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Wisconsin Pro-Abortion Attorney Tells Diocese to Block Pro-Life Voter's Guides
LifeNews.Com ^ | October 26, 2004 | Steve Ertelt

Posted on 10/30/2004 6:23:21 AM PDT by paladinan

LaCrosse, WI (LifeNews.com) -- An attorney with a Catholic diocese in Wisconsin told church leaders to prohibit the distribution of a pro-life voter's guide for the upcoming elections. According to news reports, the attorney is a longtime donor to candidates who favor abortion.

A Catholic World News report on Tuesday revealed that James Birnbaum, who acts as an attorney for the Catholic diocese of LaCrosse, Wisconsin, has given thousands in donations to pro-abortion candidates.

Birnbaum recently sent a letter to pastors and church officials telling them to block the distribution of Catholic Answer's "Voter's Guide for Serious Catholics."

The 10-page voter's guide cites Vatican documents showing that candidates who support abortion, euthanasia, human cloning or embryonic stem cell research should be disqualified from receiving the votes of faithful Catholics.

The voter's guides should not be distributed "on your parish grounds or during your parish activities," Birnbaum wrote.

Though Birnbaum cited a tax law, that others dispute would be broken if the church allowed the guides to be disseminated, CWN reports that his real motivation against the guides may be because of his support for pro-abortion candidates.

Birnbaum has donated $6,500 to pro-abortion Congressman Ronald Kind, a Democrat who has only a 9% pro-life voting record according to the National Right to Life Committee. Birnbaum sent Kind donations as recently as March and June of this year.

CWN reports that Birnbaum has also made donations to the campaigns of Wisconsin Senator Russ Feingold, who has a strong pro-abortion voting record and co-sponsored a campaign finance proposal pro-life groups opposed because it restricts their activities, and to Wisconsin Governor Jim Doyle, who has spoken at Planned Parenthood fundraisers.

Archbishop Raymond Burke of St. Louis is the former Bishop of the La Crosse diocese, which is now without a leader since Burke has not yet been replaced.

Burke drew national attention as one of the first Catholic leaders to say he would deny communion to elected officials and candidates that support abortion. He said he would not offer the Christian sacrament to presidential candidate John Kerry.

This isn't the first time the Catholic Answer's voter's guides have been the subject of dispute.

Catholics for a Free Choice (CFFC), a pro-abortion group claiming to be Catholic, filed a complaint with the IRS to withdraw the charitable tax status of the apologetics group Catholic Answers for publishing what it claims is a partisan voter guide.

The 10-page voter's guide cites Vatican documents showing that candidates who support abortion, euthanasia, human cloning or embryonic stem cell research should be disqualified from receiving the votes of faithful Catholics.

Keating told the Culture of Life Foundation in an interview that his voter's guide "does not violate any tax rules" and that the group had legal experts verify that it met IRS requirements.

"In the voter's guide, we don't mention any candidates, any specific election, or any party, and we don't endorse or oppose anyone," Keating said. We merely state the principles that real Catholics are obligated to abide by when voting."

Related web sites: Catholic Answers - http://www.catholic.com


TOPICS: Announcements; Culture/Society; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections; US: Wisconsin
KEYWORDS: catholic; churchandstate; fascist; freespeech; guide; lawyer; voter
The lawyer has since "recused" himself over matters "specifically relating to voter's guide issues", but the Diocese is keeping his services for "other matters." Here's the e-mail address, if someone would like to complain:

mailbox@dioceseoflacrosse.com

Here's the follow-up article on LifeNews.com:

http://www.lifenews.com/state769.html

1 posted on 10/30/2004 6:23:28 AM PDT by paladinan
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To: paladinan

Blah. Not sure why the hot links didn't engage:

e-mail for diocese: mailbox@dioceseoflacrosse.com
follow-up article: http://www.lifenews.com/state769.html


2 posted on 10/30/2004 6:24:30 AM PDT by paladinan (Rule #1: There is a God. Rule #2: It isn't you.)
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To: paladinan

I wonder if this made the liberal La Crosse Tribune. Somehow, I doubt it did.


