CATHOLICS UNITED UPDATE: Easter Season and Times of Change

Posted April 25, 2011

Easter marks the beginning of a new liturgical season. The long days of Lent are over and we now enter the fifty days of the Easter season. This liturgical season is marked by resurrection and new beginnings. Here at Catholics United, we’re also going through a process of new beginnings.

We founded Catholics United over four years ago because we were alarmed at the disastrous policies of the Bush administration and the willingness of certain Church leaders to prioritize socially divisive wedge issues at the expense of the poor and marginalized. And in only a few short years, our organization has become one of the largest networks of progressive Catholics in the country and we’ve made a significant impact on our nation’s moral values debate.

Starting this month, Catholics United co-founder Chris Korzen will be leaving Catholics United to lead a new state-based organizing project in Maine. Chris’s hard work and vision will be sorely missed by all of us at Catholics United. His work over the last several years has made CU what it is today. We thank Chris for his years of service to Catholics United.


PRESS RELEASE: Catholics United Condemns NH House Majority Leader Bettencourt's Statement Demeaning Catholic Bishop, Demands Retraction

Posted April 01, 2011

Calls on New Hampshire elected leaders to distance themselves from his odious comments

Washington, DC - Yesterday, New Hampshire Republican Majority Leader Rep. D.J. Bettencourt demeaned Bishop McCormack, the Bishop of Manchester, suggesting on his Facebook page that the Bishop should be arrested for being a “pedophile pimp.” Bettencourt made the comment after Bishop McCormack publicly opposed proposed budget cuts that would adversely affect the poor and marginalized. Catholics United acting director James Salt issued the following statement in response to Rep. Bettencourt's comments:

“With his comments, Republican Majority Leader D.J. Bettencourt has not only embarrassed himself, he's become an embarrassment to the entire state of New Hampshire. We call on all elected officials to denounce Rerpresentative Bettencourt's comments in the strongest terms possible. Religious bigotry should never be tolerated. We have a strong Catholic tradition of speaking out for the most vulnerable in our country. Bishop McCormack’s comments in support of New Hampshire’s poor and marginalized should be lauded, not attacked.”


PRESS RELEASE: Catholics United Statement on Obama Administration's New Conscience Protection Rule

Posted February 18, 2011

Washington DC – Catholics United executive director Chris Korzen issued the following statement today in response to the Obama Administration's announcement of new regulations protecting the conscience rights of health providers and allowing patients to access the care they need.

“The Administration's new policy is the fruit of a genuine effort to strike a balance between the rights of patients and providers. President Obama believes health care workers should never be compelled to perform abortions, and the new regulations reflect this conviction. In replacing the earlier rule – which could allow caregivers to refuse to participate in even the most basic essential medical procedures – the president has also reinstated essential patient protections.”

“In addition, we welcome the new rule's education and enforcement provisions, and the Administration's decision to allow individual states to determine whether they wish to extend provider conscience protections to procedures other than abortion.”


PRESS RELEASE: Catholics Call on Wisconsin’s Elected Officials to Suspend Attacks on Workers

Posted February 17, 2011

Catholics United joins Milwaukee Archbishop in recognizing the importance of unions

Washington, DC - Catholics United executive director Chris Korzen issued the following statement today in response to the Wisconsin legislature's efforts to strip many state employees of their right to bargain collectively. According to Catholic doctrine, trade unions are an essential component of a fair economy, and all workers have the right to negotiate improvements in wages and working conditions.

“Catholics United is proud to stand in solidarity with the working people of Wisconsin in their struggle for dignity and justice. We urge the Wisconsin legislature to honor the contribution of the state's pubic service employees by voting 'NO' on this backward-thinking assault on the right to organize and bargain collectively.

We also offer our heartfelt thanks to Milwaukee Archbishop Jerome E. Listecki for publicly affirming the Catholic church's support for trade unionism.


