Opinion
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NOTE: At the end of this article, the Lepanto Institute asks that you contact your bishop to demand that all members of Faith in Action be immediately and permanently banned from future funding from the CCHD.

October 14, 2020 (Lepanto Institute) — The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) through the Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD) are funding an organized and direct effort to elect former vice president Joe Biden as the next president of the United States. Faith in Action (formerly the PICO Network) is one of the most heavily funded organizations of the CCHD. The Faith In Action Network includes forty-nine organizations spread across twenty states. At least twenty-nine affiliates of Faith in Acton’s network receive funding from the CCHD, comprising more than $1.5 million in the 2019–2020 CCHD grants cycle. Each local affiliate of Faith in Action is a branch from the national organization, which means that every directive and action of the national organization is also the directive and action of the local groups as well. Those Faith in Action members receiving CCHD funds for 2019–2020 are:

Faith in Action Bay Area – $30,000
Faith in San Joaquin – $25,000
Inland Congregations United for Change – $75,000
LA Voice – $40,000
People Acting in Community Together – $25,000
Sacramento Area Congregations Together – $50,000
San Diego Organizing Project – $50,000
Together Colorado – $50,000
Faith in Florida – $40,000
Faith in Indiana – $40,000
The MICAH Project – $60,000
Brockton Interfaith Community – $65,000
Essex County Community Organization – $75,000
I Have a Future – $60,000
Massachusetts Communities Action Network – $65,000
Pioneer Valley Project – $75,000
United Interfaith Action of Southeastern Massachusetts – $50,000
Worcester Interfaith – $40,000
Michigan Faith in Action – $65,000
ACTIONN – $65,000
Granite State Organizing Project – $40,000
Faith in Essex County – $50,000
NM Comunidades en Acción y de Fe – $55,000
Alliance of Communities Transforming Society – $65,000
Faith in New York – $50,000
Niagara Organizing Alliance for Hope – $65,000
VOICE – Buffalo, Inc. – $65,000
Philadelphians Organized to Witness, Empower and Rebuild – $65,000
Vermont Interfaith Action – $60,000

In 2016, the CCHD awarded the National PICO Network a massive grant of $500,000, which means that Catholic funding has gone to both local members of Faith in Action as well as the national organization.

As will be shown from Faith in Action’s own website and social media feeds, Faith in Action is involved in a consistent and direct partisan push in favor of Joe Biden and against Donald Trump for the 2020 national election. Not only is this a direct violation of CCHD grant guidelines, but if left uncorrected it displays USCCB complicity with electioneering for an apostate Catholic who supports abortion through all 9-months of pregnancy, has performed two same-sex “marriages,” and is running on a campaign that promises persecution of faithful Catholics throughout the country.

CCHD grant guidelines clearly state that partisan activities are strictly forbidden by CCHD and IRS guidelines:

Both the teachings of the Catholic Church and the regulations of the U.S. Internal Revenue Service prohibit CCHD from engaging in or supporting partisan political activities. Additionally, under the Internal Revenue Code, all section 501(c)(3) organizations absolutely are prohibited from directly or indirectly participating in, or intervening in, any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for elective public office.

As suchany organization involved in partisan political activities is ineligible for CCHD funding. Non-partisan voter registration efforts undertaken by applicant groups facilitate civic participation in democracy and are supported by the Church. At the same time, howeverany effort that seeks to register voters for one political party over another constitutes partisan political activity. Any group involved in such partisan political activity would be ineligible for funding. [emphasis added]

In addition to this guideline, the CCHD forbids funding to organizations that are members of coalitions which violate Catholic moral teaching:

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PETITION: Urge Catholic bishops to refuse Holy Communion to pro-abortion Biden
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PETITION UPDATE (3/15/21) - 

Reports suggest that the U.S. Catholic Bishops' Conference (USCCB) is preparing a vote on what to do about pro-abortion Joe Biden (and, presumably, other abortion-promoting politicians) who continues to present himself (themselves) for Holy Communion.

Public excommunication would be a suitable response for Biden's obstinate, public and grave sin of scandalously promoting abortion.

