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Catholic Bishops' Agency Admits to Deceptive Funding Scheme, Breaking Own Grant Rules

Lepanto Institute
March 17, 2021

PARTLOW, Va., March 17, 2021 /Standard Newswire/ -- The Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD), the official domestic anti-poverty agency of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) admitted that the $50,000 grant listed as going to the Workers Defense Project (WDP) actually went to an entirely different coalition not listed on the CCHD grants recipient list according to a new report published by the Lepanto Institute:

The Lepanto Institute was provided an email exchange between a concerned Catholic and CCHD grants specialist Randy Keesler. Keesler claimed that, despite WDP being listed on CCHD's own grants lists, WDP was actually given the grant to fund a non-listed Nashville coalition called the People's Alliance for Transit, Housing and Employment (PATHE).

When questioned on if this is a violation of the CCHD guideline that it will not fund organizations that would use CCHD money for re-granting purposes or to fund other organizations, Keesler replied that this was a restricted pass-through grant and not a violation.

The Lepanto Institute attempted to contact PATHE and found the listed phone number to not be in service, and the only publicly available address to be the same as WDP's. Other CCHD grant guidelines, including its primary guideline to only fund 501c3 non-profit organizations also appear to have been violated with this off-the-books "re-grant."

"Are the US Bishops aware that CCHD is funding organizations not included on its grants list," asked Michael Hichborn, president of the Lepanto Institute. "Given this complete lack of transparency, how can ANYTHING listed on the CCHD grants list be trusted? If the CCHD lists one organization on its grants list, but it is, in fact, using that money to give to another organization NOT identified by the CCHD, then how can we possibly know that the CCHD isn't fraudulently funding organizations for the purpose of giving that money to Planned Parenthood, the Chinese Communist Party, Antifa, Black Lives Matter, or the Democratic National Committee? How can the CCHD's own published grants list be trusted at all?"

The Lepanto Institute noted deep concern over the lack of transparency as well as questioned CCHD's ability to apply its "rigorous screening process" to an organization with no working phone or apparent physical address. Hichborn stated:

"Who did CCHD call to discuss PATHE's mission, plans, use of funds, and to ensure that PATHE wouldn't violate Catholic moral or social teaching? What phone number did they use? What office did they meet at, and what financial documents did they review? Who signed for the grant, promising not to attack Catholic moral teaching? Considering that CCHD broke two of its own rules just to get funding to PATHE to begin with, and also considering that it seems very unlikely that PATHE (as an organization) was interviewed or vetted, it's not unreasonable to wonder if CCHD is funding an organization that doesn't really exist at all. We really do have to wonder -- Is CCHD funding some kind of shell corporation?"

The Lepanto Institute is conducting a joint petition with LifeSiteNews asking bishops to shut down the CCHD, which can be viewed here:

SOURCE Lepanto Institute

CONTACT: Michael Hichborn, 540-847-5501

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