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Bishop Richard Malone Collected $500,000 ‘Out of Concern’ For Maine’s Gays

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Is this what you call “educating voters” on Maine’s Question 1? Led by Bishop Richard Malone, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland “played a big part” in the information campaign, reports a Catholic website. Just how big a part? Well let’s look at exactly just where all those “education” dollars came from. And went.

Nicholas Kristof made an excellent point in his column about troop build-ups in Afghanistan: For the cost of 1 more America soldier to be sent to Afghanistan for a year, “roughly 20 schools” could instead be built.

So when it comes to the Catholic Diocese of Portland, which donated more than $553,000 to Stand For Marriage Maine and other anti-gay parties hoping for a “Yes On 1″ vote, how much real good could have been done in the community instead of stripping away the rights of gays and lesbians?

The break-down of the Dicoese’s cash transfers — available here — is remarkable. Ten thousands dollars here, fifty thousand there. The financial disclosure also reveals the various parishes and individual the money flowed from: The Archdiocese of Philadelphia had $50k to spare; the Roman Catholic Church of the Archdiocese of New Orleans offered $2k; Cleveland’s Most Reverend Richard G. Lennon donated $1k. The reports, dating from June thru October, detail just how influential the Catholic Church’s money was in Maine.

But this cash comes from an organization that, supposedly, does good for the community. And while the Roman Catholic Church unarguably does much good in local communities — providing food, shelter, and social services — it’s hard to reconcile a group calling on its parishioners to donate their much-needed paychecks to a hate campaign. (This is the same organization that just admitted a priest sexually abused at least two people some 60 years ago.)

For what it’s worth, Bishop Malone wants to thank the Church’s supporters, particularly because Question 1 “has also been an opportunity for listening, and I trust that those who voted for such a radical change did so out of concern for our gay brothers and sisters.” Concern. Right.

(In the meantime, could someone explain why Christine Pitteroff, identified as a staffer in the Chancery Public Affairs Office of Portland’s Diocese, was on the receiving end of $10,033.88 of the Church’s own cash?)

By:           editor editor
On:           Nov 5, 2009
Tagged: , , , , , ,
  • 27 Comments
    • Jerry Priori
      Jerry Priori

      I wonder how this man is bright enough to wipe his own ass. He’s another piece of shit in a clerical collar. He should stop spreading his superstitious bullshit and get a real job like the rest of us.

      Nov 5, 2009 at 1:28 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • David Ehrenstein
      David Ehrenstein

      The Catholic Church is a political entity and therefore MUST be registered as such AND PAY TAXES!!!!!

      Nov 5, 2009 at 1:33 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • CPT_Doom
      CPT_Doom

      Sorry, he’s not “Bishop” Richard Malone, unless one happens to be a member of the RC Church. As a recovering Catholic, I refuse to defer to this man or recognize his position within the Church. Mr. Malone and I are both American citizens, and should be recognized as having the same rights. His opinion about my life should have exactly the same impact on me as my opinion about his life – including his clearly morally bankrupt character.

      Nov 5, 2009 at 1:55 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • YellowRanger
      YellowRanger

      How the fuck are these asshats still tax exempt? Really, please, somebody explain this to me because they have a pretty great racket going on and I want to know how they’re doing it.

      Nov 5, 2009 at 1:57 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Sam
      Sam

      @David Ehrenstein: “Political entities” don’t pay taxes either. Why would the church be required to pay taxes for participating in politics?

      Nov 5, 2009 at 2:17 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Robert, NYC
      Robert, NYC

      Guys, no politician is going to go near calling for the removal of these cults’ tax exempt status, make no mistake about that. Obama would oppose it. The only way we can make trouble for them is to start our own movement to do that, give them a dose of their own hate medicine, let them see what its like, but you can bet they’d play the victim card again.

      Nov 5, 2009 at 2:48 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jerry Priori
      Jerry Priori

      They are still tax exempt for the same reason they win when they endorse anti-gay legislation. When their exemption is called into question, they sink millions of dollars into fighting against contributing their fair share. The money they can be using to help the disenfranchised is used to fight equality legislation, continue their tax exempt privileges, and paying off the kids their leaders fucked. And it still amounts to less money than they’d have to fork out of they had to pay taxes like the rest of us. The Catholic church is a vile organization; my contempt for it knows no bounds.

