COLORADO SPRINGS, May 28, 2004 ( – Americans United for Separation of Church and State asked the IRS Thursday to revoke the tax-exempt status of the Colorado Springs Roman Catholic diocese for “electioneering”.  Referring to Bishop Michael Sheridan’s recent pastoral letter about politicians receiving Communion, the group’s Barry Lynn accused the letter of using “code language that says ‘Re-elect Bush and vote Republican.’”

Seeing a conspiracy, Lynn also alleged Bishop Sheridan’s actions are “part of a larger trend among some members of the Catholic hierarchy to influence Catholic voters in this election year,” citing the bishops of New Jersey and Archbishop Raymond Burke of St. Louis.  Catholic League president William Donohue responded to the news saying, “It is disingenuous of Lynn to accuse Bishop Sheridan of ‘religious blackmail to steer votes toward the GOP.’ Sheridan never mentions any candidate or political party in his letter.  He makes his judgment based on moral issues, on which members of both political parties can come up short.  As Sheridan wrote, ‘The Church never directs citizens to vote for any specific candidate. The Church does, however, have the right and the obligation to teach clearly and fully the objective truth about the dignity and rights of the human person.’ Lynn conveniently omits this part of the pastoral letter.”  Donhue added, Lynn’s remark that Bishop Sheridan’s actions are part of a ‘larger trend’ among some in the Catholic hierarchy is an attempt to intimidate the bishops into silence.  And he has shown he is not averse to using the power of the state-the IRS-to do so.  So much for separation of church and state.”  See related coverage:  US Bishop: It is a grave sin to Vote for Pro-Abortion and Pro-Homosexual Marriage Politicians Bishop Remains Firm on Evil of Voting For Pro-Abortion Politicians During CNN Grilling   See local media coverage:


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