Tag Archives: American Life League

Catholic Citizens of Illinois Joins Catholic Media Coalition Boycott of the Annual CCHD Collection

Catholic Citizens of Illinois has once again joined the boycott of the Annual Catholic Campaign for Human Development Collection. The statement of the Catholic Media Coalition is below. After the USCCB announced a review and renewal policy that would improve vetting of grantees, we were hopeful that the CCHD would take a new direction. We have also posted below the Executive Summary of the investigation by American Life League and the partners at Reform CCHD Now which indicate that rather than improvement, the questionable groups that receive grants from the CCHD have actually increased.


For years the Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD) has awarded grants to organizations that work against Catholic teaching, particularly with regard to human life and marriage. Not only have donations from generous Catholics in the pew gone to groups that organize and lobby against Church teaching, but they have indirectly, and even directly, helped to elect liberal politicians who advance evil causes.

In view of the recent devastating report from American Life League and ReformCCHDNow which indicates that the problems continue and have even worsened, the Catholic Media Coaltion endorses a boycott of the annual CCHD collection and urges Catholics to give instead to local organizations that serve the poor. Crisis pregnancy centers, Catholic free clinics and food pantries, Catholic shelters and homes for unwed mothers, organizations that serve the third world through clean water and immunization projects are all worthy alternatives to CCHD.

Despite their assurances to the contrary CCHD continues to funnel a large percentage of donations into community organizing groups and coalitions that are hostile to the faith and undermine the family. That is, certainly, no way to help the poor.

Catholic Citizens of Illinois has once again joined the boycott of the Annual Catholic Campaign for Human Development Collection. The statement of the Catholic Media Coalition is below. After the USCCB announced a review and renewal policy that would improve vetting of grantees, we were hopeful that the CCHD would take a new direction. We have also posted below the Executive Summary of the investigation by American Life League and the partners at Reform CCHD Now which indicate that rather than improvement, the questionable groups that receive grants from the CCHD have actually increased.

Below is the Executive Summary of the 2010-2011 CCHD Grants Report, Frequently Asked Questions Report and the Letter of Dr. William Marshner, the Theologian at Christendom College who reviewed the current grantees.



For a number of years, there has been concern with the grants that CCHD distributes. There have been specific complaints that a significant portion of the grants have been given to organizations working in direct contradiction to Church teaching.

In 2009, American Life League joined with several other concerned organizations to form the Reform CCHD Now Coalition. In March of 2010, the coalition sent a report on CCHD to each bishop, showing that, in 2009-2010, 51 out of 237 groups receiving CCHD funding either directly or through coalition membership promoted abortion, birth control, homosexuality, and/or Marxism. Thus, 21% of the groups funded by CCHD were involved in such work.

As a result of this activity, CCHD conducted an internal effort to revamp its grant process and ensure that all grantees adhered to strict guidelines. The results were published in a CCHD Renewal Document.

2010-2011 Grantees

In January, 2011, CCHD published its list of 2010-2011 grantees. At that time, American Life League reviewed the list and was disappointed to see that many of the offending organizations were still on the list and, in fact, others have been added.

The attached report documents that, of the 218 organizations funded by CCHD, 14 are directly involved in activities contrary to Church teaching and 40 are actively involved in coalitions with such activities. Thus, 54 groups (24%) funded by CCHD are involved in anti-Catholic work.

The number, and percentage, of offending organizations has actually INCREASED in the last year -from 51 to 54 groups and from 21% to 24%.

These 54 organizations received a total of $1,863,000 of the $7,608,000 distributed in CCHD grants in 2010-2011.

Frequently Asked Questions

1) What is the primary purpose of Reform CCHD Now’s (RCN) 2010-2011 CCHD Grants Report?

The primary purpose of the Grants Report is to assist the bishops in maintaining the Catholic identity of the CCHD. RCN supported the USCCB’s effort to strengthen CCHD’s grant guidelines through the review and renewal process. RCN’s 2010-2011 Grants Report is an evaluation of the CCHD’s grantees applying the Review and Renewalguidelines adopted by CCHD after last year’s report.

2) Is the information in this report just based on “unverified web-based information”?

The researchers used Open Source Analysis, a methodology of tools and techniques promulgated by the U.S. Director of National Intelligence (DNI), the Department of Defense (DOD), and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). This research methodology is also widely practiced in investigative journalism and commercial competitive intelligence.

These tools and techniques require the application of rigorous fact checking, source reliability and credibility scoring, and cross referencing with other independent sources for verification. CCHD’s dismissal of this methodology as “unverified web-based information” indicates a refusal to accept the serious nature and reliability of this research.

For more information regarding the reliability of open source analysis seehttp://www.fusion2004.foi.se/papers/IF04-1172.pdf.

3) Was this report discussed with CCHD staff prior to release?

Yes, in April 2011. The 2010-2011 CCHD Grants Report was hand delivered to the executive director of the CCHD and the findings regarding each individual grantee was discussed. Similar additional meetings with USCCB staff took place in the six months prior to the public release in October.

CCHD’s “Response to Recent Attacks on CCHD,” claims “While some progress was made in these sessions, they usually ended with ALL disagreeing with the CCHD mission as set forth by the bishops and CCHD disagreeing with ALL’s efforts to accuse groups of violating CCHD guidelines based on web searches and without any contact with the groups or dioceses.”

1. ALL made clear that it has never disagreed with “the CCHD mission as set forth by the bishops.” ALL is only concerned with the funding of organizations whose actions, agendas, and ideologies are antithetical to Catholic moral and social teaching: advancing abortion, homosexuality, birth control, and Marxism contrary to the CCHD mission as set forth by the bishops.

2. The information contained in the report is factual. To date, CCHD staff does not dispute the facts but disagrees with ALL’s understanding of them.

4) Was this report discussed with bishops prior to release?

Yes. The Grants Report was provided to the head of the CCHD subcommittee in March 2011 and to the president of the USCCB in July 2011. The Grants Report was then sent to the entire body of U.S. bishops in September 2011.

5) Is the information in the 2010-2011 Grants Report old or recycled “charges”?

Thirty-five of the 55 grantees (63 percent) that violate CCHD Review and Renewal guidelines profiled in this year’s report were not in last year’s report. New information on the grantees from last year is also included in the report. The CCHD claim that “These are not new accusations, but a repackaging of past charges” is accurate only in that 20 grantees which were on last year’s report are again profiled this year because funding them continues to violate grant guidelines and Catholic moral teaching.

6) Has the CCHD refuted the findings and evidence outlined in the 2010-2011 report?

In the CCHD’s “Response to Recent Attacks on CCHD” document, CCHD offers no specific response to any evidence contained in the full report. The response claims, “They [ALL] rely almost exclusively on unverified web-based information and primarily on Internet sites of organizations that are NOT funded by CCHD.”

As was addressed in the question on methodology [FAQ #2], this statement is not accurate.

1. Primary Sources: Information that an organization posts on its own website is a primary source, i.e. an organization’s own statement of its actions, ideologies, and agendas. In essence, it is the official public face of that organization.

For example, the Intercommunity Justice and Peace Center (page 78 of the report) listed its friends and colleagues as follows:

National Organization for Women, Equality Cincinnati, International Socialist Organization, and P-FLAG: Parents, Friends and Families of Lesbians and Gays.

