In a long and lengthening list of frustrations over the Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD), one certainly has to be its response to criticism. For 40 years, this “charity” has – deliberately on the part of some folks – hidden its primary objectives and misrepresented its critics. Then, when public outcry has grown too strident, it has staged mock “reforms.”
The most recent of these “reforms” came last year, with the release of “Review and Renewal of the Catholic Campaign for Human Development as Accepted and Affirmed by the USCCB Administrative Committee.” It was a surly retort to protest over its several funding scandals.
The first scandal concerned decades of CCHD support to ACORN, an Alinskyian organizing network that was aggressively engaged in progressive (translation: aborted babies) politics and had been over the years been caught in embezzlement schemes, voter fraud, and a host of other scurrilous activities. CCHD was publicly informed that ACORN had serious problems in 1997. [ii] Its “reform” then was to tack “Catholic” onto its name and give its grant guidelines token tweaks…but the funding patterns continued exactly as before, with ACORN still receiving approximately 5% of the CCHD pie.
The second scandal engaged the pro-life community, which was particularly aroused over the life-relevant issues that CCHD’s progressive political bias exposed. As they began digging deeper, scores of grantees with direct ties to abortion promotion (and other problematic moral positions) were unearthed. It was unfathomable that a collection of groups with such ties was working – is working – under the auspices of the Catholic Church.
“Review and Renewal” acknowledged that five groups – out of the many exposed – “violated CCHD requirements and lost all CCHD funding because they acted in conflict with Catholic teaching.”[iii] That left a long list of grantees whose anti-Catholic actions were somehow acceptable to CCHD.
And it took a long time to release the next round of grantees in order to, ostensibly, assure that the “substantially revised CCHD Grant Agreement” was indeed “used for all pending and future funding allocations and grants.”[iv] That meant that groups selected under earlier CCHD guidelines signed the new Grant Agreement in order to receive CCHD funds. In other words, the selection process places the onus of determining which organizations are in compliance with Catholic moral principles on the organizations themselves – which, often, are not administered by Catholics.
CCHD hoped these actions would reassure Catholics that CCHD was awarding its grants in conformity with the newly refined, more Catholic principles.
Sadly, it isn’t so.
The American Life League Report[i]
The American Life League looked closely at the latest crop of grants[v] and what it found is appalling.
They discovered that CCHD’s most recent grant awards included:
· * $35,000 to Centro Campesino, which received funding from the Minnesota Department of Health to expand its Community HIV Health and Education Risk Initiative – an initiative that includes the distribution of condoms.[vi] (After being informed of this, CCHD said it would defund Centro Campesino.)
· * $45,000 to Somos un Pueblo Unido, which is part of a coalition opposing the Defense of Marriage Act. Somos un Pueblo Unido also promotes “reproductive justice”[vii] and contraceptive sex education. [viii]
· * $30,000 to NYC AIDS Housing Network, which is a member of several pro-abortion, pro-homosexual organizations,[ix] endorsed the Transgender Day of Remembrance, participated in the openly socialist US Social Forum, and distributes condoms.
· * $45,000 to the Southwest Organizing Project, the lead “community partner” for one of the Elev8 projects in Chicago.[x] These partnerships are supported by Atlantic Philanthropies, an international foundation whose Elev8 programs around the country make “comprehensive sex education a requirement for receiving the four-year grant, which totaled $18 million in Chicago.”[xi] SWOP is a critical component to assure that “comprehensive” – contraceptive – sex-ed programs in Chicago public schools are accepted by the “community.”
· * $35,000 to Desis Rising Up and Moving (DRUM), which regularly participates in Marxist, pro-abortion, pro-homosexual forums.[xii]
· * $50,000 to United Workers Association, which joined Equality Maryland, promoting same-sex marriage,[xiii] as well as Progressive Maryland – a local affiliate of the Alinskyian organizing network USAction which also pushes same-sex marriage.[xiv]
· * $28,000 to Intercommunity Justice and Peace Center, which has listed among its “friends and colleagues” the pro-abortion National Organization for Women (NOW), the International Socialist Organization, and pro-homosexual P-FLAG.[xv] Current links include the dissident Catholic coalition Call to Action.[xvi]
· * $25,000 to Michigan Interfaith Voice, an affiliate of the Gamaliel Alinskyian organizing network. Michigan Interfaith Voice has also received multiple grants from the Arcus Foundation specifically for the promotion of homosexual “rights.”[xvii]
· * $40,000 to Michigan Organizing Project (MOP), an affiliate of the Interfaith Worker Justice Alinskyian organizing network. MOP has also received at least seven grants from the Arcus Foundation since 2007, again, specifically for the promotion of homosexual “rights.”[xviii]
· * $40,000 to Coalition LA, which produced a voter guide in 2000 calling for a NO vote on Proposition 22, banning same-sex marriage. [xix]
· * $40,000 to Women’s Community Revitalization Project (WCRP), which has been an “associate member agency” of Women’s Way[xx] and long-time grant recipient of its “Community Women’s Fund,”[xxi] which only funds pro-abortion, pro-birth control organizations.[xxii]
· * $40,000 to Georgia Latino Alliance for Human Rights, which believes that those rights include universal access to abortion, as evidenced by – but not limited to – its membership in the abortion-advocacy groups Healthcare for All coalition,[xxiii] and US Human Rights Network.[xxiv]
· * $25,000 to Restaurant Opportunities Center of New York, which was a member of the abortion-advocacy group US Human Rights Network (USHRN).[xxv] It has also done work, through guidebooks and focus groups, to present current law favoring LGBT individuals to the restaurant industry.
