$1.3 Million in CCHD Funds Going to Questionable Groups: Reform Coalition
By Patrick B. Craine
WASHINGTON, D.C., November 23, 2009 (LifeSiteNews.com) - The Reform CCHD Now coalition (RCN) has announced that $1.3 million is being allocated to grantees of the Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD) who have either actively promoted views that are contrary to Catholic teaching themselves, or are closely connected with groups that do, following new evidence released last Friday implicating 31 funded groups.
The annual second collection for the CCHD, which is the U.S. Bishops' domestic anti-poverty arm, was taken up yesterday at parishes across the country. In response to a large body of evidence revealed by RCN members in the last three months that numerous CCHD grantees advocate positions contrary to Catholic teaching, including abortion, contraception, and same-sex "marriage," at least four bishops opted not to contribute to the national CCHD campaign.
RCN's latest report shows that 31 CCHD grantees are listed as partners to an organization called the Center for Community Change (CCC), which RCN describes as "a politically radical, anti-life, pro-homosexualist organization." They further note that CCC's board includes Heather Booth, a former consultant for the National Organization for Women and Sara Gould, President and CEO of the pro-abortion Ms. Foundation for Women.
Stephen Phelan, communications manager for Human Life International, and RCN spokesman, cautioned that the pro-life coalition does not know whether the CCHD partners specifically signed on to the pro-abortion or homosexualist aspects of CCC, but, he said, they have joined the radical organization without distancing themselves from these aspects.
"They certainly didn't separate themselves in any way from those things," he told LifeSiteNews.com (LSN). "They're listed not as just specific project partners on the website, [but] ... as partners overall, so there's a difference. It's not mere guilt by association like there was a picture taken of them at some rally for justice and they're standing next to these people. They've signed up, and they're paying dues to this group, and they're not saying that they don't agree with those positions."
CCC aims to support and train their partners, presumably including the CCHD grantees. As their mission statement explains, the organization "strengthens, connects and mobilizes grassroots groups to enhance their leadership, voice and power."
RCN explains that through a project CCC calls "Generation Change," they train and develop staff as "community organizers" for their partner groups. The project aims to build a "progressive movement" with a "coherent, compelling, shared vision - one that represents our values and dreams for society" according to the group.
Besides CCC's board members, there is significant evidence that their "progressive" vision includes abortion and homosexual "rights." They provide a resource library with books promoting "reproductive freedom," for example, and their "Movement Vision Lab" equates access to abortion and "reproductive justice" with seeking criminal justice. On October 10th, they welcomed a training seminar for homosexual groups on their premises, and they collaborated in developing a tool kit which is supportive of the homosexual lifestyle.
"The connection is undeniable," commented Michael Hichborn, the lead researcher into CCHD at American Life League, an RCN member. "There is no excuse for Catholic donations going towards organizations trained and supported by groups diametrically opposed to the Church. Until CCHD proves grantees do not affiliate with those who attack Church teaching, CCHD should not receive a single dime."
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