IJPC promoted these organizations that advocate for abortion, same-sex marriage, and/or Marxism. This information is not unverified, nor was it found on some other website. This is irrefutable. (IJPC has since updated its web site but the screen capture is within the report.)

2. Secondary Sources: Information collected from other websites, media outlets, and documents related to CCHD grantee activities include press releases, official grant reports, annual reports, program guides, event announcements, voting guides, and other such sources. Such documents do not constitute “unverified web-based information,” but are indeed standard sources used both in research and legal proceedings.

The veracity of these materials is deemed to be highly reliable because they are not based upon rumor or hearsay, are subject to public scrutiny, and are official reports from various organizations regarding the activities of themselves and their participants and members.

7) What are the findings regarding coalition memberships of CCHD grantees?

The CCHD guideline very clearly states, “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.”

The report details dozens of grantees with coalition memberships that defy Review and Renewal grant guidelines. All information provided was cross-referenced and verified from a variety of independent and primary sources. Attributing all these violations to rogue employees and errors of membership does not seem plausible.

8)Has the report been reviewed by a moral theologian?

Yes. The report was thoroughly reviewed and analyzed by Dr. William Marshner, professor of theology at Christendom College. Click here to read Dr. Marshner’s findings regarding the moral validity of the report.

Mr. Paul Rondeau, Executive Director

American Life League


Last week, you expressed the wish that a moral theologian review your “Investigative Report on the Catholic Campaign for Human Development’s Grants for the Year 2010-2011,” prepared this July; and I volunteered to do so. My academic credentials and publications are available for inspection on the website of Christendom College, where I have taught for over 30 years. I should confess at the outset that, before turning to the academic life, I worked for several years in journalism and was published in periodicals distinctly critical of what many churchmen accepted as “renewal” in the decade after the close of Vatican II. Since then, I have come to accept the pastoral wisdom of the Church’s “preferential option for the poor,” of which the CCHD is a striking expression. I therefore undertake this review with sincere personal sympathy for the Campaign and sincere respect for its guiding principles.

As you say on p. 3 of your well-organized Report, it is CCHD policy that “no grantee may participate in or promote activities that contradict the moral and social teachings of the Church.” The moral basis for this policy is the fact that funding an organization is practical willing (as opposed to just wishing) that it succeed in what it regularly does. Hence the funding of an organization is formal cooperation in what it regularly does.

But in Catholic moral theology, it is never licit to cooperate formally in an immoral project. Hence a CCHD grantee must not do or promote, as a regular part of its work, anything evaluated by Catholic doctrine as immoral. Thus the CCHD policy is morally sound. But its implementation is another story. Your Report has documented at least 11 cases which, in my judgment, are cases in which prima facie the grantee has done or promoted an immoral activity.

These cases are:

Centro Campesino (granted $35 K), which distributes condoms, as CCHD now admits; it claims to have defunded the group, but evidence for this correct decision is not yet forthcoming; the bishops are owed an explanation of what exactly has been done;

Somos un Pueblo Unido (granted $45 K), which trains immigrant women to advocate “reproductive justice” (i.e. contraception and abortion) and which took from other sources at least two grants to do so; CCHD has yet to explain its lack of response to this information;

NY City AIDS Housing Network (granted $30 K) which is listed on an NYC government website as a place to get condoms; CCHD has yet to explain its lack of response;

Southwest Organizing Project (granted $ 45 K); which is involved in the Elev8 sex-ed program, which distributes condoms and IUDs and refers for abortions at Marquette Middle School in Chicago; CCHD was informed of this problem by its own regional director, Mr. Rey Flores; to date, CCHD has explained neither its lack of response nor its termination of Mr. Flores;

Desis Rising Up and Moving (granted $ 35 K), which advocates and participates in groups advocating sexual “liberation” and abortion;n Michigan Interfaith Voice, A.K.A. Gamaliel of Michigan (granted $ 25 K), which has taken grants from the pro-abortion and pro-homosexual Arcus Foundation to advance Lesbian-Gay-Bisexual and Transsexual (LGBT) rights, which include a “right” to be legally “married”;

Michigan Organizing Project (granted $40 K), which has taken grants from the Arcus Foundation for the same purpose in 2007-2009 and in 2011;

Coalition LA (granted $45 K), which produced a voters’ guide favoring same-sex marriage and telling people to vote NO on the ballot-measure to repeal it; the issue here is not just how the state will treat homosexual persons but whether state law will abandon the meaning of the word ‘marriage’, contrary to Catholic doctrine;

Women’s Community Revitalization Project ($40 K), which sponsored a pro-abortion voter’s guide in Pennsylvania and took money from a feminist, pro-abortion organization called Women’s Way; CCHD was informed of this problem in 2009 but re-funded the group in 2010; since the bishops of PA have played an historic role in the pro-life cause, they are certainly owed a specific explanation of this payment to their declared enemy;

Philadelphia Unemployment Project (given $25 K), which, despite its good work toward issues of workers’ compensation, sponsored the same kind of pro-abortion voter’s guide; in a state as heavily Catholic and Democratic as Pennsylvania, it passes belief that the Church cannot find a pro-labor organization that keeps fully clear of the culture of death;

Restaurant Opportunities Center of NY (given $40 K), which produced “guidelines” telling businesses to make questionable accommodations to LGBT preferences, including permission to cross-dress during work-hours and to choose whichever lavatory suited the worker’s subjective preference.

In every one of these cases, the grantee has behaved in such a way that continued funding puts the Church in a position of formal cooperation (or in the apparent and proximate danger of formal cooperation) with moral evil. The problems with United Workers Association, Intercommunity Justice and Peace Center, and Georgia Latino Alliance for Human Rights are addressed below in conjunction with organizations cited in the coalitions category of the Report.

Your Report also documents many cases which pose a lesser but still serious problem, namely, that of unwise material cooperation. These are cases in which a CCHD grantee has affiliated with (or become a member of) some broader organization (hereafter: umbrella group) which sponsors, advocates, etc., actions and positions of which the Church cannot approve. With commendable clarity about this problem, CCHD policy reads as follows: “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.”

Again, the policy is correct and seems straightforward, but its implementation is problematic. You list 13 umbrella groups; given your documentation of what appears on the websites maintained by these groups, it is prima facie the case that CCHD grantees belonging to them violate the policy just stated. They ought to be defunded, and yet they are not.

I see only two ways to explain this situation. Either the policy is not really adhered to, or else its wording is a work of the lawyer’s art, in which ‘organizational purpose or coalition agenda’ is a technical expression meant to exonerate umbrella groups whose immoral activity is not their sole or primary public purpose. In that case, the policy is too tightly drafted, in my judgment. It fails to secure the moral good for whose sake one avoids material cooperation with evil wherever possible: the moral good of giving no appearance of evil.

You also provided for my review some recent correspondence of yours with the Campaign. It is good to see that a dialogue has been begun. Still, I cannot be satisfied with CCHD’s blanket dismissal of much of your Report, on the ground that your information is taken from websites.

Everyone knows that websites can be in error or out of date. But why would a grantee or umbrella group post and maintain on its own website false or obsolete information? To say the least, one needs to see specific explanations. Perhaps providing such explanation would require man-hours of work to which the CCHD does not think ALL, as an outside group, is entitled. But the bishops of the United States are most certainly entitled.

With hope that these reflections may be of use to you and to the Church, I am

Yours in Christ,

W. H. Marshner,

Professor of Theology

Christendom College

CCHD — “It’s All Good!”

