More Problems at the Catholic Campaign for Human Development

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The Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD), the anti-poverty program run by the USCCB, came under fire this past year for funding groups who were explicitly supporting abortion, contraception, and same-sex marriage.

After its internal investigation, the CCHD claimed there were problems with only five groups out of the 51 listed as problematic by the Reform CCHD Now coalition. These five groups were subsequently defunded. (The approximate total number of CCHD grants in a year is 250.)

However, new evidence has emerged that adds 16 new groups to the 51 originally listed as problematic by the Reform CCHD Now Coalition. The 2010 CCHD list of grantees has yet to be released, so we have to wait to learn how many of the problematic groups were funded once again. (The troublesome fact that the announcement of the 2010 grantee list has been delayed a month later than usual is an issue we will return to later.)

 

Here’s the story…

An event entitled the U.S. Social Forum 2010 was held in Detroit on June 22-26. Dozens of People’s Movement Assemblies (PMAs) from across the country attended the Forum, “to set a national action agenda.” Also present were 21 CCHD grantees, along with a retired bishop, a smattering of Catholic parishes, and 11 Catholic organizations. Five of the 21 CCHD grantees were already listed as problematic, but 16 were not on the list from last year (see list below). Several organizations defunded by the CCHD were also present.

Unfortunately, the program attended by these groups supported by the donations of U.S. Catholics contains numerous workshops promoting homosexuality, Marxism, and abortion (complete list below). Is there any reason not to conclude these are elements of the “national action agenda” being defined at the Forum?

Here are some representative examples of the workshops:

Abortion:

Marxism:

Lesbian/gay/bisexual/transgender/queer workshops:

At least one CCHD grantee, Justice in El Barrio, gave a presentation at one of the LGBTQ workshops. You can sample the U.S. Social Forum yourself by watching coverage of the USSF 2010. Throughout the forum, Free Speech TV ran commercials promoting gay rights, including same-sex marriage.

 

One criticism leveled at the CCHD Reform Now research is that it was alleging “guilt by association.” But that misses the point completely. The presence of 21 CCHD grantees at U.S. Social Forum isn’t problematic because grantees are keeping company with the wrong people, but because they’re actively participating in a forum designed “to set a national action agenda.” Looking at the program, it’s safe to assume that the agenda includes the right to abortion and gay marriage, as well as a larger ideological commitment to various forms of Marxism — an ideology condemned by the Catholic Church.

Those participating in the forum can hardly claim they were innocent bystanders; that wouldn’t pass the smell test. The stated purpose of the U.S. Social Forum was to stress the importance of working on a unified front. Thus, the evidence from the forum itself suggests not so much guilt by association as guilt by participation.

At the very least, this latest incident proves the CCHD problem did not end with the 5 defunded groups.

Just how many of the remaining 62 problematic groups will be on the 2010 list of CCHD grants is an open question. The CCHD is waiting until the end of September to release the new list, when it is normally released at the end of August. Why? Is the CCHD holding the list so that it can’t be properly examined before the bishops decide the program’s fate? Taking a month away from that examination process prior to the bishops’ meeting in November will not help rebuild public trust.

After all the controversy surrounding the CCHD last year, you’d think there would be more due diligence and transparency in selecting grantees. Instead, we get less.

♦          ♦          ♦

Current CCHD Grantees in attendance at the USSF meeting:

Titles of pro-abortion, birth control, and sex-ed workshops:

Titles of Marxist or socialist workshops:

Titles of LGBTQ workshops:

Deal W. Hudson

By

Deal W. Hudson is ​publisher and editor of The Christian Review and the host of "Church and Culture," a weekly two-hour radio show on the Ave Maria Radio Network.​ Formerly publisher and editor of Crisis Magazine for ten years, his articles and comments have been published widely in publications such as the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Washington Post, and U.S. News and World Report. He has also appeared on TV and radio news shows such as the O'Reilly Factor, Hannity & Colmes, NBC News, and All Things Considered on National Public Radio. Hudson worked with Karl Rove in coordinating then-Gov. George W. Bush's outreach to Catholic voters in 2000 and 2004. In October 2003, President Bush appointed him a member of the official delegation from the United States to attend the 25th anniversary celebration of John Paul II's papacy. Hudson, a former professor of philosophy for 15 years, is the editor and author of eight books. He tells the story of his conversion from Southern Baptist to Catholic in An American Conversion (Crossroad, 2003), and his latest, Onward, Christian Soldiers: The Growing Political Power of Catholics and Evangelicals in the United States, was published in March 2008. He is married to Theresa Carver Hudson, also a Baptist convert, and they have two children, Hannah and Cyprian who was adopted from Romania in 2001.

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