Press Release - January 14, 2005

Contact Eric McFadden 614-975-4453 or


Next DNC Chair needs to reach out to Catholics 

On February 10th the 447 members of the DNC will meet to decide who will be the next leader of the Democratic Party. The new chair will not only have the daunting task of leading the party into the mid term elections to try and win back losses in the House and Senate, but will also be leading the party into the next Presidential election. The new Chair will also be charged with shoring up the losses the party has suffered in constituencies. One particular constituency is the 65 million American Catholics who at one time made up the most loyal group of voters the Democrats had.

John Kerry won the Catholic vote nationally by 1 point this past election 50% to 49% for Bush, however in states like Ohio Kerry lost the Catholic vote by 6 points, 53% for Bush and 46% for Kerry.  The shift in Catholics who voted for Gore in 2000 to Bush in 2004 was 170,000. After the dust settled in Ohio in November, Kerry had apparently lost by 119,000 votes.

While the Kerry Campaign and the DNC ran around the country during the election organizing "Prayer Potlucks" and hiding the fact that Senator Kerry attended Mass on a regular basis, the Republican Party portrayed Bush as the "Catholic Candidate". The RNC specifically singled out "Catholic Outreach" above all other faiths on its website and recruited 50,000 Team Leaders in Parishes around the country who registered voters and distributed flyers to 88% of Catholic Church parking lots in 11 battleground states the Sunday prior to the election. Bush visited the Pope for a photo op in July while Kerry staffers worked hard at concealing the fact that Kerry was indeed Catholic till the final weeks of the election when the Senator came out as Catholic during the debates. While the RNC spent millions on Catholic Outreach nationwide, the DNC and the Kerry Campaign did not even have a single paid staff person in the pivotal state of Ohio doing anything remotely associated with religious outreach while at the same time sending a few staffers into Michigan and Wisconsin, states that appeared to be blue all along.

The Democratic Party currently has no permanent staff to reach out to the religious community.  That needs to change. Catholics for Faithful Citizenship challenges the next Chair of the DNC to establish such an office within the DNC. Specifically we challenge the new Chair to recognize the voices of Catholics Democrats who have strayed from the Party and stop being fearful of religious outreach for fear of losing support of Pro Choice groups. We believe there is plenty of room for both views in the party.

We not only challenge the new Chair to openly recognize Religious outreach but to develop an authentic relationship with not only Catholics but all faith communities to encourage policy dialogue and exchange around moral issues, such as poverty, peace, social and economic justice.

Apparently the future of the Presidency was in the hands of Catholic voters in Ohio this past November, just as the future of the Democratic Party will be in the hands of the next Chair. Senator Kerry was fond of reminding of the passage from the Book of James, "What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds?" Catholics for Faithful Citizenship challenge the Democratic Party to show its deeds to one of its most loyal voting blocks, American Catholics.  Eric McFadden 614-975-4453



Eric McFadden
Catholics for Faithful Citizenship


To know the will of God is the greatest knowledge;
To find the will of God is the greatest discovery;
And to do the will of God is the greatest achievement.