Catholic World News

Bishop discusses reasons behind cutoff of ACORN funding

November 14, 2008

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops yesterday released a report in which Bishop Roger Morin discussed the reasons behind the Catholic Campaign for Human Development’s decision to end funding to the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN).

Bishop Morin, auxiliary bishop of New Orleans and Chairman of the Subcommittee on Catholic Campaign for Human Development, explained that ‘in the past, CCHD has funded proposals from local organizations affiliated with ACORN when those activities conform to the CCHD guidelines and when the local diocesan CCHD director and the local diocesan bishop explicitly approve the proposal. Many of these local ACORN groups have done impressive work preventing home foreclosures, creating jobs opportunities, raising wages, addressing crime and improving education.’

He continued, ‘Last June, CCHD cut off funding to all ACORN groups when we learned about a major case of embezzlement eight years ago which raised serious concerns about national ACORN's financial accountability, transparency, governance and organizational integrity … More recently, the Subcommittee also became concerned about widespread reports of ACORN involvement in alleged voter registration fraud and political partisanship. As a result of the cut-off earlier this year, no CCHD funds were involved in any of these activities. However, the allegations intensified our questions and problems around ACORN's organizational integrity, competence and non-partisanship. Therefore, we extended the cut off of CCHD funding of any ACORN organizations. The Bishops' CCHD Subcommittee met November 8-9 and reviewed this matter at length and discussed it in depth. The Bishop members of the Subcommittee voted unanimously to reaffirm, extend and formalize the decision to end CCHD funding of ACORN organizations because of serious concerns about financial accountability, organizational performance and political partisanship. While not all the specifics can be known, we simply had too many continuing questions and concerns about these serious matters to permit CCHD funding of ACORN groups.’

 


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