Several American Catholic social agencies have declined to respond to a report they are giving $35,000 to a left-wing group in the Bronx that promotes both Marxist and “gay” agendas.
The suspect grantee is the awkwardly named Northwest Bronx Community and Clergy Coalition (NWBCCC). The whistle-blower is Michael Hichborn of the Lepanto Institute, who says this is just the tip of an iceberg. The key donor is the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Catholic Campaign for Human Development and the Archdiocese of New York’s Catholic Charities.
“Every year,” Hichborn told LifeSiteNews, “the Catholic Campaign for Human Development denies it funds organizations acting against Catholic teaching, and every year they get caught doing just that. Perhaps it isn’t their screening process that’s broken, but their understanding of Catholic moral teaching.”
When Hichborn, then with American Life League in 2012, raised the issue of an earlier CCHD grant to NWBCCC, the only response came from the director of Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of New York, Monsignor Kevin Sullivan, so he figures the local Catholic organization approved the grantee and the bishops’ organization came up with the grant. So this time he alerted the New York and national Catholic groups. He received no response. Nor did LifeSiteNews.
Sullivan said in 2012 that NWBCCC would not receive funding, though he did not specify the reason. “After the most recent review of their CCHD grant request, prior to your letter, the NWBCCC was not recommended for funding, and will not be receiving money from the Catholic Campaign for Human Development,” he explained.
The NWCCC, according to Hichborn, “launched its own gay-straight alliance in 2014, participated in a homosexuality activism coordination event in 2013, and its director of operations signed a letter supporting same-sex marriage.”
Three staffers at the NWCCC have all declined to respond to telephone requests for interviews.
Moreover, so have media relations officers for Catholic Charities of the New York Archdiocese and the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.
The CCHD website does have harsh words for “organized pressure groups and their peers, like the American Life League (ALL)” who subject it to “exploitative scrutiny.”
“ALL continue[s] to recycle allegations that CCHD funds many organizations that are in conflict with Catholic teaching,” it adds. “The (ALL) simply do not agree with CCHD's mission and how we apply our guidelines and requirements.”
The CCHD raises nearly $10 million in parish donations annually and spends the same on its ambitious mission to end poverty in the U.S., with grants to 9,000 grassroots activist agencies, many independent of the Catholic Church.
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Nonetheless, insists its website, “CCHD requires of each grantee the highest standards of accountability and conformity with the moral teaching of the Catholic Church. If a group commits offenses against Catholic moral teaching, or undermines the Church's defense of the unborn or her promotion of the family, a grant qualification is rescinded.”
What then of the NWBCCC? In March 2014 it was staging a seminar at Fordham University called “LGBTQ Activism 101,” according to a report by the Cardinal Newman Society (although it must be said that it is clear from the rest CNS’s report that there was little the Bronx organization could teach the Jesuit-trained Fordhamites about homosexual activism.) And on August 14, the NWBCCC’s youth organization, Sistas and Brothas United (SBU), launched a gay straight alliance via Facebook.
Lepanto has to dig deeper into the organization’s history for more evidence. It notes that former SBU director Shaun Lin got so excited by the Arab Spring that he tweeted: “The past few months of organizing have led us up to this point. Our moment is finally here. Revolution is happening all over the world. … It’s our duty to bring the struggle to New York City.”
As well, Lepanto notes that both Lin and his successor as head of SBU, Fernando Carlo, participated in the “communist-run” Left Forum. Carlo did not return LifeSiteNews’ calls.
Hichborn calls it a “sad fact” that communism has promoted homosexuality as a way to undermine America, and a tragedy that “communists are using the Catholic Church in order to fund their goals.”