3 posted on 10/30/2004 6:26:01 AM PDT by Mrs.O'Strategery
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To: paladinan

The atty was probably told that if he didnt recuse himself he would be excommunicated for standing against a papal writ. The Vatican doesnt take well to renegade parishioners.


4 posted on 10/30/2004 6:30:16 AM PDT by CThomasFan (John F. Kerry IS a weapon of mass destruction)
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To: paladinan

Should this guy Birnbaum be advising the diocese of Lacrosse in the first place.

"James Birnbaum, who acts as an attorney for the Catholic diocese of LaCrosse, Wisconsin, has given thousands in donations to pro-abortion candidates."

The Hierarchy who hire these types should be refused Communion for giving Catholic collection money to supporters of abortion.

Where the hell are their brains, certainly not in their heads, must be to much communion wine.


5 posted on 10/30/2004 6:36:01 AM PDT by chatham
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To: CThomasFan
The atty was probably told that if he didnt recuse himself he would be excommunicated for standing against a papal writ. The Vatican doesnt take well to renegade parishioners.

Especially since he may well be under authority of Abp. Burke until a replacement is named. I wonder how canon law handles that?

6 posted on 10/30/2004 6:40:54 AM PDT by TheGeezer
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To: paladinan

The voter's guides should not be distributed ''on your parish grounds or during your parish activities,'' Birnbaum wrote.

Pray tell us where you stand on bubba & kerry campaigning in church, attorney Birnbaum. And what other free speech issues do you wish to censor?

7 posted on 10/30/2004 6:53:41 AM PDT by elli1 (The total viewers of MSNBC is less than half a county in Wyoming.)
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To: paladinan

Father Pavone warned watchers that those placing voting guides on cars parked in public places were using their free speech rights, and that priests and others who tried to intimidate them might find themselves in court...

Considering Pavone is a soft spoken guy, he was quite adament that Catholics do not give up their right to expression as private persons in private places just because they oppose abortion...


8 posted on 10/30/2004 7:07:52 AM PDT by LadyDoc (liberals only love politically correct poor people)
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To: paladinan

He can't do it.

The pro-life stance is doctrine, not politics.

If he does so, he is interfering with the free exercise of religion.

There is 2000 years of Christianity behind that culture of life position.


9 posted on 10/30/2004 7:18:02 AM PDT by OpusatFR (Let me repeat this: the web means never having to swill leftist garbage again. Got it?)
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To: OpusatFR

If I were a Catholic, I would be screaming that parishoners donations to the church are paying the salary of this guy.

I would be bringing my own lawsuit against the church for paying one red cent to this man. There has to be another lawyer in Wisconsin who is talented who is following the doctrines of the church.


10 posted on 10/30/2004 7:20:40 AM PDT by ridesthemiles (ridesthemiles)
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To: Coleus; NYer

Catholic Ping!


11 posted on 10/30/2004 7:24:42 AM PDT by sockmonkey
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To: sockmonkey

And a ping to you.


12 posted on 10/30/2004 7:26:06 AM PDT by Siobhan (Pray without ceasing.)
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To: Salvation; Pyro7480; ninenot; Aquinasfan; Diago; livius; Romulus; Askel5; tiki; ArrogantBustard; ...

Pinging Catholics ...........


13 posted on 10/30/2004 7:28:47 AM PDT by Siobhan (Pray without ceasing.)
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To: paladinan
I'll catch up with all of you later.

I'm off to work the phone banks to remind everyone in my state to vote!

Oregon was lost to Gore in 2000 by only 6,700 votes, yet 100,000 registered Republicans did NOT vote!

Get out the Republican vote in your state too!

14 posted on 10/30/2004 7:30:54 AM PDT by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: paladinan
This attorney needs to read the Catechism! The Church will NOT change its stance!

Catechism of the Catholic Church and what it says about those who support abortion

15 posted on 10/30/2004 7:31:58 AM PDT by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: Siobhan; father_elijah; nickcarraway; SMEDLEYBUTLER; Lady In Blue; attagirl; goldenstategirl; ...
Catholic Discussion Ping!