What Is the Catholic Campaign for Human Development Trying to Do?

Did you say you want a revolution?

By Stephanie Block

The American Life League gets eternal kudos for its exposé of the connections between the “Catholic” Campaign for Human Development’s (CCHD) annual funding program and abortion.[i]  That alone should be enough to inspire profound, systemic reform of collection.However, there’s another element in this that’s also disturbing and ultimately leads to the same end of unchecked abortion rights.

Consider this bulletin insert from last Sunday, which appeared in a parish of the Davenport, Iowa Diocese. It includes the short story of a CCHD intern who describes her “opportunity to work with Quad Cities Interfaith, a CCHD-funded group.  Among other duties, I have mentored a group of central city youth who fight many obstacles, including poverty.  The group has titled themselves Hear Us Now and seeks to create a voice for themselves in the hopes of bringing about positive change in their schools, their community, and their lives.  I have seen them grow tremendously under the care and leadership training Quad Cities Interfaith offers.  This past year, they formed relationships with the police, the mayor, and school board members and have even spoken publicly at a fundraising event about the positive influence of Hear Us Now in their lives.”

Coupled with accompanying boxes of poverty statistics and the bishop’s column, “Working to Break the Cycle of Poverty,” in the November 3, 2011 diocesan paper, the impression – the promise – is that CCHD is a poverty-fighting collection.  “The Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD) carries out Jesus’ mission ‘to bring good news to the poor…release to captives…sight to the blind and let the oppressed go free,’” the bulletin insert proclaims.


What is this “positive change” we Catholics are funding?

What ideas are being given voice through the youth trained by Quad Cities Interfaith?

To what end are the political relationships with police and public officials formed?

The bulletin insert doesn’t say.

It doesn’t have to.  Sound-bytes and slogans do the job.

If, however, one were to peek behind the veil, there are curious things to find.

In the Beginning

One would discover extraordinary grants awarded during CCHD’s first years.  Here are three from the 1970-1971 inaugural grant period:

·         $50,000 to the Universidad de Aztlan, an alternative educational initiative spawned from Plan Espiritual de Aztlán (Spiritual Plan of Aztlan),[ii] a “manifesto” that insisted “economic control of our lives and our communities can only come about by driving the exploiter out of our communities, our pueblos, and our lands …. Lands rightfully ours will be fought for and defended.”  The exploiter is identified earlier in the document as the brutal “gringo.”[iii]

·         $25,000 to Interreligious Foundation for Community Organizations for Alinskyian organizing.  The Foundation was a deliberate attempt to circumvent “internal debates over Alinsky’s intentions and methods and over the role the churches should be playing in political affairs.”[iv]  In other words, to filter money less visibly, and therefore less controversially, into Alinsky’s work, supporters created an “ecumenical front” to “shield the churches supporting community organizations from the growing anti-Alinsky” sentiments of their congregations.[v]
·         $100,000 to Los PADRES an association of priests who, among other things, established the Mexican American Cultural Center, a hub of liberation theology.[vi]The question isn’t whether these organizations should be free to express their own, peculiar perspectives but is why the Catholic Church, whose perspective is so different, was funding them?  And, lest one dismiss these examples as aberrations, there are numerous others, equally anti-Catholic, funded by CHD in 1970-1971.Or consider CHD’s[vii] early educational materials, which promoted liberationism.  The CHD “Sourcebook on Poverty, Development and Justice,”[viii] published during those first years of the Campaign, argues that “the ‘religious’ person in our society is often equated with the ‘morally upright’ person” but it is, rather, the socially conscious person who is “morally upright.” The author concludes: “In biblical language, liberation is primarily liberation from sin…to speak of liberation in a social sense, then, is to speak of social sin – and to emphasize the social struggle against sin.” [ix]Another of the Sourcebook’s authors retells the parable of the Last Judgment (Matt. 25:32-46) and puts into Jesus’ mouth the words: “When you changed those structures that generate hunger, thirst, nakedness, and loneliness, when you created or operated structures through which men could finally feed themselves, satisfy their thirst and clothe themselves in a community of justice and love, it was to me that you did it.  And when you abstained, it was to me that you did not do it.”[x]Still another author touts “liberating education” – a process quite distinct from traditional western education, which is “institutional, self-serving and divorced from developmental needs, forcing the learned to look elsewhere for meaning and causing institutional education to be in many cases the experience of irrelevance.  Catholic education in the U.S. seems to have shared in this deficiency.”  The “new theory of catechesis,” which includes values clarification and a  threefold pedagogy of transference, reflection, and action-living, is lived out by the learner in a “continual dialectical interrelationship.”[xi]This is not Catholic thought.  This is not service to the poor.It is a political worldview that wants the “infrastructures” of religious institutions – their moral credibility, their interpersonal connections, their resources, and such – for its own uses.Twenty-five Years Later“OH!” someone protests.  “That was long ago. CHD was young; mistakes were made.  It changed!”Did it really?

Twenty-five years after CHD’s founding, at its anniversary celebration in Chicago, keynote speakers were prominent members of the Democratic Socialists of America?[xii]  AFL-CIO president at the time, John Sweeney, served as an advisor to the United States Catholic Conference was another influential Democratic Socialist of America.  Yet another USCCB advisor was Ernesto Cortes, southwest regional director of the Alinskyian organizing network, the Industrial Areas Foundation.  CHD grants in 1995 went dozens of Alinskyian community organizations, pushing liberationism in Catholic parishes.  CHD educational materials from the time, such as “Poverty and Faithjustice” guided participants to the conclusion that poverty in the United States requires fundamental changes in its social and economic structures. [xiii]

So many disturbing facts; so many unanswered questions.  What exactly are these fundamental social and economic changes being funded?  Are they the same as those recommended by the Democratic Socialists of America?  How are these changes to be brought about?

Entering a New Millennium

In 1998, CHD “reformed.”  Under pressure from critics, the Campaign added the word “Catholic” to its name and produced a new set of guidelines emphasizing the sanctity of life and disqualifying organizations from CCHD-funding whose primary or substantial thrust was, ostensibly, contrary to Catholic teaching.

It continued to fund the same organizations, however.

One of these was ACORN.  In 1997, the Wanderer Forum Foundation mailed a copy of ACORN’s socialist People’s Platform to every bishop in the country, and gave them documentation about the political party, called the New Party, which the CHD-funded ACORN, the CHD-funded Industrial Areas Foundation network, and the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) were building during the 90s.

The C/CHD continued funding ACORN for another decade, however, until public outcry became too broad to ignore.   ACORN’s illegal activity was something CCHD couldn’t support; its openly socialist policies and connections – its plans for “positive change” were something it did support.

And CCHD continues to support organizations with similar objectives to ACORN.  In particular, it is funding many of the organizations behind the current “movement” of civic unrest.   In other words, the mass protests of the last several years are organized, in part, by CCHD-funded groups.

Immigration: Consider the wave of marches and rallies demanding increased rights for undocumented workers.  Before sweeping the country in 2006,[xiv] they were preceded by scores of CCHDawards – such as the more than half million dollars for a Nationwide Immigrant Empowerment Project, announced in 2000, to help “immigrants identify and overcome barriers to full participation in their adopted country.”

Many additional grants were distributed.  In the 2001-2002 grant period, $30,000 was awarded the Interfaith Coalition for Immigrant Rights in California and $30,000 to the National People’s Action[xv] affiliate Organization of the Northeast for its Work, Welfare, and Immigration Strategy Team in Illinois …just to name two.

