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Centro de Trabajadores Unidos: United Workers’ Project
Centro de Trabajadores Unidos (CTU) has received four grants from the Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD) since 2016, totaling $133,000, including the $30,000 grant it received for the 2020-2021 grants cycle.
At issue is the fact that CTU is a member of a radically pro-abortion organization in direct violation of CCHD grant guidelines.
The CCHD absolutely forbids organizations from membership in organizations acting against Catholic teaching. In an FAQ on the USCCB website, the CCHD directly answers the question about whether grantees may be members of coalitions that oppose Catholic teachings. In answer, the CCHD firmly stated, “CCHD will not fund groups that are knowingly members of coalitions that have as part of their organizational purpose or coalition agenda, positions or actions that contradict fundamental Catholic moral and social teaching.”
Given this, there is no way CCHD should have provided a grant to the Centro de Trabajadores Unidos due to its membership in both the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights (ICIRR).
In 2013, eleven CCHD-funded organizations were told that they must either quit membership in ICIRR because it had taken formal positions on same-sex “marriage,” or lose their CCHD funding, and one of those organizations being forced to choose between the CCHD and ICIRR. According to an article published on 19 October 2013 in the Chicago Tribune:
“When a statewide immigrant-rights coalition endorsed same-sex marriage this past spring, 11 groups were given a stark choice by a Roman Catholic anti-poverty program: Leave the coalition or lose their Catholic funding.
Eight of the groups decided to stick with the Illinois Coalition for Immigration and Refugee Rights.”
In February of 2013, CTU was identified as a “Partner Organization” of ICIRR on the ICIRR website. In February of 2014, CTU was still a member of ICIRR, indicating that CTU was one of the eight organization that refused CCHD funding in favor of its relationship with ICIRR. This is further corroborated by the fact that CTU was a CCHD grant recipient for 2012-2013, but then did not receive another grant until 2016 (after Cardinal George’s death in 2015). The point is, CTU appears to have been one of the eight ICIRR members who refused CCHD funding as it decided to remain with ICIRR, like the Chicago Workers’ Collaborative did.
In June of 2013, Cardinal George defended the decision to discontinue funding to members of ICIRR saying, “You can’t play off the pastoral concern of the church for the poor against the church’s teaching. That’s exactly what was done, that’s a cynical move, and I’m sorry that it was done.”
Continued partnership with ICIRR
The thing is, CTU is still a partner of the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights, and ICIRR has not changed its position on same-sex “marriage” and the CCHD has not changed its guideline forbidding membership in groups like ICIRR. So, the question is “Why is Centro de Trabadajores Unidos suddenly receiving grant money from the CCHD again?”
Membership in ICIRR isn’t free, either. ICIRR’s “become a member” page shows a membership fee schedule.
According to CTU’s tax form 990 for FY 2020, CTU had $878,000 in expenses, making its annual membership fee in ICIRR $750.
ICIRR is Pro-Abortion
Following the Scotus decision to overturn Roe v. Wade on June 2022, the ICIRR decried the SCOTUS decision as “an attack on … the reproductive rights of people who can become pregnant.”
This was immediately followed by a tweet in support of “reproductive freedom,” calling for people to “follow the Chicago Abortion Fund for ways to take action.”
This support includes a funding page and explicitly linked to the Chicago Abortion Fund. The Instagram message from the Chicago Abortion Fund explicitly compels viewers to take a stand for Abortion Access in Illinois and beyond.
ICIRR on LGBTQ
In May of 2013, ICIRR issued the following formal statement in favor of same-sex “marriage.”
In February of 2014, ICIRR hosted a workshop covering “marriage equality” and “LGBT rights.”
In July of 2016, ICIRR tweeted about the “need” for welcoming the LGBTQ community.
In May of 2017, ICIRR announced that it is “rising up” for LGBTQ ideologies.
In June of 2020, ICIRR again boasted of its support for homosexual and transgender ideologies.
It is baffling that Centro de Trabadajores was permitted to receive grants in 2016, 2019 and 2020 if it was one of the eight organizations directly and deliberately denied funding by the CCHD in 2013 because of its willing partnership with the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights following ICIRR’s formal position in favor of same-sex “marriage.” CTU’s dues-paying membership in ICIRR has not changed, and ICIRR has gone beyond the support for same-sex “marriage” and now openly advocates for abortion as a “right.” This is a clear example of the CCHD completely and undeniably refusing to follow its own guidelines on coalition memberships.