Please notify me via FReepmail if you would like to be added to or taken off the Catholic Discussion Ping List.

16 posted on 10/30/2004 7:33:21 AM PDT by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: Siobhan
Pinging Catholics...

Ah, I see you have the magic list. Thanks.

17 posted on 10/30/2004 7:33:32 AM PDT by sockmonkey
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To: Siobhan
President Bush: Shares Our Catholic Values

President Bush and John Kerry: On the Issues Important to Catholics

"Seismic" Catholic Shift to Bush [Insight ]

Catholics for Bush

Analyst cites abortion stance as some Catholic voters shift to Bush

Poll: Catholics Trending Towards Bush

Kerry Losing Ground Among White Catholics

Voting Our Conscience, Not Our Religion [Catholic Prof Says "Vote Kerry"]

Vatican: Kerry guilty of heresy; incurrs automatic excommunication

Should a Catholic Vote for Bush or Kerry?

Why is Bush getting the bishop's blessing?

Ambassador Ray Flynn in Cleveland 10/16/2004- "Vote 2004: The Catholic Factor"

John Kerry Flip-Flops on When to Use His Catholic Belief on Politics

Abortion is Turning Democrats Off to Kerry

Planned Parenthood Unveils TV Ads Backing John Kerry on Abortion

Spiritual Windsurfer [Kerry]

Kerry’s Auxiliary Bishops

The army of God marching for Bush

The Catholics for Bush website is now live!

America at the Crossroads

(Clinton Apointee Raymond)Flynn: Catholics must vote for culture of life

Priest: It's a sin to vote pro-choice

Some attempts to sabotage Catholic voters

18 posted on 10/30/2004 7:33:43 AM PDT by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: paladinan

I'm not asking permission for my parish. I just marked the flyers for distribution at the Catholic Churches with the times of Mass and the GOP are going to put them on windshields. While we have 3 private parking lots most of the people park on the street and none of the parking lots are marked as private.


19 posted on 10/30/2004 7:43:40 AM PDT by tiki (Win one against the Flipper)
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To: paladinan
The lawyer has since "recused" himself over matters "specifically relating to voter's guide issues", but the Diocese is keeping his services for "other matters."

I wish I were be a member of that parish...

So I could resign.

20 posted on 10/30/2004 7:46:12 AM PDT by Publius6961 (The most abundant things in the universe are hydrogen and stupidity.)
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To: Publius6961
Oooops. Make that parish diocese.
21 posted on 10/30/2004 7:47:02 AM PDT by Publius6961 (The most abundant things in the universe are hydrogen and stupidity.)
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To: paladinan

my parish, they snuck the voters guides, without saying anything, into the church bulletin....


22 posted on 10/30/2004 7:49:01 AM PDT by Knitting A Conundrum (The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing)
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To: paladinan
Excommunicated Catholics for a Free Choice
23 posted on 10/30/2004 7:52:52 AM PDT by Slyfox
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To: elli1
"Pray tell us where you stand on bubba & kerry campaigning in church, attorney Birnbaum. And what other free speech issues do you wish to censor?"

My sentiments exactly ! I live in Wisconsin (30 minutes from "40 square miles surrounded by reality" otherwise known as Madison) and have been inundated by political commercials belittling "our administration" calling for an immediate change, all of which end with the ridiculous statement that these infomercials do not endorse any political candidate or party.

This attorney has no business being employed by the Church while espousing and displaying blatant disregard for the most sacred tenet of the Catholic faith.

Based on his flawed counsel in this matter, I would question his legal advice on other issues that may be clouded by his personal biases that conflict with Catholic dogma.
24 posted on 10/30/2004 8:12:47 AM PDT by EODGUY (Remember my friends,the media will control virtually all information within 60 days of the election.)
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To: Siobhan

Burke leaves and the whole place falls apart.

Shameless.

We got them in the bulletins and published in the archdiocesan newspaper.


