Wednesday, November 11, 2009

The CCHD, PICO, and the Archdiocese of San Francisco

A slightly shorter version of this article appeared in this morning's California Catholic Daily.

SF Archdiocesan Partner Raised Funds for Group Offering “Emergency Contraception"--"San Francisco Organizing Project” Also Hopes to Honor Nancy Pelosi

On October 30, 2009, every parish in the United States was sent a letter by the US Catholic Bishops in reference to HR 3962, the healthcare bill passed last Saturday by Congress. The letter directly requested that priests and parishioners tell their representatives that unless the bill specifically removed funding for abortion, the bill must be opposed.

But that same clear moral distinction is not being applied within Catholic institutions. On September 3, 2009, California Catholic Daily reported on the infiltration of the Church by the “community organizing” group PICO and its affiliates. One PICO affiliate mentioned was the San Francisco Organizing Project (SFOP). At that time we noted “22 Catholic churches are listed on the website of the San Francisco Organizing Project, and the archdiocese is listed as ‘a partner.’”

In September, the Bellarmine Veritas Ministry revealed that a number of groups being funded by the Catholic Campaign for Human Development had acted in direct opposition to Church teaching--and thus to the CCHD’s own funding guidelines. The BVM report caused the CCHD to pull funding from some of these groups. Last week the BVM issued a new report. The new report revealed that one group still being funded by the CCHD, and which shouldn’t be, is the San Francisco Organizing Project: “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.”

The BVM report continued: “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.’”

The Mission Neighborhood Health Center’s webpage states: “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…” The services then listed include “emergency contraception” (which can be early-term abortion) and “general counseling and referrals.” What kind of referrals? The Mission Neighborhood Health Center provides a series of links to “reliable health information.” The very first link provided is to the “Center for Young Women’s Health,” whose “contraception” page directs young women to Planned Parenthood. Other links provided by the Mission Neighborhood Health Center include (which hosts the sponsored link “Buy Condoms Online“), (“’Law and Order’ episode about Dr. George Tiller insults his legacy“), and (“Birth Control Bingo” and “The Bees and the Bees…a Homosexuality Primer for You“). The Mission Neighborhood Health Center also informs readers “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.”

The SFOP webpage also includes an announcement for their 2010 “Soul of the City” fundraiser. The announcement expresses the hope that the fundraiser will be held on February 21, but cautions “this date may change as we are working with Speaker Pelosi’s office to ensure her presence…” This past Saturday, Speaker Pelosi voted to include funding for abortion in the recently passed Congressional Healthcare bill--in direct opposition to the clear directive of the
bishops. The SFOP slideshow also features admiring pictures of openly homosexual San Francisco Supervisors Tom Ammiano and Bevan Dufty, both of whom voted for Resolution 168-06, which condemned the Catholic Church as hateful and discriminatory.

While some of the services provided by the SFOP may be good, some of the provisions in the recently passed Congressional health bill were good, too. That did not stop the bishops from saying that no matter how well-intentioned some of the provisions in the bill were, if the bill provided funding for abortion, it must be opposed. Why then, are Catholic churches, and a Catholic Archdiocese, duespaying members of the San Francisco Organizing Project, which boasts of raising $200,000 for an organization that provides “emergency contraception” and which refers young women (albeit at one remove) to Planned Parenthood? And why are the bishops pushing a nation-wide second collection this month for the Catholic Campaign for Human Development, which for five years, has funded the San Francisco Organizing Project?

Posted by Gibbons J. Cooney

1 comment:

Rick DeLano said...

I thank you very much for this article.

It explains some things that would otherwise have been very difficult to comprehend.