Press Releases

February 21, 2018

Billboard Delivers Clear Message to Catholic Voters

Billboard Ad

Today Catholic Defense League of Minnesota (CDLMN) announced it has added a billboard advertisement as a follow-up to its newspaper ad which ran in the Minneapolis Star Tribune on Sunday.

The east-facing digital billboard is located on Interstate 694 at Lexington Avenue in Shoreview, Minnesota.  The advertisement is estimated to receive nearly 28,000 views per day.  The ad is scheduled to run through the month of October.

CDLMN’s advertising campaign is in response to a newspaper advertisement placed by a group calling itself “Catholics for Choice” (CFC) which claimed that “public funding of abortion is a Catholic social justice value.”

“Our campaign seeks to set the record straight on what is authentic Catholic teaching on abortion,” said Val Baertlein, spokesperson for CDLMN.  “There is absolutely no basis for associating the word ‘Catholic’ with ‘abortion’ as a ‘social justice value.’  We can’t allow dissidents to misinform Catholics on this important issue, especially during an election season.”

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February 21, 2018

Catholic Defense League of Minnesota Runs Advertisement Debunking Pro-Abortion Propaganda

Today Catholic Defense League of Minnesota (CDLMN) sponsored an advertisement in the Minneapolis Star Tribune challenging the recent deceptive pro-abortion ad from a group calling itself “Catholics for Choice.”

“Our ad seeks to set the record straight on what is authentic Catholic teaching on abortion,” said Val Baertlein, spokesperson for CDLMN.  The ad cites the official Catholic teaching, including that found in the Catechism of the Catholic Church. It also encourages readers to visit and sign an online petition opposing the public funding of abortion (a full-size version of the advertisement is available on the site).

“Church teaching is very clear on this issue,” said Baertlein. There is absolutely no basis for associating the word “Catholic” with abortion as a “social justice value.”

Baertlein believes individuals involved in the funding, development and distribution of the “Catholics for Choice” advertisement have put their souls at risk, as well as the souls of others who may have been deceived by their ad.  Baertlein encouraged Catholics to pray for those who may be deceived—and the deceivers—with the hopes they will come to know and accept the truth.


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February 21, 2018

Freedom of Conscience Upheld


CONTACT: Val Baertlein 651-766-7896

Freedom of Conscience Upheld in Today’s Hobby Lobby Decision

Today the Supreme Court, in a 5 to 4 decision, found that two for-profit corporations with sincerely held religious beliefs do not have to provide contraceptives, including abortifacients, at no cost to their employees under to the Affordable Care Act. The Court found that the HHS mandate violated their religious freedom.

“There was much at stake for religious freedom in today’s U.S. Supreme Court decision” said Val Baertlein, Executive Director of the Catholic Defense League. 

“Although this ruling addressed the for-profit company’s exemption, Catholics may be encouraged knowing that exemptions from the HHS’s mandate requiring complete and total funding of health insurance coverage under President Obama’s Affordable Care Act are now possible.”

Religious Liberty has long been recognized in America, not only as a God-given right, but one guaranteed under the Constitution. It was also spelled out in clear and unequivocal language in the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, (RFRA) which was passed almost unanimously by Congress in 1993. 

The RFRA was intended to prevent future legislation that would make it difficult for citizens to freely exercise their religious beliefs. According to the plaintiffs, this is exactly what the HHS mandate under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) attempted to do.

We are pleased that a majority of the Court recognized that the HHS mandate was a violation of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

“Still, a 5-4 decision is a very close call,” according to Baertlein, “given the significance of our religious liberty, America’s first freedom. Catholics and all citizens who respect religious freedom should be grateful for the reprieve given by this ruling. But they should not rest easy.”

“This ‘win’ is just as much a warning,” said Baertlein. “For Catholics especially, it is a stark reminder of the importance of having the voice of Catholic laity in the public square, which includes the legislative arena. The Catechism of the Catholic Church calls for Catholics to ‘help … in the formation and diffusion of sound public opinion.’ “

The Catholic Defense League especially appreciates the courage and commitment of those who stepped up, stood up, and fought for religious freedom during lawmaking and after the Affordable Care Act was signed into law.
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February 21, 2018

What part of ‘YES’ does Jeff Anderson not understand?


CONTACT: Marlene Reid 651-788-9138

What part of “YES” do Attorney Jeff Anderson and his media henchmen not understand?

In reading the deposition Attorney Jeff Anderson conducted with Archbishop Robert Carlson of St. Louis regarding clergy sexual abuse cases while Archbishop Carlson was in the Twin Cities, it is apparent that there is a blatant discrepancy between Carlson’s actual answers to the questions and the results reported in the media,” charges Marlene Reid, board member of the Catholic Defense League.

Reid continues, “The Anderson legal team so distorted and misrepresented Carlson’s answers that they would have the public believe that Archbishop Carlson is naïve and so unaware of the severity of the sexual abuse problem, that he doesn’t even know it is illegal for priests to have sex with children. Archbishop Carlson’s reply of “YES” and “CORRECT” to direct inquiry regarding his understanding of the law was unequivocal. Any middle-school student reading the communication exchange in the deposition would never reach the erroneous conclusion that has been publicized. So, it becomes pretty obvious that the real reason for all this repetitious digging, grand-standing, and attention-seeking is not to get to the truth, but to further smear and discredit the Catholic Church and our priests, unscrupulously using any tactics it takes.”

“It isn’t as though Jeff Anderson hasn’t deposed Archbishop Carlson in the past,” explained Reid. “In fact, this 5/23/14 occasion was one of four. During the May 23rd deposition, Anderson had access to memos written by Carlson as far back as 30 years, and testimony he gave in court in 1990. Carlson was not provided any of these documents for review prior to the deposition, yet he was maligned for not remembering exact details of communications and circumstances of events at that time.”

“Perhaps it is time,” concludes Reid that the ‘tables get turned.’ It would seem that Archbishop Carlson has grounds for a lawsuit since he has been unmercifully and intentionally slandered, and his good reputation has been impugned.”

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February 21, 2018

Prosecutors “Troubled” That Archdiocese Obeyed the Law?

CONTACT: David Strom 651-503-7443

Prosecutors “Troubled” That Archdiocese Obeyed the Law?

The Catholic Church did the right thing, but still gets criticized.

St. Paul, MN—The Ramsey County Prosecutor’s office has an odd standard when it comes to portraying the Catholic Church when it demonstrably did the right thing and obeyed the law.

Rather than praising them, or even simply acknowledging their innocence of wrongdoing, the office says: “we cannot prove beyond a reasonable doubt” that the Church violated the law or committed any wrongdoing.

In normal parlance, that is called “innocence.” But in today’s environment, it’s an opportunity to call a press conference calling on more people to accuse the Church of wrongdoing.

“The Church has made serious mistakes in the past handling abuse cases, and has acknowledged that. Now, when it is doing exactly the right thing the authorities make vague accusations that they are ‘troubled’ by actions that they won’t specify, and refuse to acknowledge that the Church is acting properly,” said David Strom, Spokesman for the Catholic Defense League.

“Prosecutors and police are supposed to go after wrongdoers, not make vague accusations in a press conference where they are forced to acknowledge the innocence of their target,” Strom said.

“Not only are people innocent until proven guilty in America, they shouldn’t be persecuted when actually found innocent.

“Nobody wants offending priests out of the Church more than the Catholic laity; but we won’t stand by as the innocent are slandered for political purposes,” Strom concluded.

The Catholic Defense League of Minnesota was formed in 1976. It is dedicated to protecting religious and civil rights.

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