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Catholic Church Cuts Off Funding for Group That Helps Homeless as Revenge for Group's Gay Marriage Support

Preble  

The Catholic Church in Maine, led by Bishop Richard Malone (below), has cut off funding for a group that helps the homeless as revenge for the group's support of the Maine "No on 1" campaign last fall. Question 1 sought to invalidage Maine's marriage equality law, and was approved by voters.

Malone  The Press Herald reports

"Preble Street's Homeless Voices for Justice program has lost $17,400 this year and will lose $33,000 that it expected for its next fiscal year. Officials with the Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland and the Washington-based Catholic Campaign for Human Development say that Preble Street violated its grant agreement by supporting Maine's 'No on 1' campaign last fall...Catholics for Marriage Equality has begun an effort to replace the lost funding by raising $17,400 for Homeless Voices for Justice. Anne Underwood, a co-founder of the group that advocates for same-sex marriage, said Bishop Richard Malone is punishing the homeless because of politics. 'This is petty vindictiveness,' she said. 'After the election is over, suddenly the money is revoked from poor people because of a political opinion held by the bishop.' Underwood said that many Catholics in Maine will now think twice before donating money to the church to help fight poverty. 'People who are homeless should not be used in political games,' she said."

You may recall that Malone instructed every Catholic Mass across the state to play a video "homily" asking churchgoers to fight against marriage equality, taking up second collections at churches to defeat it.

Here's how you can help Preble Street.

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Comments

  1. Such unconditional love and compassion for the meek and suffering! I'm sure Jesus would be so very proud of them.

    Posted by: LiamB | Mar 24, 2010 9:44:09 AM


  2. You nailed it, Liamb. I'm not religious at all, but even I know Jesus was pretty effing big on helping the homeless. I'd say this is unbelievable, but after Catholic Charities' shenanigans in DC, it's par for the course.

    Posted by: DN | Mar 24, 2010 9:49:05 AM


  3. Why am I imagining that Bishop Malone speaks in a voice exactly like The Simpson's Mr. Burns?

    Posted by: bobbyjoe | Mar 24, 2010 9:50:47 AM


  4. Christianity is awesome, isn't it?

    Posted by: Eugene | Mar 24, 2010 10:17:01 AM


  5. revenge.. that's another "christian virtue" ya know? Just as the old testament can assert their vindictive man made god should be proud.

    Posted by: vatm | Mar 24, 2010 10:26:08 AM


  6. When is somebody going to take away the non-profit status of these Political Action Groups masquerading as churches?

    Posted by: rayray | Mar 24, 2010 10:31:46 AM


  7. another asshat from the catholic church. they have more important things to worry about than gay marriage. there are priests abusing children, people pimping out the vatican chior, arch bishops with kiddie porn on their laptops. this church really displays all the virtues of a porn ring. do they stay up nights and think of ways to display bigotry and hate. i don"t think this is what Christ had in mind. what happened to love thy neighbor and charity. tax the bastards out of existence

    Posted by: walter | Mar 24, 2010 11:43:55 AM


  8. So let me get this straight; people who lived through the epidemic of child molesting priests all across America, and now the world, but continued to give money to the Catholic Church; people who continued to give money to the Church after it turned their backs on orphans in Massachusetts; people who continued to give money to the Catholic church after they remained silent for so long on the Iraq and Afghan wars, and on the torture of Iraqis and Afghans; people who continued to give money to the Catholic Church after it. for eight straight years, snuggled up to the most corrupt, unchristian regime that has ever RULED over America...

    THESE people are now going to stop giving money to the Church just because it stopped giving money to some homeless people?

    REALLY?

    You REALLY think so?

    It sounds to me that Ann is living it up with Alice, the Cheshire cat and Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum in Wonderland.

    Posted by: TampaZeke | Mar 24, 2010 11:43:59 AM


  9. The Preble St group *chose* to support "NO" and forgo any funding from the Catholic Church.

    There is no "revenge" motive on the part of the Church, rather Preble St is using this to promote hatred. Which is more important to them than securing the funding to continue their services to the homeless.

    On the other hand, the Church funding will go to another homeless-support group that agrees to respect the tenets of the Catholic faith in their business practices.

    The Church is committed to helping the homeless, regardless of their sexual orientation (or faith). They are NOT committed to funding organizations whose business practices conflict with the tenets of the Faith.

