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Approval from the Archdiocese of Los Angeles?

November 19, 2009

In the recent “FOR THE RECORD -The Truth About CCHD Funding” published by the CCHD in defense of its granting procedures, the following statement was made:

In fact, Coalition LA, one of the six groups, produces its own voter guide which is approved by the Archdiocese of Los Angeles prior to publication. (Source: “For the Record“)

However, it has been brought to our attention that Coalition LA’s voter guide from the year 2000 included the following:

Also:

We would like to know if this voter’s guide was approved by the Archdiocese.  Perhaps Coalition LA and the Archdiocese did not have a relationship in the year 2000, in which case this still implicates Coalition LA as an organization which should not be receiving funds from the CCHD.

Response to CCHD’s “For the Record” (Part 1)

November 16, 2009

On November 13th, the Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD) released a response to some of our findings entitled “FOR THE RECORD The Truth about CCHD Funding.”  We appreciate the effort on the part of the CCHD to offer an explanation about their funding decisions.  We have carefully read the CCHD’s response with an open mind and hope they will read our response in the same spirit.

The first several allegations covered in “For the Record” deal primarily with statements made by others.  We do have some thoughts on these responses and hope to cover them later this week in a second part of this report.  Since the latter portion of “For the Record” is a direct response to our research, we will respond to that first.

The CCHD began in its response to our report on Mobilize the Immigrant Vote (MIV) as follows:

With reference to the seven California groups that were listed as members of Mobilize the Immigrant Vote (MIV), only six are currently funded by CCHD. (Source: For the Record)

The CCHD grantee in question is Time for Change (which controls the San Bernardino chapter of  All of Us or None).   The San Diego chapter of All of Us or None was listed on the MIV 2008 members list, and we accept this point of clarification from the CCHD.  However, please note that Time for Change was in fact an MIV campaign partner as this 2006 archived web-page proves.

Also, Time For Change is a member of the California Partnership (not a CCHD grantee), which serves on the steering committee of MIV (source) and gives its members access to  MIV’s pro-abortion voter’s guide and training programs (source).   In 2005, Time for Change participated in a MIV Voter Education Forum along with Planned Parenthood:

As part of our civic engagement work, members from our San Bernardino chapter held a Voter Education Forum to highlight the initiatives by providing voter education materials, register new voters and educate and mobilize the community to get out to the polls. Members and allies including Liberia del Pueblo, Time for Change, and staff from Planned Parenthood and CAP, presented on the issues and engaged a audience of community leaders and residents making this event a huge success. (Source: California Partnership  Fall/Winter 2005 Newsletter)

Incidentally, the California Partnership took pro-abortion and pro-hocappropsmosexual marriage positions in the 2008 election. (Source)

Other CCHD grantees which are California Partnership members:

  • Coalition LA (which is on the California Partnership steering commitee)
  • Justice Overcoming Boundaries (JOB)
  • Parents Organized for Westside Renewal (POWER)

Continuing on with the CCHD’s “For the Record” :

For each of the six funded groups, CCHD received specific approval from the bishop of each local diocese in which the organizations are located to fund them. All six groups confirmed to CCHD they were never consulted about MIV taking positions on ballot initiatives contrary to Catholic social teaching. (Source: “For the Record“)

This contradicts the statements we posted from Nancy Berlin, Executive Committee Chair of MIV, which stated that the voter’s guide was produced in consultation with MIV’s coalition partners.  Furthermore,  several of the CCHD grantees listed were not only general campaign members of MIV, but more closely related to MIV through its MOVE program.  The MOVE program according to MIV provides a “higher level of support to approximately thirty grassroots groups.” (source pg 12)

Also:

MOVE partners come together in five local tables throughout California to learn together and discuss the specific needs of their regions. MOVE partners have underscored the value of these convenings and feel they hold potential for increased collaboration on civic engagement and policy campaigns. (Source: An Evaluation of Mobilize the Immigrant Vote California Collaborative, pg 14)

The CCHD grantees involved in the MIV MOVE program are: Justice Overcoming Boundaries (JOB), Coalition LA and Faith in Community. (source)  Due to their higher level of involvement, we find it difficult to believe that these grantees were in the dark about the MIV ballot initiatives, and simply taking these grantees’ word that they were not consulted about the MIV platform does not constitute a proper investigation.

