- WASHINGTON, D.C., October 7, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Following a high-profile bid at renewing the U.S. Bishops’ domestic social justice arm, the organization has been accused of supporting even more objectionable groups in the last year, a charge the bishops’ office has strongly denied.
The Reform CCHD Now Coalition released a report Monday outlining allegations that 54 groups that were funded in 2010-2011 by the Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD) were involved in work contrary to Catholic moral teaching, up from 51 in 2009-2010. The groups profiled as objectionable make up 24 percent of all CCHD grantees, and received a total of $1,863,000.
The RCN Coalition charges that fourteen of the groups have been “directly participating in activities and promotions in contradiction with Catholic moral and social teaching,” including contraception, homosexuality, and abortion. The Coalition says that another 41 were found to have joined coalitions with objectionable agendas, in violation of a new CCHD guideline established last fall as part of the renewal.
After the Reform CCHD Now Coalition (RCN) released several major reports between August 2009 and March 2010 detailing abuses of funds, at least twelve U.S. bishops had chosen not to contribute to national CCHD collections based on the findings. However, the CCHD subsequently rolled out a major renewal campaign in October 2010, including the establishment of a review board and new guidelines for grantee approval.
One of the major coalitions that RCN has highlighted is the Center for Community Change (CCC), which has listed 27 CCHD grantees as partners. CCC is an open advocate of “abortion rights,” and in recent years has campaigned against the defunding of Planned Parenthood as well as Rep. Bart Stupak’s amendment to keep abortion funding out of President Obama’s health care bill.
Details on the 54 grantee organizations, whose involvement in anti-Catholic agendas is outlined with direct-source material, are available here.
CCHD chairman Sacramento Bishop Jaime Soto has shot back at RCN’s report, however, saying it was poorly investigated and simply recycles old allegations. The bishop said that the CCHD staff has reviewed the ongoing allegations, and “swiftly and completely terminated” one grantee that surfaced as a clear offender.
“We expressed our appreciation for this information,” he said. “However, other ALL allegations are without substance.”
Bishop Jaime Soto of Sacramento
Soto’s office said in an attachment that the report was “a repackaging of past charges already addressed by CCHD,” criticized the coalition’s methods of information-gathering, and outlined several methodological concerns, without naming specific groups.
For example, CCHD says that some of the grantees were listed as “partners” or “members” by a coalition but had not agreed to the designation, or were not aware of the coalition’s policy violating Catholic teaching.
While “some progress was made” in meetings with the RCN Coalition, says CCHD, “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.”
CCHD national director Ralph McCloud did not answer a request for comment. Attempts to reach Bishop Soto were also unsuccessful.
Soto, who was appointed to head the CCHD in November 2010, has earned a reputation as a strong and outspoken defender of both authentic human sexuality and the unborn.