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Should Cardinal Roger Mahony cost the Catholic Church tax-exempt status?

Joe Mathews of the LAT offers "Labor Day Events Bring Calls for Action", which ends with this:
...But the toughest language of a morning full of events -- the 27th annual Labor Day march and rally took place in Wilmington -- was offered by Los Angeles Cardinal Roger M. Mahony during his homily at a special Mass.

He criticized the region's grocery stores for a union contract that he said was creating "this whole new underclass" of workers.

"We cannot have this kind of representation, that kind of contract," Mahony said. He also criticized the owners of hotels near Los Angeles International Airport, who are resisting a massive union organization drive.

But Mahony reserved his toughest language for the U.S. Congress. He said Congress is running out of time to address immigration law problems, which he called "one of the most pressing moral issues of our time."

Mahony, whose comments were greeted with loud applause, warned members of Congress that they need to produce comprehensive immigration legislation in the next four weeks or face retribution at the polls.

Speaking as a citizen and not for the church, he told a nearly full cathedral, "on Nov. 7, I'm not voting for anybody for Congress who is not supporting the legislation that we need."
If Mahoney wants to speak as a citizen, perhaps he shouldn't do it during a mass and while making other politically-oriented statements. Despite any denials of speaking for the church that he uttered, he was clearly speaking as a Cardinal of the Catholic Church. John Ziegler of KFI thinks Mahony should be investigated by the IRS in the same way that Pasadena's All Saints Episcopal Church was investigated:
The IRS investigation of All Saints was triggered by a sermon preached by the church's former rector, the Rev. George Regas, two days before the 2004 presidential election. Although Regas stated up front that he wasn't telling anyone how to vote, he went on to deliver a blistering attack on the Bush administration's policies, especially the war in Iraq. "Jesus places on your heart this question," said Regas: "When you go to the polls this November, will you vote all your values?"

Under IRS regulations for tax-exempt religious organizations, clergy are free to preach about moral or political issues, but may not "participate in, or intervene in any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate" for public office. Did Regas cross the line? The IRS says yes, the church says no.
Clearly, Mahony is advocating against specific candidates who can be determined simply by finding their position on the various immigration bills. For instance, the statement from Mahoney advocates against James Sensenbrenner; were he a local California politician Mahoney wouldn't vote for him.

Why don't we all send short, polite emails to the archdiocese letting them know just how wrong Mahony is: mediarelations@la-archdiocese.org. Or, give them a ring at 213 637 7215

Immigration · Mon, 09/04/2006 - 14:02 · Importance: 1

Sat, 01/06/2007 - 08:26
barb

Whatever happened to the Ten Commandments in the debates on "illegal immigration" - thou shall not steal, etc? Besides ignoring the US Constitution, I believe the Church completely ignores the Ten Commandments, and has lost sight of its true mission.

Mon, 09/04/2006 - 18:55
Fred Dawes

one word..NO!