Free legal advice to Churches and Clergy
Guidelines for Political Activities by Churches and Pastors
- James Madison Center for Free Speech (PDF) - September 2007
Do's and Don'ts for Political Activities of Pastors -
James Madison Center for Free Speech (PDF) - March 2006
Voting with a Clear Conscience
by Fr. Frank Pavone: [Catholic
Version] [Legal Opinion Letter about
this publication in PDF format]
Legal Guidelines on What to Do in the Parish:
Voter Registration Guidelines
Voter registration drives fall within the activities that are
permitted to tax-exempt organizations and churches.
Click here for guidance
from the legal office of the United States Conference of Catholic bishops
for guidelines from the Internal Revenue Service. (PDF)
Our Voter Registration Sunday's project
has been examined and approved by experts in the relevant federal laws.
Click here for more information on this
A Legal Symposium: "The Church and Politics:
Are We as Restricted as we Think?"
On June 17, 2003, Priests for Life and the Ave
Maria School of Law co-sponsored a symposium for clergy and attorneys entitled
"The Church and Politics: Are We as Restricted as We Think?"
Attorneys who spoke were James
Bopp, Jr., of Bopp, Coleson & Bostrom, Professor Gerard Bradley of Notre Dame
Law School, and Charles Watkins of Webster, Chamberlain & Bean.
There is much that pastors can do to call their
congregations to active and informed participation in the political process.
In documents like Living the Gospel of Life (1998), the US bishops have
articulated such a call with clarity and passion. At the same time, many
pastors remain unaware of the extent to which they can speak and act in this
arena, and often believe they are far more restricted than the law actually
requires. Our hope is that these symposium papers will give pastors a broader
understanding of the law in this area, and assist them to fulfill their
mission with greater confidence.
Their papers can be accessed, in written and
audio format, by clicking the links below.
Fr. Frank Pavone:
Church and State: A Theological View [Text]
Gerard Bradley: The Bishops and
the Court: Two Tales of Church and State
Charles Watkins: The Church and Politics: A Review of the IRS Guidelines
for Churches [Text]
James Bopp, Jr.: What are the Do's and Don'ts for Churches? [Text]
Fr. Frank Pavone: Concluding Remarks: [Listen]
Please note this page contains
information from legal experts regarding elections Tax Law. However, this
does not constitute formal legal advice. We recommend that you consult
your attorneys but at the same time we recommend that your attorneys read this
Click here for a
statement from Fr. Frank Pavone on
Priests for Life, Legal Advice, and Catholic Dioceses and Institutions.