Pro-Abortion Group Files Another IRS Complaint Against Catholic Leaders

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Oct 27, 2004   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Pro-Abortion Group Files Another IRS Complaint Against Catholic Leaders Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
October 27, 2004

Denver, CO ( — A pro-abortion group that claims to represent Catholics has filed another complaint with the IRS against a Catholic leader it says is unduly influencing the election because of their discussion of important political issues such as abortion that Catholic parishioners should consider when voting.

Catholics for a Free Choice filed a complaint this week with the Internal Revenue Service against Denver Archbishop Charles Chaput. The CFFC papers says Chaput "has repeatedly urged voters to reject candidates opposed to the organization’s views."

The complaint alleges Chaput has put the 501(c)3 nonprofit tax status of the diocese at risk by "explicitly urging Catholics to vote against candidates who support abortion rights and embryonic stem cell research."

CFFC has called on the IRS to exercise its "immediate action against the Archdiocese of Denver

It cited columns in the Denver Catholic Register, as well as speeches, interviews and an opinion piece Chaput wrote in Friday’s The New York Times.

"If we believe in the sanctity of life from conception to natural death, we need to
prove that by our actions, including our political choices," the Archbishop said in one the column. "Anything less leads to the corruption of our integrity."

"The ‘choice’ in abortion always involves the choice to end the life of an unborn human being," Archbishop Chaput wrote. "For anyone who sees this fact clearly, neutrality, silence or private disapproval are not options. They are evils almost as grave as abortion itself."

"In fourteen of 28 of his columns in the archdiocese’s weekly newspaper, Archbishop Chaput has repeatedly urged voters to reject candidates opposed to the organization’s views," the CFFC complaint said.

But a representative of the diocese told the Rocky Mountain News the complaint is without merit.

"The church in northern Colorado respects and observes the law," Sergio Gutierrez, archdiocese communications director, said.

Gutierrez told the Colorado newspaper the complaint isn’t surprising given CFFC’s 30-year history of trying to confuse the Catholic church’s clear teachings against abortion, euthanasia and other practices that destroy human life.

Barry Lynn, president of Americans United for the Separation of Church and State, said his group considered filing a complaint, but will not do so. Lynn’s group filed a complaint in May against Colorado Springs Bishop Michael Sheridan who said Catholic voters should go to confession if they vote for candidates who favor abortion.

CFFC filed complaints in September against the Culture of Life Foundation, accusing of it of engaging in "partisan attacks against presidential candidate John Kerry, going so far as to call him a ‘bad Catholic.’"

That complaint followed 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.