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National Campaign: Addressing The CCHD

Table of Contents

What is the Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD)?
Examples of Troubling Groups Funded by the CCHD

Bellarmine Veritas Ministry’s Plan of Action
What You Can Do to Help

What is the Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD)?

The Catholic Campaign for Human Development is the domestic anti-poverty, social justice program of the U.S. Catholic bishops.

Its mission is to address the root causes of poverty in America through promotion and support of community-controlled, self-help organizations and through transformative education.

…The grants, economic development, and education for justice programs of the Campaign, implemented in collaboration with local dioceses, are supported from an annual collection in U.S. Catholic parishes. (from the USCCB website)

The CCHD collects funds from a national US collection on the Sunday before Thanksgiving during Mass.  The funds are then distributed to outside organizations (grantees) who work on behalf of the poor.  According to the USCCB:

CCHD’s current criteria and guidelines prohibit partisan activity and funding of any group that engages in activities contrary to Catholic moral teaching, whether or not those activities are funded by CCHD.  (From the USCCB website)

The 2008-2009 list of grantees funded by the CCHD can be found hereUpdate:  the 2009-2010 grantee list has just been released.  Click here to see it.

Troubling Groups Funded by the CCHD

The CCHD has had problems in the past with organizations they have funded.  Just last year the CCHD had to pull all funding from over twenty local ACORN groups who were receiving anywhere from $20,000 -30,000 each.  The CCHD released a statement on the matter and reassured that Catholics can feel comfortable contributing to the CCHD national collection.

However, our research shows that this is not the case.  Several organizations on the list openly promote abortion, contraception, and same sex marriage.  Many others are aggressively pushing the health-reform bill currently in Congress which would provide for tax-payer support for contraception and abortion.  Here are some examples:

The Chinese Progressive Association (San Francisco) This group has received CCHD funding for the last four years as a worker’s right’s group.   However, this organization publicly supports both abortion and same-sex marriage.  Update: as of 10/2/2009, the CCHD has defunded this group in response to this report.

Exhibit A: from the Chinese Progressive Association’s 2008 voting guide cpapage1cpapage2

Proposition 4 will make it illegal for women under 18 years old to have an abortion without doctor notification to a parent/legal guardian at least 48 hours before the abortion procedure. For young women, who have communication problems with their parents, especially in immigrant communities, this proposition would force young women to find dangerous alternative ways to have abortions.

Prop. 8 would re-write the California Constitution so that only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California, denying the rights of LGBTs to marriage. CPA understands that wedge issues such as gay marriage divides our community is constantly used to cloak the real issues. As a principle, we believe marriage is a civil right and cannot support any form of discrimination, regardless of race, gender, class and sexuality.

Exhibit B: The Chinese Progressive Association (CPA) filed an amicus curiae in support of same-sex cases coming before the California courts.  From the document: CPA

Los Angeles Community Action Network (LA CAN) Funded by the CCHD for the last five years for civil rights work.  LA CAN provides the home organization and coordination of the Downtown Women’s Action Coalition (DWAC) and shares leadership in the Coalition with Downtown Women’s Center and SRO Housing.  Has worked to support same-sex marriage and promotes access to emergency contraception and “family planning” through a monthly clinic offered by the Downtown Women’s Center.

Exhibit A: (quoted from Dec 08/Jan 09 LA CAN Newsletter)

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.

Exhibit B: LA CAN promotes the Downtown Women’s Center monthly clinic (quoted from Sept /Oct 06 LA CAN newsletter)

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.

This clinic, run by the JWCH Institute, provides a whole array of contraceptive services, including emergency contraception: familyplanning

The Rebecca Project for Human Rights Funded by the CCHD for more than four years for work in criminal justice for vulnerable families.  However, this organization and its founder have gone on record in support of abortion. UPDATE: This group is not on the just released 2009 USCCB Grantee list.  Public acknowledgement that they will not be funded in the future should be demanded.

Exhibit A: The Rebecca Project, along with Planned Parenthood and other pro-abotion organizations signed a “wish list” of reproductive priorities for President Obama to carry out during his first 100 days in office.  This list includes proposals to:

  • Increase Funding for the Title X Family Planning Program to $700 million.rebecca
  • Expand Coverage of Medicaid-Funded Family Planning Services.
  • Invest in Comprehensive Sex Education.
  • Restore Incentives to Provide Affordable Birth Control at College Health Centers
    and Certain Safety Net Providers.
  • Strike Budgetary Restrictions That Block Women’s Access to Abortion Care.
  • Rescind the Global Gag Rule.
  • Restore Funding to the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).
  • Provide $1 Billion for International Family Planning Programs.
  • De-Fund Abstinence-Only Programs.
  • Review Policies that Restrict Access to Emergency Contraception (EC) and
    Eliminate Restrictions that Lack Scientific Support.
  • Select Judicial Nominees with a Demonstrated Commitment to Fundamental Legal
    Protections and Civil Liberties, Including Reproductive Rights.