Please continue to SIGN and SHARE this important petition.

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PETITION UPDATE (2/4/20)

Since Joe Biden was sworn-in on the 20th of January, he has wasted no time in signing Executive Orders to destroy the protections which former President Trump offered to the unborn and to the innocence and modesty of children of the United States.

In one executive order, Biden rescinded the Mexico City Policy prohibiting the federal government from spending taxpayer monies on abortion and the promotion of abortion.

And, in another executive order, Biden seeks to force girls' athletic programs, restrooms, and locker rooms to accept gender-confused males.

Since the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops was shamefully silent throughout the presidential campaign on the pre-eminent issues of abortion and gender ideology, and what Biden vowed he would do as president, it is cold comfort that their pro-life office is now speaking up about this Administration's wilful disregard for human life and for God's design of human nature (i.e., two biological sexes).

Stated plainly, Joe Biden is as bad as he said he would be, and the bishop, acting in unison (as the USCCB) have an obligation to the Lord (first) and to the faithful (second) to refuse Holy Communion to this grave public sinner.

With all due respect to these bishops, they diminish the Holy Eucharist and their high office, as well as cause grave scandal to the faithful, by dialoguing with a man who is promoting mass murder of the unborn against the constant teaching of the Church.

A man who continues to use the church as a backdrop for statements about how "Catholic/religious" he is, but, at the same time, is now doing everything in his power to protect the murder of the innocent, needs to publicly repent before dialogue can begin.

The bishops should not dialogue with or congratulate someone who has publicly betrayed the Church's teaching and who is leading others astray.

It's an embarrassment and a scandal for the bishops to continue to allow him to receive Holy Communion.

Please SIGN and SHARE this petition today!

________________________________________________________________________________________________

PETITION UPDATE (12/10/20)

Prior to the election on November 3, the U.S. bishops did not address Joe Biden’s anti-Catholic position regarding faith and morals as a unified body.

The USCCB, the organization to which every U.S. bishop belongs and which is staffed and led by bishops, remained disgracefully silent in the run-up to the election.

What were the bishops afraid of, losing their charitable tax status with the IRS, or being deprived of fat checks from the HHS (immigration programs) and USAID (foreign aid programs)?

Or, were they just too cowardly to clearly declare Christ's law to be above man's law and risk the ire of a Joe Biden as president?

Either way, the bishops’ lack of clarity in this regard is a terrible scandal in itself and probably greatly contributed to the possible election of a pro-abortion, anti-Catholic Catholic to the presidency.

Given the fact that exit polling shows Catholics split their vote 50-50 for Trump and Biden, even a slight deviation in the heavily-Catholic swing-states of Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania could have produced different results.

The bishops could have spoken out against Biden’s pro-abortion stance collectively, but, again, they were overwhelmingly and shamefully silent.

Because of this, they will be at least partly responsible for the policies advanced by a Biden administration, in the event that Biden is sworn into office.

However, the bishops can, even now, mitigate the damage done by their inaction by taking the following steps: 1) Speak with one voice, as the USCCB, and plainly condemn Biden's pro-abortion stance; 2) Publicly advise Biden not to present himself for Holy Communion because of his scandalous position on abortion and homosexual "marriage;" and, 3) Tell Biden to publicly repent of publicly promoting the wilfull murder of the preborn, sins against nature, and diminishing the natural family.

Thankfully, some individual bishops have spoken out forcefully on Biden's scandalous behavior, and his standing in the Church.

On November 9, Archbishop Strickland of Tyler, Texas tweeted: “A dark cloud has descended on this nation when the USCCB and Planned Parenthood speak in unison in support of a Biden-Harris administration that supports the slaughter of innocents by abortion for all 9 months of pregnancy.”

Additionally, Archbishop Samuel Aquila of Denver, Colorado and Archbishop Charles Chaput have both declared publicly that Joe Biden “should not receive Holy Communion."

But, to add insult to injury, Cardinal Wilton Gregory of Washington, D.C. has said that he will give Holy Communion to Biden because “it’s a matter of the responsibility that I have as the archbishop to be engaged and to be in dialogue with him, even in those areas where we obviously have some differences.”

