WASHINGTON (ChurchMilitant.com) - Catholic research and education apostolate the Lepanto Institute is partnering with LifeSiteNews to demand the U.S. bishops withdraw funding from pro-abortion, pro-homosexual activist groups.
On Tuesday, Lepanto Institute founder and president Michael Hichborn published a report showing that the Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD), a controversial anti-poverty arm of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), continues to fund groups that oppose Catholic teaching.
Commenting to Church Militant on his findings, Hichborn asked: "How many times does the CCHD have to be caught funding organizations that are directly promoting abortion, contraception, homosexuality and Marxism before the bishops stop believing their promises that they never do such things?"
"These bishops are almost like battered girlfriends who constantly make excuses for abusive men who promise they won't beat them anymore," he added. "It's pathetic."
In the course of his research, Hichborn has discovered that CCHD has funneled almost $800,000 to two activist groups that work to undermine Church teaching on life and human sexuality.
According to its most recently posted grants list, in 2018 CCHD gave $48,000 to Call to Action for Racial Equality (CARE), a West Virginia organization that "has actively promoted homosexuality and transgenderism on social media, participated in a campaign 'to defeat the proposed ban on Medicaid coverage for abortion,' and is led by pro-abortion and pro-LGBT activists ... ."
Revelation of the ongoing CCHD-CARE connection comes on the heels of another, but far bigger funding scandal.
In June, the Lepanto Institute published a bombshell report revealing that in 2019, CCHD directed $750,000 in funding to the Ignatian Solidarity Network (ISN).
Hichborn has described the Jesuit social justice advocacy group as "an active promoter of homosexual perversions, including transgenderism," noting ISN has "provided a speaking venue to the Vatican-condemned New Ways Ministry, which promotes same-sex 'marriage.'"
"On its website are numerous articles and events promoting homosexualism and its annual Ignatian Family Teach-In conference regularly includes talks and break-out sessions on LGBT activism and transgender inclusion," Hichborn added.
One ISN workshop, titled "Transgender Voices in the Church," was convened by New Ways Ministry to promote transgender ideology by "building trans justice in [participants'] communities," according to the course's description.
After an outcry by faithful Catholics, CCHD insisted that such workshops are "in line with the Catechism" — a position Hichborn flatly rejects.
"The CCHD's claim that these workshops were not encouraging or promoting anything contrary to Catholic teaching is a clear sign that those working at the CCHD have no conscience whatsoever," he told Church Militant. "If the ISN was holding workshops on inclusivity for self-identified racists or state executioners, would the CCHD likewise claim that such workshops did not offend Catholic teaching?"
CCHD support for Leftist activist groups streches back decades. Since the 1970s, faithful Catholic media have published multiple exposés showing a pattern of support for radical causes.
"In 2010, the CCHD issued a 'Review and Renewal' and apologized for funding organizations that violate Catholic moral teaching and the damage and confusion caused by them," said Hichborn. "But given the CCHD's subsequent insistence on continuing to fund such organizations, it's clear that the Review and Renewal was nothing more than an attempt at damage control."
To that end, in response to CCHD's ongoing funding of pro-abortion, pro-gay groups — and ahead of its Nov. 23–24 national collection weekend — the Lepanto Institute and LifeSiteNews have launched a petition calling for every U.S. bishop to immediately halt all funding to the organization.
"The CCHD's 2010 Review and Renewal has failed," the petition reads. "The CCHD continues to ignore its own guidelines and is still funding groups directly opposed to the Catholic Church."
"It is clear to us that the CCHD has no intention of following Catholic teaching and that its leadership has no moral compass. So, we are asking Your Excellency to withdraw your diocese from the CCHD altogether," it continues.
"As you may know, the national collection for the CCHD is taking place the weekend of November 23 and 24," the petition adds. "This would be a perfect opportunity to make known your disapproval of their funding of organizations which promote ideas and practices contrary to the Catholic Faith."
Hichborn is urging Catholics to make their voices heard by signing the petition.
"The thing is, the USCCB isn't going to shut the program down unless and until individual bishops stand up and say that they've had enough and they won't finance an agency that is deliberately and directly scandalizing young people," he told Church Militant. "And we all know what Our Lord said about those who cause young people to be scandalized."
The petition can be viewed by clicking the link here.