· * $25,000 to Philadelphia Unemployment Project which, along with other groups (such as the aggressively homosexual “rights” ACT UP Philadelphia), sponsored a partisan voter guide advocating abortion “rights.”[xxvi]
These organizations, coming from an utterly un-Catholic perspective and actively working for immoral purposes, were supposedly well-vetted and in full compliance with CCHD’s new, more stringent Grant Agreement. CCHD has given them over half a million dollars this past year.
What a sorry abuse of the laity’s charitable intentions. This is not “helping the poor.”
Unfortunately, the American Life League Report isn’t done. The problem isn’t simply that a few organizations escaped the CCHD vetting process, were “accidently” funded, and will be weeded out next round. Rather, these individual instances of regrettable grant awards are a small part of a larger, more serious pattern of supporting the work of progressive networks to push a “culture of death” via their CCHD-funded affiliates.
Ironically, this is exactly what CCHD stated it would be very careful not to do. Last year, it wrote that CCHD “will not fund groups that are members of coalitions which have as their organizational purpose or coalition agenda, positions or actions that contradict fundamental Catholic moral and social teaching.” [xxvii] However, many of the above-mentioned organizations are members of exactly that sort of coalition – coalitions that are fundamentally working against Catholic moral and social teaching.
Those aren't the only ones, though. The American Life League Report lists scores of additional CCHD-funded organizations that belong to coalitions with pro-abortion and/or homosexual “rights” agendas. This past year alone, after its “careful” vetting process, CCHD awarded over a million dollars to organizations working in consort with anti-Catholic coalitions.
If ALL researchers can uncover the abortion and homosexual “rights” activities of so many CCHD-funded groups, how is it that CCHD staff is incapable of uncovering the same information? Either CCHD lacks the ability or it lacks the will to discern between advocacy that is in harmony with fundamental moral principles and advocacy that contradicts those principles.
CCHD has demonstrated, again and again, that its political prejudices leave little room for concern over baby killing.
Stephanie Block is a Spero columnist and the editor of the New Mexico-based Los Pequenos newspaper. She is a member of the Catholic Media Coalition.
[i] American Life League, “Investigative Report on the Catholic Campaign for Human Development’s Grants for the year 2010-2011,” 10-3-11: www.reformcchdnow.com
[ii] Wanderer Forum Foundation Commentary on the Campaign for Human Development, 1997. A copy was sent to every bishop in the United States who headed a diocese.
[iii] “Review and Renewal of the Catholic Campaign for Human Development as Accepted and Affirmed by the USCCB Administrative Committee,” p. 3.
[iv] United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Office of the Catholic Campaign for Human Development, “The Truth About CCHD: Promoting Catholic Values – 7. Why was CCHD delayed in publishing its grants for 2010?” undated but @ 2010-2011 old.usccb.org/cchd/PROMOTING-CATHOLIC-VALUES.pdf
[v] United States Conference of Catholic Bishops website, Department of the Catholic Campaign for Human Development, 2010 Grantee List: www.usccb.org/about/catholic-campaign-for-human-development/grants/upload/cchd-grantees-2010.pdf
[vi] Minnesota AIDS Project: www.mnaidsproject.org/resource-guide/detail.php?i=606
[vii] Somos un Pueblo Unido website: www.nmcf.org/new/impact/womens-lives/somos-un-pueblo-unido
[viii] Tides Foundation 2009 Grants Report: www.tides.org/fileadmin/user/pdf/Tides-RJ-Fund-2009-Public-Docket.pdf
[ix] NYCAHN is a member of the Ney York City Human Rights Initiative (NYCHRI which has a mission to assure full implementation of the pro-abortion Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women. NYCHRI also promotes pro-abortion and pro-homosexual activism. NYCAHN also belongs to the Center for Community Change which has, among other things, worked for continued federal funding of the abortion-provider Planned Parenthood.
