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Arizona Catholic Bishops say political newspapers not affiliated with Church

AZ Catholic politician grades.jpg
A publication called the Arizona Catholic Tribune gives A grades to Republican elected officials and F grades to Democrats with nothing in between.

Arizona’s Catholic Bishops say recent newspapers that have been sent in the mail that give grades to the state’s Catholic elected officials are not affiliated with their dioceses or the Catholic Church.

A photo making the rounds on Twitter shows a publication called the Arizona Catholic Tribune giving A grades to Republicans including U.S. Representative Paul Gosar while Democrats including U.S. Senator Mark Kelly and Congressmen Raul Grijalva and Ruben Gallego got F grades.

The grades are reportedly based on the politicians' legislation voting records on "key issues of concern to Catholics" including life, marriage, the family and religious freedom.

The dioceses of Phoenix and Tucson, which serves Yuma and La Paz counties, have their own newspapers, The Catholic Sun and New Outlook, respectively.

In a released statement, the Arizona Catholic Conference of Bishops mention “organizations and publications calling themselves “catholic,” but (they) do not represent the Catholic Church.”

The Bishops continued "We must stress that the Catholic Church is always politically non-partisan. Moreover, it is worth recalling that the Catholic Church has a long tradition of our beliefs influencing our personal politics- not our personal politics trying to influence our faith. When we reverse those two, we place ourselves outside the tradition and teachings of the Catholic Church."

The Arizona Catholic Tribune’s website said it was created in 2020. Speculation online said it’s from a conservative organization.

Gallego was the only Democratic official who appeared to respond to the publication, sharing the photo on Twitter with his response "didn’t realize I got cancelled."

Victor is originally from West Sacramento, California and has lived in Arizona for more than five years. He began his print journalism career in 2004 following his graduation from Georgetown University in Washington D.C. Victor has been a reporter for the following daily newspapers: The Monterey County Herald, The Salinas Californian and the Reno Gazette-Journal, where he covered stories including agriculture, education and Latino community news. Victor has also served as a local editor for Patch, a national news organization with hyperlocal websites, in Carmichael, California in the Sacramento area. He also served as the editor for The New Vision, the newspaper for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Tucson, which includes Yuma and La Paz counties. Victor lives in Somerton. He enjoys spending time with his family and friends and following most sports.
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