PRESS RELEASE: Catholics United Campaigns in Four Midwestern Congressional Districts to Encourage 'No' Vote on Health Care Repeal

Posted January 18, 2011

Washington, DC - The group Catholics United today called on Catholics in four congressional districts to contact their representatives and ask them to vote 'no' on a bill to repeal landmark health care reform legislation passed by Congress last year. The representatives – Steve Chabot (OH-1), Jim Renacci (OH-16), Bobby Schilling (IL-17), and Joe Walsh (IL-8) – are all Roman Catholics who defeated health care reform supporters in the November elections. Tomorrow, Republican leadership is expected to bring the repeal bill, H.R. 2, up for a vote in the U.S. House of Representatives.

In addition to activating its local membership, Catholics United is placing 23,000 phone calls to Catholic voters in the districts. After listening to the recording, which reminds voters of health reform's important protections for children and seniors, listeners can be connected directly to the member's office to urge them to vote 'no' on repeal.


Catholics United Statement on the Tucson Shooting

Posted January 08, 2011

Washington, DC - Catholics United executive director Chris Korzen issued the following statement today in response to the shooting of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and others at a constituent meeting in Tucson:

“Catholics United was shocked to learn of today's attack in Tucson. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the victims and their loved ones. We are particularly saddened that a child is among those who lost their lives.”

“Violence like this has absolutely no place in our democratic process. We hope that today's events will only strengthen the American people's resolve to address our disagreements peacefully and civilly.”

“We thank Congresswoman Giffords for her courage and her service, and we wish her well in her recovery.”


PRESS RELEASE: Catholics United Delivers Community Support Letter to St. Joseph’s Hospital

Posted January 06, 2011

More than 550 Local Members Publicly Stand behind Institution's Catholic Mission

Phoenix, AZ – Today, local members of the national group Catholics United delivered a letter to the administration of St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center expressing support for the institution's Catholic mission and identity. More than 550 Catholics United members from Arizona signed the letter in the wake of Phoenix bishop Thomas Olmsted’s recent decision to strip the hospital of its Catholic credentials. The delegation also delivered a copy of the letter to Bishop Olmsted's office at the Diocese of Phoenix.


Arizona Catholics United members deliver a letter of support
for St. Joseph's Hospital in Phoenix


PRESS RELEASE: Catholic League's Bill Donohue Ignores Findings of Medical Ethicists

Posted December 23, 2010

Press Release Seeks to Politicize Phoenix Catholic Hospital Flap

Washington, DC – Catholic League president Bill Donohue – a “culture warrior” backed by the leader of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops – weighed in today on Phoenix bishop Thomas Olmsted's decision to revoke the Catholic credentials of a local hospital. The bishop accused the hospital of performing a direct abortion procedure in November 2009, despite the fact that his own inquiry found that the hospital did not violate Catholic medical ethics standards. The hospital also has the support of the Catholic Health Association, the U.S. Catholic community's foremost health care authority.

In a press release entitled “The War on Catholic Hospitals,” Donohue repeats the bogus abortion charge and calls Olmsted a “hero.” He then uses the Phoenix incident as an excuse to attack the Obama Administration, even though the president has had absolutely nothing to say about the matter.

Catholics United executive director Chris Korzen issued the following statement in response:


PRESS RELEASE: Catholics Express Support for St. Joseph’s Hospital

Posted December 23, 2010

Call on Phoenix Bishop Thomas Olmstead to Reverse Revocation of Hospital’s Catholic Identity

Washington, DC – Catholics United today offered its wholehearted support for St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center, which was stripped of its Catholic identity by Phoenix Bishop Thomas Olmstead this week. The bishop's decision stemmed from an incident in November 2009 in which hospital administrators performed a life-saving procedure on a pregnant patient which resulted in the death of the fetus.


The Catholic Church's $400,000 Fax Machine

Posted December 20, 2010

Catholic League President William Donohue Receives $399,156 in Annual Compensation; Organization Holds $26 Million in Assets

Washington, DC – Controversial Catholic League president William Donohue – whose work has now gained the support of the president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops – earned a salary of $342,500 in 2009, with an additional $56,656 in fringe benefits. According to annual IRS Form 990 filings, the organization spent more than $2.6 million in 2009, despite the fact that its program work constitutes little more than the issuing of inflammatory press releases.