[x] Southwest Organizing Project website: www.swopchicago.org/display.aspx?pointer=6002
[xi] LISC/Chicago: www.lisc-chicago.org/display.aspx?pointer=7425. LISC/Chicago (Local Initiatives Support Corporation) is an intermediate organization “for channeling corporate and philanthropic resources into local initiatives.” Around 2008, “Atlantic Philanthropies provided LISC/Chicago with a grant to create a program that would partner NCP lead agencies with schools and community-based health centers in CPS middle schools ...” “Renewed Funding—and New Achievements—for Elev8,” 9-1-11, www.lisc-chicago.org/news/1430.
[xii] DRUM was a sponsoring organization for the 2007 “Trans Day of Action for Social and Economic Justice,” as part of the Transgender Day of Remembrance: charlotteaction.blogspot.com/2007/06/3rd-annual-trans-day-of-action-for.html; it participated in the Marxist, pro-abortion, pro-homosexual 2010US Social Forum: organize.ussf2010.org/org/drum-desis-rising-moving; DRUM’s co-founder, Monami Maulik was a speaker at the 2011 Left Forum: leftforum.org/files/left-forum-2011-Program-Guide-web.pdf The Left Forum is openly socialist and supports abortion and homosexual “rights.”
[xiii] Equality Maryland listing of “organizations [that] oppose any amendment to the Maryland Constitution that would ban civil marriage and its vital protections for same-sex couples:” replay.waybackmachine.org/20080906110713/http://equalitymaryland.org/issues/marriage/organizations.htm
[xiv] Progressive America affiliate list: progressivemaryland.org/page.php?id=2480
[xv] IJPC no longer refers to these links as “friends and colleagues” but now says: “The listing of an organization does not suggest IJPC endorsement.” The organizations cited in the American Life League report have been removed.
[xvi] ijpc-cincinnati.org/resources/national. Call to Action “reform” demands to the Catholic Church include acceptance of abortion, contraception, and homosexuality as “normal” and ethically acceptable.
[xvii] Arcus Foundation, social justice awards category: www.arcusfoundation.org/socialjustice/grants/awarded
[xviii] Arcus Foundation, social justice awards category: www.arcusfoundation.org/socialjustice/grants/awarded
[xix] The American Life League report states that the CCHD was informed of the Coalition Voter Guide in 2009 and that not only did CCHD never address the concern, it gave Coalition LA another grant in 2010. Coalition LA is also a partner of the Center for Community Change, which has, among other things, worked for continued federal funding of the abortion-provider Planned Parenthood.
[xx] Women’s Way no longer lists WCRP as a member agency. Nora Lichtash, WCRP Executive Director, was on the Advisory Board of “A Change of Pace,” Women’s Way 2008-updated signature research report in support of “reproductive rights.”
[xxi] Women’s Way, “Community Women’s Fund Grantee in the News,” www.womensway.org/index.asp
[xxii] Women’s Way, “Community Women’s Fund Information,”www.womensway.org/resources-community-fund-general.asp; The American Life League report states that in 2009 the CCHD was informed of WCRP’s membership in Women Vote PA, a pro-abortion coalition. Shortly after, WCRP was removed from Women Vote PA’s coalition list and was awarded a CCHD grant the following year.
[xxiii] Healthcare for All coalition members list: healthcareforamericanow.org/site/content/who_we_are
[xxiv] US Human Rights Network coalition members list: www.ushrnetwork.org (as of 9-11, this website address was inactive and no other web address was available for the organization.) GLAHR is also a member institution of Atlanta Jobs with Justice, a local affiliate of Jobs for Justice, which actively promotes abortion, homosexual rights and Marxism. The American Life League Report documents these assertions with photocopies from pertinent webpages.
[xxv] US Human Rights Network coalition members list: www.ushrnetwork.org (as of 9-11, this website address was inactive and no other web address was available for the organization.)
[xxvi] The Philadelphia Coalition for Essential Services and Philly Neighborhood Networks with [others],“Non-partisan Voters Guide: COMMUNITY FORUM FOR THE NEXT GOVERNOR,” 2010:
[xxvii] United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, “Review and Renewal of the Catholic Campaign for Human Development as Accepted and Affirmed by the USCCB Administrative Committee,” 9-15-10, p. 3.