Watchdog group ‘pleased’ with defunding of grantees who violate Catholic teaching
Washington D.C., Sep 27, 2009 / 05:04 pm (CNA).- A watchdog group which discovered that the Catholic Campaign for Human Development has given grants to groups which support abortion and same-sex “marriage” has said it is pleased that the campaign has taken steps to defund at least two of the organizations.
Bellarmine Veritas Ministry (BVM), which describes itself as “a Catholic grass-roots organizing ministry dedicated to truth and action,” in August announced its effort to address some “troubling groups” funded by the Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD).
According to its website, the CCHD was founded by the U.S. Catholic bishops in 1970 to fund projects such as voter registration, community organizations, community-run schools, minority-owned cooperatives and credit unions, capital for industrial development and job training programs, and rural cooperatives.
The CCHD makes grants to organizations that work to eliminate the “root causes” of poverty and to enact “institutional change.”
Though the campaign’s criteria require that funded activity must conform to the moral and social teachings of the Catholic Church, BVM found that some grantees’ advocacy undermines those teachings.
One group, the Chinese Progressive Association, was to receive $30,000 in CCHD money in 2009.
The association’s 2008 voting guide characterized California’s Proposition 8 as “discrimination against same-sex couples” and opposed Proposition 4, a parental notification restriction on abortion. It also filed a legal brief in support of same-sex “marriage.”
According to the research tool Implu.com, the association’s revenues were $562,960 in 2007, the last year for which information is available. That year, it received a $30,000 CCHD grant. It received $25,000 grants in both 2006 and 2008.
Another grantee is the Los Angeles Community Action Network (LACAN), which promotes same-sex “marriage” and actively supports contraception and the morning-after pill through its Downtown Women’s Center clinic. It has received CCHD grants for the past five years and was to receive $40,000 for 2009-2010.
CCHD Director Ralph McCloud was informed of BVM’s findings by LifeSiteNews.com on September 10. On September 18 he said that both the Chinese Progressive Association and LACAN had been defunded.
LifeSiteNews.com reported that he was still waiting to hear from the Young Workers United.
The organization, a new 2009 CCHD grantee, supports legalized abortion, legalized prostitution, and same-sex “marriage.” The organization also sponsored a counter-protest to the Walk for Life – West Coast march in San Francisco in January 2008.
It was awarded a $25,000 grant for 2009-2010. The National Center for Charitable Statistics reports that the group’s 2007 revenue amounted to $350,091.
The BVM report has also criticized a $30,000 CCHD grant to the Women’s Community Revitalization Project, a coalition member of a group which favors abortion, the morning-after pill, contraception and same-sex “marriage.”
McCloud said that he was “shocked” by the BVM report. He said the groups’ profiled work in low-income communities did not include activities like voter’s guides.
“When we had first begun a relationship with them, they weren’t doing any advocacy at all, and we focus just on that particular portion of the work," he reported.
CNA contacted McCloud for further comment but did not receive a response by press time.
“We are pleased with this first step and regard it as a sign of good faith by the CCHD,” Bellarmine Veritas Ministry said in a statement. “However, we remain concerned with how these organizations were cleared to receive funding in the first place.”
The group said Catholics should feel assured that they will not fund groups which promote abortion or any other practice contrary to “the moral and natural law.” However, in its view, there is no such assurance.
“Hundreds of thousands of dollars have made their way to such groups and if the current standards remain in place, the risk remains for the future.”
Bellarmine Veritas Ministry said it will continue to advise Catholics to withhold donations from the CCHD until “more robust” guidelines are implemented.