win-win solution, known as the 'Hawaii' framework, that would allow women access to contraception coverage while not requiring employers to provide the service directly.

Catholics United's executive director, James Salt, issued the following statement in response to today's ruling:

PRESS RELEASE: Catholics United applauds the appointment of Cecilia Muñoz to head the Domestic Policy Council

Posted January 10, 2012

Catholics United applauds the appointment of Cecilia Muñoz to head the Domestic Policy Council

Washington DC – Today the White House announced that Cecilia Muñoz is succeeding Melody Barnes as the Director of the Domestic Policy Council. Cecilia is a lifelong Catholic who headed the administration's intergovernmental affairs and immigration reform efforts. Prior to her work with the administration, Cecilia was staff at the National Council of La Raza and the Archdiocese of Chicago.

“Catholics and people of faith have a true ally with the appointment of Cecilia Muñoz to head the administration's Domestic Policy Council,” said James Salt, executive director of Catholics United. “Cecilia has a long track record of working effectively with the faith community and comes to the work with a deep set of personal convictions. By selecting someone of Cecilia's character and background, the Obama administration has signaled how important the faith community is to their governing agenda.”

PRESS RELEASE: Just in Time for Christmas: Catholics United Welcomes New EPA Mercury Regulations

Posted December 21, 2011

Just in Time for Christmas: Catholics United Welcomes New EPA Mercury Regulations

New public health standards will require coal-burning power plants to remove Mercury and other toxins from air pollution.

Washington DC – Just days ahead of the Christmas holiday, the Environmental Protection Agency released new Clean Air Act regulations that will protect the lives of thousands of children by requiring coal-burning power plants to remove Mercury and other toxic elements from their emissions. Mercury is a heavy metal that severely affects the brain development of children. These regulations, first supported by the Republican administration of President George H. W. Bush, have been 21 years in the making.

Catholics United Members Call on Speaker Boehner to support the Vatican backed Financial Transaction Tax Bill

Posted November 18, 2011

Congress is considering drastic cuts to programs that serve the poor and vulnerable. And at a time when so many Americans are financially hurting, big Wall Street firms make billions of dollars a year simply by gambling on the market. Ordinary Americans are being asked to make a great sacrifice. Now it's time to ask Wall Street to pay its fair share.

The Financial Transaction Tax -as outlined in HR 3313- will levy a modest .03% tax on all financial transactions and will mostly affect the wealthiest corporations that wager millions of dollars a day on the market. This tax will help guarantee that Wall Street banks share in the sacrifice that so many American families are being asked to make.

And Catholics United members are not the only ones supporting this idea. This past month, the Vatican issued a statement in support of financial transaction taxes as a way to ensure that the financial industry better serve the common good. So to help make our point clear, we're asking the Speaker of the House and fellow Catholic, John Boehner, to heed the advice of the Vatican and support this much needed source of revenue.