      Nov 5, 2009 at 3:22 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Robert, NYC
      Robert, NYC

      Jerry, yes, and along with them the other vile cult, the mormon sect. I never use initial caps for the “roman” cult or any of them as a sign of my utter disrespect, revulsion and contempt that they deserve. I’m still reeling from the fact that the mormons donated more than $20 million to help Prop. H8 succeed. These are businesses first and foremost shilling for religion to guarantee tax exemption, totally corrupt at best. Its about time we started making noise about that, get some progressive straight allies on board and of course, atheists who would just love to make that happen. These religious cults are parasites living high on the hog at LGBT tax payers’ expense. Why should anyone or any organization be above the law? We call this democracy? Enough!

      Nov 5, 2009 at 3:39 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Keith Kimmel
      Keith Kimmel

      Anyone know how many kids Malone and/or people under him have raped? The Catholic Church really should not be out talking about morality when they are out raping underage kids.

      Nov 5, 2009 at 3:45 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • B
      B

      Sam wrote, “‘Political entities’ don’t pay taxes either. Why would the church be required to pay taxes for participating in politics?”

      If I give a donation to the Democratic (or Republican) party, that donation comes from after-tax income. If I give a donation to a church, that donation is tax free. It would be fair to make churches (or any non-profit entity) pay taxes on the money they give to lobby or advertise in support of a particular piece of legislation when the church received that money tax free. They should also have to pay those taxes on any paid staff or other services that they donate to a campaign.

      We should insist on a “level playing field”. Churches should not be given an advantage over other organizations due to tax laws when their activities could change our laws or system of government.

      Nov 5, 2009 at 4:01 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • CHIP1218
      CHIP1218

      How about just giving the Roman Catholic church a taste of their own medicine. Find a state that they are the minority, with a majority religion believing they are cult like (say South Carolina?) and place a ballot initiative to take away their rights. Let them see how it is to be on the other side!

      Nov 5, 2009 at 4:07 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Disgusted American
      Disgusted American

      DEAR MAINE…

      1) ALL of you YES’rs who Voted away the RIGHTS of LGBT Mainers…I HOPE you Posed Gleefully in the Many pictures that WERE taken during this eventFUL….those VERY PICTURES WILL BE USED years from Now (they ARE part of the PUBLIC record) to show the REAL Ignorance of Voting on People’s Rights…..Just like the pictures of George Wallace & Others from 40-50yrs ago denying Equality to THE BLACK POPULATION (we’ve all see’m in History Books) and Some of You People will be Lucky enough to be the Headliners in Future History Books, and YOU WILL BE pictured THERE IN ALL YOUR GLORY on the WRONG SIDE of History for ALL the WORLD to SEE….Forever Splayed out in beautiful color / and some in black & white…I hope you were Smiling, …so act SMUG now cause’ …..what a day that will be, as you bring Shame down on your Future Generations & Families!

      2) MAINE, YOU HAD a REAL Chance to SHOW the REST of the United States of America what REAL Equality for ALL it’s Citzens looks like & is about…a REAL Chance to STAND OUT AND UP & be the 1st state EVER IN AMERICA to VOTE Equality into Law..and You BLEW IT! Now you are JUST ANOTHER STATE, like the Many others who have sided with Bigotry and Discrimina¬≠tion…you¬≠’re NOTHING SPECIAL..you’re JUST LIKE EVERYONE ELSE! YOU BLEW IT!

      Nov 5, 2009 at 5:25 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Daniel
      Daniel

      47% of Maine voters who supported equality and basic human rights now realize that 53% of voters cannot even uphold basic human rights or even the basic elements of democracy like Equal Protection under Law. Are the 53% now expecting other people to uphold their human rights? If they are, they are naive. 47% of Maine voters, gay and straight, now have a glimpse of understanding of how the victims of the Holocaust and those who opposed the Holocaust felt as Nazis voted away other people’s equality and human rights.

