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Response to Bishop Morin Regarding the CCHD

October 8, 2009

Bishop Roger Morin, Chairman of the Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD) Subcommittee, issued a memorandum on Oct. 2 in response to our national campaign concerning the CCHD.   After carefully and prayerfully considering Bishop Morin’s response to our campaign, we must respectfully state that this response does not satisfactorily address our primary concerns and is factually deficient in several areas.

The opening of the memo states:

I write to respond to a recent report from Bellarmine Veritas Ministries that identified several CCHD-funded groups that had taken actions in conflict with CCHD’s guidelines after they were funded, particularly lack of conformity with Catholic teaching.  (emphasis added)

However, as was shown in our report, Young Workers United acted in support of abortion prior to approval to funding.  Also, the Chinese Progressive Association acted in support of homosexual marriage in 2006, yet still was cleared for funding in subsequent years.  The CCHD must take responsibility for failure in properly screening these groups.

Bishop Morin also added:

The Chinese Progressive Association and Young Workers United, both immigrant workers’ rights groups, had, without the knowledge of the local Archdiocese or CCHD, produced voter guides that took positions on referenda opposed to Catholic teaching on same-sex marriage and, in one case, parental notification and abortion. As soon as these facts were confirmed, and after consultation with the local Archdiocese, the groups were also defunded.

We are concerned, especially in the case of the Young Workers United, how these voters guides slipped past the notice of the local Archdiocese and the CCHD.   Young Workers United had its 2008 voters guide prominently placed on its website (see here) and considering this was during the time frame of investigation for its initial grant from the CCHD, we feel justified in questioning whether the current grants process sufficiently screens potential grantees.

One other clarification on this section of the memo:  both the Young Workers united and the Chinese Progressive Association counseled voters to vote against parental notification of abortion.  Young Workers United also supported the legalization of prostitution in its guide.

While we are pleased with the rapid response in defunding both these organizations, the CCHD has yet to address how such organizations made it through the grants process in the first place.  This is our primary concern.  Until the grants process is thoroughly investigated and reformed, the grave risk remains that organizations such as these may be funded in the future.

Continuing on:

Two other groups named in the original story were investigated and, in consultation with the local dioceses, the charges proved to be inaccurate or a misunderstanding had occurred.

We find this statement puzzling.  LA CAN explicitly promoted contraception and praised the work of its members in support of homosexual marriage in its own newsletter.    We will gladly retract our statements concerning LA CAN if this misunderstanding is explained to us.  Until that time, we still call for its defunding.

Also, in regards to the Womens Community Revitalization Project our charge that this grantee was a coalition partner with the pro-abortion group WomenVote PA is not inaccurate.   Thankfully we saved the WomenVote PA website before our report was made public as the Womens Community Revitalization Project has mysteriously disappeared from the WomenVote PA list of partners.  The following image is a screen capture taken Sept. 2, 2009:

womens

Please keep in mind that we are in no way impugning Bishop Morin’s integrity, nor are we implying any motivation behind his words.  However, we cannot accept the reassurance the CCHD is offering in this memo as our main concern regarding the CCHD grants process has not been addressed.  We are highly disappointed in the lack of response thus far on this primary concern and must unfortunately continue to advise our readers to seriously consider whether the CCHD warrants your continued support this coming November.

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