In addition, she said, the group organized a letter to the state's seven bishops calling for an end to "partisan public statements made by Catholic officials urging them to vote Republican."
"We urge you to ensure that all Church spokespersons strictly refrain from public partisan-political statements, whether direct or indirect," the letter states.
The letter notes that, in the past, Catholic communications directors, priests, and bishops "have advocated for a particular political party -- or have condemned specific candidates (usually Democrats)" by "selectively quoting sections of Faithful Citizenship," the voting document of the U.S. bishops' conference.
In several American dioceses in recent weeks, bishops have intervened to correct individual priests who made explicitly partisan statements, or statements of support or opposition of different candidates.
A priest of the diocese of La Crosse, Fr. James Altman, said in an Aug. 30 video that "You can not be Catholic and be a Democrat. Period." His bishop subsequently said he was taking action to correct Fr. Altman, because the Church does not prohibit membership in the Democratic party.
Earlier this month, in the Archdiocese of Boston, Monsignor Paul Garrity apologized for causing "confusion and upset" after he posted comments on Facebook saying he "believe[s] in a woman's right to choose," and "will vote for Joe Biden for President because I believe that Joe Biden is pro-life like me." Garrity also encouraged "Catholics and others" of similar viewpoints to vote for Biden as well.
Boston's archbishop, Cardinal Sean O'Malley, OFM, Cap., said that Catholics have "the right to expect the priests of the Archdiocese and those entrusted with handing on the faith to be clear and unequivocal on the Church's teaching concerning respect and protection for life from the first moment of conception to natural death."
"This teaching is of the highest priority for the Church," the cardinal said in a statement provided to CNA after Garrity's comments.
The national director of Priests for Life, Fr. Frank Pavone, once held official positions on the 2020 Trump campaign's pro-life and Catholic outreach before stepping down at the request of his "competent ecclesiastical authority." Canon law prohibits clerics from having an active role in political parties, unless they receive the permission of their bishop.
Pavone has remained outspoken in his support for Trump's re-election, and made a series of controversial comments on social media.
On Sept. 17, the Diocese of Amarilo noted that Pavone, in videos posted online, had condemned the act of "voting for candidates of a particular political party" and had reportedly suggested he might refuse absolution if such votes were confessed without contrition.
(Story continues below)
Subscribe to our daily newsletter
According to the diocese, Pavone also used "scandalous words not becoming of a Catholic priest."
"These postings are not consistent with Catholic Church Teachings," the diocese said in its statement. "Please disregard them and pray for Father Pavone."
Bishops routinely issue letters advising Catholics on how to form their consciences while refraining from backing individual candidates.
On Sept. 9, Bishop Alfred Schlert of Allentown, Pa., issued a pastoral letter saying that "While there is no initiative on the part of the Church to support one candidate over another, it is an indispensable obligation of bishops, priests, and deacons to inform the faithful about the hierarchy of issues that must be considered in conscience by every voting Catholic."
"Hence, a Catholic voter is to approach the ballot box with the defense of innocent human life uppermost in his/her mind and conscience," he wrote, adding that Catholic voters should consider whether their vote would constitute cooperation "with a candidate's promotion of the grave sins of abortion and euthanasia."
"Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship" says that Catholics may vote for a candidate for political office who takes "unacceptable" positions on intrinsically evil acts; they may vote this way only "for truly grave moral reasons," and "not to advance narrow interests or partisan preferences or to ignore a fundamental moral evil."