·         The California-based Interfaith Coalition for Immigrant Rights was one of 30 community organizations and local coalitions involved in launching the “Week of Action Against ICE Raids and for Immigrant Rights” in 2007.[xvi]
·         The Illinois-based Organization of the Northeast “helped organize a massive immigrant rights march in Washington, D.C.”[xvii] in 2010.

There were dozens of other CCHD-funded groups in 2001-2002 that later helped organize immigration protests and rallies.  And there were dozens more funded in subsequent years.

Universal Healthcare: Wait, we’re just getting warmed up!  What about the massive drive to pass a universal healthcare package, irrespective of abortion components?  In 2009, PICO and Gamaliel – two of the larger Alinskyian networks whose local affiliates receives millions of CCHD-dollars – worked with Faith in Public Life, Faithful America, Sojourners, and Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good (progressive organizations targeting religious institutions) to run ads on Christian radio in conservative states for “health care reform.” They coordinated “health care” Sundays during the summer to support the legislation.

Occupy Wall Street and Anti-Banking: Or, what of the Occupy Wall Street protests?  In the last decade, CCHD has given substantial money to the Interfaith Worker Justice network, which was created “to facilitate relationships between local religious leaders and labor unions throughout the United State”[xviii]  and has been working with its union allies to support the Occupy Wall Street protests.[xix]

CCHD has also given substantial grants to National People’s Action (NPA) affiliates, which are intensely committed to increased banking regulation.   A member of Americans for Financial Reform,NPA joined the AFSCME union, CCHD-funded affiliates of USAction, and the CCHD-funded, Alinskyian organizing PICO network[xx] in “fighting to regulate the financial industry.”[xxi]

Under the banner of “Showdown on Wall Street,” NPA – again working in coalition with the AFL-CIO – orchestrated protests in New York City.[xxii]   A year later, NPA’s “Make Wall Street Pay” campaign included the takeover of a DC branch of Bank of America – and involved PICO and the Alliance for a Just Society.[xxiii]  Around the same time, ACORN’s founder Wade Rathkeannounced there would be “days of rage in ten cities around JP Morgan Chase” that would be “the beginning of the anti-banking jihad,” organized by the SEIU union, which urged participants at the 2011 Left Forum “to do everything in their power to make the nation’s financial problems far, far worse,” including staying in their homes as long as possible without paying delinquent mortgages.[xxiv]

Another effort to disrupt the economy, called “New Bottom Line,” which called for participants to move as much money as possible out of major banks on November 5, 2011, was led by the same group, specifically NPA, PICO, the Industrial Areas Foundation of the Southeast (IAF-SE), and others related to the former ACORN network.[xxv]

This is the “change” Catholics are funding through their CCHD dollars.

These are the ideas are being given voice by the CCHD-funded, Gamaliel affiliate, Quad Cities Interfaith (QCI), using these strategies.  In 2005, QCI was a sponsoring organization for an immigration rally outside the National Governor’s Association (NGA) Annual meeting.[xxvi]  In 2009, QCI joined other protesters at the National Mall to “Rally for Health care Justice in Washing DC.”[xxvii]  In October 2011, it rallied at the state capitol for job creation in Illinois.[xxviii]

You want a revolution?  Why didn’t the bureaucrats at CCHD explain beforehand – in the 70s and 80s – that this is “systemic change” they’re after?  Or…did they and no one listened?

Stephanie Block is a Spero columnist. She also edits Los Pequenos.org – a publication based in New Mexico.

[i] To read the 2011-12 report, visit www.reformcchdnow.com
[ii] Lee Stacy, Mexico and the United States, (Marshall Cavendish, 2002 ) p.70.
[iii] Full text of Plan Espiritual de Aztlán (Spiritual Plan of Aztlan): www.utpa.edu/orgs/mecha/aztlan.html
[iv] P. David Finks, The Radical Vision of Saul Alinsky, (New York: Paulist Press, 1984), p 167.
[v] The Radical Vision of Saul  Alinsky…p 234.
[vi] Texas State Historical Association, “PADRES,” from The Handbook of Texas Online: www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/ixp02 (accessed 11-3-11)
[vii] The word “Catholic” wasn’t added the Campaign for Human Development’s name until 1998.  Therefore the acronym for the Campaign’s early years is CHD.
[viii]  “Sourcebook on Poverty, Development and Justice,” edited by the Education Staff of the Campaign for Human Development, published by the United States Catholic Conference, undated (around 1973-4).
[ix] Sourcebook…(emphasis in the original), pp. 67, 73; written by Peter J. Henriot, S.J., Staff Associate of the Center of Concern.
[x] Sourcebook…. “The Social Mission of the Church in the United States,” by Sr. Elinor Shea, OSU and Frederick J. Perella, JR., Assistant Educational Coordinator of the CHD, p. 45 (quoting ReneLaurentin, Liberation, Development, and Salvation, p. 123).
[xi] Sourcebook…. “Education to Justice” by Sr. Josephine Dunne, SHCJ, the Education Coordinator of CHD, pp. 117, 119-120, 124-125.
[xii] Namely, Dr. Cornel West and Dolores Huerta, honorary chairs of the Democratic Socialists of America.
[xiii] “Poverty and Faithjustice: An Adult Education Program on Christian Discipleship in the United States,” prepared by the Catholic Campaign for Human Development and Catholic Relief Service, published by the United States Catholic Conference, 1998, p.2.  According to the declaration of Msgr. Dennis M. Schnurr, General Secretary NCCB/USCC, at the beginning of “Poverty andFaithjustice,” the material is a 1997 CCHD planning document, approved by general membership of the NCCB, which authorized the CCHD “to develop relevant materials on social justice issues in order to raise the consciousness of parishioners.”
[xiv] See, for example, “Rallies across U.S. call for illegal immigrant rights,” CNN Politics, 4-10-06: articles.cnn.com/2006-04-10/politics/immigration_1_jaime-contreras-national-capital-immigration-coalition-illegal-immigrant-rights?_s=PM:POLITICS
[xv] As a dues-paying member of United Power for Action and Justice, ONE is also affiliated with the IAF.
[xvi] “Immigrant Communities Demand An End to Immigration Raids,” 2-26-07
[xvii] Adam Doster, “Chicago Group Wants Intransigent Lawmakers To Pay ‘Political Price,’” Progress Illinois, 6-8-10.
[xviii] George E. Schultze, SJ, “Work, Worship, and Laborem Exercens in the United States Today,” working draft paper, University of San Francisco, undated.
[xix] Among other things, the IWJ website carries “We are the 99 Percent: Occupy Wall Street,” Congregation Discussion Guides and “Prayer Service for Supporting Occupy Together,” (accessed 5-4-11).
[xx] Americans for Financial Security, coalition members:  ourfinancialsecurity.org
[xxi] Heather Booth bio, New Organizing Institute Staff: www.neworganizing.com/profile/Heather-Booth
[xxii] Showdown on Wall Street, 4-29-10: showdowninamerica.org/showdown-wall-street
[xxiii] Make Wall Street Pay Press Release, “Homeowners Tell Attorneys General: ‘Not Enough;’ Hundreds Go to National Association of Attorneys General’s Convention,” 3-7-11:makewallstreetpay.org/news/2011_0307c.html; David Dayen, “National People’s Action Takes over BofA Branch in DC: Updates, 3-7-11: news.firedoglake.com/2011/03/07/national-peoples-action-takes-over-bofa-branch-in-dc
[xxiv] F. Vincent Vernuccio and Matthew Vadum, “SEIU plans days of rage against Wall Street: Boycotts, Marches, and Protests…How to Put Banks on the Edge of Insolvency,” Canada Free Press, 7-18-11.
[xxv] “Hundreds Protest Wells Fargo Shareholder Meeting in SF,” San Francisco Bay Guardian (online), 5-4-11;  Joel B. Pollak, “Email from Lisa Fithian to Occupy Wall Street Confirms ACORN Role in Occupy’s Next Assault on Banks,” [undated but around 10-21-11].
[xxvi] Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement, informational flier: “Hundreds of Iowans rally for Immigration Reform; Announce plan to engage governors, Iowa’s political leaders in reform efforts: Call on Governors Vilsack, Huckabee and Iowa Political Leaders to Fight to Restore Integrity, Humanity to Nation’s Broken Immigration System,” 7-16-05:www.iowacci.org/news/pressreleases/latino/latinopress_3.htm
[xxvii] Quad Citites Interfaith: www.qcinterfaith.org/modules/piCal/index.php?com_mode=flat&com_order=1&event_id=742
[xxviii]  “Gamaliel of Illinois Action for Jobs at State Capitol – Part 1:” www.youtube.com/watch?v=q4aZyAkHkxI

