CCHD both fights poverty, promotes pro-life cause


An opinion column in a recent issue of the Quad-City Times titled “Catholic funds promote abortion” (L. Brent Bozell, 2-5-10) makes for an intriguing headline, but poor journalism. 

The charges that funding from the Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD) are being used for abortion causes is old news, fully explained on the Web pages of CCHD. The story continues to have legs because it plays to those who enjoy a good scandal. 

The truth is that some pro-life forces, particularly those that are not Catholic and not in support of the fullness of our church teaching, cannot understand how Catholics can support social justice while being pro-life. They would like to re-direct funding away from CCHD and toward their causes.  The Catholic way is best characterized by John Carr, who oversees CCHD and whose reputation is assaulted in the Bozell article. 

John Carr’s life and example epitomize the best of the Catholic moral tradition.  John is a friend of mine who devotes his life to promoting social justice and he is avidly pro-life. The fact that he would serve on a board with a pro-choice feminist is neither a surprise nor a sign of poor judgment.  The reality is that in a pluralistic society, Catholics serve on all kinds of boards with all kinds of people. 


Using Bozell’s logic of guilt by association, and the seven degrees of separation between anyone who works in a political arena, we are all guilty of consorting with those we disagree with.  The “moral corruption” involved here is the public corruption of our Catholic tradition, because most people find it so hard to believe that we can work against poverty, hunger and injustice while continuing to be pro-life. 

Dan Ebener

Stewardship and Parish Planning Director,

Diocese of Davenport

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