by Ben Johnson
SACRAMENTO, CALIFORNIA, March 9, 2012, (LifeSiteNews.com) – The Diocese of Sacramento has withheld funds from a non-profit organization whose leader publicly supports abortion and same-sex marriage.
Diocesan spokesman Kevin Eckery said that Bishop Jaimo Soto personally approved the decision to defund Francis House Center because of the outspoken stance of its leader - United Methodist Rev. Faith Whitmore - in opposition to Catholic teaching on key moral issues.
Whitmore told Sacramento’s News 10-TV that a priest personally explained to her in January that the diocese would no longer collect funds for the organization because of her strong “support for Planned Parenthood, because I believe that Planned Parenthood is the foremost educational health care provider to women, especially to poor women.”
“Why would we ask someone to contribute money to an organization and ask them to overlook all of those things that undermine the church’s teachings?” asked diocesan spokesman Kevin Eckery.
Because the charity was initiated at St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church, Eckery said, “a lot of people still think Francis House is a Catholic charity.”
He added, in a letter, that he could not expect the group to “actively promote Catholic teaching. We can expect, however, that they or their leaders not publicly oppose Catholic teaching…Money collected during the annual appeal is very much Catholic parishioner money.”
The diocese collected from $7,500 to $10,000 a year for the Sacramento-based agency, which helps the homeless, as part of its annual Catholic Appeal, a fraction of the non-profit’s $500,000 annual budget.
Whitmore said the loss “is not huge for us.” Since the money was Catholic money, she acknowledged Bishop Soto “had that right” to withhold it.
She said she “would never take back anything I’ve said, publicly or privately.”
Others in California’s LGBT activist movement disagreed.
Tina Reynolds, the executive director of Equality Action NOW, Sacramento’s homosexual lobby group, told reporters, “This is a worse fauz paux [sic] than the Komen fiasco. I am donating to Francis House Center!”
Episcopalian priest Brian Baker, the dean of Trinity Episcopal Cathedral of Sacramento and a supporter of same-sex “marriage,” said “cooperation and partnership is the latest casualty in the fundamentalism-driven culture war that is destroying our society.”
Diocese of Sacramento
Sacramento, CA 95818