Catholic Campaign on Human Development: The American Life League Report on links to abortion groups

Catholic Campaign on Human Development: The American Life League Report on links to abortion groups

By Stephanie Block

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 Alinskyianorganizing 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 USActionwhich 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 Alinskyianorganizing 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 includeuniversal 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.”

Progressive Networking

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-fundedorganizations 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-fundedgroups, 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 theUSCCB 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[1].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 localinitiatives.”  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’smembership 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.

CCHD: How to shoot yourself in the foot

EDITOR NOTE: Enough games… Catholics should not be expected to finance this political drama queen any longer.

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Reform CCHD Now (RCN) coalition (www.reformcchdnow.com) has released a report detailing multiple problems with the Coalition of Imokalee Workers (CIW), the first grantee featured in a document intended to outline the review and renewal of the controversial Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD).

“The very idea that the CCHD would praise CIW in a document that apologizes for funding pro-abortion, pro-homosexual organizations in the past and promises to make a stronger effort to avoid doing so in the future undermines their credibility,” said Michael Hichborn, lead researcher for RCN member American Life League.  “If CCHD can’t get it right at the beginning of this process, what confidence can we have that it will be able to do so later on.”

RCN’s report outlines in specific detail how CIW participated in the US Social Forum 2010; something the RCN reported on back in June.  The US Social Forum ran a collection of workshops, many of which were devoted to abortion rights, homosexual rights, and Marxist Socialism.  RCN’s report also specifies three of CIW’s coalition and network partnerships that are in and of themselves pro-abortion and pro-homosexual, and whose mission is to encourage cross-issues advocacy of their members. The report can be found on the Reform CCHD Now web site at http://reformcchdnow.com/report_11_4_10_renewal.pdf.

“The CIW’s participation with these groups directly violates the CCHD Renewal documents restriction on participating in coalitions which have positions or actions which contradict fundamental Catholic moral and social teaching.” said Rob Gasper, founder of RCN member Bellarmine Veritas Ministry. “The CCHD’s lack of oversight even in its renewal document underscores our concern and call for a delay in the national collection until the 2010 grants list is released.”

RCN renewed its call for complete transparency in CCHD’s grants process, and a delay of the collection until the new grants list is released.


USCCB “Review and Renewal of the Catholic Campaign for Human Development” betrays utter lack of reform

Liberal priests oppose CCHD reform efforts in Chicago (Exclusive)

 CCHD critics raise new questions on grants to radical groups

 CCHD Coalition Finds Radical Group Featured in Bishop’s Renewal Document; Urges Delay of Annual Collection


Bishops Call Charges Against USCCB Official False, Ridiculous — Read Charges Here

  “A systemic pattern of cooperation with evil…”

WASHINGTON (CNS)—Bishops who work closely with John Carr, who oversees the Catholic Campaign for Human Development, say new claims against him and the agency are false and “totally ridiculous.”

John Carr

Bishops William F. Murphy of Rockville Centre, N.Y., and Roger P. Morin of Biloxi, Miss., spoke with Catholic News Service Feb. 3 about recent allegations of “a systemic pattern of cooperation with evil” by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops because of Carr’s past involvement with the Center for Community Change.

“I’m concerned about these attacks on John Carr and I know they are false and I think they are even calumnious,” said Bishop Murphy, who chairs the USCCB Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, by telephone to CNS. “I am taking this to be a very sad, sad commentary on the honesty of some people in these pressure groups.”

“Personally I think (the claims) are totally ridiculous,” said Bishop Morin, who chairs the USCCB subcommittee that oversees CCHD, the bishops’ domestic anti-poverty initiative, in a separate telephone interview.

A report released Feb. 1 by the Reform CCHD Now Coalition, a group that includes the American Life League, Human Life International and Bellarmine Veritas Ministry, said the Washington-based Center for Community Change “has lodged itself into the highest places of power in the USCCB while working to promote abortion and homosexuality.”

Carr, executive director of the USCCB’s Department of Justice, Peace and Human Development, said he stepped down as chairman of the center’s board in February 2005, and the board never addressed those issues during his tenure.

“My experience with CCC was that it focused on poverty, housing and immigration and had no involvement in issues involving abortion and homosexuality,” Carr said. “When I served, the board never discussed or acted on any position involving these matters, and if they had, I would have vigorously opposed any advocacy for access to abortion or gay marriage.”

Carr was interim CCHD executive director from 2007 to early 2008. With the USCCB restructuring in 2008, he took over a department that consolidated CCHD and the former Department of Social Development and World Peace.

Carr said the CCHD Web site had recommended the Center for Community Change for its anti-poverty work, but when the coalition’s report disclosed that the center supported abortion (“It was news to us,” he said), the recommendation was removed.

The American Life League and Human Life International are Virginia-based groups that oppose abortion and advocate on other pro-life issues. Bellarmine, based in Texas, describes itself as “a Catholic grass-roots organizing ministry dedicated to truth and action.”

The Center for Community Change says its mission is to “build the power and capacity of low-income people, especially low-income people of color, to change their communities and public policies for the better.”

According to the Reform CCHD Now Coalition, 31 organizations that have received CCHD grants are among the more than 150 groups that have “partnered” with the Center for Community Change.

Carr said no one from American Life League or Bellarmine had contacted him or anyone else at the CCHD or USCCB before the report was issued.

“I have spent my personal and professional life defending human life and dignity and Catholic teaching, including current efforts to keep abortion funding out of health care reform,” he said.

“I regret that once again the failure to contact me or CCHD has led to unfair allegations in attempts to undermine the essential work of the Catholic Campaign for Human Development,” Carr added.

Bishop Morin said he also has been subject to attacks “almost from the time I became chairman” of the CCHD subcommittee.

“You can have one person with a Web site call you a left-wing radical, and my family is asking me, ‘What’s going on?'” he said. “We’re doing the same thing we’ve always been doing—what is right and good and just.”

Bishop Morin said that although Carr’s primary focus over the years has been on social justice issues, “that does not take away one bit from his commitment to the sacredness of human life.”

