WASHINGTON, D.C., January 28, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) – After it was revealed that the director of the U.S. bishops’ social justice arm had been a campaign member of a pro-abortion state senate candidate, the director has responded by saying that he never knew the candidate’s position and that his role in the campaign was minimal.
News of CCHD director Ralph McCloud’s role as treasurer of Democrat Texas state senator Wendy Davis broke last week on the Creative Minority Report blog. Davis, strongly backed by Planned Parenthood, defeated pro-life incumbent Kim Brimer in the 2008 election while McCloud, also CCHD director at the time, was part of the campaign.
CCHD has sustained heavy criticism from Catholic groups, led by the Reform CCHD Now coalition, after it was revealed that the organization has funded groups that promote abortion and other issues contrary to Catholic teaching, such as same-sex “marriage” and contraception.
CMR on Thursday evening published McCloud’s reply in which the director says the blog “wrongly asserted” McCloud’s situation and that he did not know the position of Davis, a friend and colleague, on the life issues.
“I was unaware that [Davis] subsequently took a position on abortion that conflicted with my own strong pro-life convictions,” stated McCloud. “We had never discussed or worked on issues related to protecting the unborn or abortion. At the time I gave my permission to serve the honorary role as treasurer, Ms. Davis had taken no position on abortion nor accepted any campaign funds.”
McCloud said that the position he assumed in the campaign in August 2007 “is an honorary designation with no formal responsibilities or duties” and that he did not actively participate in the 2008 campaign. McCloud also says that he forgot to formally resign as the treasurer after moving to Washington, DC to assume duties as CCHD director, and has since asked to be removed from the treasurer position.
“I am deeply and consistently pro-life, beginning with protecting the lives of unborn children, the most vulnerable in our midst,” stated McCloud. “More importantly, CCHD is fully and completely committed to upholding the teaching of the Catholic Church on the life and dignity of all.”
CMR’s Patrick Archbold expressed dissatisfaction with McCloud’s response. “So in essence we got the whole story wrong because even though McCloud and Davis were co-workers and such BFF’s that she asked him to vouch for her by being treasurer, the topic of abortion never came up and he never thought to ask,” he wrote.
Deal Hudson of Inside Catholic said McCloud failed to explain why, even if his position was merely honorary, he would allow his name to endorse a candidate whose position on a core issue was unknown. “As someone who has been involved in politics and campaigns for quite a while, I am acutely aware of a candidate’s position on abortion, especially if I am involved with them in any way,” said Hudson. “Thus, I find it very puzzling that McCloud knew nothing about the position of Wendy Davis on abortion when he knew her for many years and signed on to be her campaign treasurer.”