    Posted by: ME | Mar 24, 2010 12:02:08 PM


  10. You're right, ME. The Church can choose who or what they deem to be important.

    http://crooksandliars.com/john-amato/infallible

    Posted by: STRANDED | Mar 24, 2010 12:06:30 PM


  11. Stranded: No, it's not a "choice" for the Church.

    The Catholic Church is *required* to follow the tenets of the faith.

    It IS a choice for Preble St. in seeking funding.

    Posted by: ME | Mar 24, 2010 12:14:33 PM


  12. This is the problem with religious charities, if you don't agree with what they believe in, they will, and they have every right to, cut you off. They're not in the charity business out of the goodness of their hearts, they're in it to recruit new members. It's time civil society stepped up it's responsibilities to helping those among us who are less fortunate. That is one of the reasons we have a government in the first place. And I agree with pulling the tax exempt status of these groups over their political action. Anyone who thinks the Catholic Church isn't involved in politics is not paying attention.

    Posted by: Mike | Mar 24, 2010 12:27:15 PM


  13. This is the problem with advocacy charities, if they don't agree with what the funding organization from which they are seeking money is founded upon, why do they apply for (and expect) to receive funding from that group? The advocacy charities are not ENTITLED to that money by their own choice.

    Unlike the Catholic Church, the tenets of which include helping the poor, Preble St. is not in the charity business out of the goodness of their hearts, they're in it to advocate their specific political views (see their website, and/or talk to them yourself.)

    If members of secular society don't wish to support religious charity funding, then it's time SECULAR society stepped up it's responsibilities to helping those among us who are less fortunate.

    And in the case of religious and secular 501(c)3s, *both* are equally allowed a specified amount of involvement in political action (see IRS code).

    The Catholic Church will continue to help the homeless in Maine -- but it cannot continue to contribute to Preble St, since it has come to the Church's attention that the organization's advocacy practices violate the Church's tenets.

    Posted by: ME | Mar 24, 2010 1:26:08 PM


  14. Unfortunately, what you say, ME, is right. But it is also the public's option to not support Catholic "Charities", and take THEIR donations to other churches who DO help the homeless regardless of politics. It is also the option of the people to leave such denominations for others that do help the poor and homeless. No hate, no rancor. Do you see that already happening? What about support for an organization that looks the other way for decades on child molestation? Should the church support such an entity? Doesn't that go against their "tenets"?

    Posted by: Reggie | Mar 24, 2010 3:09:20 PM



  15. Reggie: My point on donations to charities, exactly. It's the donor's choice.

    Same thing goes with fund-seeking charities/501(c)3s: it's *their* choice -- and responsibility -- to seek grants/funding from organizations with which they can uphold the organization's grant agreement.

    As for child molestation, there is no tenet in the Catholic faith that supports it.

    Posted by: ME | Mar 24, 2010 3:45:39 PM


  16. The Roman Catholic Church is becoming irrelvant, and will self-implode shortly.

    Posted by: John | Mar 24, 2010 4:07:31 PM


  17. Islam has overtaken Roman Catholicism as the biggest single religious denomination in the world: according to 2008 statistics, Muslims make up 19.2 percent of the world's population and Catholics 17.4 percent.

    In 2008 the Vatican put the number of Catholics in the world at 1.13 billion people. It did not provide a figure for Muslims, generally estimated at around 1.3 billion and population growing at a faster rate than Catholics.


    Posted by: ME | Mar 24, 2010 4:19:10 PM


  18. The problem with ME's argument against preble street (which does help homeless people and battered women who are fleeing domestic violence situations--and does so independently of caring about that person's religious makeup, sexual orientation, etc) is that it is stating that the political beliefs of those at preble (equality) are somehow on a par with those of the catholic church. You see, believing in the inherent equality of people (under the law) regardless of their sexual orientation concerns itself directly with the alleviation of human suffering as it is inconsistent with discrimination which harms people; not so for the tenets of the catholic faith, which are concerned directly with harming people based upon discrimination. They are not equivalents. The catholic church's position is highly unethical in contrast, and the only viable comparison is one of criticism of the catholic church's bigotry and lack of concern for poor people. Apparently, the real tenet is that they do not care about poor people; they only care about people who subscribe to their views. Your sad attempt at suggesting that this is the same for a group that supports equality under the law and is opposed to discrimination (the beliefs you are suggesting on equivalents to catholic bigotry)), and whose mission is to provide help to the homeless doesn't hold water for that very reason. Preble does, in fact, care about poor people, and also the alleviation of human suffering in not picking and choosing who is worthy of receiving services and who is not because of primitive bigotry. You've been refuted.