Carr also received support from Thomas Grenchik, executive director of the USCCB Secretariat for Pro-Life Activities.

In a Feb. 2 letter to diocesan pro-life directors and state Catholic conference leaders, Grenchik called Carr “staunchly pro-life” and “a partner in USCCB pro-life efforts.”

“He worked diligently to keep abortion out of the many recent health care reform efforts,” Grenchik added. “Were it not for his efforts and those of others, our country would now be funding abortion and health plans that provide abortion, on a massive scale. …

“This challenge is far from over, and John remains steadfast in his effort to advocate for health care reform that protects human life,” he said.



Sleeping with the Enemy: Conference of Catholic Bishops cooperation with pro-abortion organizations
by Michael Hichborn
Released January 31, 2010

The intelligence community has a saying, “Once is happenstance, twice is coincidence, and three times is enemy action.”  Since August, American Life League has been working with a coalition of Catholic and pro-life organizations, researching groups being granted money by the now infamous Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD).  During this time, the coalition, Reform CCHD Now, has revealed no less than 50 organizations (one fifth of all CCHD grantees from 2009) that are in some capacity engaged in pro-abortion or pro-homosexual causes. The sad thing, however, is that these recent revelations manifest a pattern of cooperation stretching back for decades.

Throughout the national campaign this past November, which called on Catholics to withhold donations to the CCHD, the CCHD ran damage control, deflecting or dismissing the charges made against its grantees.  Oddly enough, however, the CCHD never responded to the charges concerning the 31 grantees found to be partners with the pro-abortion, pro-homosexual Center for Community Change.  Among the initial findings regarding this organization are the following:

  • CCC received $75,000 in 2007 from the Arcus Foundation specifically for homosexual activism
    • Funds donated for the project Generation Change, an initiative to recruit, support and train the next generation of community organizers and emerging social justice leaders through paid internships, fellowships and mentorships for activists from communities of color and from the GLBT community.

  • CCC held training seminar for homosexual groups
  • From the introduction to CCC’s Movement Vision Project, which embraces “abortion rights” and “reproductive freedom”
    • “abortion rights and reproductive freedom intersect with criminal justice. Our solutions must intersect as well” — Introduction to the Movement Vision Project of The Center for Community Change 

  • CCC produced a Tool Kit celebrating homosexual lifestyles with the following quotes:
    • “This conservative strategy also fostered hostility toward those struggling for equal opportunity—people of color, women, immigrants, gays and lesbians, and poor people. Individualism, in this context, has meant ignoring and refusing to recognize that barriers to opportunity still exist. It then demonized those of us who would tear down those barriers.”
    • “But the old days in the form of 1950’s America was also home to racism, segregation, limited opportunity for women, and hostile to gays and lesbians.”
    • Calendar of Community Values News Hooks contains the following:
      • “Use this 2008 calendar as a planning tool. It can help you identify opportunities to get out your message about community values. Connecting your press release or op-ed to a holiday or notable/historic date in a unique way can help it get better coverage.”
      • May 20, 1996: Romer v. Evans decided by the Supreme Court, ruling against an amendment to the Colorado Constitution that allowed discrimination against gays and lesbians
      • June: Gay Pride Month
      • June 28, 1969: Stonewall Rebellion helps to spark the gay rights movement
      • October 11: National Coming Out Day, commemorating 2nd March on Washington for LGBT Rights
  • CCC’s resource library endorses a book supporting so-called “abortion rights”
    • Reproductive Justice Briefing Book: A Primer on Reproductive Justice and Social Change” by SisterSong is an activists’ guide to promoting abortion rights
    • The CCC summary for the book says:
      • “Need a one-stop shop for information on reproductive justice? Well, SisterSong has got the right tool for you. This series of articles documents the struggle for reproductive justice and bridges this struggle with other issues within the social justice movement such as immigration and queer rights. Additionally, the series touches upon the future of the women’s movement in relation to reproductive justice.”
  • The Bellarmine Veritas Ministry reveals even more shocking information on the CCC in its latest report, including CCC support for abortion funding in health care reform legislation.

There can be no doubt that the Center for Community Change’s goals are antithetical to those of the Church, which is why it is strange that the CCHD has yet to address findings regarding the 31 grantees intimately connected with this organization.  Even allowing for the possibility that these partnerships with the CCC were mere happenstance, in attempting to understand the CCHD’s silence the coalition took a closer look at the CCC.  With great shock, the coalition discovered that the CCHD currently endorses the CCC on its web site, calling it worthy of support.

Could the grantee partnerships with CCC and the CCHD’s endorsements be coincidental?  This shameless promotion of an organization whose aims cannot possibly be in line with Church teaching was jarring enough.  But more distressing than that is the discovery that the USCCB’s Executive Director of the Department of Justice, Peace, and Human Development served and chaired the board of the CCC.  John Carr, who oversees the entire CCHD, served in both top executive positions at the same time.

Carr, whose work with the CCC goes back at least as far as 1983, was hired by the USCCB in 1987 as the next secretary for social development and world peace.  Annual reports from the CCC reveal that Carr was on the CCC’s board of directors in 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, and 2006, serving on the executive committee from 1999-2001.  Given his cozy relationship with the CCC, it’s no wonder the CCHD never responded to our concern over grantee membership with this radical group.

But the findings don’t end there.  In 2000, while Carr was serving both organizations, the CCHD funneled $150,000 to the CCC.  In 2001, the CCHD hosted the Executive Director from the CCC for a presentation at a three day conference and, in 2006, when Carr left the CCC’s board of directors, he was replaced by Tom Chabolla, who worked for Carr as associate director of programs for the CCHD until 2008.  In December of 2008, the CCC co-sponsored an event called the “Realizing the Promise Forum,” rallying around the election of Barack Obama.  Ralph McCloud, the current Director of the CCHD joined the celebration, proclaiming that “very soon we will see a New Jerusalem.”

The most peculiar aspect of this investigation, however, is the mysterious omission of Carr’s membership and chairmanship of the CCC’s board on his USCCB bio.  With great consistency, several brochures, event announcements, forums, and bios for other organizations he is involved with give nearly word-for-word copies of his USCCB bio, with the exception that they mention his involvement with CCC, and the USCCB bio does not.  Figuring that perhaps his USCCB bio maintained only current positions, coalition members searched the internet archives going back to 2004, and found that his bio has NEVER mentioned the CCC.  The omission is odd and, given the new information, quite suspicious.

Happenstance and coincidence are no longer possible explanations.  As a primary researcher for the coalition, what I have discovered is full-blown Catholic cooperation with a pro-abortion and pro-homosexual organization at the highest levels of the CCHD.  While John Carr and those he works with in the CCHD may profess to be pro-life, and we aren’t questioning this, the fact of the matter is that whatever justification may be offered for this kind of cooperation is nothing short of the flaccid excuses pro-abortion “Catholics” in public office toss out when they profess to be “personally pro-life, but …”

Regardless of what Carr’s reasons may be, what we would like to know is how the USCCB can justify this explicit cooperation, or if it was even known to them.  If the USCCB did NOT know about these unethical relationships and the CCC’s history of anti-life and pro-homosexual activism, why not?  Jesus told His disciples “No servant can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.”  As I have repeated since we began our investigation, CCHD staff and leadership are either incompetent or they are complicit.  Whatever the case may be, there can be no doubt that the CCHD has completely failed its mission by sleeping with the enemy.