And, Bishop W. Francis Malooly of Wilmington, Delaware and Bishop McElroy of San Diego also congratulated Biden in statements, but they have not indicated whether or not they would administer Holy Communion to him.

With all due respect to these bishops, they diminish the Holy Eucharist and their high office, as well as cause grave scandal to the faithful, by dialoguing with a man who is promoting mass murder of the unborn against the constant teaching of the Church.

A man who uses the church as a backdrop to make sickening political advertisements about how "Catholic/religious" he is, but, at the same time, says that he will do everything in his power to protect the murder of the innocent, needs to publicly repent before dialogue can begin.

The bishops should not dialogue with or congratulate someone who has publicly betrayed the Church's teaching and who is leading others astray.

It's an embarrassment and a scandal for the bishops to continue to allow him to receive Holy Communion.

Please SIGN and SHARE this petition today!

FOR MORE INFORMATION:

https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/us-bishops-concerned-about-pro-abortion-biden-previously-hailed-him-as-second-catholic-president

https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/abp-aquila-backs-call-for-pro-abortion-catholic-joe-biden-to-be-denied-holy-communion?utm_source=top_news&utm_campaign=standard

https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/former-philly-archbishop-biden-not-in-full-communion-with-the-catholic-church

https://www.thesoutherncross.org/news/bishop-mcelroy-offers-prayers-and-congratulations-to-president-elect-biden/

https://www.ncronline.org/news/politics/us-catholics-weigh-mixed-reaction-biden-win

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PETITION UPDATE (9/29/20)

Cardinal Raymond Burke has stated that Democratic candidate Joe Biden should not receive Holy Communion because of his support for abortion.

In an interview for Thomas McKenna's Catholic Action for Faith and Family podcast, Cardinal Burke states the following (starting around 5:00):

First of all, I would tell him [Biden] not to approach to receive Holy Communion, out of charity toward him, because that would be a sacrilege and endanger the salvation of his own soul.

But, also, he should not approach to receive Holy Communion because he gives scandal to everyone, because if someone says, 'I'm a devout Catholic," and, at the same time is promoting abortion, it gives the impression to others that it's acceptable for a Catholic to be in favor of abortion.

Of course, it's absolutely not acceptable, and never has been, and never will be.

We give thanks for Cardinal Burke's frankness and clarity. And, we call on every U.S. Catholic bishop to follow Cardinal Burke's lead and call out Joe Biden for his bloody-minded hypocrisy on the issue of abortion.

To reiterate: You cannot be a Catholic and support abortion.

Thank you for continuing to sign this urgent petition.

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PETITION UPDATE (8/17/20)

The Democratic presidential candidate, Joe Biden, keeps claiming to be Catholic but has said he will do everything in his power to support abortion.

And, with his pick of California Senator Kamala Harris as his running mate, Biden has just cemented abortion into the Democrats' 2020 presidential ticket.

Indeed, Harris is vehemently pro-abortion.

During her time as attorney general of California, Harris played a key role in defending Planned Parenthood over its sale of aborted baby parts (which violated multiple federal laws, according to undercover video of abortion industry personnel).

And, last year, Harris unveiled a plan to essentially force pro-life states to seek permission from the federal government before pro-life laws can take effect.

Additionally, Harris has dangerous views on religious liberty and freedom of speech.

Harris displayed anti-Catholic bigotry in the confirmation hearings of Judge Brian Buescher. Harris cited his membership in the “all-male society” the Knights of Columbus and its stances against abortion and same-sex “marriage” as grounds for rejecting Buescher for a federal district court in Nebraska.

And, David Daleiden, head of the pro-life investigative group Center for Medical Progress, wrote that from his firsthand experience, he considers Harris the “greatest threat to First Amendment civil rights our country has ever seen.”

Joe Biden has seriously erred by taking on Kamala Harris as his running mate, further distancing himself from the truths of the Catholic Faith, especially that every life is sacred from conception till natural death.