Exhibit B: When asked Rebecca Project founder and director Malika Saada Saar about this wish list, she responded:

…Malika Saada Saar, executive director of the Rebecca Project for Human Rights, which also signed onto the proposal, told that her organization thinks the plan submitted to the next president is positive.

Saar described the report as “broad, detailed and thoughtful,” and the “right path” for promoting reproductive rights.

“I believe we ought to be in a place of allowing mothers to exercise their right of when they want to be able to mother,” Saar said. “And allowing full access to abortion allows women to exercise when they feel it is best to become a mother, and to be able to mother their children with the dignity and the safety and the stability that they see is required.”  (from article Jan. 14, 2009)

Women’s Community Revitalization Project Funded for the last several years for working to provide housing for the poor.  However, this grantee is a coalition partner of an organization working to secure abortion rights.

Exhibit A: The Women’s Community Revitalization Project is a “coalition partner” with WomenVote PA.  WomenVote PA is trying to advance a “progressive Pennsylvania women’s agenda” which includes:

  • Marriage Equality: Opposing Constitutional Amendment Banning Same-Sex Marriage
  • Comprehensive Sexuality Education
  • Reproductive Health Care and Family Planning Access
  • Emergency Contraception for Victims of Rape and Incest

Young Worker’s United voter guide2– New on the 2009 grantee list.  Supports abortion rights, legalized prostitution and same sex marriage.  Update: as of 10/2/2009, the CCHD has defunded this group in response to this report.

Exhibit A:  Young Worker’s United released their 2008 voting guide which counsels voters to vote against parental notification, for same-sex marriage and  for the decriminalization of prostitution.

Exhibit B: Supported the “Forward, Not Back—Reproductive Justice for All!” counter-protest in response to the pro-life “Walk for Life—West Coast” march in San Francisco on January 19, 2008

Exhibit C: Promoted the documentary “Live Nude Girls Unite,” which is “a moving and inspiring full-length documentary about how a group of women organized the first union for strippers in the country.”

Examples of grantees campaigning for the current version of health care reform:

These CCHD grantees are actively pushing for the current version of health care reform currently in Congress without qualifying that health care reform should not include federal funding for abortion or family planning.

Tennessee Health Care Campaign

Food AND Medicine

The PICO network and its affiliates

Massachusetts Senior Action Council

The Gamaliel Foundation and its affiliates

VOICE – Buffalo, Inc

Washington Community Action Network

Bellarmine Veritas Ministry’s Plan of Action

Organizations such as these should not be funded by the Catholic Church.  Unfortunately, year after year, our donations to the CCHD collection have been irresponsibly assigned to these groups.   The Bellarmine Veritas Ministry recommends not contributing to the CCHD campaign until he following demands have been met:

  • Immediate and public removal of funding from the grantees which blatantly contradict Church teaching on life issues and morality
  • Grantees which support the current health care reform legislation must state clearly and publicly that they will not promote any piece of legislation which gives federal support to abortion or family planning
  • A better system of oversight must be put in place to prevent such organizations from receiving CCHD funding in the future

Until the above demands are met, Catholics should consider donating to familiar local groups which aid the poor or some other charity which is in line with Church social and moral teaching as a substitute for donating to the CCHD.

Steps you can take to help this campaign

Inform Yourself:

  • Take the time to read the information presented on this page carefully and critically.
  • Visit the USCCB CCHD website to make sure you’ve heard all sides of this issue
  • Read the documents and encyclicals concerning Church social teaching (posted in the resource section of this web-site)
  • Pray for guidance from the Holy Spirit

Inform Others:

  • E-mail this information to those you know
  • Speak to your pastor and parish priests
  • Write or meet with your Bishop
  • Place informational pamphlets in your parish or local Catholic book stores (ask for permission if necessary.  A sample pamphlet will be uploaded in the near future)
  • Link to this website from your blog or social networking site

Act Decisively:

  • Withhold your donation to the CCHD
  • Place a note in the collection basket explaining the reasons why you did not contribute to the CCHD  (Sample collection note)
  • Remain vigilant and continue to inform others until the demands have been met

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