Ford Foundation Stops Funding Anti-Semitism; Continues To Fund Anti-Catholicism

NEW YORK, November 20, 2003 ( - The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) has announced that it has successfully persuaded the Ford Foundation to stop funding anti-Semitic organizations.  The Ford Foundation had sponsored many of the most vile anti-Jewish groups that had assembled at the 2001 World Conference Against Racism in Durban, South Africa.  Now Ford Foundation President Susan V. Berresford has agreed to develop “a series of measures to ensure that no future grants would go to organizations that in any way support terrorism, bigotry, or the delegitimization of Israel.”  Catholic League president William Donohue commented on the move saying, “Congratulations to the ADL.  There is no legitimate role in a democratic society for tax-exempt foundations to fund bigotry.  Unfortunately, the Ford Foundation’s record in this area is still not clean.”  Donohue points out that “The Ford Foundation is the largest single donor in the U.S. to one of the nation’s most virulently anti-Catholic organizations, Catholics for a Free Choice (CFFC).  The CFFC is not a critic of the Catholic Church-it is its expressed enemy.  For years it has worked to trash the teachings of the Catholic Church, mock the pope, and oust the Vatican from the U.N.”  Pointedly, Donohue says, “Ford Foundation President Susan Berresford says she is opposed to funding anti-Semitic bigotry and the delegitimization of Israel.  Yet under her tutelage, munificent grants are awarded annually to an organization that promotes anti-Catholic bigotry and the delegitimization of the Vatican nation-state.”  Berresford cannot claim ignorance of the fact that her foundation funds anti-Catholic activities since in addition to Vatican and US Bishops Conference statements denouncing CFFC she was personally contacted on the matter.  Donohue wrote to Berresford when she was appointed president of the foundation in 1996 over the concerns about the funding of anti-Catholic groups. However, Donohue says, “she made it clear that the Ford Foundation was quite comfortable with the status quo.”  Donohue concludes, “In short, despite its recent pledge to stop funding anti-Semitism, the Ford Foundation continues to underwrite anti-Catholicism at an alarming rate.  Its ties to bigotry, then, continue to mar its reputation.”

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