Tuesday February 2, 2010

U.S. Bishops’ Exec Responds to Charges of Cooperation with Pro-Abortion, Homosexualist Group

By Patrick B. Craine

WASHINGTON, D.C., February 2, 2010 ( – John Carr, the U.S. Bishops’ (USCCB) chief advisor on social justice for the last two decades, and who oversees the controversial Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD), has responded to two reports filed yesterday by members of the Reform CCHD Now coalition (RCN).

These reports revealed the homosexualism and abortion activism of the Center for Community Change (CCC), and the fact that Carr has been long associated with them, even serving as chair of the board while working for the USCCB.

CCC says it “strengthens, connects and mobilizes grassroots groups to enhance their leadership, voice and power.” In a previous November report, Michael Hichborn of American Life League (ALL), an RCN member, published evidence that 31 CCHD grantees are among these “grassroots groups.”

Rob Gasper of the Bellarmine Veritas Ministry (BVM), another RCN member, issued a follow-up report yesterday, explaining that further investigation of CCC was necessary because “CCHD has not responded publicly or privately to the [initial] allegations.”

Gasper furnishes further evidence that homosexual and abortion “rights” are fundamental to CCC’s progressive vision. He shows, for example, that CCC has advocated for abortion funding in health care reform, which includes membership in a Stop Stupak coalition – a reference to the amendment in the House health care bill that maintained the federal ban on abortion funding. They’ve also received a $50,000 grant from the homosexualist Gill Foundation to develop leaders for the homosexualist movement.

Hichborn also issued a report yesterday, revealing that Carr, the executive director of the USCCB’s Department of Justice, Peace, and Human Development, has been associated with CCC since the early 1980s, and that he served on the CCC board from 1999-2006 (though the USCCB clarified that he left in 2005).

Carr responded to the reports yesterday afternoon, rebuffing ALL and BVM for not contacting him or CCHD before publishing, and maintaining that he “had no involvement in or knowledge of the actions alleged in the press release.”

“My experience with CCC was that it focused on poverty, housing and immigration and had no involvement in issues involving abortion and homosexuality,” he said. “When I served, the board never discussed or acted on any position involving these matters, and if they had, I would have vigorously opposed any advocacy for access to abortion or gay marriage.”

But Gasper told LSN that he had been in touch with Ralph McCloud, CCHD national director, in December about their CCC findings. McCloud told Gasper that he would get back to him, but Gaspar never heard back. Furthermore, Gasper told LSN that he, ALL, and Human Life International (HLI) had sought to meet with CCHD, but Carr told Gasper in November that he would not meet with ALL or HLI.

Additionally, RCN has produced evidence that CCC hired homosexual activist Sally Kohn in 2004 to be the director of their Movement Vision Lab, and Carr admits to serving on the CCC board until February 2005. From 1997-2000, Kohn held a fellowship with the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force. Still in 2004, in her position at CCC, Kohn published an article in which she decried opposition to homosexual “marriage.”

In an e-mail to LifeSiteNews, Rob Gasper insisted that he does not doubt Carr’s “pro-life credentials,” but said he was “disappointed to learn” that he had been a leader “with a group like the [CCC].”

“We must remember that the pattern of cooperation with the CCC involves more than John Carr’s past board membership,” he emphasized. He pointed out that former CCHD Associate Director of Programs Tom Chabolla joined CCC’s board shortly after Carr, and served “during the time period when CCC ramped up its anti-life activities.”

He indicated further the fact that Ralph McCloud participated in a forum co-hosted by CCC to celebrate the election of President Barack Obama. As seen on C-Span, McCloud lauded the election of vehemently pro-abortion Obama, calling it “a great day.” He also mentioned the 31 CCHD grantees who are still members of CCC, and the fact that the USCCB website called on Catholics to support CCC on its website until that reference was removed following yesterday’s reports.

“I cannot see how engaging with a group that holds such divergent fundamental principles of human dignity could help advance the legitimate social concerns of the Church without an unintended compromise of principles taking place,” he said.

In an ALL press release yesterday, Hichborn commented: “The closer we look at the Bishops Conference [staff and programs], the more we find a systemic pattern of cooperation with evil.”

Commenting today on Carr’s response to their report, Hichborn told LSN that Carr “completely missed the point.” “Our report was not about him, as he makes it out to be,” he continued. “It is about the chronic cooperation the USCCB has had with CCC over the years, and his chairmanship of the CCC board was just a piece of the bigger picture.”

Pointing out the same, above-mentioned, facts as Gasper, Hichborn said: “Given these facts, combined with the information from [BVM’s report], this is the pattern of cooperation I was referencing.”

LifeSiteNews contacted Carr yesterday, but he said he had no comment.

See yesterday’s two reports:

Revisiting the Center for Community Change

Sleeping with the Enemy: Conference of Catholic Bishops cooperation with pro-abortion organizations

Contact Information:

Bishop William Murphy, Chairman of the Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development
Diocese of Rockville Centre
50 North Park Ave. (PO Box 9023)
Rockville Centre, NY 11571-9023
Phone: 516-678-5800 ext. 400
Fax: 516-764-3316
E-mail: [email protected]

Bishop Roger Morin, Chairman of the Subcommittee on the Catholic Campaign for Human Development
Diocese of Biloxi
1790 Popps Ferry Rd.
Biloxi, MS
Phone: 228-702-2111
Fax: 228-702-2178

John Carr, Executive Director (Department of Justice, Peace, and Human Development)
3211 4th Street, N.E.
Washington, D.C.
Phone: 202-541-3181
E-mail: [email protected]

Ralph McCloud, Director (Catholic Campaign for Human Development)
3211 4th Street, N.E.
Washington, D.C.
Phone: 202-541-3367
E-mail: [email protected]

See related coverage:

$1.3 Million in CCHD Funds Going to Questionable Groups: Reform Coalition