Washington D.C., Jun 14, 2013 / 01:15 am
An influential Democrat-leaning communications strategy group has targeted critics of the Catholic Campaign for Human Development, claiming it is "Catholic McCarthyism" to bar funds to groups allied with backers of abortion and "gay marriage."
The report, "Be Not Afraid?", by Faith in Public Life's Catholic program director John Gehring, contends that increased scrutiny for recipients of the development grants endangers efforts to fight poverty and isolates the Catholic Church.
The Catholic Campaign for Human Development, run by the U.S. bishops' conference, gives millions of dollars in annual grants to anti-poverty organizations. The funds are collected in Catholic parishes each year the Sunday before Thanksgiving.
The campaign faced increasing scrutiny after researchers found that some grant recipients backed legalized abortion and same-sex "marriage." In October 2010, the CCHD responded with a program of "review and renewal" to prioritize grants for Catholic groups and to screen other grant recipients more closely.