Hichborn charged that this was an “absolute indictment” of the archdioceses’ “complicity in supporting immoral organizations.”
He also claimed that the CCHD addressed “the exact same allegations” 12 years ago using similar fact sheets. These “striking similarities,” Hichborn said, show that these problems have persisted for some time.
Archbishop Nienstedt’s letter defended the CCHD. Though reports about some grantees’ actions are “disturbing,” he said, “one has to realize that they are four out of over 250 projects that are funded by CCHD every year.”
“I am aware that some groups have widely advertised such flaws in the CCHD system, hoping to torpedo the whole operation. This, it seems to me, is the classic ‘throwing the baby out with the bath water.’ There are imperfections, yes, but there is also so much good that is being done through this collection.”
He pointed to Bishop of Biloxi, Mississippi Roger Morin, who gave public reassurances about the CCHD grant approval process at the U.S. bishops’ fall assembly in Baltimore.
“In light of those assurances, I have no hesitation in contributing to this collection and I encourage your generous participation as well,” Archbishop Nienstedt continued.
Archbishop of Denver Charles J. Chaput also commented on the CCHD controversy in an interview with Mike Sullivan of the group Catholics United for the Faith. He said that people should be “prudent” and shouldn’t jump to “rash conclusions.” He said that he believed that some CCHD staff has made mistakes, but he said some blogs had been “excessive in their judgment.”
“People shouldn’t believe everything they read or be upset with the kind of intensity that I’ve seen, because I think that intensity leads to blindness.”
He said that people could contribute to the CCHD collection without worrying that they are supporting causes that conflict with Church teaching.
“If people don’t like the decisions of the Campaign staff and their allocations, one of the ways they can show their displeasure is by withholding funds from their diocesan collections,” the archbishop added.
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“We bishops serve ourselves and the collection well if we are honest about mistakes, try not to make them again, and move on appropriately.”