Catholic bishops revise voter guide after debate over ‘Pope Francis agenda’

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Cardinal Daniel DiNardo (second from right) speaking at a news conference during the US Catholic bishops' annual meeting in Baltimore. Photo by RNS/David Gibson.

Cardinal Daniel DiNardo (second from right) speaking at a news conference during the US Catholic bishops' annual meeting in Baltimore. Photo by RNS/David Gibson.

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BALTIMORE (RNS) More than any other item on the agenda of the bishops’ annual meeting, the debate over the voter guide revealed deep divides among the bishops and provided a snapshot of the extent of the “Francis effect” on the U.S. hierarchy.

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  • Jt

    I hate to say it (as s practicing Catholic myself) but when the bishops promulgate such voter admonitions, with such overwhelming authority on how one may conscientiously vote, essentially choosing our votes) I really feel, in all honesty, like they ipso facto relinquish the Catholic Church of its taxexempt status.

  • DMA

    I am saddened, but not surprised, that the laity can embrace the priorities of the Holy Father, but Clerics, particularly many Bishops and Cardinals, cannot. It reminds me of so many stories of Jesus and his relationship with the Pharisees and Saducees in the the Gospels. I am particularly saddened that the charismatic Cardinal DiNardo has emerged as an intransigent leader of the conservative group of Cardinals and Bishops in the US.

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  • Bernardo

    Again, too much verbiage all vitiated by one statement. “We apologize, there were no resurrections, no ascensions and no assumptions. We will now close the doors to our churches and schools and convert them to fitness centers and parks. All future donations should be made to your local Meals on Wheels and Homes for Unwed Mothers.”

  • “…where bishops have been used to promoting an agenda that focuses on a few hot-button culture war issues.”

    Dear Church,
    Keep your ridiculous nonsense out of our laws. How dare you involve yourselves? You want to support certain political candidates, fine. From now on we tax your churches, your property, your income and your services.

  • @AAA,

    “Corinthians”

    Ah, but you must remember this serious warning:

    “I will huff and I will puff and I will blow your house down!” – Big Bad Wolf (The Three Little Pigs (pp.23, v4)

    Checkmate, believer!

  • Tony de New York

    ‘In the end, the revised voter guide was adopted by a 210-21 vote, with 5 abstentions.’

    BRAVO!!!
    To show their is a CONSENSUS among the bishops.

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  • Ed Silha

    The US Supreme Court decided that same sex marriage is the law in the United States and it is unlikely to ever be overturned given the shrinking percentage of believers and increasing number of Nones. The CC can make rules for its members but not others. So why is the CC more interested in this issue than providing healthcare for all citizens?
    The US Supreme Court decided that laws prohibiting abortion are unconstitutional. Using the same argument as with same sex marriage above, the CC can make rules for its members but not for others. Are not the 16 million children living in poverty not more important than wasting effort on an issue that is settled law in the US?
    Climate change is a greater risk to the poor nations of the world than any of the CC hot buttons. Do the bishops believe that nearly all the scientists in the world (including those in the Pontifical Academy of Sciences) are lying or stupid?
    Will the CC continues down the path to irrelevance?

  • Jakeslaw

    the “admonitions” as you refer to them only remind us that as Catholics we cnnot support a candidate who thinks it permissible to kill children. If the year was 1965, the admonition would be that we do not support racists or those who would discriminate against persons of color. If all of us Catholics took our calling seriously to stop the killing of unborn children AND we demanded that any candidate who wants our vote do the same, we could end abortion. then we could put more attention to fighting poverty. But lets be frank, none of us has done enough to “care for the least of our brethren.” And bringing up “tax exempt status” is a red herring. As a Catholic I am not a second class citizen. and neither is the Church. Government is suppose to protect the weak and the defenseless. When it fails, we must make a change.

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  • “But lets be frank, none of us has done enough to “care for the least of our brethren.””

    That is a load of nonsense.
    You are trying to circumvent American law (which you find deficient) and force religious edicts to make up the difference.

    The Roman Catholic Church Political Party is operating illegally
    and it should be taxed like all other political parties. As such, its claims should be vetted in public debate – “JESUS WHO?” – “RISEN, WHAT?” – ” JEWS ARE TO BLAME FOR WHAT?” – Let’s see the superstitions get taxed into oblivion.

    You don’t like it? Then stop enabling this political party in America. And stop defending subversion of American Law. Tax these churches.

  • are some of these bishops the ones that regularly give holy communion to abortion supporting politicians

  • Bernardo

    Max,

    Said churches are owned by the parishioners. They built their churches, schools and hospitals with pre-taxed donations. Should we also tax other non-profits such as the Red Cross, Meals on Wheels, ACLU et al who have also built their facilities with pre-taxed donatons? And by the way, paid workers for all non-profits pay income taxes.

  • Tom Lucking

    What about the most common circumstance in which candidates take positions but would not be in a position to change policy if elected? For example, candidates may run as being opposed to abortion or euthanasia, but most elected officials are rarely in a position to address these issues. What about candidates who use wedge issues like abortion to become elected and then use their influence to further the economic interests of the wealthy and are either unable or unwilling to use their limited political capital to address the wedge issues? For decades, Republican presidential candidates have run against abortion, and a Supreme Court mostly appointed by these Republicans has upheld Roe-Wade. Fool me once, shame on you, but fool me repeatedly for decades and I will write a voters’ guide to help you fool others.

  • FrankieB

    Do you think the same loss of tax-exempt status applies to liberal Jews or conservative Protestants when they issue public policy proposals ?

  • FrankieB

    The SCOTUS decision on abortion was initially 7-2. It is now 5-4. The decision on SSM was 5-4 — 1 vote changes it.

    The Catholic Bishops should not be the 437th voice for politically correct social justice nonsense like poverty programs. These have plenty of voices among the 2 major parties, the secular political elite, mass media, academic and educatioal lobbies, etc.

    Who speaks for the unborn infant ? Who speaks for traditional marriage ? Who speaks for the civil rights of Catholics ?

  • FrankieB

    Yes, and the CA and Washington DC bishops are among the worst.

  • FrankieB

    Sure tax ’em….right after all the liberal tax exempts and left-wing Jewish and WASP groups start writing checks, pal.

  • Bernardo,

    You don’t understand. Political parties are taxed. This has nothing at all to do with non-profit status.
    These churches actively campaign for political parties and individual candidates; they are a political party and should be taxed like any other.

    Tax them 40% as we do some other Political parties. The church wants to be in the Politics game? Let them pay for it. If it closes them down, then let them go the way of other unpopular political parties.

  • FrankieB

    Has the Pope said that recycling takes precedence over the lives of the unborn ? Have religious freedom, attacks on Catholic institutions, and anti-Catholicms suddenly become issues that we should ignore because the ACLU and The New York Times don’t like them ?

  • FrankieB

    Yes, and the CA and Washington DC bishops are among the worst.

  • FrankieB:

    All political parties pay taxes. And now the church is a political party – an arm of the republican party.
    Tax them now.

  • devvie

    USCCB or Republicans at prayer, ate more interested in their power than the message of Francis or more importantly Christ. I follow Christ and not power drunk bishops.

  • Bernardo

    Political parties are not taxed.

  • Yes political parties pay taxes:

    POLITICAL PARTY TAXABLE INCOME – IRS:
    https://www.irs.gov/Charities-&-Non-Profits/Political-Organizations/Taxable-Income-Political-Organizations