Please CLICK HERE to read an article which details one U.S. bishop's warning about the Biden-Harris ticket.

And, please continue to SIGN and SHARE this petition.

_________________________________________________________________________________

Of course, these two things are incompatible: you cannot be Catholic and pro-abortion.

And, a "Catholic" politician's responsibility in this regard is absolute: On pain of serious sin, he or she can never promote abortion because abortion is the wilful murder of innocent preborn human beings, and also because doing so causes grave scandal to the Church and the faithful.

Please SIGN this urgent petition asking the bishops of the United States to refuse to give Holy Communion to Joe Biden until he publicly repents from his scandalous promotion of abortion.

Biden recently promised to “codify Roe v. Wade” as president, adding, "my Justice Department will do everything in its power to stop the rash of state laws that so blatantly violate a woman’s protected, constitutional right to choose."

And, since starting his latest run for the presidency, Biden also flip-flopped against the Hyde Amendment, saying that he would allow federal funds to be spent on abortion - a position he claimed to be against for more than 40 years.

In short, Joe Biden will do everything in his power to enable and defend the wilful murder of innocent preborn human beings.

So, this should not be a hard decision for our U.S. bishops. In fact, in another circumstance, it was already done by an Illinois bishop.

Indeed, Bishop Paprocki, of Springfield, Illinois, invoked Canon 915 of the Code of Canon Law to withdraw Holy Communion from two Illinois state politicians who had worked to enact radical new abortion legislation in 2019.

Canon 915 states: "Those who have been excommunicated or interdicted after the imposition or declaration of the penalty and others obstinately persevering in manifest grave sin are not to be admitted to Holy Communion."

Of course, no-one, least of all the bishops, wants anyone to be deprived of Holy Communion.

A politician who publicly and obstinately advocates for the murder of innocent preborn babies puts himself out-of-communion with the Church and her teaching. 

Pro-abortion politicians should not think that they can advocate for the murder of the unborn and receive the Body of Christ at the same time. This would be to defile the Eucharist while giving scandal to the faithful.

Depriving politicians of Holy Communion is not just meant to prevent scandal; it is also designed to bring a grave public sinner to repentance. In this way, such an action is meant to be for the good of their souls, too.

Thank you for SIGNING this urgent petition which calls on the U.S. Catholic bishops to refuse to admit Joe Biden to Holy Communion until he publicly repents from his scandalous promotion of abortion.

FOR MORE INFORMATION:

Joe Biden: I support abortion ‘under any circumstance’ - https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/joe-biden-i-support-abortion-under-any-circumstance

Catholic priest denies Joe Biden Holy Communion for pro-abortion stance - https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/catholic-priest-denies-joe-biden-holy-communion-for-pro-abortion-stance

Cardinal McCarrick and the Concealing of Rome’s Position on Denying Communion  - https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/cardinal-mccarrick-and-the-concealing-of-romes-position-on-denying-communio

**Photo Credit: Joshua Roberts / Getty Images

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CCHD CANNOT FUND groups that knowingly participate in coalitions that have, as part of their organizational purpose or their coalition agenda or actions, anything that contradicts fundamental Catholic moral or social teaching, due to the fact that CCHD is an initiative of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. Examples would be promotion or support of contraception, abortion, same-sex marriage, euthanasia, racism, the use of the death penalty, or punitive measures toward immigrants. Prohibited activities include participation in or endorsing actions that promote legislation that contradicts Church teaching (for example, voter guides and other written materials in support of such ballot measures). [emphasis original]

This report will prove that Faith in Action is in direct violation of both CCHD guidelines through its “Live Free” project and through the actions of its leadership and their relationship with a Biden-endorsing Political Action Committee.

Because the scope of electioneering within the Faith in Action network takes place on national, regional, and local levels, the CCHD must immediately defund all Faith in Action members, demand the money to be returned, and forbid all future funding from ever going to members of Faith in Action. The precedent for taking such measures already exists. In 2008, the CCHD permanently banned the community organizing network called ACORN from all future funding, due in part to “questions surrounding political partisanship.

