FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
CATHOLIC DEMOCRATS DEMAND DONOHUE, CATHOLIC LEAGUE APOLOGIZE FOR OBAMA/HITLER COMPARISON
Boston, MA -- The Catholic Democrats today responded to the pro-Republican Catholic League's May 8th attack on Senator Barrack Obama's National Catholic Advisory Council, in which its president likened Senator Obama to Hitler. Bill Donohue has launched a series of highly partisan attacks on Senator Obama over the past month, and most recently chose to condemn Obama's long list of Catholic supporters as a group of "dissidents" because they believe that Catholics should be concerned about a broader range of issues than just school vouchers, stem cell research and abortion.
"Mr. Donohue is obsessed with abortion, misrepresenting Senator Obama's stance on this issue and then labeling that misrepresentation as "a Hitlerian decision," said Dr Patrick Whelan, President of Catholic Democrats. "Once someone resorts to a Hitler comparison, he has failed to make his argument in any credible way on its own terms."
Donohue's statements ignore the US Bishops' new "Faithful Citizenship" document, which for the first time stated unequivocally that the kind of prevention measures Senator Obama has advocated are as essential as any efforts to criminalize abortion. The document also calls Catholics to heed seven key themes from Catholic social teaching, including: the right of line and the dignity of the human person; call to family, community, and participation; rights and responsibilities; preferential option for the poor and vulnerable; dignity of work and the rights of workers; solidarity; and, caring for God's creation. Donohue's statements also ignore the recent call for hope and unity by Pope Benedict XVI, still fresh in the minds of Catholics and people of good will.
"People such as Bill Donohue damage our Church when they use this kind of hateful language condemning fellow Catholics, particularly when their intent is to promote the Republican presidential candidate," said Bill Roth, Communications Director for Catholic Democrats. "Donohue's association with the Heritage Foundation, his central role as a Catholic surrogate for the Bush Campaigns in 2000 and 2004, and now his condemnation of Catholics with a fuller view of public morality make him a poor spokesman for an alleged non-partisan, non-profit organization that is supposed to defend Catholics in public life."
About Catholic Democrats
Catholic Democrats is an association of state based groups representing a Catholic voice within the Democratic Party, and advancing a public understanding of the rich tradition of Catholic Social Teaching and its potential to help solve the broad range of problems confronting all Americans. Catholic Democrats have not endorsed any Democratic Party candidate at this time.
Patrick Whelan's full response to Catholic League
Catholic League's Statement
Catholic Democrats Home Page