Fr. Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life, has announced the formal start of the national Voter Guide Distribution Project which will train concerned citizens from across the country to get involved in the upcoming presidential election.
“Hundreds of people around the country will take to the streets this month to distribute our voter guides on public property,” Fr. Pavone explained. “In this most important election of our lifetime, when the right to life and religious liberty are so much at stake, it is crucial that people not only know what the issues mean, but where the candidates stand on those issues.”
The project makes use of two voter guides that Priests for Life has prepared. One compares the positions of President Obama and Governor Romney on a wide range of issues of concern to the electorate.
The other compares the positions contained in the party platforms of the Republican and Democratic national parties.
Both of these guides are accompanied by letters issued by legal experts attesting that the guides are c-3 qualified, that is, that they may be distributed by Churches and other tax-exempt organizations because the guides are neutral rather than partisan.
The project involves having teams of people distribute the guides on the public sidewalks near churches, to the people coming out of the Masses and worship services.
“This year, more than ever, the faithful are ready to take up a task that, unfortunately, many of our institutions fail to do: to inform their fellow citizens about the positions of the candidates and the parties. We often wait in vain for Churches to distribute voter guides. Many are under the impression that they can never mention a candidate’s name, or that their tax exempt status is threatened by a c-3 qualified guide. From the vantage point of law, such a position is mistaken, and from the vantage point of morals, such a position is cowardly,” Fr. Pavone stated.
“Then, we complain that the people we elect are threatening our religious freedom. Before we blame them, however, we should blame ourselves. As our United States Catholic Bishops have stated, ‘We get the public officials we deserve. Their virtue — or lack thereof — is a judgment not only on them, but on us’ (1998, Living the Gospel of Life, n.34).”
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