Bozell Column: A New Abortion Scandal
In his book "The Courage to Be Catholic," author George Weigel surprised readers by insisting that the very secular and liberal Boston Globe and the New York Times had done the Lord’s work in rooting out the story of child sexual abuse by priests in the Catholic Church.
Weigel is correct, and never mind that the newsies at the Globe and the Times were relishing making the Church cringe. But these secular liberal media outlets will not tell the story when the American bishops allow the donations of Catholics to be diverted to fund abortion-rights activism, even if most Catholics view abortion as the most horrific form of child abuse. The media almost unanimously celebrate abortion as the summit of women’s "liberation," and so the treatment is just the opposite. The press is refusing to cover this scandal.
The American Life League and the Bellarmine Veritas Ministry have been demanding reform of the Catholic Campaign for Human Development, a project of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. They charge that no less than 50 organizations (one fifth of all CCHD grantees from 2009) are in some capacity engaged in pro-abortion or pro-gay causes.
There is meat on this bone. Now they’ve discovered that a top USCCB executive for "human development" simultaneously served as an executive for a radical-left group called the Center for Community Change (CCC).
John Carr is the executive director of the USCCB’s Department of Justice Peace and Human Development. He has been employed by the bishops’ conference since 1987. Carr's relationship with the CCC goes back at least to 1983, serving in leadership roles from 1999 to 2006 -- including as chairman of the board. In 2001, while Carr served as both a USCCB executive and a CCC leader, the bishops’ conference funneled $150,000 to the CCC.
The explanation Carr gave a reporter from Our Sunday Visitor newspaper is simply not believable. He claimed he knew nothing: "I had no involvement in or knowledge of the actions alleged in the press release. My experience with CCC was that it focused on poverty, housing and immigration and had no involvement in issues involving abortion and homosexuality."
It’s true that CCC wasn’t primarily an abortion-rights advocacy group during that time. But Carr certainly had to know that CCC was a thoroughly leftist group, on all the issues. He served simultaneously on the CCC board with Sara Gould, the head of the Ms. Foundation. The CCC gave a "Community Change Champion" award in 2005 to Sen. Barack Obama. In the summer of 2005, the CCC signed a statement asking President Bush to name a "consensus" (read: "pro-choice") nominee to replace Sandra O’Connor at the Supreme Court.
And it’s being funded by Catholics, giving at the instructions of their own bishops.
In a 2005 speech decrying both parties – and imploring Democrats to recognize the rights of the unborn – Carr declared "I remember being told on a board meeting for the Center for Community Change. One of the Kerry strategists, who shall remain nameless, that the strategy was to go after singles, seculars, and gays. And my reaction was, that's a great way to carry Berkeley and midtown Manhattan. It's not a way to win Ohio."
So why support it with Catholic money?
John Carr knew there was a grave conflict between Catholic teaching and CCC advocacy, but allied the bishops with anti-Catholic campaigns anyway. The pattern continues today. In 2007, CCC launched an offshoot called the Campaign for Community Values, which more explicitly advocates leftist social positions. It recently issued an activist "toolkit" that lamented that "conservative strategy also fostered hostility toward those struggling for equal opportunity -- people of color, women, immigrants, gays and lesbians, and poor people."
The CCC has also been a partner in the Stop Stupak coalition to strip pro-life language out of the health-nationalization bill. On December 2, 2009, CCC’s Marvin Randolph spoke at the Stop Stupak Day of Action: "Anti-choice activists have seized on the general controversy around the reform and found an opportunity to further restrict women’s access to reproductive health care by tying their cause to the general campaign of hate and misinformation that bombards the country’s airwaves."
Randolph must be laughing at the Catholic bishops. Wouldn’t you, if you were trashing their "anti-choice" position while being funded by unsuspecting Catholics?
Our pro-abortion media will find no scandal here. They won’t ask the hard questions they posed during the sex-abuse scandal. Did the bishops know that the donations of faithful Catholics were being diverted to libertine-left lobbying coalitions? If they didn’t know, why didn’t they pay more attention? Once they were told, why did they do nothing? Clergy and laity alike should demand an independent investigation to determine how this moral corruption has happened.
And Catholics must stop funding the Catholic Campaign for Human Development.