WASHINGTON, D.C., February 11, 2010 (LifeSiteNews.com) – A petition was launched on Wednesday, which asks the U.S. bishops to suspend Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD) grants. The petition is sponsored by American Life League, Human Life International, Catholic Advocate, Bellarmine Veritas Ministry and Real Catholic TV, members of the Reform CCHD Now coalition (RCN).
The effort comes after repeated calls over the past three months for explanations from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) in response to the discovery that CCHD money is being used to support organizations that promote abortion and same-sex “marriage.”
American Catholics are asked to sign the following at http://www.reformcchdnow.com/:
To ensure no more Catholic dollars are spent to support organizations advocating abortion or same-sex marriage, I respectfully request the bishops suspend all national CCHD grants until the grants process has been reformed.
“Transparency and responsible stewardship of the money donated by hard-working American Catholics to further the mission of the Church should be a top priority for those in positions of authority at the Bishops’ Conference,” said Matt Smith, Vice President of Catholic Advocate.
A copy of the petition will be presented to several bishops, including: Bishop William Murphy, Chairman of the USCCB Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, Bishop Roger, Chairman of the USCCB Subcommittee on the CCHD, Bishop Kevin Farrell, Chairman of the USCCB Committee on National Collections, Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, Chairman of the USCCB Committee on Pro-Life Activities, and Archbishop Joseph Kurtz, Chairman of the USCCB Ad Hoc Committee for the Defense of Marriage
CCHD donations are traditionally collected the weekend before Thanksgiving each year as one of the thirteen funds of the USCCB’s National Collections program. Donations average between $7 – 9 million annually.
Below is a summary of the developments that have taken place since information on CCHD grant recipients was first reported in August 2009 by the Bellarmine Veritas Ministry:
- In October 2009, Human Life International, American Life League and the Bellarmine Veritas Ministry formed the Reform CCHD Now coalition. Twenty-one organizations are now members of the coalition.
- On Oct. 2 Bishop Morin announced that CCHD grantee groups Young Workers United and the Chinese Progressive Association had been defunded in response to the reports.
- In November 2009 the Reform CCHD Now coalition revealed the CCHD was supporting 31 organizations which are members of a radically pro-abortion, pro same-sex “marriage” organization.
- Also in November 2009 another detailed report was issued by American Life League and Bellarmine Veritas Ministry implicating numerous other CCHD grantees, including the San Francisco Organizing Project, Preble Street, Voces De La Frontera, and the partners of Mobilize the Immigrant Vote and the California Partnership, among many others.
- By Nov. 30, 2009 six bishops had decided to discontinue the CCHD collection.
- On Monday, Feb. 1 American Life League and the Bellarmine Veritas Ministry released further information on CCHD ties to the pro-abortion, pro-same-sex “marriage” Center for Community Change (CCC). Two top USCCB executives involved with the CCHD have served on the board of the CCC, one of which continues to serve on the board while acting as a “lay consultant” to CCHD.
- On Tuesday, February 2, 2010, RealCatholicTV.com released video evidence that, within hours of the initial story breaking, the USCCB and Center for Community Change each removed any reference to the other organization from their respective websites.
- On Tuesday, Feb. 2 Catholic Advocate called upon the Catholic Campaign for Human Development to suspend its grants pending “a complete review of its awards process.”
- The Reform CCHD Now Coalition says that the USCCB has yet to adequately respond to any of the charges since Bishop Morin’s Oct. 2 memorandum, but has instead attempted to reframe the reports as a personal attack against USCCB employees.
"We remain hopeful these issues will be addressed, potentially leading to a renewal of the CCHD, and making it an organization that is a source of unity rather than division in the Church," said Human Life International's Stephen Phelan.
Phelan added, "We respectfully ask the episcopal leadership of the USCCB to consider the petition in good faith."
See the petition here: Reform CCHD Now!
Bishop William Murphy, Chairman of the Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development
Diocese of Rockville Centre
50 North Park Ave. (PO Box 9023)
Rockville Centre, NY 11571-9023
Phone: 516-678-5800 ext. 400
Bishop Roger Morin, Chairman of the Subcommittee on the Catholic Campaign for Human Development
Diocese of Biloxi
1790 Popps Ferry Rd.
Biloxi, MS 39532
Bishop Kevin Farrell, Chairman of the USCCB Committee on National Collection
Diocese of Dallas
3725 Blackburn St.
Dallas, Texas 75219
Fax: 214-528-0287 / 214-379-3216
Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, Chairman of the USCCB Committee on Pro-Life Activities
Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston
1700 San Jacinto
Houston, Texas 77001-0907
Archbishop Joseph Kurtz, Chairman of the USCCB Ad Hoc Committee for the Defense of Marriage
Diocese of Louisville
PO Box 1073
Louisville, KY 40201-1073
Phone: (502) 585-3291
Fax: (502) 585-2466
See related LifeSiteNews.com coverage:
Bishop Vasa Cautiously Concerned Over USCCB Membership in Pro-Abortion Coalition
CCHD Scandal Picks Up Steam as Bishops React
U.S. Bishops' Media Director Who Exonerated Exec Admits to Not Reading Key Report
U.S. Bishops' Exec Responds to Charges of Cooperation with Pro-Abortion, Homosexualist Group
CCHD, San Fran Archdiocse Supported Abortion-Funding Health Plan
San Francisco Archdiocese Reinvestigates, Approves Pro-Abortion CCHD Grantee
Sixth Bishop Didn't Take Up CCHD Collection
Three More Bishops Look for CCHD Reform
Bishop Bruskewitz on CCHD: Bishop Morin Was a "Bit Too Dismissive" of Concerns
$1.3 Million in CCHD Funds Going to Questionable Groups: Reform Coalition
CCHD Head Calls Critics "Outrageous," but Makes Vague Admission of Need for Reform
CCHD Responds to Reform Movement
Coalition of Catholic Groups Calls for Massive Reform of U.S. Bishops' Social Justice Arm
New Evidence Contradicts CCHD's Findings on Accused Pro-Abortion Partner
USCCB's Social Justice Arm Caught Funding Pro-Abortion/Prostitution Groups: Takes "Decisive" Action in Response