Michael Hichborn is American Life League’s lead researcher on the CCHD and host of the American Life League Report.

2009 CCHD BOYCOTT INFORMATION: Catholic Campaign for Anti-Catholic Activities


Every year on the Sunday before Thanksgiving , many Catholic parishes take up a second collection for the Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD).

Recognize that organization? If you don’t, you should. Here’s why:

Until 2008, CCHD had been funding ACORN for several years, giving over $7 million to the corrupt organization. The same organization that is being investigated for voter fraud, embezzlement, and other wrongdoing was recently caught in undercover videos in recent months helping a pimp and prostitute set up a business and traffic underage girls for prostitution.

It doesn’t end there. CCHD has funded groups that openly oppose the Church’s teachings, including:

· Young Workers United – supports abortion rights, legalized prostitution and gay marriage.

· The Chinese Progressive Association (San Francisco) – supports abortion rights and gay marriage, actively urging its members to vote against Prop 8 in California, which would define marriage as between a man and a woman.

· People Improving Communities through Organizing (PICO) – currently campaigning for the a version of healthcare reform, which has government-funding of abortion and does not protect the conscience rights of medical professionals who decline to perform or refer for abortions.

Learn more from the Bellarmine Veritas Ministry’s exposition of CCHD-funded groups. For more information and for the CCHD’s response to these charges, click here.

The CCHD has not directly funded abortion, or any explicitly anti-Catholic project to our knowledge. It has also funded groups which legitimately serve and represent the poor and marginalized.

But it is hard to believe repeated assurances that the CCHD always carefully vets its grantees given both its history and its continued funding of groups which openly oppose the Catholic Church’s teachings on social justice, family and life issues. This must stop.

Do you want your money going to the CCHD on November 22nd?

It’s time that we sent the CCHD a message.
Will you join us?

This year, instead of cash or a check, download and print out this coupon and put it in the November 22nd annual CCHD special collection at your parish. The coupon explains that your financial support will resume once the CCHD demonstrates that it will work only directly support groups that are in agreement with Catholic teaching on social, family and life issues.

 Sign up to receive updates on this campaign by clicking the REFORM CCHD ICON in the upper left corner of this page, get informed about the history of the CCHD scandal, find out about groups that are serving and representing the poor in an authentically Christian way, and spread the word to all faithful Catholics that we will no longer subsidize groups which do not support Catholic teaching on social justice, family and life issues.

Credible Signs of Christ Alive: Case Studies from the Catholic Campaign for Human Development by Stephanie Block

james mary evans
james mary evans

   John Paul II was quite clear that Catholic educational and charitable works must be Catholic in their own understanding and Catholic in their identity.  Service to one’s fellows, while laudable in itself, must serve an additional, fundamental end: the proclamation of the Gospel. (“‘Church’s Educational and Charitable Works Must Be Truly Catholic,’ Says Pope: Receives U.S. Bishops from the Northwest and Alaska,” June 24, 2004, www.zenit.org)

That’s a tall order.  It implies a tremendous responsibility to assure that a charity’s services are in keeping with Catholic moral understanding as well as Catholic evangelical purposes. 

To say it another way, regardless of the “goods” a Catholic charity might procure for the needy, if it has also funded condom distribution, supported Machiavellian political activism, or – because of particular alliances -eschews Catholic moral principles, it deserves to be de-funded. 

It takes more than just saying one’s charity manifests the “living Christ,” as Paul Hogan does in his book Credible Signs of Christ Alive: Case Studies from the Catholic Campaign for Human Development.  A “good deed” that has been attached to a political agenda – and we’re not talking a social order brought under the kingship of Christ, but a manipulated, consensus-driven governance – simply can’t be equated with God’s work. 

So, does the Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD) manifest the “living Christ?”  Credible Signs chooses six CCHD-funded organizations – its charity showpieces, not its principal grantees – to illustrate its work.  They are showpieces, not representatives of principal grantees, because one doesn’t find, for example, any mention of the Alinsky-founded Industrial Area Foundation affiliates, despite its receiving about 16% of the annual grant pie.  But if CCHD feels other groups better reflect its work, then by all means, it’s worth examining them.  

1.  Grace over Chicken: The Delmarva Poultry Justice Alliance

The first close-up of a CCHD-funded organization examined by Credible Signs is the Delmarva Poultry Justice Alliance, located in Delaware in the Diocese of Wilmington.  This is chicken raising country and the industry not only pays its workers poorly, ostensibly to keep consumer prices low for chicken meat, but also engages in practices designed to keep competition at bay.

The Delmarva Poultry Justice Alliance was founded in 1996 to address these problems and it has received CCHD grants since 1999.  Until 2003, the Alliance was an affiliate of another CCHD-funded organization, the National Interfaith Committee for Worker Justice (NICWJ).  The NICWJ was given a $100,000 CCHD grant in 1999, then used its CCHD money, matched by other funding bodies, to make its own grant to the Poultry Alliance, thereby giving the Alliance access to additional CCHD generosity.     

One of individuals who was particularly influential in creating the Delmarva Poultry Justice Alliance was Rev. Jim Lewis, an Episcopal priest and activist in anti-death penalty, gay rights, labor, and women’s reproductive issues.   To serve the Delmarva Poultry Justice Alliance members, who are largely poor, immigrant laborers, Lewis helped to establish La Red Health Center.

La Red does a lot of good work – there’s no denying that: prenatal care, immunizations, nutritional counseling, primary, acute and chronic disease, mental health and substance abuse counseling, and an array of other fine services.

But La Red is a Division of Public Health Title X partner and as such provides what is euphemistically called “reproductive health services,” as well.  This includes the provision of, or referral to, a wide range of abortifacient contraceptives and sterilization. 

As for the NICWJ, its founder and executive director, Kim Bobo, is a speaker for Call to Action, a dissident “Catholic” organization that works to overthrow Church moral teachings on abortion, contraception, homosexuality, and marriage and desires to restructure the Church with democratically elected bishops and priests, married and women clergy, and small faith communities to support its liberation theology.

Bobo contributed (with the assistance of the Campaign for Human Development-funded Midwest Academy) to the manual How to Win: A Practical Guide for Defeating the Radical Right in Your Community. Radical Right, in this instance refers to pro-lifers, any group of parents who want to review school curricula, oppose sex education, or seek “parental permission for anything,” any group of citizens concerned about sexual orientation “rights,” home schoolers, or folks desirous of religious activity of any sort in any public forum.  Conversely, it provides a plethora of materials in support of abortion and gay “rights,” among other issues.

The activist handbook’s list of “right wingers” includes the American Life League, William Donohue’s Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, Franciscan University of Steubenville, Human Life International, Knights of Columbus, National Coalition Against Pornography, National Coalition on Television Violence, National Conference of Catholic Bishops (NCCB), Secretariat for Pro-Life Activities, National Right to Life Committee, Opus Dei, and the Pro-Life Action League.

How, then, are we understand the Delmarva Poultry Justice Alliance to be a model CCHD grantee?  It is, on the one hand, a legitimate association of workers seeking economic betterment.  On the other hand, its mentorsand founders procured these goods with the blood of poor children.

2.  Tenants’ and Workers’ Support Committee

The second organization featured in Credible Signs is the Tenants’ and Workers’ Support Committee of Virginia (TWSC, now called Tenants and Workers United – TWU).  This organization was founded in 1986, the north Virginian affiliate of another CCHD-funded group, the Virginia Organizing Project.

