Patrick Craine

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CCHD grants still going to pro-abortion, anti-family groups, says coalition of Catholic leaders

Patrick Craine
Patrick Craine

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.

Find Reform CCHD Now’s full report on CCHD’s problematic grantees.

“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.

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Lisa Bourne

‘You can’t have’ marriage equality ‘without polygamy’

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By Lisa Bourne

July 3, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) – Motivated by the U.S. Supreme Court ruling legalizing homosexual “marriage,” a Montana polygamist has filed for a second marriage license, so he can be legally wed to two women at once.

"It's about marriage equality," said Nathan Collier, using homosexual advocates’ term to support marriage redefinition. "You can't have this without polygamy."

Collier, who has has appeared on the TLC reality show Sister Wives with his legal wife Victoria, and his second wife Christine, said he was inspired by the dissent in the Supreme Court decision.

The minority Supreme Court justices said in Friday’s ruling it would open the door to both polygamy and religious persecution.

“It is striking how much of the majority’s reasoning would apply with equal force to the claim of a fundamental right to plural marriage,” wrote Chief Justice John Roberts.

Collier and his wives applied for a second marriage license earlier this week at the Yellowstone County Courthouse in Billings, a report from the Salt Lake Tribune said.

Collier, who was excommunicated from the Mormon Church for polygamy, married Victoria in 2000 and had a religious wedding ceremony with Christine in 2007. The three have seven children between them and from previous relationships.

"My second wife Christine, who I'm not legally married to, she's put up with my crap for a lot of years. She deserves legitimacy," Collier said.

Yellowstone County officials initially denied the application before saying they would consult with the County Attorney and get him a final answer.

Click "like" if you want to defend true marriage.

Bigamy, the holding of multiple marriage licenses, is illegal all 50 states, but Collier plans to sue if his application is denied. Officials expect to have an answer for him next week.

While homosexual “marriage” supporters have long insisted legalization of same-sex unions would not lead to polygamy, pro-life and family advocates have warned all along it would be inevitable with the redefinition of marriage.

“The next court cases coming will push for polygamy, as Chief Justice John Roberts acknowledged in his dissent,” said Penny Nance, president of Concerned Women for America, after the Supreme Court ruling. “The chief justice said “the argument for polygamy is actually stronger than that for ‘gay marriage.’ It’s only a matter of time.”

In a piece from the Washington Times, LifeSiteNews Editor-in-Chief and the co-founder of Voice of the Family John-Henry Westen stated the move toward legal polygamy is “just the next step in unraveling how Americans view marriage.”

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Chris Christie: Clerks must perform same-sex ‘marriages’ regardless of their religious beliefs

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By Ben Johnson

TRENTON, NJ, July 3, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) – Chris Christie is not known for nuance. This time, he has turned his fiery personality loose on county clerks and other officials who have religious objections to performing same-sex “marriages.”

In a tone usually reserved for busting teachers' unions, Christie told clerks who hold traditional values, “You took the job, and you took the oath.” He would offer no exemption for an individual whose conscience would not allow him to participate in a union the vast majority of the world's religions deem sinful.

“When you go back and re-read the oath it doesn’t give you an out. You have to do it,” he said.

He told a reporter that there “might” be “individual circumstances” that “merit some examination, but none that come immediately to mind for me.”

“I think for folks who are in the government world, they kind of have to do their job, whether you agree with the law or you don’t,” the pugnacious governor said.

Since the Supreme Court voted 5-4 to legalize homosexual “marriage” last Friday, elected officials have grappled with how to safeguard the rights of those who have deeply held religious beliefs that would not allow them to participate in such a ceremony.

Christie's response differs markedly from other GOP hopefuls' responses to the Supreme Court ruling. Mike Huckabee, for instance, has specifically said that clerks should have conscience rights. Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal signed an executive order granting such rights and ordered clerks to wait until a pending court case was fully adjudicated before any clerk issues a marriage license to a homosexual couple.

Christie gave up a legal appeal after a superior court judge struck down his state's voter-approved constitutional marriage protection amendment. New Jersey is the only state where such a low court overturned the will of the voters.

The decision to ignore conscience rights adds to the growing number of Christie's positions that give conservatives pause.

The natural locus of support for a Christie 2016 presidential run is the Republican's socially liberal donor class, for personal as well as political reasons. His wife works on Wall Street, and some of the GOP's high-dollar donors – including Paul Singer – have courted Christie for years.

However, this year Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio, and to a lesser degree Scott Walker have eclipsed Christie as the preferred candidates of the boardroom donors – who sometimes prefer Democrats to Republicans.

Christie also used language during a speech before the Republican Jewish Coalition last year, which concerned some major GOP donors.

Christie is reportedly spending this weekend with Mitt Romney and his family at Romney's New Hampshire home. Romney declined to enter the 2016 race himself and may be able to open his donor list to Christie's struggling campaign.

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After having a girl with Down syndrome, this couple adopted two more

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By Ben Johnson

LINO LAKE, MN, July 3, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) – For most people, having five biological children would have been enough. In fact, for many Americans, large families are treated as a scandal or a burden.

But one family made the decision, not just to have a large family, but to give a home to some of the most vulnerable children in the world: Girls born overseas with Down syndrome.

Lee and Karen Shervheim love all seven of their children, biological or otherwise. Undeterred by having twin boys – Daniel and Andrew, 18 – they had Sam four years later.

They now have three daughters who are all 11 years old. All three have Down syndrome.

And two of them are adopted.

About the time their eight-year-old son, David, was born, Lee and Karen decided to adopt a child with Down syndrome to be a companion to their daughter, Annie.

They made the further unexpected choice to adopt a child from Eastern Europe with the help of Reece's Rainbow, which helps parents adopt children with Down syndrome.

“Between my wife and I, we couldn’t get it out of our heads,” Lee told the Quad City Press. “So many children need families and we knew we could potentially do something about it.”

After originally deciding to adopt Katie, they spent six weeks in Kiev, visiting an orphanage in nearby Kharkov. While there, they decided they may have room in their heart, and their home, for another child.

When they saw a picture of Emie striking the same pose as their biological daughter in one of their photographs, they knew they would come home with two children.

Both girls were the same age as their Annie. She would not lack for companionship, as they worried.

Lee said after the Ukrainian government – finally – completed the paperwork, they returned to the United States, when the real challenges began.

“The unvarnished truth,” Lee told the Press, is that adopting the Russian-speaking special needs children “was really disruptive to our family. They came with so many issues that we had not anticipated.”

After teaching them sign language and appropriate behavior, they moved to Lino Lake, Minnesota and found a new support group in Eagle Brook Church. There they found personal assistance and spiritual solace.

Every year in the past seven years has been better and better, they say.

“I think my girls can do almost anything they want to do,” he said, “and that’s what I want to help them become.”

The family's devotion is fueled by their faith, and it informs the sense of humor Lee showed in a tweet during the 2014 midterm elections:

It takes a special person to believe in the potential of the “mentally retarded,” as they were once labeled. Today, 90 percent of all babies diagnosed with Down syndrome in the womb will be aborted. The percentage is higher in some countries. Some have even spoken of "a world without people with Down syndrome."

Their God, and their experience, tell them that every child has infinite worth and potential, Lee told local media, and he would encourage anyone to follow his footsteps and adopt a Down syndrome child – or two.

“The message is that it really doesn’t matter where you started or where you came from,” Lee said. “There are endless opportunities for everyone, whether they have disabilities or not. They deserve a shot.”

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