      Nov 5, 2009 at 7:38 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Daniel
      Daniel

      During the Holocaust only a handful of Roman Catholic priests stood up to the Nazis, the rest did nothing or helped the Nazis. The Bishop now joins them as someone who has spent money actively violating the human rights of millions of other people. Protestants should be appalled, just like there are plenty of Roman Catholics who are appalled by the Bishop’s actions and who voted for equality in Maine against his fascist wishes. I am glad the average Roman Catholic is both Christian in spirit and gay-friendly, despite the Bishop’s best efforts to make them otherwise.

      Nov 5, 2009 at 7:45 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Mark
      Mark

      blow it out your cassock you bitter old queen! jesus must be so pleased with these people saying they’re following his word – -

      Nov 6, 2009 at 1:17 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Ozymandias
      Ozymandias

      “…has also been an opportunity for listening, and I trust that those who voted for such a radical change did so out of concern for our gay brothers and sisters.”

      You are a bitter old bigot, and you are no brother of mine. For what you’ve done, I would have disowned you even if you WERE my brother.

      Nov 6, 2009 at 1:25 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • SoylentDIva
      SoylentDIva

      Starve the beasts.
      http://base8.lavenderliberal.com/

      Nov 6, 2009 at 5:53 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Vo Dong Cung
      Vo Dong Cung

      Do not blame on Richard Malone, he is only a lamb as all other bigoty lambs of Vatican. But all American must beaware of some day soon Vatican take over USA. And with power of US arm forces Vatican will create Holly War, the World War III, for their throne.

      LGBT world wide not failed in California, not failed in Maine, but failed and let Roman Catholic got away from their child sex abuse scandal. LGBT must show to the world that under the cowl is a giant dirty mind. History also shown the highclass prostitution right in side Vatican (Pope Sergius III, John XI and John XII). So believe in their abstinences as they said like believe in liars.

      Nov 6, 2009 at 5:56 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Bob
      Bob

      In the words of Shakespeare “Oh what fools these mortals be”. This line fits all the stupid Catholics who put their hard-earned money in their church’s collection plates! They have taken food out of your family’s mouths to fuel hate and bigotry. Christ would be proud of you!!! There is a place in hell for all of you!!!

      Nov 6, 2009 at 8:51 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Sam
      Sam

      @B: What you’re bringing up is A) different from what @David Ehrenstein originally said and B) not applicable in this situation. Donations to the Democratic and Repuglican parties are not tax-deductible because those organizations back candidates. There is no prohibition on non-profits supporting or opposing ballot measures, just candidates. Donors to the Church get a tax deduction – even if the Church supports Yes on 1 – under the same laws that donors to HRC, the Task Force, GLAD, ACLU, etc. get tax deductions, even though all those groups backed No on 1.

      Even if it were applicable, a tax deduction for donors is different than losing tax exempt status. Even if the church violated the rules and backed a candidate, they wouldn’t have to pay taxes. Their donors would just lose the tax deduction.

      I know this is technical, but I just feel like this “take away their exempt status” argument is such a distraction, especially when these churches have done nothing to break the rules. Let’s focus on the real battles, not made up ones crafted by people who don’t understand the rules.

      Nov 6, 2009 at 10:35 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jerry Priori
      Jerry Priori

      I’m not talking about taking away their tax exempt status for breaking the rules. I’m talking about changing the rules so that churches are forced to pay their fair share–they should all be taxed. If they have a charitable wing of their organization, we can talk about exemptions for that, but I’m for ending their exemption based on nothing more than the fact that it is a religion, as if that is in any way exceptional or impressive.

      Nov 6, 2009 at 11:15 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Arthur Ice
      Arthur Ice

      If ever a chance comes remove churches tax exempt status. run from it. run fast.

