Portland Archdiocese CCHD Office Admits, Stops Funding Pro-Abortion Group

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Dec 13, 2009   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Portland Archdiocese CCHD Office Admits, Stops Funding Pro-Abortion Group

by Jim Welsh
December 13, 2009

LifeNews.com Note: James Welsh is a pro-life advocate and a member of the Archdiocese of Portland, Oregon. This opinions expressed in this column do not necessarily reflect those of LifeNews.com.

After nearly one month of attempts to have Children First for Oregon (CFFO), a 2009 CCHD grantee, defunded for its public opposition to parental notification for minors seeking an abortion, the Archdiocese’s Respect Life Office has grudgingly decided to remove CFFO from further consideration for Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD) grants.

In early November, I alerted the Portland Archdiocese’s Director of the Respect Life office, Matt Cato, that one of its 2009 grantees, CFFO, had publicly opposed, in 2006, an Oregon ballot measure (Measure 43) requiring parental notification for minors seeking an abortion.

Archbishop Vlazny had strongly supported the ballot measure.

I also informed Cato that CFFO is an enthusiastic supporter of "school-based health clinics" which support the distribution of contraceptive information to junior and senior high school students. It was also discovered that CFFO is closely aligned with foundations whose websites openly support the distribution of contraceptives to minors.

I contacted other officials of the Archdiocese (including Archbishop Vlazny and the Chancellor, Mary Jo Tully) and the USCCB’s CCHD office in Washington, D.C. regarding this matter. My queries went unanswered.

Finally, on December 8, I called the Director for the USCCB’s CCHD’s Western region, Sandy Mattingly-Paulen, and informed her that I was frustrated at the silence from USCCB and the Archdiocesan authorities and was now prepared to ask for the assistance of ReformCCHDNow and BellarmineVeritas, groups that have recently uncovered other questionable CCHD grants to pro-abortion and pro-same sex marriage organizations.

On December 9, one day later, the Archdiocese informed me that CFFO would not be considered for future grants.

I do not think the Archdiocese’s sudden announcement of CFFO’s disqualification from future funding was a coincidence.

I then inquired if the Archdiocese would, in accordance with USCCB guidelines, seek the return of the funds granted to CFFO. Cato said that the Archdiocese had no intention of seeking reimbursement because local CCHD grants do not have to adhere to national CCHD grant guidelines.

I have called into question the status of another 2009 Portland CCHD grantee, the Portland-based Center for Intercultural Organizing (CIO).

In 2007 CIO received a grant from a group called RESIST. RESIST’s web site grant application forms have a question asking a grant seeker to reveal its position on abortion.

Both CIO and RESIST refused to reveal CIO’s answer to this grant question.

I believe that this question is a "litmus test" for RESIST grants. Replying to an inquiry from me, Matt Cato said he has no intention of pursuing CIO’s position on abortion. CIO, according to its founder and director Kayse Jama, has recently "reorganized " its membership due to its being "overrun by white(s)" joining the CIO.

I then inquired if the Archdiocese would, in accordance with USCCB guidelines, seek the return of the funds granted to CFFO.

According to the CCHD’s document titled, “How Does the CCHD Application Review Process Work?”, “If CCHD determines the activity in question is in violation of the grant agreement or contrary to Church teaching, the group is immediately de-funded and asked to return the CCHD grant.”

Cato said that the Archdiocese had no intention of seeking reimbursement because local CCHD grants do not have to adhere to national CCHD grant guidelines.

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