25 posted on 10/30/2004 9:53:14 AM PDT by Desdemona
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To: EODGUY

I'm up here in Portage Cty, another liberal bastion though I don't thinks it's quite as bad as Madtown. Moved here from OK a few years ago--my car got keyed almost immediately after I moved here. (Had Bush/ Doyle bumper sticker on it.) Welcome to liberalism, I guess.


26 posted on 10/30/2004 9:58:19 AM PDT by elli1 (The total viewers of MSNBC is less than half a county in Wyoming.)
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To: EODGUY

The attorney's JOB is to keep the Diocese out of court.

The Diocese's JOB is to keep its souls out of Hell.

The Diocese will have to decide which objective is more important...


27 posted on 10/30/2004 10:33:25 AM PDT by ninenot (Minister of Membership, TomasTorquemadaGentlemen'sClub)
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To: paladinan
A Catholic World News report on Tuesday revealed that James Birnbaum, who acts as an attorney for the Catholic diocese of LaCrosse, ... Not a very good actor is my humble opinion.

Who is the administrative Bishop of La Crosse at this point? Could somebody show him where stage left is so he can escort Mr. Birnbaum out?

28 posted on 10/30/2004 11:11:39 AM PDT by TotusTuus
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To: paladinan
A Catholic World News report on Tuesday revealed that James Birnbaum, who acts as an attorney for the Catholic diocese of LaCrosse, ...

Not a very good actor is my humble opinion.

Who is the administrative Bishop of La Crosse at this point? Could somebody show him where stage left is so he can escort Mr. Birnbaum out?

29 posted on 10/30/2004 11:13:12 AM PDT by TotusTuus (My puter came down with a virus - says I'm looking at naughty stuff)
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To: paladinan; Salvation; narses
According to news reports, the attorney is a longtime donor to candidates who favor abortion.

Excommunicate his butt.

30 posted on 10/30/2004 12:31:32 PM PDT by pray4liberty (Donate to Swiftvets.com It may make all the difference between victory or defeat in PA & DE!)
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To: pray4liberty

Oh dear! EXCOMMUNICATE ALL OF HIM!


31 posted on 10/30/2004 1:23:04 PM PDT by Siobhan (Pray without ceasing.)
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To: paladinan

Freedom of speech, not just for liberals Anymore!


32 posted on 10/30/2004 3:48:29 PM PDT by weshess (I will stop hunting when the animals agree to quit jumping in front of my gun to commit suicide)
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To: paladinan

Time for that Diocese to find a new lawyer!


33 posted on 10/30/2004 5:16:50 PM PDT by Just Lori (Wake up already!)
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To: Salvation
THANKS FOR     THE PING!
The only way, PRO-LIFE

34 posted on 10/30/2004 8:12:29 PM PDT by Smartass (BUSH & CHENEY 2004 Si vis pacem, para bellum - Por el dedo de Dios se escribió)
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To: elli1

You know what they say...When you're outta Point...you're outta town...
Lesbo Madison Annex....Marxist paradise of the north woods...
I could tell you stories about that town...:)


35 posted on 10/30/2004 8:59:28 PM PDT by joesnuffy (America needs a 'Big Dog' on her porch not a easily frightened, whining, French,"Surrender Poodle"..)
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To: ninenot; elli1
Your quote:

"The attorney's JOB is to keep the Diocese out of court."

A quote from the article:

"Though Birnbaum cited a tax law, that others dispute would be broken if the church allowed the guides to be disseminated, CWN reports that his real motivation against the guides may be because of his support for pro-abortion candidates."

Based on this attorney's personal attitude toward the most important and basic Catholic doctrine (the sanctity of innocent human life) and proven support for those legislators who support his views, I am not as willing as you are to "assume" his counsel has as its primary intent to keep the Diocese out of court.

Since there seems to be no issue raised concerning pro-infanticide candidates actively campaigning from the Church pulpits of other tax-exempt religious denominations, I sincerely hope this attorney consulted with the Thomas More legal department before making his recommendation to the Bishop.
36 posted on 10/31/2004 7:40:48 AM PST by EODGUY (Remember my friends,the media will control virtually all information within 60 days of the election.)
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