Catholic bishops sued for “electioneering”

Melanie Sloan, CREW Executive Director
Melanie Sloan, CREW Executive Director

A liberal watchdog group accused five Roman Catholic bishops of “electioneering” on behalf of GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney in violation of federal tax law. Such a violation would place their 501 (c)(3) tax exempt status in jeopardy.

On Friday, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) called for “an immediate Internal Revenue Service investigation into the activities of the U.S. Council of Catholic Bishops for using their position as leaders of the Catholic Church to persuade parishioners to vote against Barack Obama in Tuesday’s election.”

Their complaint specifically names the following bishops for drafting letters relating to the 2012 presidential election: Daniel Jenky of Peoria, Nicholas DiMarzio of Brooklyn, David Ricken of Green Bay, Edward Burns of Juneau and Paul Loverde of Arlington.

According to Ben Johnson, writing for LifeSiteNews, a pro-life publication, “None of the bishops endorse a candidate. However, each reminded Catholics of the importance of preserving religious freedom against the HHS mandate, protecting innocent life, and defending the institution of marriage.”

CREW is funded in part by the Open Society Institute, a George Soros organization and was founded by Melanie Sloan, its current executive director. CREW receives additional funding from the Democracy Alliance, the Tides Foundation, and the Service Employees International Union (SEIU).

When asked to comment, Deal Hudson, president of Pennsylvania Catholics Network, told LifeSiteNews.com that CREW’s intent is to “harass and try to intimidate the Catholic Church.” He went on to say that such complaints have “the double effect of getting good people to be timid and secondly to provide arguments for the pro-abortion Catholics to try to argue that to defend Church teaching is partisan.”

Read the full report at LifeSiteNews.

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