Live Free Project

The Live Free Project is one of Faith in Action’s major national projects. It works primarily around the issues of gun violence and criminal justice, but in recent months has directly promoted and called for the election of Joe Biden and the defeat of Donald Trump in the national presidential election.

Earning $113,000 a year, Faith in Actions’ Director of Urban Strategies and Director of the Live Free project is Rev. Michael McBride.

In 2017, while employed as one of Faith in Action’s highest paid key employees, McBride helped co-found the political advocacy organization called the Black Church Political Action Committee (Black Church PAC). On the Black Church PAC’s homepage and under the section titled, “Our Founding Members,” McBride’s biography clearly indicates his work for Faith in Action, identified by its former name, PICO.

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The first problem with this relationship is that the Black Church PAC, being highly partisan, has directly endorsed Joe Biden for president. The open and active political activities of McBride as both a Director of Faith in Action and the Black Church PAC have blurred the lines between the two organizations to the point of non-existence.

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Of course, Rev. Michael McBride’s work to elect Joe Biden in and of itself does not violate CCHD guidelines. However, he has repeatedly used the Faith in Action Live Free platform to cross promote Black Church PAC partisan activities. This is a direct violation of CCHD guidelines and possibly a violation of IRS rules and regulations. What this means is that Faith in Action, through one of its directors and on its social media platform, is promoting a PAC that is directly involved in the effort to elect Joe Biden.

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There are too many instances of FIA Live Free’s social media being used to promote Black Church Pac activities to list them all. But bearing in mind that Black Church PAC has declared its open support for Joe Biden, all FIA posts promoting Black Church PAC is driving traffic directly to the promotion of Joe Biden and other Democrats. Here are a few of the social media posts from FIA’s Live Free Project promoting Black Church PAC:

This is a very recent Facebook video of Black Church PAC voter registration training uploaded by FIA’s Live Free Project:

This is a live-feed posted by FIA’s Live Free Project of an October 5th Black Church PAC voter drive concert:

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This October 01 Facebook post by FIA’s Live Free Project promotes Black Church PAC’s “Souls to the Polls” training session. Of note is the fact that this session directly instructs participants to find out more about Black Church PAC, which means that FIA is sending people to an organization that has openly endorsed Biden for voting information:

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Michael and Ben McBride (both high-level Directors in Faith in Action) made a video response to the first presidential debate on Sept 30 for the Black Church Pac, wherein both describe President Trump as “vile,” “racist,” and “disgusting.” At 7:08, Ben McBride, the co-Director for PICO California, called President Trump “the Klansman in Chief.”

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On Sept. 24, FIA’s Live Free facebook page posted Black Church Pac’s “Souls to the Polls” training session. In the session, Michael McBride tells viewers that their political decisions should be fueled by their rage.

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This is an Aug. 18 Black Church PAC video conference promoting the same-sex “marriage” advocacy group called the Human Rights Campaign, posted on the Live Free FB page.

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In August of 2020 Live Free was a “Community Partner” in a program called “Into Action” which clearly called for the support of the Biden-Harris ticket. In Live Free’s tweet promoting “Into Action,” the video promotion starts with a woman holding a purse that says “feminist,” while the next female in the sequence makes an allusion to abortion saying, “My body, my business.”

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The entire event was absolutely vile, actively promoting transgenderism and abortion, but we’ll get into that in our next report on Faith in Action. Here is a clip from the Into Action event of which Live Free and Black Church PAC were “community partners.” What this clip contains is a very unambiguous call for people to vote for Democrats. To see the entire Into Action video, click here.

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Again, what this shows is that there is an intimate relationship between Faith in Action and the Joe Biden-endorsing Black Church PAC, and this relationship is leading those who follow Faith in Action to embrace the political endorsements and activities of the Black Church PAC. But Faith in Action’s association with the Black Church PAC isn’t the only activity constituting direct partisan political activity that violates CCHD grant guidelines.

FIA’s Live Free Project Twitter activity is full of negative propaganda regarding President Trump and even calls for the funding of Democrat candidates.

