Chicago Cardinal Francis George has pulled funding from a coalition of immigration groups that support same-sex marriage in Illinois, according to a Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD) statement released last week. Because same-sex marriage violates Roman Catholic doctrine, Cardinal George believes in funding organizations that “respect the teachings of the Catholic faith.”
The CCHD severed funds for the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights (ICIRR), which dispenses funds to a variety of member organizations, because it decided that “when it comes to marriage and family life, men and women are not interchangeable.” The Cardinal wrote, “Because the signers of the letters are Catholic, they know that in a few years, like each of us, they will stand before this same Christ to give an account of their stewardship.”
Although the CCHD pulled funding from ICIRR, it did give member organizations a choice to continue receiving funding if they dropped their association with ICIRR. At least one member organization, the United African Organization (UAO) declined.
This is not the first time that the Catholic Church has pulled funding for groups that support marriage equality. It has also cut funding for homeless groups and charities that support marriage equality.
The Catholic Church approved a $1 million grant to help mobilize Catholics to support comprehensive immigration reform last year as part of its mission to support the poor and vulnerable. As many as 130 Illinois organizations that received funds through the ICIRR grant may lose funding toward that mission now.