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For the last 15 years, I have been alerting you to the fact that the Catholic Campaign for Human Development regularly provides funding to organizations that act directly against Catholic moral and social teachings.
We have profiled hundreds of CCHD-funded organizations that are actively promoting abortion, contraception, homosexuality, transgenderism and outright Marxism. The information we have provided on these organizations, which account for millions of dollars collected from faithful Catholics, comes from primary sources, meaning these organizations and their leaders are directly admitting what we have reported them doing.
Yet, despite our best efforts to provide you with the best available information, the CCHD's leadership and staff, without providing any tangible refutation of the facts we present, deny all wrongdoing on the part of the grantees and tell you to ignore our reports.
A few months ago, we sent packets of information to each of you to give you solid proof of organizations directly violating Catholic moral and social teaching. The evidence in our reports contained screenshots from organizational social media pages where the organization itself was directly promoting abortion, contraception, LGBT ideologies, and socialism.
In response to these reports, Bp. Timothy Senior, the current chairman of the USCCB's subcommittee for the CCHD, claimed on Oct. 11 that (1) "The staff of CCHD have confirmed that the concerns expressed by the Lepanto Institute regarding these groups are unfounded," (2) "Individuals and groups, such as the Lepanto Institute, have used inflammatory language and imagery which mislead," and (3) "All of the initiatives that are supported with CCHD funding have undergone a thorough application process, which includes the approval by the local bishop and the national subcommittee of bishops, and are closely monitored throughout the length of their grant to ensure that the terms of the grant agreement are strictly followed. Catholics can be confident that the Catholic Campaign for Human Development does not fund organizations that violate the moral or social teaching of the Church."
Last week, we published a report and sent it to each of you, showing that the CCHD provided two recent grants (ending in the summer of this year) to Congregations United to Serve Humanity. In this report, we proved that CUSH and its leadership have publicly promoted ideologies contrary to Catholic moral teaching well before its grant in 2021, and we proved that this organization, fresh with Catholic funding, conducted a book drive to collect homosexual books with the intention of providing them to children as young as middle school age.
We also reported that this organization was "removed from the list" of eligibility for another CCHD grant by the archdiocese of Milwaukee, but this action was not prompted by the CCHD. Rather, local Catholics and a local investigative reporter forced the archdiocese's hand in refusing further funds to CUSH. Because CUSH and its leadership were actively working against Catholic moral teaching before and during the time of its CCHD grants, this shows a complete breakdown in the CCHD's ability or willingness to properly vet and monitor its own grantees.
Yesterday, we published a new report on a CCHD grantee that received its first-ever grant in 2021 and received a subsequent grant in 2022. The organization, We Are Unchained, in Syracuse, New York, was founded and is run by a woman who is vocally pro-abortion, promotes LGBTQ ideologies, and is tied with organizational socialism. She even openly celebrated the brutal communist dictator Fidel Castro.
WAU's employed community organizer, Jasmine Collins, was simultaneously working as the secretary for the Democratic Socialists of America at the time of the CCHD grant. Her role with the DSA was to "facilitate cooperation between Syracuse DSA & other local activist orgs." This clearly happened as WAU partnered with the DSA and the Party for Socialism and Liberation on several occasions before and during the period of the CCHD grants.
Additionally, WAU has supported and promoted a radical pro-abortion organization called Sankofa Reproductive Health and Healing Center. In fact, the woman who founded Sankofa is the niece of the founder of WAU, making the ties between the two organizations deeply unsettling. Most recently, WAU, fresh with CCHD funds, publicly called for the decriminalization of homosexuality and transgenderism.
Your Excellencies and Eminences, are these the sort of organizations that should be receiving funding from the Catholic Church? Given what is contained in these two reports alone, are you comfortable with Bp. Senior's claim that our reports on CCHD-funded initiatives are "unfounded" and that "Catholics can be confident that the Catholic Campaign for Human Development does not fund organizations that violate the moral or social teaching of the Church"?
Your role as shepherds of the Church is to protect faithful Catholics from the flesh, the Devil and the world, but the CCHD seems to be intent upon financing the enemies of the Church and of souls.
We beseech you to please consider an independent third-party investigation of CCHD grants. Don't just take our word for it — hire an institution trusted by the USCCB, like the National Catholic Bioethics Center, and have it examine our reports and determine whether they are "unfounded" or not. And we also ask that, unless and until such an investigation is conducted, you withhold all support and participation in the CCHD, both in terms of the collection and in vetting grants.
Sincerely yours in Christ,
President, Lepanto Institute