TWSC is discussed in Credible Signs for its work toward a living wage law, or, more precisely, a minimum wage hike.  In this effort, it has networked with dozens, if not hundreds of other CCHD-funded groups around the country.  The issue is controversial and a thoughtful Catholic, exercising a preferential option for the poor, might fall on either side of the debate.

What a Catholic cannot support is the other work of the Virginia Organizing Project – and through it, TWSC.  Among other things, the Virginia Organizing Project assisted the state’s homosexual activism network in its successful effort to pass legislation in 2005 to allow private employers to offer health insurance and other benefits to domestic partners. It also opposed the Affirmation of Marriage Bill, a proposal to expand the existing Virginia Defense of Marriage Act.

CCHD has always had a problem with fungibility.  Catholic money awarded for a “good” project – or, at least, a tolerable project – frees an organization to use resources for morally untenable projects.  The problem was so pervasive that in 1998 the Campaign drafted new guidelines, emphasizing the sanctity of human life and stating clearly that not only must funded projectsconform to the moral teachings of the Catholic Church, but that any organization whose primary or substantial thrust was contrary to Catholic teaching – even if the project itself was in accord – would be denied funding. 

Good guidelines, but they require a vigilant will to enforce them.  The $105,000 to the Virginia Organizing Project and the $111,000 to TWSC since1998 suggest that there is no such will.

3. Camden Churches Organized for People

Next we look at the PICO affiliate of community organizations in New Jersey, Camden Churches Organized for People.  Credible Signs lauds the organization for helping to revitalize a dying city – specifically for its vision paper (“A Vision for the Recovery of Camden”) that led to passage of the 2002 Camden Recovery Act (CRA), a $200 million package supposedly designed to restore Camden’s neighborhoods and economy.

What has been the result of this act, however?  The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that the CRA’s redevelopment plans include extensive and involuntary relocation of residents. (Elisa Ung,  “Candidates: Rein in Camden redevelopment,” Philadelphia Inquirer, September 14, 2005) 

Other reports complain that State Sen. Wayne Bryant, who wrote and sponsored the CRA with Camden Churches Organized for People backing, has received a kickback – the Camden Redevelopment Agency created by CRA hired Bryant’s law firm to acquire properties. (Bob Ingle, “Stem-cell research plan could hurt Republicans,” Courier Post Online, January 10, 2005)   The CRA also gives the governor veto power over school board decisions.  In the view of one council member, “The [city] government is being taken over right now….My colleagues and the mayor gave up their right to govern the people of the City of Camden.” (Jeffrey Muckensturm, “The Camden Democracy Gap,” zmagsite.zmag.org, October 2003, quoting Ali Sloan-El, city council member) 

Oh, and $13.25 million allocated by the act went to the Cooper Hospital – University Medical Center, whose Women’s Center provides a full range of family planning and birth control services.

4. Southeast Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement: Stop the Factory Farms

Here’s one that looks promising – a local organization devoted to independent family farms and battling the inhumane and ecologically unsound practices of “factory farms.” 

Trouble is, Southeast Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement is an affiliate of National People’s Action (NPA), a coalition of groups around the United States founded in 1972 by Gale Cincotta, a student of Saul Alinsky’s.  Alinsky taught that a “people’s organization” has to “personalize” an issue by identifying one individual to be demonized.  “Direct action,” of which NPA is a proponent, might include the bussing of protestors to the homes of such targeted business or government leaders.  Civil political debate is then replaced by tactics of mob intimidation.

Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement uses these tactics. It has protested on the front lawns of individual school board or farm bureau members, chanting and shouting at them and their families through the windows of their homes.  It has published its targets’ home phone numbers in newspaper ads, inviting -and generating – harassing phone calls.  Imagine the outcry if Catholic money funded anti-abortion “direct action.”

5.  The Anti-Displacement Project

The fifth example of a model CCHD-funded organization is another affiliate of National People’s Action (NPA).  This one, Anti-Displacement Project (ADP), works out of Springfield, Massachusetts. 

Besides the obvious problem of its tactics – and the use of Catholic charitable donations to fund training people in these tactics – the Anti-Displacement Project recently co-hosted an “Immigrant Rights and Workers Rights” rally to protest the low wages given to undocumented workers and announce the creation of Casa Obrera Worker Center at APD’s offices.  The worker center is designed to help organize the undocumented “to improve the conditions of employment, and to provide legal representation and other services.” (Peter Goonan, “Protest follows labor breakfast,” The Republican, September 09, 2006)

6.  Proyecto Pastoral at Dolores Mission

Last, but not least, Credible Signs looks at Proyecto Pastoral, a project of Dolores Mission in Los Angeles, California.  Dolores Mission is a center for liberation theology, using its work among the poor to spread an alternative way of “being church.”

Fr. Thomas Rausch, SJ, writes, for instance, that “…the worship of the community [of Dolores Mission] and the strong influence of liberation theology themes clearly drive its many involvements. Music is simple but strong, with lyrics projected on an old movie screen. An emphasis on praxis is evident in the preaching. Only part of the assembly receives communion; the heart of Dolores Mission is its call to empowerment in response the community’s daily experience of poverty and injustice.”  [Fr. Thomas Rausch, SJ, “Liturgy and Evangelization in the North American Context”]

Dolores Mission has a coordinator for the dozen or more base communities the parish hosts and through which its ministries are run.  Sister Giulii Zobelein, OP, Director of Religious Education at Dolores Mission writes that the “small Christian communities” – not Christ – are the life blood of Dolores Mission.  She says: “They are modeled on groups that began in poor areas in Latin America. They meet weekly in homes, reflecting on the Sunday Gospel and how it applies to their lives. It is from these groups that action for peace and justice springs.” (www.msjdominicans.org/DoloresMission.pdf )

The action for peace and justice to which Sister refers has included agitating protests of proposed laws to criminalize illegal immigration, claiming – erroneously – that such legislation would slap felony charges against doctors, teachers, social workers and ministers who aid undocumented immigrants.  (Ellie Hidalgo, “Catholics fast to urge just immigration laws,” Catholic News Service, 2/16/2006) 

Dolores Mission peace and justice action also includes its Comunidad en Movimiento (Community in Action) program, which runs monthly meetings with all the department heads of the Los Angeles Housing Authority to discuss their issues. (David Scheie with T Williams and Luisa Pessoa-Brandão, “Organized Religion and Civic Culture: Final Report from a Strategic Review,” prepared forthe James Irvine Foundation by Rainbow Research, Inc. April 2001.)

Bottom line… 

The “model” CCHD-funded programs highlighted in Credible Signs illustrate exactly the problem with the Catholic Campaign for Human Development: the CCHD does not exercise responsible oversight of its grants.  With its arsenal of modern advertising techniques directed at generous Catholic heart and purse strings, it promotes abortion, immorality, big government, and flawed theology. 

These “model” groups are not anomalies.  They represent the typical CCHD grant.  Nearly ten years ago, the Wanderer Forum Foundation produced its CHD Commentary (www.wandererforumfoundation.org/publications).  It demonstrates that all major grant recipients of the CHD/CCHD are every bit as problematic as the six featured organizations of Credible Signs.  The essential CHD funding patterns of 1997 remain unreformed.

© Los Pequenos de Cristo, Inc.