For instance, on October 11, Live Free retweeted direct calls for the funding of Gary Peters, the Democrat Senator from Michigan.

This is clearly partisan behavior. But there’s more. Some of these re-tweets are crass and vile and perhaps the US Bishops may wish to take a second look at who they are paying to represent their social justice activities.

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Here are a few examples:

On September 29, amid a plethora of negative tweets about President Trump, Faith in Action’s Live Free Project retweeted a statement that one “cannot debate a piece of [expiative].”

On October 04, Faith in Action’s Live Free project retweeted a call for people to “vote as if [Biden] is down 27%,” which is essentially a call for votes for Biden.

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On October 05, FIA’s Live Free Project retweeted a false claim that Trump’s campaign is engaged in voter suppression.

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On October 06, FIA’s Live Free Project retweeted a call to have “Trump removed from power,” while claiming “We are at war with Putin.”

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PICO California

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PICO California is the regional umbrella for all 19 Faith in Action member organizations in California. Rev Ben McBride (Rev. Michael McBride’s brother) is co-director of PICO California, and at $110,000 a year, his salary is very similar to his brother’s.

PICO California also used social media to promote Black Church PAC activities and make a direct call for the defeat of President Trump, as seen in this Sept 10 retweet by PICO California of Rev. Michael McBride.

PICO California also promoted Black Church PAC’s “Black Church Rocks” and “Souls to the Polls” partisan voter drive efforts on September 21 and October 5:

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Faith in the Valley San Joaquin

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Faith in the Valley San Joaquin is a member organization of FIA, and was granted $25,000 for the 2019–2020 CCHD grants cycle. It has also joined FIA’s promotion of partisan activities on its social media platforms.

This Aug. 8th Facebook post promoted a Black Church PAC event, saying:

“Yo! The play is in motion; let’s get a win for the Lord and the ancestors! This Monday, years of work coalesce into launching Black-led, Black-centric, Black church organizing ensuring we get Trump out, and our freedom IN! This Black vote this November gonna be epic!” [emphasis added]

These examples from the national, regional and local levels of Faith in Action clearly show an organized effort by leadership within FIA to use the network to push their own partisan projects. The lack of oversight by the CCHD in both its “rigorous” screening process and ongoing grants compliance efforts has allowed the Bishops name to be used by this behemoth community organizing group to stump for party politics. Bishops across the country, many of whom demand that priests violate their own consciences by taking up the CCHD collection, are now directly complicit in the funding of political electioneering. Faith in Action as a network is in direct violation of the CCHD grant guidelines regarding involvement in partisan politics, and MUST be immediately and permanently defunded, just as was done with ACORN in 2008. And if the USCCB is unwilling to take such action against Faith in Action, then individual bishops will have no choice but to withdraw from the CCHD collection in the fall.

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Contact your bishop and the CCHD and DEMAND that Faith in Action be permanently DEFUNDED!

Click here for the contact information for your bishop.

Click here for the name and email address of your diocesan CCHD director.

NATIONAL OFFICE STAFF
Bp. David Talley, Chairman of the CCHD Subcommittee – [email protected]
Ralph McCloud, CCHD Director 202-541-3367 [email protected]
Lydia Jiles, Grants Administrator 202-541-3210 [email protected]
Juan Aranda, Grants Specialist for Area D 202-541-3370 [email protected]
Main Number . . . . . . . . . . 202-541-3210
Fax Number . . . . . . . . . . 202-541-3329
Main Email . . . . . . . . . . [email protected]

Grant Specialists
Area A  Ian Mitchell  202-541-3371  [email protected]
Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, Vermont

Area B  Gene Giannotta  202-541-3211  [email protected]
Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, Missouri, Ohio, Wisconsin

Area C  Randy Keesler  202-541-3369  [email protected]
Alabama, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee , Virgin Islands, Virginia, West Virginia

Area D  Juan Aranda  202-541-3370  [email protected]
Arizona, Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas

Area E  Sean Wendlinder  202-541-3212  [email protected]
Alaska, California, Colorado, Guam, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Washington, Wyoming

Published with permission from the Lepanto Institute.

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