MIV publicly posted the dates, times and locations of their Issue Analysis Forums, and invited all members to attend. (source)  Based on photos we have obtained from these forums, we know they were well attended and both Proposition 4 and Proposition 8 were discussed: issue

Continuing on with CCHD’s “For the Record” :

Additionally, the Mobilize the Immigrant Vote Web site includes this statement: “The partner organizations listed above do not necessarily endorse MIV’s formal positions on ballot measures or policy proposals.” (Source:For the Record)

Yes, MIV’s member page now includes that disclaimer.  However, this disclaimer was added only after our report was published.  The following is a screen shot taken October 9, 2009: disclaimerFinally, in regards to MIV, the CCHD offers the following:

In fact, Coalition LA, one of the six groups, produces its own voter guide which is approved by the Archdiocese of Los Angeles prior to publication. (Source: For the Record)

We thank the CCHD for that information.  However, we still question why Coalition LA is highly involved with MIV and also with the California Partnership.  We request that LA Coalition remove itself from both coalitions due to their pro-abortion positions.

The CCHD next examines LA CAN:

The Archdiocese of Los Angeles has reviewed the activity of LA CAN and determined the organization does not engage in any activity contrary to Church teaching, and has recommended continued funding for the organization. (Source: For the Record)

Notice that this does nothing to explain either of the following statements found in LA CAN’s newsletters:

Many LA CAN members also worked with the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force campaign to defeat Proposition 8, which repealed the right to marry for same-sex couples. Unfortunately, this proposition also narrowly passed – a civil rights defeat for all Californians. (Source: Dec 08 – Jan 09 LA CAN newsletter)

For these reasons, Downtown Women’s Center (DWC) has partnered with JWCH Institute to offer a new monthly women’s health clinic. The clinic occurs at the Downtown Women’s Center (325 S. Los Angeles St., between 3rd and 4th St.) every third Wednesday of the month. If you are reading the Community Connection right now, chances are you’re not far from DWC!

This clinic aims to help women access healthcare in a setting that is comfortable and private, with as much individualized attention as possible. The clinic focuses on women’s health needs by providing well-woman exams, along with basic primary care services.

What’s a well-woman exam, you ask? This exam includes a Pap smear and breast exam, and, depending on your needs, can include contraceptive/family planning counseling and prescriptions, menopausal counseling, STD, HIV and pregnancy testing. (Source: Sept. Oct. 06 LA CAN newsletter)

We still await explanation of how promotion of homosexual marriage and contraceptive services meets the CCHD’s guidelines.

In regards to our report on the San Francisco Organizing Project, the CCHD offers:

Archdiocese of San Francisco strongly supports the work of the San Francisco Organizing Project (SFOP) to expand access to health care to children. Both Archbishop Levada and Archbishop Niederauer have spoken at SFOP events; SFOP has met regularly with Archdiocesan staff to coordinate work on health care access and other issues that affect the poor and immigrant families. (Source: For the Record)

Again, this does not address the information we discovered concerning the SFOP.  We would like to see a specific response to the charges we made in our report concerning SFOP.

“For the Record” continues with an explanation that both the Chinese Progressive Association and Young Workers United were defunded for producing pro-abortion voter’s guides.  One statement by the CCHD does raise some questions, “CCHD immediately cancelled both
grants, and both organizations returned all of the funding they received from CCHD.”  Is the funding returned only from this year, or were all the grants returned by the Chinese Progressive Association?  If the Chinese Progressive Association did not return all funding from previous years, perhaps the CCHD statement should be stated more accurately.

The final section of “For the Record” states:

The Diocese of Portland and the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, along with CCHD, continue to gather the facts involving these organizations [Preble Street and Womens Community Revitalization Project]. Both grants have been placed on hold during this process. Once all pertinent information has been reviewed, a final determination will be made regarding these two organizations. (Source: For the Record)

We are pleased to see that the CCHD is re-opening its investigation into the Women’s Community Revitalization Project, especially after Bishop Morin’s memo had stated our initial report was flawed in this regard.  We hope this third screening of WCRP will be more successful, and look forward to learning the results of the investigation.