    Religious people often turn into sociopathic relativists (democracy, for them in presenting these arguments, is ethically equivalent to totalitarianism) in defending the twisted and pernicious values and actions of their fairytale. There is no excuse for this, just as there is no excuse for them pulling adoption services and aid to the poor in massachussets and d.c. it is a disgrace, and these people simply don't care about alleviating human suffering.

    Posted by: TANK | Mar 24, 2010 4:27:30 PM


  19. And this has never, ever been about the right of the catholic church to prove that they don't care about the alleviation of human suffering; quite the contrary, in fact (and most faiths are about just that:themselves, not people or ethics). You have the right to be a horrendous human being in this society. That's your life...to live an unethical puddle of snot from cradle to grave...and many people take advantage of that right reserved...many people who are christian...many, many of them.

    That doesn't change the fact that they're scum.

    Posted by: TANK | Mar 24, 2010 4:32:20 PM


  20. Tank: The Catholic Church/Charities provides aid to the poor, sick, homeless REGARDLESS of the sexual orientation or religion or lack thereof of the people to whom the aid is actually provided.

    Preble St is an organization that also ministers to the poor, sick homeless.

    They are an *organization,* not the poor, sick or homeless themselves.

    Preble St is an organization whose management chooses (as is certainly their right) to serve the needy population according to their own mission and advocates against the tenets of the Catholic Church. They sought funding from the Catholic Church, for which they (like anyone seeking funding) signed a grant agreement. They violated that agreement, disqualifying themselves from the funding.

    Preble St knew what they were doing -- they applied for -- and received -- the grant money under false pretenses. They were not entitled to it.

    The money will instead go to other organizations that help the poor sick and homeless in Portland -- organizations that apply for the grant and uphold their grant agreement.

    And the Church will continue to serve the needy (regardless of sexual orientation or religious beliefs.)

    Now, if Preble St were in the position to provide grants to organizations that served the needy, would they provide one to an organization that would not uphold their grant agreement? Of course not.

    Posted by: ME | Mar 24, 2010 5:07:52 PM


  21. "The Catholic Church/Charities provides aid to the poor, sick, homeless REGARDLESS of the sexual orientation or religion or lack thereof of the people to whom the aid is actually provided."

    Apparently not. Apparently if an organization is supportive of equality under the law for same sex couples, they pull funding. Apparently if they can't discriminate against same sex parents, they pull that service denying countless children the opportunity of being raised in a loving, nurturing environment. Apparently if a state will no longer tolerate inequality under the law, catholic charities is first in line to deny people services based upon bigotry and dogma. Don't lie.

    "Preble St is an organization that also ministers to the poor, sick homeless."

    No, they don't "minister" to them. They don't extort support from people they assist by making a condition of said support agreement with their values. The catholic does, and this is proof of that. They don't preach the word of god to those they help, either...in an attempt to garner support.


    "Preble St is an organization whose management chooses (as is certainly their right) to serve the needy population according to their own mission and advocates against the tenets of the Catholic Church."

    Here you are trying to demonstrate an ethical equivalence (however subtly...and I imagine a more flagrant abuse will occur later on in your attempted defense of bigotry) between a belief in equality and nondiscrimination under the law and the catholic church's belief in discrimination and inequality under the law. There is no ethical equivalence here.

    "They sought funding from the Catholic Church, for which they (like anyone seeking funding) signed a grant agreement. They violated that agreement, disqualifying themselves from the funding."

    First, it's unclear if any grant agreement was, in fact, violated. Secondly, even if violated, the grant provision is evidence that the catholic investment in the alleviation of human suffering depends their own BIGOTRY, and that a condition of extending service to needy people depends on their bigoted beliefs and commitment to inequality and discrimination.


    "Preble St knew what they were doing -- they applied for -- and received -- the grant money under false pretenses. They were not entitled to it."

