For Immediate Release
New York City Atheists
Press Contact: 212-879-2687
Atheists and Priest Sue Catholic Church
For Robo-Calls During Election
Charge Brooklyn Catholic Bishop Used Messages
Subtly Endorsing Church Favorites
Press Conference Thursday at 11 A.M. Outside State Supreme Court in Brooklyn
New York (Dec. 16, 2009)—Charging the Catholic church with making Robo-calls during the last election subtly backing the candidate picked by a politician who had done favors for the church, New York City Atheists Inc. is suing the church, Bishop Nicholas Di Marzio and the Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn.
NYC Atheists is suing on separation-of-church-and-state grounds, pointing out that the Catholic Church receives tax exempt status as a non-profit and therefore must follow the terms and conditions of the Internal Revenue laws and the U.S. Constitution which prohibit a 501C non-profit organization to advocate, promote, advertise or endorse any particular candidate.
NYC Atheists is asking the court to compel the Brooklyn Diocese to surrender its tax exempt status, pay taxes and income taxes, lose its ability for contributors to claim a tax exemption and be required to retroactively pay taxes.
Payback For Opposing Sex Abuse Suits
The priest, Rev. Robert M. Hoatson, and a consortium of clergy sexual-abuse survivors and supporters, are simultaneously suing the Brooklyn Diocese, Bishop Nicholas Di Marzio and New York State Assemblyman Vito Lopez on the grounds that the church and the Bishop used the Robo-calls to curry favor for Lopez’s choice of candidate as payback for Assemblyman Lopez's opposing the passage of legislation that would assist childhood victims of sexual abuse by Catholic priests. Lopez also submitted an opposing bill that protected the Diocese from suits by these victims of sexual abuse, thus potentially saving the church millions of dollars.
The two suits filed Thursday by NYCA and the Rev. Hoatson charge Bishop Di Marzio with using his title, position and status in the Church to manipulate and influence voters and with violating the Internal Revenue laws and the intent of the U.S. Constitution.
WHAT: Press Conference to announce the filing of lawsuits against the Catholic
Church, Bishop Nicholas Di Marzio and NY State Assemblyman Vito
Lopez for illegal Robo-calls during the last election.
WHEN: Thursday, December 17, at 11 a.m.
WHERE: Outside State Supreme Court in Brooklyn at 360 Adams Street.
WHO: Kenneth Bronstein, president of New York City Atheists (212-535-7425)
Rev. Robert M. Hoatson (862) 368-2800
John A. Aretakis (917) 304-4885
For further information, call:
Kenneth Bronstein, president
New York City Atheists Inc.
Director of Communications
New York City Atheists
New York City Atheists Inc. is a 501C not-for-profit association dedicated to the separation of church and state and to the advancement of the atheist lifestyle and values.
All are welcome, including agnostics, atheists, skeptics, humanists, freethinkers and those who are questioning and seeking.