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The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) announced Wednesday that its domestic anti-poverty arm, the Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD), had approved on June 9 a $500,000 grant to the Direct Action & Research Training Center (DART) for the purpose of supposedly overcoming climate change.
Bishop David O'Connell, auxiliary bishop of Los Angeles and chairman of the CCHD subcommittee, declared this was a direct response to one of Pope Francis' controversial encyclicals.
"As CCHD marks its 50th anniversary this year, we are pleased to support this strategic national effort to put Laudato Si' in action," O'Connell stated.
Without detailing his next claim, O'Connell next spoke of how climate change is shattering the poor in the United States.
"The adverse effects of climate change devastate poor communities around the country," he claimed, "and with this project, CCHD and DART will seek to live out the call of Pope Francis to respond to 'the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor.'"
The money via CCHD will allow DART to implement its five-year program. The U.S. bishops' website states its main purpose in this campaign is to "empower poor and low-income persons in the southeastern United States to overcome the impacts of climate change and to address its root causes."
Archbishop Thomas Wenski of Miami has been collaborating with DART for more than 30 years on issues such as affordable housing, transportation and juvenile justice reform. He praised the project.
"The DART proposal 'Caring for Creation, Caring for Community' is a needed organizing effort," he claims — one that will "better engage people from low-to-moderate-income communities in identifying and addressing the impacts of climate change in local communities."
Questionable funding from CCHD is not a new phenomenon. Michael Hichborn's Lepanto Institute has done diligent work in this regard.
Hichborn has been detailing for years the spending initiatives of the U.S. bishops through organizations like CCHD and Catholic Relief Services (CRS). In March 2019, Hichborn reported that, as of 2005, CCHD had given $290,000 to an anti-police, pro-Marxist, homosexualist group in New York and is currently giving $60,000 a year to the group, which is called Northwest Bronx Community and Clergy Coalition (NWBCCC).
Hichborn also reported that in 2012, Msgr. Kevin Sullivan of the archdiocese of New York responded to him in writing, indicating the grantee was previously reviewed and would not receive further grants from the CCHD.
However, "In 2016, despite its continued promotion of Marxism and blatant homosexual activism, NWBCCC received yet another grant from the CCHD," Hichborn told Church Militant. Hichborn stated that "the CCHD responded by increasing the amount of funding for this vile organization to $60,000 per funding cycle."
In June of this year, Hichborn reported through Church Militant that prominent moral theologian Janet Smith confirmed the link between CHHD and homosexual activism. Smith is the author of the internationally renowned book, Humanae Vitae: A Generation Later and the very popular tape Contraception, Why Not? She has also authored other books and articles on Humanae Vitae, human sexuality, contraception and abortion.
Hichborn tapped Smith because, in July 2019, the Lepanto Institute published a report on a $750,000 grant from CCHD that went to an organization called the Ignatian Solidarity Network (ISN). ISN affirms homosexuality and transgenderism. It also hosts an annual conference that includes workshops geared to indoctrinating high school students into homosexual and transgender activism. After exposing this, Hichborn asked Smith to examine the issue and prepare a moral analysis of the situation.
After careful consideration of the evidence, Smith affirmed Lepanto's findings.
"The CCHD should welcome feedback from diligent Catholics, and when they are correct, they should remedy poor judgments," Smith said. According to Smith, "This is just such a time."
CCHD defended its six-figure grant by stating "ISN was not encouraging or promoting anything contrary to Catholic teaching." Smith exposed the damage that intentional silence can do with regard to the homosexualist organizations supported by CHHD and pointed to guidance provided by Church teaching:
There is absolutely no indication that, when teaching about homosexuality or transgenderism, the presenters give a clear and supportive presentation of homosexual acts as contrary to God's plan for sexuality. To fail to explain and promote such teaching is to do a disservice to those who turn to the Catholic Church for guidance on God's teaching on sexuality.
There is much reason to think that in fact they promote an acceptance of homosexual sexual acts and transgenderism that is not compatible with Church teaching.
The U.S. bishops continue to support and defend CCHD and the hundreds of thousands of dollars it doles out through its grant programs, despite evidence the money is used to promote sin.
The grant programs were "established by the U.S. bishops ... to address urgent regional or national needs, issues or priorities impacting low-income communities," the bishops state on the USCCB website.