Monday September 20, 2010

Newspaper Livid over Losing CCHD Funding – for Referring Planned Parenthood

By Peter J. Smith

WASHINGTON, D.C., September 20, 2010 ( – Street Roots, a Portland-based non-profit newspaper dedicated to serving the homeless and the poor, has expressed outrage that it is losing the support of the Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD), because it referred people to Planned Parenthood in the health care section of its “Street Root’ Rose City Resource” booklet.

“The message from CCHD managers at the Portland Archdiocese, although supportive of the booklet’s overall mission, was made clear in terms of funding: If Planned Parenthood remained in the booklet, CCHD, in keeping with Catholic teaching, could no longer fund Street Roots, the publisher of the Rose City Resource guide,” wrote Street Roots Managing Editor editor Joanne Zuhl in a 5,000 word report on the situation.

Apparently, the archdiocese had contacted Street Roots back in the spring over a page 25 listing for Planned Parenthood on the resource guide, which described some of the basic contraceptive services the abortion giant seeks to offer to those in poverty seeking health care.

After discussions, Street Roots decided to opt to keep the listing and reject CCHD’s grants.

However, in an editorial posted on Street Roots’ blog, they decried the move, saying that “being defunded ($5-10k annually) by the Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD) … is a shot to the heart.” They then accused the CCHD of harming “our entire community that is working to end homelessness.”

“Knowing the paramount importance of health care for people in poverty, particularly for young women, we have an obligation to note the tremendous resources of Planned Parenthood, and a host of other health organizations, working with people on our streets. And we’re proud to do so,” the editorial continued.

Zuhl wrote that the reason Street Roots and other anti-poverty organizations have lost funding due to being at odds with Catholic teaching was due to a coalition of “Catholic conservative groups that via the prolific capacity of the internet” have called for the defunding of such organizations and even the “radical overhaul” or “disbandment” of CCHD.

Street Roots Executive Director Israel Bayer called the Catholic reform movement a “witch hunt born out of fear and intolerance.”

CCHD has been embroiled in controversy over its funding practices since September, when the Texas-based Bellarmine Veritas Ministries (BVM) began releasing reports with evidence that numerous CCHD grantees are involved in promoting abortion, same-sex “marriage” and contraception, among other things. The movement to reform CCHD by Catholic groups gathered momentum, with other groups, such as Human Life International, and American Life League, joining in the fight. At least 10 bishops have suspended November collections for CCHD until the national organization undergoes real meaningful reform.

However, a number of diocesan CCHD branches, like the Portland Archdiocese, are taking reform to heart and keeping on eye on what causes the money of faithful Catholics is going to support.

In Chicago, reform of the CCHD office there has led the organization to focus on aiding mothers in crisis pregnancies and the centers that serve their needs. Through the efforts of Chicago CCHD director Rey Flores, one crisis pregnancy center will soon upgrade to a 4-D ultrasound machine, allowing mothers to see a highly detailed, live-action, three dimensional images of their living unborn children.

See related coverage by

Pro-Life Groups Praise ‘Real Reform’ at Chicago CCHD

US Bishops Prepare to Consider CCHD’s Future

Michigan Bishop Withholds CCHD Funds

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