Denver bishop says Catholic grants can't undermine Church teaching
Bishop James D. Conley.
Bishop James D. Conley.
Facebook Twitter Google+ Pinterest Addthis

.- Countering critics who include former Colorado Gov. Bill Ritter, Bishop James D. Conley of Denver has defended the end of Catholic grants to the Compañeros immigrant resource center, saying that the Church cannot oppose “same-sex marriage” while funding those who advocate it.

“This is not the consequence of conservative pressure being put on the church or some kind of an internecine culture war,” said Bishop Conley, the Archdiocese of Denver’s apostolic administrator, in the Denver Post June 14. “This is the consequence of the basic integrity of Catholic doctrine: We can't claim to work for our beliefs and at the same time work against them.”

The Catholic Campaign for Human Development ended a $30,000 annual grant to the Pueblo, Colo.-based Compañeros immigrant center. The grant made up half of its annual budget.

The organization is a founding member of the Colorado Immigrant Rights Coalition and has representation on the board of directors.

Bishop Conley said the organization has done “very good work” to help immigrants, but has also been involved in organizations which “actively flaunt” Catholic beliefs about human sexuality, the family and justice.

The Colorado Immigrant Rights Coalition is an active supporter of homosexual advocacy and is a backer of a contentious civil unions bill that would grant same-sex couples the same rights as married couples in Colorado. The coalition has sponsored a community organizing retreat with the Gay and Lesbian Fund and has said that One Colorado, an LGBT advocacy group, is a “sister coalition.”

Catholic Campaign for Human Development rules bar grants to organizations in coalitions with organizations whose positions are contrary to Catholic teaching.

Bishop Conley said it is “natural” for the Catholic Church to support work it believes in, like helping immigrants.

“But Compañeros chose to partner with organizations that pursue a decidedly non-Catholic agenda and, logically, the Catholic Church chose to stop footing the bill,” he explained.

The bishop said Compañeros administrators help direct the immigrant coalition and “have aided its promotion of a political agenda that runs counter to foundational principles of Catholic doctrine.”

Former Gov. Bill Ritter, a pro-life Catholic Democrat, in a May 1 opinion piece for the Denver Post contended that the bishops’ anti-poverty efforts are “being compromised in pursuit of a divisive, conservative political agenda.”

He suggested that children would go to bed hungry or an immigrant mother would be denied prenatal care because an organization “does not meet a conservative litmus test.” He said the end of the grant seemed to him to be “a drastic departure” from how American Catholics try to practice their faith. He said it is hard for him to believe how the Catholic hierarchy thinks the move is “a winning proposition.”

Bishop Conley said in his June 14 response that while he has “great respect” for Ritter, the former governor “seems to expect the Catholic Church to abandon its beliefs in the face of public opinion.”

The bishop said marriage is “an institution written into our very being” and its redefinition is an “impossibility.” He also emphasized that all people have the dignity of being made in God’s image “regardless of sexual inclination.”

Opponents of the Catholic Campaign for Human Development’s decision not to renew the grant said they have raised over $60,000 for Compañeros.

The Democrat-leaning Catholics United Education Fund collected $7,000 in partnership with the organization WithCharityForAll.org.

WithCharityForAll.org’s Maine-based founder, attorney George Burns, was an opponent of the successful Maine ballot initiative Question 1, which in 2009 restored the definition of marriage as a union of a man and a woman after the state legislature voted to recognize same-sex “marriage.”

The Gill Foundation donated $30,000 to Compañeros as a matching grant. The Gill Foundation was founded by the Colorado homosexual activist and multi-millionaire Tim Gill, who has used his wealth to target political leaders who do not support homosexual political causes.

Tags: Marriage, Homosexuality, Colorado Politics

Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages


Ads by Google (What's this?)
Ads by Google

Featured Videos

Cardinal Luis Tagle to Pope Francis
Cardinal Luis Tagle to Pope Francis
Pope Francis in the Philippines: Manila Welcomes the Pope
Pope Francis in Sri Lanka: Highlights
Pope Francis in Sri Lanka: Interview with Cardinal Ranjith
Pope Francis in SriLanka: Inter-religious Faith Meeting
Little Sisters of the Poor press conference in Denver
Family thrilled to see Pope Francis in Istanbul
Syrian Refugee, Sara, 14, Before Meeting Pope
Ebola orphans thousands of children in West Africa
One year after Haiyan: Philippines rebuilds homes, lives
An Indian contribution to the Vatican's Synod on the Family
Christ Cathedral CNA video Sept 2014
Alejandro Bermudez of CNA accepts ice bucket challenge
'The Real Albania,' remembering those who fled
Pope Francis in Albania, "one of the most important visits of the post-communist era in Albania"
Pope Francis greets paralyzed man who risked all to see him
Franciscans on the banks of the Tiber in Rome, working for the New Evangelization
Pilgrimage from Czech Republic to Assisi and Rome for intentions
Testimony of young Indian who met Pope in Korea
Preparations of the Closing Mass of 6th Asian Youth Day

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mk 4:1-20


Daily Readings

Saint of the Day

St. Romuald »


Homily of the Day

Mk 4:1-20