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 welcome 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.