      Here is the problem. when this government was founded their was this little thing called ‘taxation without representation’. the idea was “hey, how can you take my money but i don’t get to say what it is used for?”. that is what started the little hollibalue called the revolution.

      when this government formed it was decided that religious entanglement with government was a bad thing(tm) and so it should be limited. the idea for tax exemption was that, hey we can’t take their money and then not let them have a say in how to use it. so churches get tax exempt status. Take the tax exempt status away….and churches could directly lobby congress. Sure the churches are breaking the rules now (some times the spirit, some times the letter), but this would be far worse if churches where not tax exempt.

      be glad that churches are tax exempt…be mad that no one is forcing them to stick to the original agreement. you don’t want to be taxed? fine, but you don’t get to push your agenda’s into politics.

      Nov 6, 2009 at 2:51 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • vernonvanderbilt
      vernonvanderbilt

      @Arthur Ice

      The flip-side of the argument is that, if these churches did have to pay taxes, they probably couldn’t afford it and would be forced to close their doors. That’s far from a bad thing.

      Nov 6, 2009 at 3:00 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Gerard Priori
      Gerard Priori

      No taxation without representation is one thing, but the current state of affairs is they have representation without paying taxes. They have it both ways. They know they have it both ways. And churches spend millions upon millions of dollars to ensure they remain having it both ways. It’s time for the gravy train to pull into its last station. Religion has been the beneficiaries of a free ride for far, far too long.

      Nov 6, 2009 at 9:32 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Steve Baker
      Steve Baker

      AT No 20, SAM typed:

      “under the same laws that donors to HRC, the Task Force, GLAD, ACLU, etc. get tax deductions, even though all those groups backed No on 1.”

      Well, SAM… hmmmm

      I belong to ACLU – not deductible. However, the ACLU Foundation contributions are:

      http://www.aclufl.org/join_now/unionandfoundation.cfm

      “Contributions or gifts to the Human Rights Campaign are not tax deductible as charitable contributions or as business expenses under IRC Section162(e).”
      https://secure3.convio.net/hrc/site/SPageServer?pagename=main_donate_go

      The HRC Foundation is a nonprofit, tax-exempt 501(c)(3) organization.
      http://www.hrc.org/about_us/hrc-foundation.asp

      GLAD is also a 501(c)(3) organisation and is tax deductible. This limits the scope of their activities rather severely. See the above links to understand why.

      Churches, wrongly, seem to fall in the crack. This needs to be greatly clarified.

      If I were still a practising and attending roman catholic, I would stop putting checks in the collection plate and substitute a “You Owe Me” note explaining that they are misusing my contributions and that I will withhold funds until they stop. I contributed money to the church to support the church itself and the charitable works which belong in a church – feeding the hungry, helping the poor, visiting the sick, etc. NOT political activities and certainly NOT working against the civil rights of others and NOT to impose the tenets of my religion on persons who do not belong to it. Period. This country is not a theocracy whether the pope understands that or not. A lot of his hitler youth upbringing is showing. When these ridiculous laws – passed by the great mobacracy – denying rights to minorities finally wend their way into the SCOTUS I feel confident that Justices on both ends of the spectrum will see them as prima facie violations of both the establishment clause and the 14th amendment – “equal protection under the law”
      and toss them all. Marriage is a religious institution and should be determined by ones own church – not ones neighbor’s church.

      Until then; keep the faith.

      Nov 7, 2009 at 3:40 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • emdubsf
      emdubsf

      I think a business like the catholic corporation lead by a former nazi military member that has a documented history of complicity during the Jewish holocaust, is responsible for covering up the molestation and sexual assault of thousands of children, continues to marginalize minorities in the developing world, denies its followers protection and education from the HIV/AIDS pandemic and treats women with utter disdain would prefer to focus on using it’s trillions of dollars in wealth to bring peace, love and acceptance to the world. God doesn’t need money.

      Nov 8, 2009 at 9:41 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • JONES-MUNOZ
      JONES-MUNOZ

      Any religious leaders that decide to deviate from the simple principles of Love, inclusion, and respect, have decided to separate themselves from the Christian Church. Mr. Malone is no longer promoting Christian principles but political issues of hate and exclusion, and thusly excommunication proceedings should be instigated.

      Nov 8, 2009 at 10:26 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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