Friday, November 13, 2009

Chicago Archdiocese Complains About CCHD Critics

Today Matt C. Abbot published a letter from the Archdiocese of Chicago Office of Peace and Justice and the Campaign for Human Development. The full letter can be found here. The authors (Rey Flores, Program Director, Catholic Campaign for Human Development; Nicole Wooldridge, Program Assistant, Catholic Campaign for Human Development; Nicholas Lund-Molfese, Director, Office for Peace and Justice; and Adrienne Curry, Program Director, Catholic Relief Services) object to the recent revelations about CCHD’s funding practices. The content of the letter, if that word can be used, can be summed up in this excerpt:

“Recently, CCHD has come under attack from certain groups whose motivations and objectives are rooted in partisan politics, rather than faithfulness to Catholic teaching and concern for the poor."

Putting the judgment of motives in the first clause of that sentence aside, we note that the letter itself has no substance--it is simply a complaint so vague as to be meaningless. “Certain groups"--but no one is named. The letter also describes objections to CCHD’s funding practices using the words “erroneous, inflammatory, deceitful, lies”--but no erroneous, inflammatory, deceitful, or lying statements are ever quoted. The letter is simply wind. Read it for yourself. As we will show, that’s quite a contrast to those of us who have been working on the CCHD story.

Let’s recap:

Our first article on CCHD funding appeared in the California Catholic Daily on September 22, 2009. On the same day, we covered the story on “A Shepherd’s Voice.” We had discovered, independently of the more comprehensive investigation by the Bellarmine Veritas Ministry, that the Catholic Campaign for Human Development had been funding two groups here in San Francisco who supported and engaged in activities contrary to the teaching of the church, and thus in violation of the CCHD’s own funding guidelines. Those groups were the Young Workers United and the Chinese Progressive Association. We named these groups, exactly described the objectionable activities in question, showed where they violated the CCHD’s own funding guidelines, and indicated to readers where they could examine the evidence themselves. We also PDF’d the original documents, and will be happy to send them to anyone who asks. Subsequent to our and the BVM’s report, the CCHD stopped funding these two groups.

The Bellarmine Veritas Ministry’s more comprehensive report uncovered other examples of CCHD funded groups engaged in activities in opposition to church teaching, and thus in violation of the CCHD’s own funding guidelines. There was nothing insubstantial about their work: they were not “making charges,” they were providing incontrovertible documentary evidence. Names, dates, activities. Nothing vague about it, anyone can check it.

This week, they uncovered another group right here in San Francisco, the PICO affiliated “San Francisco Organizing Project” which “won” $200,000 for the Mission Neighborhood Health Center, a group that provides “emergency contraception.” Following the BVM’s lead, on November 11, we covered the story in the California Catholic Daily, followed by a slightly longer version the same day in "A Shepherd's Voice." In addition to the information uncovered by the BVM, we had learned that the Mission Neighborhood Health Center, through their “reliable health information” page, directs young women to a site that recommends Planned Parenthood. We also showed that the MNHC’s “reliable health information” page also directs young people to websites thoroughly in conflict with Catholic teaching. Once again, we provided links, so that any reader could see the evidence themselves.

Quite a contrast to the letter from the Chicago Archdiocese.

h/t "Curt Jester"

Posted by Gibbons J. Cooney

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