Co-authored with Patrick Craine

WASHINGTON, D.C., December 10, 2012 ( – A coalition of Catholic organizations is charging that one of the largest recipient of funds from the U.S. Bishops’ domestic anti-poverty program lied to the bishops about its activities to keep the Catholic money flowing.


The Gamaliel Foundation, which received $799,500 in grants last year from the Catholic Campaign for Human Development through 21 local affiliates, was a founding member of a coalition called the Fair Immigration Reform Movement (FIRM) that advocates for legal recognition of same-sex “families.”

But CCHD guidelines stipulate that grantees may not join coalitions that advocate against Catholic teaching “as part of their organizational purpose or coalition agenda.”

CCHD leaders questioned Gamaliel on the problematic relationship after it was discovered by the Reform CCHD Now Coalition (RCN). The Gamaliel Foundation informed the Catholic agency that it had “severed ties” with FIRM in 2010. As a result, CCHD continued the grants.

But the RCN Coalition says Gamaliel is lying. They found information on Gamaliel’s own website indicating that Gamaliel was elevated to FIRM’s executive committee in December 2011. The relevant pages from their website were put under password protection after the issue arose, but RCN has posted screenshots on their website.

LifeSiteNews spoke on the phone briefly with Gamaliel’s executive director, Ana Garcia-Ashley, who asked that questions be sent by e-mail. But after several e-mails she has failed to respond.

LifeSiteNews also contacted officials with the Catholic Campaign for Human Development and the Gamaliel Foundation at both the national and local levels for comment, with no response.

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Michael Hichborn, a spokesman for the RCN Coalition, said “it’s not surprising that Gamaliel and CCHD would choose not to issue a comment on this, given the long-standing, tight relationship these two organizations have enjoyed for the past 40 years.”

“But while it’s understandable that they would not want to acknowledge to the public that Gamaliel lied to the CCHD about its relationship with FIRM, the question that remains is ‘will CCHD let Gamaliel get away with lying to them?”

On top of Gamaliel’s connection to FIRM, it is also a dues-paying member of the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy (NCRP), which actively promotes abortion and same-sex “marriage,” and encourages philanthropic organizations to give grants to such organizations. Ana Garcia-Ashley sits on NCRP’s board.

Gamaliel gained national attention when its former employee, President Barack Obama made his first presidential bid.  The president worked as a community organizer with Gamaliel during the 1980’s. 

The foundation and President Obama’s ties to the CCHD go back just as far, with Gamaliel having received reimbursement from the CCHD for the pro-abortion Obama’s community organizing training in Los Angeles in 1986.

RCN member American Life League produced a video titled, “