Deal Hudson just wrote an article “Is It Time for a Catholic Tea Party?” that, in the light of revelations about the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), sounds like an awfully tempting suggestion.
To refresh the reader’s memory, two groups – Bellarmine Veritas Ministry and the American Life League have unveiled a series of scandalous USCCB associations. The first concerned one of its top lay officials, John Carr, head of the Department of Justice, Peace and Human Development.
While serving the USCCB, Carr also chaired the board of the Center for Community Change, a progressive, pro-abortion political group to which the USCCB awarded $150,000 in 2001 through the USCCB’s funding mechanism, the Catholic Campaign for Human Development. In addition, the CCHD awarded additional grants to at least 31 groups that “partner” with the Center. [For further information about the Center’s pro-abortion activity and its CCHD links, see “The scandal of John Carr at the USCCB:”[ www.speroforum.com/site/print.asp?idarticle=26607]
A further development in the USCCB scandal concerns its annual Catholic Social Ministry Gathering in Washington DC (February 7-10, 2010), which included a number of problematic presenters, including:
• Fr. Thomas Reese, who the Vatican forced from his position as editor of America Magazine for its unremittingly uncatholic articles.
• Diana Hayes, professor of systematic theology at Georgetown University and a speaker for the dissident “Catholic” organization, Call to Action, promoting same-sex marriage, women’s ordination, and liberation theology.
• John Carr and Paul Booth, who together with his wife Heather, are founders of the Midwest Academy a training institute for progressive activists. The Booths served as host committee members for the pro-abortion National Organization for Women's Intrepid Awards Gala. Additionally, Heather Booth helped organize “JANE,” in 1965, to obtain illegal abortions for women. As for Paul Booth, he is now the executive assistant to the president of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, a union that endorsed the 2004 Washington DC pro-abortion March for Freedom of Choice.
A few days later, yet another story broke that the USCCB is a dues paying member of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights (LCCHR), founded in 1950, a legislative lobbyist on behalf of its members, who “must share LCCHR’s principles and purposes,” according to LCCHR materials. These principles evidently include abortion “rights” and same-sex “marriage,” and “family planning,” as evidenced by its activities – such as opposing the 2004 Federal Marriage Amendment, defining marriage as between a man and a woman, and supporting the ratification of the United Nations’ pro-abortion Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women.
LCCHR supports Planned Parenthood, saying it “delivers vital reproductive health care, sex education, and information to millions of women, men, and young people worldwide,” and argued for the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances (FACE) Act. LCCHR has lobbied against the confirmation of pro-life and anti same-sex marriage judges and justices.
In response to these revelations, American Life League, Human Life International, Bellarmine Veritas Ministry, and a number of other Catholic groups have launched a petition drive, asking the bishops to suspend the USCCB’s funding mechanism, the Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD), to these unethical and anti-catholic organizations.
American Catholics can sign the petition at www.reformcchdnow.com. It reads:
"To ensure no more Catholic dollars are spent to support organizations advocating abortion or same- sex marriage, I respectfully request the bishops suspend all national CCHD grants until the grants process has been reformed."
Stephanie Block is the editor of the New Mexico-based Los Pequenos newspaper and a founder of the Catholic Media Coalition.