The Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights has petitioned the Internal Revenue Service to revoke the tax-exempt status of the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence. The league’s position is that the Sisters have long been in violation of the law that allows non-profits a tax-exempt status.
Catholic League president William Donohue commented on this development today:
“The Catholic League has legally acquired documents filed by the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence with the IRS that nominally commit the Sisters to certain legitimate goals. The problem is not what the group proclaims to be doing—fundraising and education—but what it spends most of its time doing, namely Catholic bashing. It is ludicrous on the face of it for the Sisters to maintain that one of the major issues they address is ‘the role of religion in daily life.’ How? By simulating sodomy while dressed as nuns, using a gas pump as a phallic symbol?
“Suffice it to say that we have compiled evidence of the group’s flagrantly anti-Catholic and patently indecent activities. Hence our decision to appeal to the IRS to strip the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence of its tax-exempt status.
“If a group of white anti-black bigots dressed up as Al Jolson and mocked African Americans, no one would excuse them because a small part of what they do is to contribute a pittance to selective charities. If a group of anti-Semites were to dress as Shylock and mock Jews, no one would excuse them because a small part of what they do is to contribute a pittance to selective charities. Similarly, we do not expect anyone—including the IRS—to excuse the Catholic-bashing the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence engage in because a small part of what they do is to contribute a pittance to AIDS-related charities.
“The evidence we have amassed is thorough and persuasive. The time has come for the government to stop the public funding of bigotry under the guise of charitable giving.”