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Tax exempt status
Question from Jim on 11/1/2000:

I have two questions. First question is this. I understand that the Catholic Church cannot come out and directly support a candidate or it might loose it's tax exempt status. I have to ask, is this what Jesus would do? Wouldn't it be more Christ like to take a stance and pay the extra money. It scares me the direction our Country is taking.

My next question concerns disciplining children. I read in the question and answer forum that the church has no position on spanking children. I also read in Proverbs that if you spare the rod you hate your child. How are we to determine the best course of action with conflicting information like this? Thank you for your time.

Answer by Fr. Robert J. Levis on 11/2/2000:

Jim, Generally our American bishops advise us priests never to mention individuals running for office by name, lest we lose our tax exemption. But they insist that we preach issues. One need not be a rocket scientist to know what position the Church takes on abortion, birth control, feminism, divorce and remarriage, etc. etc. Our tax status is a most important point and I agree with the bishops. There are millions of agnostic Americans who see the Church as a source of additional taxation. If we lose our exemption, I see almost infinite harm resulting. We pay taxes on our rectories, convents, and schools already and most priests find this a very heavy load. About discipline, the Church leaves this to the parents' decision. Fr. Bob Levis

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