FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: July 19, 2016
Contact: Leslie Palma
Landmark book, “Abolishing Abortion,” calls for Church to stop political self-censorship
NEW YORK – Fr. Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life, today praised the inclusion of language in the approved Republican Platform calling for the repeal of the Johnson Amendment which, in an undefined and chilling way, tells churches and non-profit organizations that they must not “participate in or intervene in…any political campaign.”
“The Republican platform’s language is historic,” said Fr. Pavone. “For the first time, a major party has called for the freedom of churches and other non-profit organizations from the Johnson Amendment. That’s America. We’re about encouraging participation, not discouraging it.
“Last summer, in preparation for this election year, my book Abolishing Abortion was published, and it takes aim at the Johnson Amendment and at the distorted interpretations of it by the IRS and by Catholic dioceses and Church institutions.
Fr. Pavone continued, “It is time to face openly and honestly the problems this Amendment creates, and fix them. The platform is a step in the right direction, and is fully consistent with Catholic Church teaching which says, “At all times and in all places, the Church should have the true freedom to teach the faith, to proclaim its teaching about society, to carry out its task among men without hindrance, and to pass moral judgment even in matters relating to politics, whenever the fundamental rights of man or the salvation of souls requires it.” (Second Vatican Council, Gaudium et Spes, n. 76)
Delegates at the Republican Convention have approved the party platform, which states in part, “Republicans believe the federal government, specifically the IRS, is constitutionally prohibited from policing or censoring speech based on religious convictions or beliefs, and therefore we urge the repeal of the Johnson Amendment.”
“It is ironic,” added Fr. Pavone, “that many Church entities fight for religious freedom against the HHS mandate, but tolerate quite well the restrictions of religious freedom posed by the Johnson Amendment. In fact, some dioceses issue mandates of their own that quell religious freedom as much as the HHS mandate does. It’s time to wake up. We are not saying the Church should start endorsing candidates. We are saying that that the decision about how much to say regarding elections is a decision that should be made by the Church, not the government.”
For more information on the Johnson Amendment and the position of Priests for Life, see www.PoliticalResponsibility.com.
Priests for Life is the nation’s largest Catholic pro-life organization dedicated to ending abortion and euthanasia. For more information, visit www.priestsforlife.org.