By Patrick B. Craine
WASHINGTON, D.C., February 2, 2010 (LifeSiteNews.com) - The media director for the U.S. Bishops (USCCB), who exonerated the USCCB's top social justice executive yesterday after it was revealed that he was closely tied to a pro-abortion and homosexualist organization, has now admitted to LifeSiteNews that she did not even read one of the two key reports.
Two reports released yesterday, one by American Life League (ALL) and another by the Bellarmine Veritas Ministry (BVM), revealed that the Center for Community Change (CCC), with 31 CCHD grantees among its members, is heavily involved in promoting homosexual and abortion "rights".
The ALL report also showed that John Carr, the USCCB's chief advisor on social justice for the last two decades, who oversees the controversial Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD), has been closely associated with CCC since the early 1980s, and has served as chair of CCC's board while with the USCCB.
Carr's response to the reports was published yesterday by Our Sunday Visitor, and LifeSiteNews published ALL and BVM's responses to him today.
Sr. Mary Ann Walsh, the USCCB's media director, told Our Sunday Visitor yesterday that the pro-abortion and homosexualist "activities highlighted in the ALL e-mail campaign took place long after" Carr had left the CCC board. Carr says he left in February of 2005.
Today, Sr. Walsh explained to LifeSiteNews that, in making this comment, she "was particularly thinking of" CCC's membership in a Stop Stupak coalition, which is fighting the amendment in the House health care bill that maintains the ban on federal funding of abortion. She noted that CCC's membership in this coalition clearly happened after Carr had left the board. Asked if there may have been other questionable activities occurring while he was on the board, she stated, "No."
But, after further questioning, Sr. Walsh admitted that she had not read BVM's latest report on CCC, the very report containing the primary evidence implicating CCC in these questionable activities.
When asked about whether CCHD will continue funding the 31 grantees who are members of CCC, she stated, "the only thing I ever knew about CCC was they were for affordable housing, employment - that was their emphasis. This whole talk of abortion, and gay and lesbian rights is something rather new."
Then LSN pointed out the new BVM report, which highlights these questionable aspects of CCC's work. Asked if she had seen it, she replied, "No, I haven't looked at their latest report. No."
In ALL's report, author Michael Hichborn notes that "the most peculiar aspect of this investigation ... is the mysterious omission of Carr's membership and chairmanship of the CCC's board on his USCCB bio." He cites numerous sources which include "nearly word-for-word copies of [Carr's] USCCB bio," except that they include a reference to his work for CCC.
"The omission is odd and, given the new information, quite suspicious," writes Hichborn.
Sr. Walsh could not explain the difference in biography, but offered a couple of possible explanations. "I think he just keeps his bio up to date, his current bio," she offered. "I think what goes into a bio very often is, you know, what there's space for," she suggested as well.
One key aspect of the reports was that the CCHD was promoting the CCC on their USCCB website. "Lend your support to organizations that work with people in poverty to bring about positive changes at the state and federal level," CCHD wrote. "One such group is the Center for Community Change, which helps low income people build effective organizations that can change their communities and public policies."
The second sentence was deleted from the website yesterday after the reports were released. Sr. Walsh explained that this line is "being reviewed in light of the accusations, so that they can investigate them."
She indicated further that the CCHD will be investigating CCC in regards to the 31 grantees that are CCC members. "They'll be investigating whether the accusations are true," she said, "but secondly, they are looking into, regarding the grantees, what is the meaning of partnership. ... That's a very loose term with some organizations."
See related LifeSiteNews.com coverage:
U.S. Bishops' Exec Responds to Charges of Cooperation with Pro-Abortion, Homosexualist Group