Challenge Grant: Our Boosters will match donations up to $45,000. We have $41,060 to go. Please donate!
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Newspaper: HHS leadership overruled staff in denying funding to bishops’ agency

Catholic World News - November 03, 2011

In declining to renew a grant to the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Migration and Refugee Services to aid victims of human trafficking, the leadership of the US Department of Health and Human Services [HHS] overruled its own staff, according to The Washington Post.

“Political appointees at HHS stepped in to award the new grants to the bishops’ competitors, overriding an independent review board and career staffers who had recommended that the bishops be funded again, according to federal officials and internal HHS documents,” the Post reported, adding:

The decision not to fund the bishops this time has caused controversy inside HHS. A number of career officials refused to sign documents connected to the grant, feeling that the process was unfair and politicized, individuals familiar with the matter said. Their concerns have been reported to the HHS inspector general’s office … The applications of [two grant winners] were scored significantly below the Catholic bishops by the review panel, the individuals familiar with the matter said …

HHS political appointees this spring became involved in reshaping the request for proposals, adding a “strong preference” for applicants offering referrals for family planning and the “full range” of “gynecological and obstetric care.’’ That would include abortions and birth control …

Some HHS staffers objected to the involvement of the secretary’s office, saying the goal was to exclude the Catholic bishops, individuals familiar with the matter said.

HHS political appointees this spring became involved in reshaping the request for proposals, adding a “strong preference” for applicants offering referrals for family planning and the “full range” of “gynecological and obstetric care.’’ That would include abortions and birth control …

Some HHS staffers objected to the involvement of the secretary’s office, saying the goal was to exclude the Catholic bishops, individuals familiar with the matter said.

“It was so clearly and blatantly trying to come up with a certain outcome,’’ said one official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the official was not authorized to speak to the media. “That’s very distasteful to people.’’

Additional sources for this story
Some links will take you to other sites, in a new window.

An appeal from our founder, Dr. Jeffrey Mirus:

Dear reader: If you found the information on this page helpful in your pursuit of a better Catholic life, please support our work with a donation. Your donation will help us reach seven million Truth-seeking readers worldwide this year. Thank you!

Our Fall Campaign
Progress toward our year-end goal ($128,907 to go):
$150,000.00 $21,092.70
86% 14%
Sound Off! CatholicCulture.org supporters weigh in.

All comments are moderated. To lighten our editing burden, only current donors are allowed to Sound Off. If you are a donor, log in to see the comment form; otherwise please support our work, and Sound Off!

Show 2 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: AgnesDay - Nov. 03, 2011 3:02 PM ET USA

    We do not need government crippling the life of charity in the Church. If it is worth doing, it is worth funding it ourselves.

  • Posted by: DrJazz - Nov. 03, 2011 7:59 AM ET USA

    It's more than "distasteful." By their own standards, "blatantly trying to come up with a certain outcome" is called discrimination.

Fall 2014 Campaign
Subscribe for free
Shop Amazon
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Recent Catholic Commentary

Cardinal Kasper's nose is growing again October 18
Challenge Grant Begins as Synod Ends October 17
What's wrong with this Synod, IV: Unprepared for marriage October 17
No, mainstream religious orders aren't attracting vocations as fast as younger traditional orders October 17
The Synod: Is the sky falling? October 17

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
Key synod report calls for 'gradualism' in Church response to irregular family situations CWN - October 13
Cardinal Parolin: UN must protect innocents from Islamic State CWN - September 30
Synod of Bishops opens with Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica CWN - October 6