Our response to the CCHD will continue in part 2, due later this week.  In the meantime please visit the Reform CCHD Coalition web-site to keep up to date with the actions of all our coalition partners as we enter this crucial last week before the national CCHD collection.

Revisiting Bishop Morin’s Memo Regarding Our CCHD Campaign

November 6, 2009

On October 2nd, Bishop Roger Morin, Chairman of the Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD) Subcommittee released a memo in response to our initial report concerning the CCHD.   As we reported on Oct. 8 in our initial response to Bishop Morin, three grantees listed in our CCHD report were stripped of funding and two others were investigated and cleared by the USCCB for further funding.

Bishop Morin stated:

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. (source:  Memorandum issued by Bishop Morin to US Bishops, Oct. 2nd, 2009)

The two CCHD grantees in question are LA CAN and the Womens Community Revitalization Project.  We have yet to hear an adequate explanation as to how our initial presentation regarding these two groups was flawed, and now have further evidence to support our charge that the Womens Community Revitalization Project (WCRP) should be immediately stripped of all funding by the Catholic Campaign for Human Development.

In early 2009, the WCRP received a grant totaling $16,400 from the Philadelphia based organization Women’s Way. (Source: Women’s Way web-site)  Women’s Way, like many organizations which give grants, has a strict policy in place as to what manner of organizations are eligible for grants.

This policy includes the following:

What WOMEN’S WAY is NOT Interested in Funding
WOMEN’S WAY seeks applications that support our mission. The following types of organizations and projects conflict with our values and funding philosophy and would not be considered.

  • Organizations that consider themselves to be pro-life
  • Organizations and projects that do not support a woman’s full range of reproductive choices
  • Organizations and projects promoting abstinence-only sex education
  • Organizations and projects opposing same sex relationships or marriage (Emphasis present in original.  Source: Women’s Way web-site)

Therefore, if the Womens Community Revitalization Project is eligible for this grant from Women’s Way, by definition they are ineligible for funding by the CCHD.

Please keep this in mind on November 22, the date of the CCHD national collection.    Unless the CCHD removes WCRP from the grants list, a portion of your CCHD donation may very well go to the WCRP.  Also, this highlights the need for reform in the CCHD grants process.  WCRP not only cleared the initial screening to receive CCHD funding, but was also cleared for continued funding after the investigation by the CCHD following our initial report.

More Questions Surrounding CCHD Grantees (Part 2)

November 4, 2009

In this second part of our report on CCHD grantees whose actions and associations are deserving of further investigation by the USCCB, we will examine an alliance that has developed between seven CCHD grantees, several Catholic Charities branches and a voter mobilization coalition that has the express goal of indoctrinating immigrants to further a pro-abortion and progressive political agenda.

Before detailing the grantees and Catholic groups involved, it is important to first give some background on this voter mobilization organization:

Mobilize the Immigrant Vote (MIV) is a coalition of like minded organizations who have developed an immigrant voter mobilization strategy which goes far beyond voter registration.  In their own words:

It is important to note that policy change is one of the longest term goals of MIV.  (Source: An Evaluation of the
California Collaborative Mobilize the Immigrant Vote Pg. 12)

The MIV explains its theory of producing social “change” as follows:

Over time, and when conducted at a sufficient scale, MIV’s partner organizations’ successful movement-building electoral organizing will cause a marked shift in the consciousness of the electorate within a region, the credibility of organizations’ message, and the overall political power that these organizations hold with elected officials and policy-makers.  (Source: Ibid, pg. 7)

And more simply stated:

We spend a lot of time on political education. We want to make sure that our communities know why their voting, what their voting for, that they are informed on the issues, that are critical in their communities, so their votes really count and make a difference in their communities.  We don’t think it’s responsible or very good organizing to just get people out to vote. What we’re interested in is what we call a movement building electoral organizing. Yes, we want our communities to register to vote. Yes, we want them to get out and vote. But we want to go beyond that. We want to make sure that the work that we do is linked to the broader missions of our community organizations and fosters the work that they are already doing.”  (Nancy Berlin, Executive Committee Chair MIV, taken from : http://www.wilsoncenter.org/topics/pubs/Vegas%20Eng.pdf)

What is MIV’s vision of social change and is it compatible with the Catholic Church’s teachings on social justice?  Decidedly not.  For example, the MIV  policy platform states the following under its health care section:

Provide low-income immigrant women and girls with access to culturally-appropriate information necessary to make informed decisions about their reproductive health and rights. Reproductive health needs to be an integral part of our state’s safety net. (Source: MIV Immigrant Voices Platform )

mivprop4This statement is somewhat ambiguous, so it is helpful to look at how MIV has interpreted their own platform.  For the 2008 California elections, MIV produced a voter’s guide which urged voters to vote against Proposition 4 which required parental notification for minors seeking an abortion.

