Revoke the tax-exempt status of the Catholic Diocese of Springfield, IL
  • Petitioned IRS Commissioner Douglas Shulman

This petition was delivered to:

IRS Commissioner Douglas Shulman

Revoke the tax-exempt status of the Catholic Diocese of Springfield, IL

    1. John Freml
    2. Petition by

      John Freml

      Springfield, IL

In a recent statement, Bishop Thomas Paprocki of the Catholic Diocese of Springfield in Illinois claimed that voting for a Democratic candidate would put the salvation of one's soul in jeopardy.

He stated specifically that the Democratic Party platform regarding abortion, contraception, and gay rights as human rights is an explicit "intrinsic evil." Regarding the Republican Party platform, he stated, "there is nothing in it that supports or promotes an intrinsic evil or a serious sin."

Following this, Bishop Paprocki warned that "you need to think and pray very carefully about your vote, because a vote for a candidate who promotes actions or behaviors that are intrinsically evil and gravely sinful makes you morally complicit and places the eternal salvation of your own soul in serious jeopardy. I pray that God will give you the wisdom and guidance to make the morally right choices."

You can view or read the full statement on the official diocesan website.

In short, this statement by the Catholic bishop of Springfield, Illinois is tantamount to political endorsement of the Republican Party, which is a violation of IRS rules that regulate tax-exempt, non-profit organizations. Churches are not allowed to officially endorse or oppose any political candidate from the pulpit or in church publications, and maintain tax-exempt status. Additionally, churches may not show favorable or unfavorable bias toward a candidate or political party.

Please help in revoking the tax exempt status of the Catholic Diocese of Springfield in Illinois, and preserve the separation of church and state.

Recent signatures


    1. Reached 200 signatures
    2. Local coverage in the SJ-R

      John Freml
      Petition Organizer

      Still waiting on ACLU / AU responses (was playing phone tag with the ACLU all day yesterday...)

    3. Coverage continues on Patheos

      John Freml
      Petition Organizer

      Be sure to read one Lutheran theologian's take on Paprocki's statement here:

      There's also an open letter to Paprocki over at The Daily Kos:

    4. Reached 100 signatures
    5. Rachel Maddow picked up this story

      John Freml
      Petition Organizer

      Check out Rachel Maddow's take here:

      US Catholic, a left-leaning Catholic publication, also had some insight:

      Momentum is growing, so please keep sharing this petition with everyone you know!

    6. Reached 50 signatures
    7. Waiting on response from Americans United

      John Freml
      Petition Organizer

      I also shared this information with Americans United and am waiting to hear back from them.

    8. Reached 25 signatures
    9. Find us on Facebook!

      John Freml
      Petition Organizer

      To make it even easier to share this petition with your friends and family, I've created a Facebook page. Be sure to like it, and suggest it to your friends:

    10. Waiting on response from ACLU

      John Freml
      Petition Organizer

      I have contacted the Illinois chapter of the ACLU, and am waiting for an intake counselor to get back to me. Due to the timing of this, I probably won't hear anything until Monday at the earliest.

    11. Reached 10 signatures


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