Only a few months ago, it was revealed that the Catholic Campaign for Human Development was funding organizations actively promoting abortion and same-sex marriage. As a result, several organizations were defunded, and the CCHD was declared back on track.
But with regard to at least one CCHD grantee, The San Francisco Organizing Project (SFOP), that doesn’t appear to be the case. Last fall, Bellarmine Veritas Ministry caught SFOP receiving a $200,000 grant for a clinic offering both birth control and emergency contraception.
CCHD and the Archdiocese of San Francisco subsequently investigated SFOP and reaffirmed their support, adding their admiration for its initiatives toward creating a model program for universal health care. American Life League, in coalition with Reform CCHD, then took a closer look at these insurance initiatives — Healthy San Francisco and Healthy Kids. Both programs heavily promote and provide funding for abortion, birth control, and comprehensive sex education. (For evidence, see p. 42 of San Francisco Health Plan, the Healthy San Francisco mailer, the Healthy Kids Web site, and the recent investigation by Bellarmine Veritas Ministries.)
During a public hearing, the California Catholic Conference stated its full support for Healthy Kids, in spite of the fact that “family planning” services, including contraception and elective abortion, are being offered to young people in San Francisco with this program. The lone opposition to Healthy Kids was the California Right to Life Committee, which argued, “Teenage girls will be brought into government-funded programs promoting birth control and abortion services without parental consent.”
The continuing support of SFOP by the CCHD has serious implications. First of all, Bishop Roger Morin — the chairman of the subcommittee that oversees the CCHD — was simply incorrect when he called Reform CCHD Now’s accusations “untrue” and “outrageous.” Clear cases of inappropriate funding were discovered, and that funding was removed. The San Francisco Organizing Project should be defunded as well.
CCHD says it thoroughly investigates each group that applies for funding and never funds a group in opposition to Church teaching. How, then, did SFOP remain in good standing, when it is responsible for programs like Healthy San Francisco and Healthy Kids? Archbishop George Niederauer of San Francisco also came out fully supporting the SFOP. At least 20 parishes, in coordination with the Archdiocese of San Francisco, are working closely with SFOP, supporting its mission and goals. Indeed, the California Catholic Conference stands behind Archbishop Niederauer in his support for the Healthy San Francisco program. As Patrick Craine at LifeSiteNews correctly summarized, “The Archdiocese of San Francisco’s support for SFOP is deep.”
With Healthy San Francisco being held up as the blueprint for national health-care reform, it comes as no surprise that abortion funding has remained firmly entrenched in the proposed national health-care bill. But it should be a surprise that both the CCHD and California Catholic Conference would support organizations that promote health insurance covering abortion and emergency contraception while opposing it in Congress.
If SFOP has remained a CCHD grantee with its clear ties to abortion promotion, how many other organizations receiving money from CCHD continue to have the same problem? Is it going to take independent research by groups like Bellarmine Veritas Ministry, American Life League, and Human Life International of every CCHD grantee, or will the bishops drill down far enough to eliminate all funding for groups like SFOP?
The CCHD can be sure that none of these lay-led investigations are going to go away until all their grantees have been checked out.