Priests for Life - Political Responsibility
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Priests for Life, Legal Advice, and Catholic Dioceses
and Institutions

On our own initiative, we would like to review for you a few key points about our approach to legal matters, especially in the area of political activity, as this election season continues to intensify.

Priests for Life has always advised Catholic institutions and dioceses to follow the advice of their own legal counsel. That is why, from the time our website was started, we have always placed a link on it  to the guidelines offered by the Office of the General Counsel of the USCCB regarding political activity. Our approach on this point remains the same.

Those same guidelines issued through the USCCB state, in regard to specific activities, that "other Catholic organizations should contact their own legal advisors." That, too, is exactly what we have done.

It should not come as a surprise to anyone that attorneys differ in their interpretation of the law. If attorneys of one organization differ with those of another, our approach is simple: We follow the advice of our attorneys, just as we expect other organizations to follow the advice of theirs.

We also expect that attorneys on all sides will not overstate the case and make it appear as though an interpretation of law is equivalent to dogma. It is not. Nor does the dissemination of educational material regarding such diverse interpretations constitute legal advice.

Priests for Life is an educational and pastoral association. We do not offer legal advice. We do, however, disseminate information in the spirit of free discussion, inquiry, and healthy debate. We believe that people and groups within the Church should be free to examine and discuss openly the reasons for different interpretations of laws, particularly when those laws affect the mission of the Church, to which we are all committed.

It should also be noted that we do not produce any voter guides, candidate questionnaires, scorecards, or partisan materials. Moreover, we do not (and cannot by law) endorse any candidates for public office.

-- Fr. Frank Pavone
National Director

 

Priests for Life
PO Box 141172 • Staten Island, NY 10314
Tel. 888-735-3448, (718) 980-4400 • Fax 718-980-6515
mail@priestsforlife.org