Also included in this voter’s guide is is the recommendation to vote against Proposition 8 which would amend the California Constitution to prevent homosexual marriage.

MIV was both enthusiastic and proud while evaluating their efforts to promote  abortion and homosexual marriage among the immigrant populations.  In their own words:

Two statewide propositions opposed by MIV (Prop. 4 and 6) were defeated at the polls. It is important to note that MIV was one of many organizations within California to take a stand against these propositions. Nevertheless, MIV’s work certainly contributed to the defeat of these propositions, which were both seen by the organization as jeopardizing immigrant communities. Proposition 8, which which sought to ban gay marriage, passed in 2008. Despite the defeat, MIV partners acknowledged that it won by a smaller margin as compared to a similar measure in 2000, and they remained proud of the education they had done in low-income immigrant communities of color on this issue. One niche of MIV is its work to engage low-income immigrant communities of color on “wedge issues” – such as gay marriage, immigration and criminalization – that are used to divide communities. (Source: An Evaluation of the California Collaborative Mobilize the Immigrant Vote Pg. 13 )

The following video produced by the MIV corroborates our claims:

One might expect organizations such as Planned Parenthood or the pro-abortion Khmer Girls in Action to be participating members of Mobilize the Immigrant Vote, and they are.  More surprisingly, however, is that Catholic Charities, the John XXIII Multi-services Center, and seven CCHD grantees are also on the MIV membership roll as campaign partners. The seven grantees listed are:

  • Faith in Community
  • People Organized for Westside Renewal – POWER
  • Coalition LA
  • Justice Overcoming Boundaries in San Diego County
  • Nuestra Casa
  • San Francisco Organizing Project
  • All of Us or None (listed as Time for Change per CCHD)

These Catholic run or Catholic funded groups may make the claim that they were unaware of the stance MIV has taken on abortion and homosexual marriage, but this in actuality cannot be the case.   The MIV developed its platform and voters guide in coordination with all its member organizations.  According to MIV:

…What our groups also told us is they didn’t want to just go out and be part of MIV for informational purpose but they wanted us to say what we stood for. So we took a draft platform with our six regions. We hashed it out with people. We sent it to our ally organizations. And we wrote up a platform that covers everything from immigration, worker justice, healthcare, worker rights, and more. To really try to give more of a base to who we are. (emphasis added. Source: Nancy Berlin, Executive Committee Chair MIV, taken from : http://www.wilsoncenter.org/topics/pubs/Vegas%20Eng.pdf)

Also, according to an MIV survey, 130 out of 133 member organizations endorsed their Immigrants Voice Platform.  The explicitly pro-abortion voters guide was also developed with input from the member organizations:

We produce pros and cons information and then we take that out to the communities. We do these issue analysis forums. At the forums we invite everybody, all of our groups, all of our neighbors. The community debates it, what do we think, back and forth. We take a straw-poll vote, how do you feel about this. We do them in our six regions. We bring it back. We compile all that information and go, Ok, what do we want to put in the voter guide? And we use what the people told us out in these forums as the basis of the pros and cons that we write up. (emphasis added. Source: Nancy Berlin, Executive Committee Chair MIV, taken from : http://www.wilsoncenter.org/topics/pubs/Vegas%20Eng.pdf)

We assume out of charity that the Catholic Charities groups did not support the pro-abortion language in the 2008 voters guides, but the question remains:  Why continue working with such an organization and expose Catholic immigrants to pro-abortion indoctrination?

As for the CCHD grantees who are members of MIV, we can make no such assumptions, since they have never publicly stated a pro-life position.  Their association with MIV raises questions which must be answered immediately.

