More Problems at the Catholic Campaign for Human Development

Deal W. Hudson
August 23, 2010

The Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD), the anti-poverty program run by the USCCB, came under fire this past year for funding groups who were explicitly supporting abortion, contraception, and same-sex marriage.

After its internal investigation, the CCHD claimed there were problems with only five groups out of the 51 listed as problematic by the Reform CCHD Now coalition. These five groups were subsequently defunded. (The approximate total number of CCHD grants in a year is 250.)

However, new evidence has emerged that adds 16 new groups to the 51 originally listed as problematic by the Reform CCHD Now Coalition. The 2010 CCHD list of grantees has yet to be released, so we have to wait to learn how many of the problematic groups were funded once again. (The troublesome fact that the announcement of the 2010 grantee list has been delayed a month later than usual is an issue we will return to later.)

Here’s the story…

An event entitled the U.S. Social Forum 2010 was held in Detroit on June 22-26. Dozens of People’s Movement Assemblies (PMAs) from across the country attended the Forum, “to set a national action agenda.” Also present were 21 CCHD grantees, along with a retired bishop, a smattering of Catholic parishes, and 11 Catholic organizations. Five of the 21 CCHD grantees were already listed as problematic, but 16 were not on the list from last year (see list below). Several organizations defunded by the CCHD were also present.

Unfortunately, the program attended by these groups supported by the donations of U.S. Catholics contains numerous workshops promoting homosexuality, Marxism, and abortion (complete list below). Is there any reason not to conclude these are elements of the “national action agenda” being defined at the Forum?

Here are some representative examples of the workshops:



Lesbian/gay/bisexual/transgender/queer workshops:

At least one CCHD grantee, Justice in El Barrio, gave a presentation at one of the LGBTQ workshops. You can sample the U.S. Social Forum yourself by watching coverage of the USSF 2010. Throughout the forum, Free Speech TV ran commercials promoting gay rights, including same-sex marriage.

One criticism leveled at the CCHD Reform Now research is that it was alleging “guilt by association.” But that misses the point completely. The presence of 21 CCHD grantees at U.S. Social Forum isn’t problematic because grantees are keeping company with the wrong people, but because they’re actively participating in a forum designed “to set a national action agenda.” Looking at the program, it’s safe to assume that the agenda includes the right to abortion and gay marriage, as well as a larger ideological commitment to various forms of Marxism – an ideology condemned by the Catholic Church.

Those participating in the forum can hardly claim they were innocent bystanders; that wouldn’t pass the smell test. The stated purpose of the U.S. Social Forum was to stress the importance of working on a unified front. Thus, the evidence from the forum itself suggests not so much guilt by association as guilt by participation.

At the very least, this latest incident proves the CCHD problem did not end with the 5 defunded groups.

Just how many of the remaining 62 problematic groups will be on the 2010 list of CCHD grants is an open question. The CCHD is waiting until the end of September to release the new list, when it is normally released at the end of August. Why? Is the CCHD holding the list so that it can’t be properly examined before the bishops decide the program’s fate? Taking a month away from that examination process prior to the bishops’ meeting in November will not help rebuild public trust.

After all the controversy surrounding the CCHD last year, you’d think there would be more due diligence and transparency in selecting grantees. Instead, we get less.

♦ ♦ ♦

Current CCHD Grantees in attendance at the USSF meeting:

Identified Catholic organizations in attendance:

  • Maryknoll for Global Concerns
  • St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church
  • Detroit Catholic Pastoral Alliance
  • Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary
  • Des Moines Catholic Worker
  • MI Catholics for the Better Good
  • St. John’s University
  • Bishop Tom Gumbleton/St. Leo Church Pax Christi
  • Adrian Dominican Sisters
  • Pax Christi Michigan
  • Mary Queen of Vietnam

Formerly Funded CCHD grantees and other groups of interest:

  • Center for Community Change
  • LA CAN
  • Chinese Progressive Association
  • Center for New Community
  • Little Village Environmental Justice Organization

Titles of pro-abortion, birth control, and sex-ed workshops:

  • Reproductive Justice 101: Creative Vision, Innovative Strategies, and Powerful Networks
  • A peer education project addressing the reproductive and sexual health needs of Muslim Youth
  • Not What You’d Expect: Pregnant Moms’ Deadly Risk in the USA
  • Youth Sexual Health and Rights Policy-Some wins, BIG losses, and a long way to go.
  • Maintaining abortion as a reproductive right for low-income women
  • Reproductive Justice 101: A Select History
  • Reproductive Justice in the Age of Obama
  • Reproductive Justice 101 Training – SisterSong
  • For a Militant Global Women’s Movement in the 21st Century
  • Organizing for Choice in Michigan: Fighting Back the Chipping Away of Our Reproductive Rights
  • Youth and Climate Justice (run by Asian Communities for Reproductive Justice)
  • Immigrant Rights as a Matter of Reproductive Justice
  • Organizing for Reproductive Justice in the Rust Belt
  • Young People & SexEd Organizing: Sexual Education Reproductive Justice
  • Prisons as Tools for Reproductive Oppression
  • Prisons and the Fight for Reproductive Justice
  • Standing Up for Women’s Right to Abortion in 2010
  • U.S. Sex Worker Grassroots Struggles and International Human Rights Framework

Titles of Marxist or socialist workshops:

  • Capitalism is killing us. Fight for SOCIALISM! A collaborative conversation in 2 parts
  • Marxism for the 21st Century: Capitalist Crisis, Socialist Solutions
  • Marx vs. Keynes
  • Overturn ban on revolutionary literature to prisoners
  • The Capitalist Roots of the Ecological Crisis
  • What place for socialism in the struggle for the “other possible world”?
  • Building Ecosocialism
  • Venezuela 101: 21st Century Socialism
  • A World in Crisis: The Case for Socialism
  • Glenn Beck’s Nightmare: What it Will take to Build a Movement for 21st Century Socialism
  • WTF is Socialism Anyway???: The Campus as a Battleground of Class Struggle
  • Why Capitalism is Organized Crime & Socialism is the Alternative
  • 21st Century Socialism: What It Is and How To Get It
  • Radical Visions: Anarchism, Socialism, Pacifism, Feminism, Multiculturalism, Environmentalism, Globalism
  • Visions for Building the International Climate Justice Movement: Ecotopia or Capitalist Ecocide?
  • Socialism is the Alternative
  • Meet the YCL (Young Communist League)

Titles of LGBTQ workshops:

  • Queer People’s Movement Assembly
  • Young Queer/LGBTQ Women and Sexual Health: We’re our own experts!
  • TransFeminism
  • Integrating LGBT Equality into Social, Racial & Socio-Economic Justice Movements
  • Building a Progressive Multi-issue LGBTQ Movement
  • Uniting Communities: LGBTQ Equality in Communities of Color
  • Community Media: Strategies for Radio in Enemy-Held Zones
  • Examining Intersectionality and Discrimination of LGBT People of Color
  • HIV/AIDS & Social Justice
  • Radical Queer Festivals
  • Queer Injustice: The Criminalization of LGBT People in the United States
  • Creating Diverse Queer Spaces
  • How We Can Stop the Religious Right
  • The Zapatista’s Other Campaign Breaking Down Borders: Live Cross-Border Dialogue with Mexico
  • Building LGBTQ / Labor Solidarity
  • LGBTQI Liberation in the Middle East
  • The strength of our movement will be in our unity: A discussion about LGBTQ
  • Locating Feminism and Gender Justice in Progressive U.S. Social Movements

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