N. Dakota bishops: Catholics should not donate to ‘objectionable’ groups

Bishops Paul Zipfel and Samuel Aquila
Bishops Paul Zipfel and Samuel Aquila


Catholics and Catholic organizations should not endorse organizations with “morally objectionable” missions, North Dakota’s bishops said, citing  Amnesty International, the March of Dimes and Susan G. Komen for the Cure because of their links to abortion or unethical research.

Bishops Paul A. Zipfel of Bismarck and Samuel J. Aquila of Fargo in a March 10 statement called upon pastors, clergy and the lay faithful to be prudent and just in making their charitable decisions, particularly on issues related to human life and marriage.

“All human life is sacred and must be protected,” the bishops said. “This is why we should not support or endorse individuals and organizations that provide, promote, or advocate for abortion, contraception, ‘reproductive rights/family planning,’ or embryonic stem cell research.”

They also noted the foundational nature of marriage to the common good of society. Therefore, Catholics should not support individuals and organizations that “seek to redefine marriage” or devalue its importance, the bishops said.

Catholic entities should not support the human rights group Amnesty International because in 2007 it adopted a “pro-abortion” position. The March of Dimes, which aims to prevent birth defects, premature birth, and infant mortality, also supports embryonic stem cell research, pre-implantation diagnosis for embryos, and mandatory contraceptive coverage in insurance plans.

The Susan G. Komen for the Cure anti-breast cancer organization, known for its “Race for the Cure,” has helped fund Planned Parenthood, the country’s largest abortion provider. It also “refuses to acknowledge the link between abortion and breast cancer,” Bishops Zipfel and Aquila wrote.

The two bishops also singled out the child welfare organization UNICEF because it now supports contraceptive and abortion services. The American Association of University Women, which often provides scholarships with money raised through book fairs, “strongly supports” abortion rights and same-sex “marriage,” while opposing “parental choice in education.”

The CROP Walk hunger awareness effort, sponsored by the National Council of Churches’ agency Church World Service, has partners which support the handing out contraceptives in their overseas missions.
Catholic Church facilities should not be used to promote, endorse or fundraise for organizations if their policies are contrary to Church teaching, the bishops explained.

“We applaud the charitable giving and social justice efforts of our parishes, Catholic schools, and individuals. At the same time, we urge attentiveness to the possibility of endorsing an organization whose mission or affiliation may be morally objectionable or, at least, questionable.”

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