  • Did they distribute the MIV produced voter material?
  • Why would they participate in a voter mobilization drive led by a group acting directly against Church teaching?
  • Will they publicly state their adherence to the pro-life teachings of the Catholic Church?

Failure to adequately answer these questions should result in immediate suspension of CCHD grants.

In conclusion, we again ask the USCCB to reform the CCHD grants process so Catholics can be assured that not a single penny of their donations are used to fund groups which support or are sympathetic to grave evils condemned by Church teaching.   The examples we have outlined in our reports more than justify this request.  Visit www.reformcchdnow.com for more information on what Catholics can do to help our bishops make these necessary reforms.

More questions surrounding CCHD Grantees (Part 1)

November 2, 2009

Our initial CCHD Campaign report highlighted five grantees about whom we had enough solid evidence to call for their removal from the CCHD grants list.  Our criteria was that we needed indisputable and conclusive evidence from multiple sources showing that a certain grantee was acting directly in support of grave evils condemned by the Catholic Church.

However, a number of other grantees were borderline cases where we felt we did not have quite enough evidence to call for their defunding.  These grantees warrant further investigation by the CCHD and the USCCB and bolster our case that the CCHD grants process is in need of major reform.

We will now present two examples of these borderline cases for your consideration:

Preble Street – This grantee has received CCHD grants for a number of years for their work in empowering the homeless. However, they operate a day shelter where “family planning services” are made available by human service agencies.Preble

Exhibit A:  A screen shot from Preble Street’s web-site taken on August 5th of 2009 (the site has since been updated) states:

21 human service agencies visit the Resource Center to offer services such as mental health and psychiatry, family planning, and transitional housing. (see image for source)

The San Francisco Organizing Project (SFOP) : This PICO affiliated grantee has been funded by the CCHD for at least five years for a variety of projects.  However, they have given major support to health clinics which provide family planning and emergency contraception services to both adults and minors.

Exhibit A: the SFOP lists several major accomplishments in the health care field including:

  • Won $200,000 for Mission Neighborhood Health Center and Excelsior Clinic for Women and Children.
  • Saved Excelsior Clinic and the public pharmacy at SF General Hospital. (source: SFOP web-site)

Exhibit B: The Mission Neighborhood Health Center and the Excelsior Clinic provide family planning and emergency contraception services to minors and explain that minors do not need parental consent:

Our Teen Clinic offers Sensitive Services that are FREE and CONFIDENTIAL for all young people of all genders from ages 12 to 21. Services offered cover sexual and reproductive health, including:

  • Health education
  • Family Planning/Counseling
  • Pregnancy tests
  • STI (sexually transmitted infections) check and treatment
  • Pap smears
  • Emergency contraception
  • HIV tests and counseling
  • General counseling and referrals
  • Mental Health Specialist on site

If you are a young person over the age of 12, you can register for Teen Clinic services on your own, without the consent of an adult (California Family Code 6925). All services are FREE and CONFIDENTIAL. (taken from Mission Neighborhood Health Center web-site.  See also: Excelsior Clinic web-site)

In the second part of this series we will present new information on seven other CCHD funded organizations.  This should be posted within the next two days.  In the meantime please visit www.reformcchdnow.com and forward this information to those you know.

Special Announcement: Reform CCHD Coalition formed

October 28, 2009

Reform CCHD

We are pleased to announce the launch of www.reformcchdnow.com which is a joint effort from a coalition of Catholic organizations including the Bellarmine Veritas Ministry, Human Life International and American Life League.

Working together with this coalition greatly expands the reach and capabilities of our initial campaign concerning the CCHD.   Please join us in this effort as we near the November 22 CCHD collection date!  The Reform CCHD Now web-site includes print outs, news resources, and links to worthy Catholic causes we should be supporting in lieu of our CCHD donations.

Below is the HTML code for the “Reform CCHD Now” Image link, which when copied and pasted onto your site via your html editor, will automatically place the image as a link back to the Reform CCHD Now web-site.

<a href=”http://www.reformcchdnow.com”><IMG SRC=”http://www.reformcchdnow.com/images/stories/reformcchd.png&#8221; border=”0″ ALT=”Reform CCHD”></a>

Thanks for helping us spread the word!

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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