WASHINGTON (April 7, 1999) -- The Administrative Board of the United States Catholic Conference (USCC) has approved revised Moral Guidelines for Funding by the Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD). The Board approved the guidelines at its meeting here, March 23. The revised guidelines replace those adopted by the USCC Administrative Board nearly 30 years ago when the Campaign was in its infancy. They express with greater specificity Catholic moral teaching with regard to the sanctity of human life at all stages as well as CCHD's commitment to uphold that teaching in all of its funding decisions.
The reformulated guidelines also expressly state what had come to be an established practice, that with all CCHD project requests the local diocesan bishop is consulted with regard to the advisability of such funding by CCHD.
They further state that CCHD requires applicants to adhere, in the administration of the funded projects, to those basic principles which are central to the campaign's Catholic Mission.
"The Administrative Board's approval of the revised guidelines brings to conclusion a process begun two years ago to re-examine the 1972 guidelines in light of more complex social and moral issues of the present day," said Father Robert J. Vitillo, CCHD Executive Director.
The Bishops were informed that the process of revising the guidelines had been completed in a March 31 memorandum from Bishop John J. Leibrecht, Chairman, USCC Committee for the Catholic Campaign for Human Development.
"Until the present time, CCHD has been well served by the 'Guidelines with regard to Upholding the Church's Moral Teaching in the Granting of Funds to Worthwhile Projects,' drafted by the late John Cardinal Krol, then-President of NCCB/USCC, and approved by the USCC Administrative Board in 1972," Bishop Leibrecht said.
The Bishop noted that the revised guidelines do not differ in substance from the earlier ones, but do offer the following:
- a new first point was added in order to clearly articulate Catholic moral teaching with regard to the sanctity of human life from conception to natural death as well as CCHD's firm intention to uphold that teaching in all of its funding decisions.
- CCHD supports only those projects that conform to Catholic teaching and CCHD funds must be applied exclusively to support the project approved for funding.
- CCHD rules out the possibility of funding any projects promoted by organizations whose primary or substantial thrust is contrary to Catholic teaching.
- A clarifying footnote advises that traditional moral principles governing cooperation should guide decisions concerning requests from specific projects of an organization which may incidentally participate in other activities or coalitions whose own activities may not always conform with Catholic teaching. Reference is made to NCCB's Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services, pointing out that 'cooperation, which in all other respects is morally appropriate, may be refused because of the scandal that would be caused in the circumstances' (69).
- CCHD consults the local diocesan bishop with regard to the advisability of funding projects in the respective diocese.
- CCHD requires applicants to adhere, in the administration of funded projects, to the basic principles central to CCHD's Catholic mission.
The Catholic Campaign for Human Development was begun by the Bishops in 1970 to help society's poor and voiceless achieve self-sufficiency. It has now provided more than $250 million in grants and loans to more than 3,500 self-help projects. CCHD-funded groups have been instrumental in securing passage of federal and state legislation on such issues as child support, family and medical leave, community reinvestment, and housing. Through CCHD's education programs, Catholics learn about the Church's social teaching and how to attack the root causes of poverty.
NOTE: For the full text of the revised Moral Guidelines for Funding by the Catholic Campaign for Human Development, please contact Barbara Stephenson, CCHD, (202) 541-3364, firstname.lastname@example.org.