Thursday, February 4, 2010

They Didn't Know the CCC was Anti-Life?

John Norton over at the OSV Daily Take writes about the current scandal regarding the CCHD and John Carr:
I asked the bishops' conference for a response. John Carr writes:

Neither the American Life League nor the Bellarmine Institute contacted me, CCHD or the bishops' conference before making these accusations. If they had, they would have learned that I left the board of the Center for Community Change in February of 2005 and that I had no involvement in or knowledge of the actions alleged in the press release.

My experience with CCC was that it focused on poverty, housing and immigration and had no involvement in issues involving abortion and homosexuality.

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.

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. 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.

Full article here.
ALL is claiming that they attempted to meet with Carr back in November but were refused... someone is lying... and the story goes on...

OSV Daily Take has a follow up article that says:
In response to my questions, Mercy Sister Mary Ann Walsh, director of the U.S. bishops' media relations office has:

1. CONFIRMED the American Life League's assertion that the bishop's Catholic Campaign for Human Development gave $150,000 to CCC in 2001. But it CLARIFIED that during the time he served on the CCC board, his office at the bishops' conference did not then have jurisdiction over CCHD (countrary to American Life League's claim about conflict of interest). And it says CCC has not received any funding since.

2. CLARIFIED that Carr left the CCC board in 2005 (American Life League said 2006). It said his previous work for CCC was "a few months" after leaving the Carter administration, which ended in 1981. He was part of a group trying to work with block grants. "He then went to work for the Archdiocese of Washington as Cardinal Hickey's secretary for social concerns."

3. NOTED that the pro-abortion and pro-gay-rights "activities highlighted in ALL e-mail campaign took place long after" Carr left the CCC board.

See full article here.
Somehow I still don't feel better about the CCHD. And I'm not sure I would call 2005 a long time ago.

And perhaps more disturbing is this:

Rob Gasper of the Bellarmine Veritas Ministry (BVM), another RCN member, issued a follow-up report yesterday, explaining that further investigation of CCC was necessary because “CCHD has not responded publicly or privately to the [initial] allegations.”

Gasper furnishes further evidence that homosexual and abortion “rights” are fundamental to CCC's progressive vision. He shows, for example, that CCC has advocated for abortion funding in health care reform, which includes membership in a Stop Stupak coalition – a reference to the amendment in the House health care bill that maintained the federal ban on abortion funding....
...He also mentioned the 31 CCHD grantees who are still members of CCC, and the fact that the USCCB website called on Catholics to support CCC on its website until that reference was removed following yesterday's reports....
This article (that the above quote is taken from) also brings up several other concerns about the relationship between the CCHD and the CCC.

And then there's this (over at Catholic.org):
After Carr left the CCC’s board of directors, Tom Chabolla, associate director of programs for the CCHD until 2008, joined the board. This charge has not yet been addressed by the USCCB....
...It also noted that Tom Chabolla, former associate director of programs for the CCHD, was on the CCC board when it was involved in such abortion and homosexual advocacy.

ALL asked why Carr’s USCCB bio omitted his involvement with the CCC. It also asked how he will address the CCC’s “ongoing problem” with funding pro-abortion and homosexual advocacy groups if he did not recognize the “direction” in which the CCC was headed."

Read full article here.
I pray that all this really isn't true, that the people connected are all innocent and were simply trying to help the poor. But the money funneled to groups whose basic missions are at odds with Catholic teachings raised red flags back in fall, and the responses that I've read have done little to alleviate my fears. I was disturbed to read the response of one of the bishops who implied that questioning where the money was being spent was an "attack on the Catholicism." I would say that spending Catholic donations on pro-death causes was far more detrimental to our faith than asking questions and expecting honest answers about where the money has been spent.

At the very least I hope that the USCCB decides to continue to investigate the connections between the CCHD and organizations whose actions are contrary to basic Catholic teachings. When families place their hard earned money into the offering plate during the CCHD collection each fall at their parish they need the assurance that it won't be used to kill the unborn.

And if the current administrators at the CCHD can't assure that, maybe the USCCB should hire someone who can do a bit more research and investigate what the money they're giving away is going to be paying for.

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