Archive for the ‘Johnson Amendment’ Category

Fr. Pavone Applauds President Trump’s Comments, New Legislation on Johnson Amendment

Thursday, February 2nd, 2017

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: February 2, 2017

Contact: Leslie Palma
347-286-7277

Religious leaders who are Democratic loyalists will have to find a new excuse

NEW YORK — Father Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life, issued the following statement today regarding President Trump’s remarks on religious liberty during the National Prayer Breakfast in Washington, D.C.

“President Trump is a man of his word, as we have seen in recent days, so I have no doubt he will keep his promise to repeal the Johnson Amendment. His vow at the National Prayer Breakfast to ‘totally destroy the Johnson Amendment’ was both welcomed and expected.

“President Trump understands that this ill-conceived law has muzzled clergy for too long. It’s time for priests, pastors and other clergy to be able, as the president said, ‘to speak freely without fear of retribution.’

“As I point out in my book Abolishing Abortion, the Catholic Church’s teaching is likewise that we need to be free ‘to pass moral judgment even in matters relating to politics’ (Vatican II, Gaudium et Spes, 76). Many religious leaders who are loyalists to the Democratic party of death don’t like the fact that by clearly articulating the Church’s teachings on matters like abortion, we make the Democratic party look bad and cause them to lose elections. And so they hide behind the Johnson Amendment as an excuse for not speaking about these things during elections. Now, these cowardly leaders are going to have to find a new excuse.”

The Free Speech Fairness Act, which does away with the Johnson Amendment, has now been introduced by Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) and Rep. Jody Hice (R-Ga.) in the House of Representatives and Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.) in the Senate. Priests for Life will work vigorously with Congress and with the Trump Administration to make this law a reality.

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.

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Fr. Frank Pavone available for comment on Johnson Amendment during Value Voters Summit

Thursday, September 8th, 2016

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: September 8, 2016

Contact: Leslie Palma
347-286-7277

Father Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life and author of Abolishing Abortion (Nelson Books, August, 2015) has written extensively about the Johnson Amendment and is available for comment on presidential candidate Donald Trump’s plan to discuss the repeal of the amendment at this week’s Value Voters Summit.

In Abolishing Abortion, Father Pavone devotes several chapters to the political origins of the law, how it has stifled churches and clergy since 1954, and how Churches themselves often make its effect worse or simply use it as an excuse for cowardice:

“Having won his Senate seat only by a margin of 87 highly disputed votes and now up for re-election, Johnson wanted to silence two secular, nonprofit organizations that were supporting his opponent. Johnson had made inquiries with the IRS commissioner to determine whether these organizations were breaking any law by their political involvement. When told they were not, he introduced the amendment to punish them for what had been legal up till then. At the time, there were no discussions, debates or any considerations of a constitutional foundation for the amendment. Nor was there any discussion of whether this restriction applied to churches.”

Father Pavone also criticizes the interpretation of the amendment offered by the IRS, with its vague “facts and circumstances approach:

“… It has been a maze of confusion and inconsistency that, in practice, has made this provision unintelligible and therefore next to impossible to apply.”

Fr. Pavone’s book offers some practical suggestions to move forward beyond self-censorship. To arrange an interview with Father Pavone, contact Leslie Palma-Simoncek, communications director at Priests for Life, at 347-286-7277 or media@priestsforlife.org

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.

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