CCHD Director Responds to Creative Minority Article

Last week Creative Minority published a story about Ralph McCloud, the director of the Catholic Campaign for Human Development, revealing that he served as the treasurer of a political campaign during his first year on the job at the USCCB. 

The candidate, as it turns out, was an abortion supporter. 

McCloud has responded, and Creative Minority has responded to his response. Let me summarize:

McCloud characterizes his role as treasurer in a Texas state senate campaign as “honorary.” He should have resigned his position when he took the USCCB job, but he “forgot.” And McCloud asserted he never knew that the candidate, Wendy Davis, was an abortion supporter.  

Creative Minority responded by pointing out that even an honorary position in a campaign signals an unqualified endorsement for the candidate. CM asked how McCloud who served on the Ft. Worth city council with Davis for four years could not know her position on abortion.

On this point, CM was right to raise a question. After all, if McCloud is the kind of Catholic politician qualified to work for the bishops, shouldn’t he want to know that about a candidate he publicly supports?

That McCloud forgot to resign his position as treasurer when he came to Washington, D.C. to take a new job does not trouble me — everyone knows how difficult it is to relocate to another city. 

But, as someone who has been involved in politics and campaigns for quite a while, I am acutely aware of a candidate’s position on abortion, especially if I am involved with them in any way.  Thus, I find it very puzzling that McCloud knew nothing about the position of Wendy Davis on abortion when he knew her for many years and signed on to be her campaign treasurer.

As CM reported, Davis’s position on abortion, which was corroborated by the support of Planned Parenthood, was known to many at the time. 


Deal W. Hudson


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.

  • Deacon Ed

    Dolan knows all this?

  • Bill R

    “I think what I can safely say is that probably my major priority would be to continue, with all the vigor that I can muster, what

  • David, Chicago

    I think that the person who sold me my hot dog at lunch today knew someone who was married to a woman whose sister voted for her town’s dog-catcher who did not think that abortion should be made illegal. Where’s that list of pro-life hot dog vendors?

  • Devin Rose

    It seems that at best McCloud is ambivalent about abortion, that is, it is a low-priority issue on his understanding of social justice. So it might not have even occurred to him that it would be important that this candidate he implicitly endorsed was pro-abortion. So what, perhaps the reasoning went, when she supports ending racism/discrimination/hunger/poverty?

    In any event, it is another reason in a long line of them for not trusting your tithes to the CCHD. Give to reputable organizations that you can personally vet yourself–not a hard job when so many good ones exist all over the place.

  • digdigby

    Three of the Four Founding Members of the Campaign for Human Development were directly trained and influenced by Saul Alinsky:…tent;col1
    CHD is an Alinsky masterpiece. Rules for Radicals, less you forget, was literally dedicated to Satan, as ‘the first successful revolutionary’.

  • digdigby
  • Joanie

    The health and rights of women are not ultimately supported by the abortion industry. A real respect for women’s needs requires that Church agencies have leadership which is unequivocally pro-life. Especially agencies which work with populations which are underprivileged and vulnerable should not be seen as accepting the abortion industry’s crass and hideous “solution” which they would propose to mothers in crisis which ultimately does nothing to raise them out of poverty, just maintains the status quo through a commercial transaction. There are many good people who work in the pro-life world today and are working to break the grip of poverty. Why shouldn’t they be tapped for leadership roles in the Church?
    As to the “dog-catcher” comment above, I would just say that we ought to think about the message that our leadership in the Church sends to poor women. Is it any wonder that the Church can sometimes suffer a credibility problem when leadership of our programs and outreach efforts and agencies are silent as to the injustice of abortion or tacitly or by their actions support its steady expansion? Essentially by that sad state of affairs we say to women in crisis pregnancies who lack resources to get by that they do not matter and that we consent to letting their own children be sacrificed on the altar of American consumerism. What woman could ultimately trust that what is given by such an agency means well for her and her family and her very future? It isn’t an issue of the prolife dogcatcher. It is about our leadership believing the goodness of the message for the very littlest and most vulnerable amongst us. It does matter, it matters a great deal. If this gentleman wants to continue his leadership position in the Church he should express regret for, not inquiring as to the candidate’s position on abortion, and for making such light of it that he did not think it mattered in the least. It matters to the very people he serves, let alone the entire Church. We need to hear that our leaders in the Church get that.

  • Joanie

    And, how can we expect women to trust us and work together and collaborate and somehow be of service if we, by our actions or words, by acts of omission, silence, neglect, indifference, by failing to explicitly and publicly state by our words and actions that we are pro-life? If we somehow come across as though we accept the message of the prevailing culture of exploitation and consumption that we agree that the very children of the people we are attempting serve are expendable then we are hypocrites, we lack integrity and credibility in all matters of social justice and cannot be entrusted with carrying it out as we do not want the very best, the fullness of life, for the weakest. Regardless of the political wind which prevails, regardless of what the commercial culture designs, we must be open about what is just and moral and serves the cause of human dignity. If we fail in that all our efforts in the area of social justice also ultimately are utter failure.