Last September, we proved that one of the Catholic Campaign for Human Development’s (CCHD) most favored networks, Faith in Action (FIA), not only had a history of promoting grave immorality but took a formal position endorsing abortion as a “right,” vowing to defend the “right” to abortion.
Formerly called the PICO Network, FIA has 29 affiliate members, many of which collectively receive hundreds of thousands of dollars a year in CCHD grants. Naturally, faithful Catholics didn’t take these revelations sitting down, and many of you wrote to both the CCHD and your local priests and bishops demanding a response.
Some of you forwarded the responses you received from CCHD officials, and what the CCHD’s memo states is the following:
- No CCHD funds go to the national Faith in Action coalition. It was the national coalition and its leaders who “publicly slammed the overturning of Roe v. Wade.”
- Previous CCHD funding has gone to Faith in Action affiliates.
- All CCHD funds to Faith in Action affiliates were put on hold in June following the public statement regarding the reversal of Roe, even though that statement was not made by affiliates.
- Based on the grant process, the first funds would have gone out in the summer but because that funding was suspended Faith in Action affiliates did not receive any 2021-22 funds.
- The CCHD subcommittee is investigating.
- There is a meeting sometime here in November at which time grant applicants have to go through a re-approval process then it goes back to the local diocese for re-approval.
This response from CCHD fails immediately with even the slightest application of scrutiny or logic:
- CCHD gave a $500,000 grant to Faith in Action in 2016, when it was still called the PICO Network, so yes, they have funded the national organization. See here: https://www.usccb.org/committees/catholic-campaign-human-development/strategic-national-grants
- The Lepanto Institute published a series of articles detailing the pro-abortion and pro-LGBT character of Faith in Action, as well as its involvement in electioneering for Democrat candidates. CCHD chose to respond ONLY to the electioneering, dismissing the Lepanto Institute evidence, and defended Faith in Action saying, “CCHD has long supported and will continue to support this important work of Faith in Action.” See here: https://lepantoin.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/09/CCHD-Response-FIA-Oct.-2020.pdf and here: http://lepantoin.org/fia/
- CCHD forbids funding to organizations that are members of other organizations which take official positions against Catholic moral and social teaching, regardless of whether the affiliate has taken that position or not. See here: https://www.usccb.org/committees/catholic-campaign-human-development/cchd-frequently-asked-questions#tab–what-about-participation-in-coalitions-for-a-good-purpose-like-better-wages-or-housing-that-include-groups-acting-against-catholic-values-on-other-issues
- If funds were suspended to Faith in Action affiliates, why did CCHD not let their stake-holders (pewsitting Catholics being asked to donate to the CCHD) know immediately that this was happening? The CCHD claims to be committed to transparency, as we reported here: https://www.lepantoin.org/wp/catholic-campaign-for-human-development-closes-all-communication-refuses-to-answer-questions/
- The Diocese claimed that “Any departure from these terms leads to immediate termination of funding support,” and yet, CCHD saw fit to give a $55,000 grant to the Chicago Workers’ Collaborative (CWC), which it was previously denied funding due to its membership in a coalition that took a formal position on same-sex “marriage.” CCHD publicly and formally denied grants to CWC in 2013, and even Cardinal George commented on the matter. CWC is STILL a member of the offending coalition, and the offending coalition has never reversed its position. In fact, the coalition has now taken a more formal position in favor of abortion. And again, CCHD resumed funding in direct violation of its own rules. How can the CCHD make the claim that departure from CCHD’s terms leads to immediate termination of funding support while it is funding the Chicago Workers’ Collaborative? See here: https://lepantoin.org/chicago-workers-collaborative/
And now, new evidence seems to show that the CCHD is not being entirely honest about the ongoing funding of FIA affiliates!
On September 6, 2023, the Jesuit website Jesuit.org wrote an article praising the founder of Faith in Action, Jesuit priest Fr. John Baumann. In this article is the claim that “FIA is also a close collaborator of U.S. Bishops and the Catholic Campaign for Human Development, which strives to break cycles of poverty through advocacy and nonprofit grantmaking.” Because of the use of the verb “is,” rather than “was,” this sounds like an ongoing and funded relationship between the CCHD and FIA. However, we do acknowledge the possibility that the author of the article may not have current information.
The CCHD also maintains a website called “PovertyUSA.” On this website there is a section called “Find a CCHD Group” that lists funded CCHD grantees.
A number of FIA affiliates are still currently listed, including several Faith in Florida affiliates, as well as Voice Buffalo and Faith in Fresno, both of which have their own direct violations of CCHD grants.
All told, the complete list of FIA members current identified as grantees of the CCHD at the PovertyUSA website are:
- Brockton Interfaith Community
- Faith in Florida-Miami
- Faith in Florida-Hillsborough
- Faith in Camden
- Faith in San Joachin
- Faith in Fresno
- Granite State Organizing Project
- Inland Congregations United for Change
- Niagara Organizing for Hope
- Pioneer Valley Project
- Sacramento Area Congregations Together
- United Interfaith Action of Southeastern Massachusetts
The very fact that both an outside source and the CCHD itself are indicating the ongoing funding of this pro-abortion network, despite assurances to the contrary, perfectly illustrates the problem with the CCHD refusing to answer questions or provide the new grants list. While it is possible that the CCHD’s own information on PovertyUSA.org is outdated, but there’s no way to know. This is the same CCHD that claims to be “committed to transparency and continues to publish a list of recent grantees online each year.” And the same CCHD that appears to no longer be answering their phones, returning voice messages, or even answering emails.
So, this November, when the CCHD comes begging for funds, Catholics will have NO IDEA who they will even be funding! Will hundreds of thousands of dollars be going once again to pro-abortion zealots like Faith in Action? WE DON’T KNOW. But given the CCHD’s track record, the answer is probably yes, or if not, those dollars will be filling the coffers of some other depraved or perverted organization like the 66 we profiled last year alone! Whatever the case may be, it is time for bishops to shut the CCHD down, completely and for good.