    You don't know that. You don't know that any grant agreement was violated, and you certainly don't know that preble st. knew it was violating the agreement if such a violation even occurred. This is hot air. And more importantly than that, it is the church's decision (violation or no) to rescind support that assists homeless people. It is their choice to do so, and that choice is based upon bigotry and discrimination. And that choice proves without doubt that the catholic church and catholic charities do not care about human suffering and its alleviation...they simply don't care.

    "The money will instead go to other organizations that help the poor sick and homeless in Portland -- organizations that apply for the grant and uphold their grant agreement."

    You don't know that at all. Chances are it won't go to another organization that helps the sick and homeless in portland, because very few would be willing to consent to bigotry as a condition of helping someone. The catholic church doesn't care about helping the sick and homeless. This is an utter lie. That money will go right back to the church's coffers, and be wasted trying to defeat marriage equality again.


    "And the Church will continue to serve the needy (regardless of sexual orientation or religious beliefs.)"

    That's not true, and this action proves it. Helping the needy is contingent upon the bigotry and discrimination that the catholic church perpetuates.

    Posted by: TANK | Mar 24, 2010 5:25:10 PM


  22. Did the Pope disperse ME to go on to gay websites to defend the faith?

    ME, if child molestation isn't a part of the tenets of the Catholic faith then why is it so rampant among their leaders and why do they, at the VERY HIGHEST levels, cover it up and support the criminals that do the molesting.

    You're going to defend a church that condemns love between consenting adults all the while covering for THOUSANDS of priests who rape children?

    If that's the case then you are a complete douchebag with no credibility.

    Posted by: TampaZeke | Mar 24, 2010 6:05:55 PM


  23. Tank: Preble St violated the grant by their own admission, in writing. I've read the letter.

    I do not belong to or otherwise represent the Catholic Church.

    However, the Catholic Church -- with it's 1.3 billion members -- isn't going anywhere, and their tenets are tenets -- not politics.

    Based on the facts I've researched on this story (and I'm a professional researcher), I believe Anne Underwood (ssm activist quoted in the article and elsewhere in the gay media) is "just" trying to stir up more vitrol and attention for her cause.

    And clearly she has been successful with you.

    Have at it with someone else. Best of luck to you.

    Posted by: ME | Mar 24, 2010 6:09:47 PM


  24. "Preble St violated the grant by their own admission, in writing. I've read the letter."

    Even if that's true, it doesn't addess the fact that the grant provision is based upon bigotry and how it is being used to revoke funding to alleviate human suffering. It is the bigoted unethical choice of the catholic church to revoke funding, violation or no violation. I can repeat this for you again just in case you don't understand it.

    "I do not belong to or otherwise represent the Catholic Church."

    I doubt that. You are defending this bigoted choice, and by proxy the church's bigoted position, passionately.

    "However, the Catholic Church -- with it's 1.3 billion members -- isn't going anywhere, and their tenets are tenets -- not politics."

    Well no, that's not true. The catholic church is going somewhere...to third world, developing nations. Their enrollment in progressive places on the planet is steadily declining, and will to continue to. It's a third world religion.

    "Based on the facts I've researched on this story (and I'm a professional researcher), I believe Anne Underwood (ssm activist quoted in the article and elsewhere in the gay media) is "just" trying to stir up more vitrol and attention for her cause."

    And I have no reason to believe this. Let's confine this discussion to the choice that the catholic church made to revoke funding rather than go into speculative extraneous facts that have no bearing on it. This decision was based upon bigotry, however you wish to justify it. The provision that preble street may have violated in its grant (emphasis on MAY) is similarly based upon bigotry. No way to hide from that fact that.

    More importantly, it expresses that the catholic church is not interested in alleviating human suffering. A person that preferences their bigoted beliefs above helping others is someone who doesn't care about helping others...and the same can be said about the catholic church.

    "And clearly she has been successful with you."

    I don't even know who she is, and I really don't care. The decision is all that matters in this conversation.

    "Have at it with someone else. Best of luck to you."

    That's actually a sensible move on your part...the most sensible one you've made thus far in this conversation. You don't have a leg to stand on here in defending the catholic church's bigotry. Bowing out now is quite literally your only option.

    Posted by: TANK | Mar 24, 2010 6:16:52 PM


  25. Gay marriage does not produce any offsprings for them to diddle. Of course they're against it. Duh.

    Posted by: Mintylaramie | Mar 24, 2010 10:58:59 PM


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