WASHINGTON, D.C., Nov. 13, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) – The U.S. Bishops’ domestic anti-poverty arm still needs major reforms before Catholics can safely donate, says a coalition of 24 pro-life and Catholic organizations as the Catholic Campaign for Human Development’s national collection approaches Nov. 17-18.
“We cannot advance the Gospel of Life, bringing souls to God if we continue to fund the enemies of Christ,” says Michael Hichborn, a spokesman for the Reform CCHD Now Coalition (RCN).
In the summer, RCN released a comprehensive report profiling 74 current CCHD grantees who have advocated activities contrary to Catholic teaching. They say 38% of CCHD’s grant funds went to organizations that support abortion, contraception, homosexuality, or Marxism either directly or through memberships in coalitions.
“As a coalition, we are calling on all 74 grantees profiled in our report to return their grant money to the Catholic Church,” says Hichborn. “We ask Catholics all across the country to read the report, become informed, and inform their family, friends, pastors and bishops on where Catholic money is going.”
CCHD’s grant guidelines stipulate that “applicant organizations must not participate in or promote activities that contradict the moral and social teachings of the Catholic Church.”
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The guidelines also indicate that organizations are ineligible if they “knowingly participate in coalitions that have as part of their organizational purpose or coalition agenda, positions or actions that contradict fundamental Catholic moral and social teaching.”
Among the groups in the report, RCN has targeted Gamaliel, a national community organizing network that received $799,500 in grants last year through 21 local affiliates, such as JONAH in Lacrosse, Wisconsin and MOSES in Detroit, Michigan.
Gamaliel is a founding member and serves on the executive committee of the Fair Immigration Reform Movement (FIRM), which advocates for recognition of same-sex “families.” In March 2010, FIRM called for “LGBT inclusion in comprehensive immigration reform.” Gamaliel is also a dues-paying member of the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy (NCRP). Gamaliel’s president, Ana Garcia-Ashley, sits on the board for NCRP. According to RCN’s report, NCRP actively promotes abortion and same-sex marriage, and encourages philanthropic organizations to give grants to such organizations.
On Monday, Reform CCHD Now called on three other community organizing groups in Philadelphia to return their grants, claiming they had lied on the grant application by stating they did not promote activities contrary to Catholic moral teaching.
RCN researchers found that the Childspace Management Group had signed a public letter denouncing cuts to birth control programs, JUNTOS had produced an immigrant reference guide providing information on where to obtain contraceptive services, including local Planned Parenthood offices, and the Women’s Community Revitalization Project is intimately connected to the radically pro-abortion group Women’s Way and its executive director is a homosexual activist.
Last month, RCN called on Empower DC, a Washington-based community group, to return its $50,000 grant for also breaching its contract. Empower DC refused, however, claiming that the CCHD has not asked for its money back because Empower DC hasn’t violated the grant guidelines.
The coalition noted that Empower DC had published a series of blog posts promoting abortion and homosexuality, including one that lamented a budget deal that would ban funding for abortions. Another blog post endorsed a booklet called “Hey Grrrl!” that includes instructions about “car sex” and counsels girls engaged in prostitution to “wear sensible shoes.” Even though Empower DC has removed the blog post promoting “Hey Grrrl!,” stating that “it was taken down because we had not developed a policy about what is cross-posted,” remaining links on Empower DC’s website continue to promote abortion and homosexuality.
LifeSiteNews.com was unable to reach the Catholic Campaign for Human Development by press time.