by Steven Ertelt
September 28, 2004
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — A pro-abortion organization that claims to represent Catholics is filing IRS complaints against leading Catholic groups saying they are violating their non-profit tax status by urging the defeat of candidates who back abortion.
Frances Kissling, president of the Catholics for a Free Choice (CFFC) accuses the Culture of Life Foundation (CLF) of engaging in "partisan attacks against presidential candidate John Kerry, going so far as to call him a ‘bad Catholic.’"
Kissling also accuses CLF of "publishing materials on its website suggesting that Catholics may not vote for ‘pro-abortion politicians.’"
The complaint follows a request by CFFC to the IRS to withdraw the charitable tax status
of the apologetics group Catholic Answers for publishing what it claims is a partisan voter guide.
The 10-page voter’s guide cites Vatican documents showing that candidates who support abortion, euthanasia, human cloning or embryonic stem cell research should be disqualified from receiving the votes of faithful Catholics.
But, CLF, in reporting on the complaints, said Catholic Answers president Karl Keating refuses to back down.
Keating told CLF his voter’s guide "does not violate any tax rules" and that the group had legal experts verify that it met IRS requirements.
"In the voter’s guide, we don’t mention any candidates, any specific election, or any party, and we don’t endorse or oppose anyone," Keating said. We merely state the principles that real Catholics are obligated to abide by when voting."
An IRS spokesman told LifeNews.com that the agency does not comment on any specific cases, including complaints about nonprofit groups.
CFFC has filed three complaints thus far with the IRS about Catholic groups its says are wrongfully engaging in political activities. Kissling says CFFC will file additional complaints as the election season continues.