Press Releases 2002

New Web Resource Debunks Catholic Vote Myth in Election 2002

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202 986 6093

Washington, DC– In the crucial closing stages of election 2002, a new education and information website, Catholicvote.net, debunks the myths concerning the so-called Catholic vote in American politics. This web site offers factual information and analysis to help candidates, policymakers and journalists better understand the place of Catholics- laypeople and hierarchy- in the 2002 elections.

The website, based upon a new report entitled Beyond the Spin, was produced by Catholics for a Free Choice, a social justice organization, to help candidates, policymakers and media better understand the place of the 63.8 million Catholic laypeople and their leadership in the 2002 elections.

The website stresses that issues important to Catholics are not unlike those significant to mainstream voters. A recent survey of Catholic voters, for example, showed they are influenced more by what the candidates will do about preserving Social Security and Medicare, improving health care and education, and fighting crime, than by church-defined issues of morality.

“Like other Americans, Catholics vote their wallets,” stated Frances Kissling, president of Catholics for a Free Choice. “Candidates need to be more aware of the issues of real concern to Catholic voters, and to understand their true opinion on moral issues that the church falsely promotes as important to Catholic voters.”

The website explores how both national parties are presently making the strongest bid in over a decade for what they perceive of as the “Catholic vote.”  But the bid for the “Catholic vote” is based on a general lack of understanding about how Catholics do and do not vote. Many candidates and policymakers are unaware of exactly what the “Catholic vote” means.

The democratic process is best served when both religious and political leaders understand that their position will be evaluated on their merits and should compete on equal terms with other positions in the public square.

This site is valuable for reporters for use in election stories as well as political candidates who have questions about the so-called Catholic vote. During the campaign season, that debate will best serve the public if religious leaders, politicians and the press understand who Catholic voters are-and what the Catholic vote is not. This website, www.catholicvote.net, helps make that distinction clear. This is a project of Catholics for a Free Choice.

Catholics for Choice shapes and advances sexual and reproductive ethics that are based on justice, reflect a commitment to women's well-being and respect and affirm the capacity of women and men to make moral decisions about their lives.