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Prominent Catholics to the USCCB: Shut Down Controversial Catholic Campaign for Human Development

Articles | May 31, 2024 | by Catholics for Catholics

Prominent Catholics from across the United States have signed an open-letter addressed to the bishops of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), asking them to permanently close down the Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD).  For over 50 years, the CCHD has been the center of an ongoing controversy as organizations promoting abortion, homosexuality, contraception, and outright Marxist ideologies have received CCHD grants.  Since 2009, scrutiny over CCHD-funded organizations has dramatically increased, even leading to a “Review and Renewal” of the CCHD – an effort that failed outright.  While adding a new guideline that CCHD would refuse to fund organizations that were members of coalitions that promote ideologies at odds with Catholic moral or social teaching, the CCHD has routinely refused to abide by those rules.

Since 2015, the Lepanto Institute has conducted regular deep-dive investigations of CCHD-funded organizations, proving annually that about 33% of CCHD-funded organizations are in direct violation of CCHD grant guidelines.

And now, it is revealed that the former executive director of the CCHD, Ralph McCloud, unceremoniously left his post in early April under a cloud of suspicion.  According to The Pillar, which broke the story on McCloud’s departure, the CCHD’s spending has greatly outweighed its income since 2019.  The Lepanto Institute took an even deeper look at the CCHD’s finances and discovered that the CCHD’s financial reserves have been tanking since 2014, that its collections have been diving since 2016, and that its grant distribution has remained relatively the same.  As a result, the entire effort has run itself dry.

Now, in light of the ongoing issues and the financial insolvency of the CCHD, the bishops of the USCCB are preparing to discuss the CCHD’s future at the Spring Assembly of the USCCB from June 12-14.  Because of this, and in anticipation of the pending discussion, Catholic leaders representing hundreds of thousands of Catholics have signed a public letter asking the bishops to close down the CCHD once and for all.

Dear Excellencies and Eminences,

It is being widely reported that at the Spring Plenary Assembly of the USCCB, you will be discussing the status and future of the Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD).  According to the USCCB’s financial reports, the CCHD collection numbers have dropped significantly, while the amounts distributed in grants have remained about the same.  This, of course, has led to the CCHD’s financial unviability and the departure of its executive director.

As faithful Catholics who deeply love our Church and have a strong desire for the salvation of the impoverished souls whom She serves, we the undersigned ask Your Excellencies and Eminences to disband the CCHD altogether.

The CCHD has been a highly controversial entity since its inception, granting hundreds of millions of dollars to community organizing groups inspired by Saul Alinsky.  The ideologies espoused in Alinsky’s books and speeches – completely at odds with Catholic moral teaching – provide the framework for the organizations that have been receiving CCHD funds.  As a result, even going back to the 1970s, CCHD-funded organizations have been caught time and again promoting immoral and anti-Catholic beliefs.

A few examples:

  • CCHD’s 2020-2021 grants list yielded 66 out of 214 grantees (31%) violating CCHD grant guidelines by promoting grave immorality either directly or through coalition memberships (source)
  • The most recent grants list shows that the CCHD gave:
  • One of CCHD’s most favored network of community organizing groups is Faith in Action, which formally stood against the overturning of Roe v. Wade, promoted LGBT ideologies, and electioneered on behalf of Democrat candidates. (source)
  • $65,000 to FCNY, which financially supports organizations openly promoting witchcraft, abortion and transgenderism. (source)
  • $50,000 to Planting Justice, which publicly prayed to demons (by name) and actively promotes transgender ideologies (source)
  • $35,000 to We Are Unchained, which has direct ties to abortion-providers, LGBTQ activists, and is run by an open Marxist (source)

During your meeting this June, it is our sincere hope that you will carefully and thoroughly discuss the serious moral problems surrounding the CCHD with greater concern than whether it is merely financially viable.

Please know that we are praying for Your Excellencies and Eminences as you meet.

Sincerely yours in Christ,

Michael Hichborn, President of Lepanto Institute
Peter A. Kwasniewski, PhD
Joe McClane, Host of “A Catholic Take”
Stephen and Richard Payne, Producers of “A Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing” (2016)
John Yep, CEO of Catholics for Catholics
Eric Sammons, Editor-in-Chief of Crisis Magazine
Deal W Hudson, Host of “Church & Culture”
John-Henry Westen, Co-Founder of LifeSiteNews
Beverly De Soto, Editor of Regina Magazine
Jesse Romero, Catholic Speaker, Author, Podcaster
Elizabeth Yore, Esq.
Fr. David Nix
Dr. Anthony P. Stine
Gene Thomas Gomulka
Stephen Brady, CEO of Roman Catholic faithful
David Rodriguez, M.Th., Executive Director St. Vincent Ferrer Foundation
Cpt. (ret) Agostino Giagnacovo, P.Eng.
Matthew Plese, President of CatechismClass.com
Timothy J. Gordon J.D., Ph.L.
Mike Church, Radio Presenter, The Mike Church Show
Taylor R. Marshall, PhD
Brian M. McCall, Orpha and Maurice Chair in Law, Editor-in-Chief of Catholic Family News
Matt Gaspers, Managing Editor of Catholic Family News
Brody Hale, co-founder, Save Rome of the West
Jason Bolte, co-founder, Save Rome of the West
J.P. Sonnen, S.T.L. Executive Director, Regina



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