The definition of a Conflict of Interest, as identified on Wikipedia, is “a situation occurring when an individual or organization is involved in multiple interests, one of which could possibly corrupt the motivation.” Such a situation seems to have developed recently at the Catholic Campaign for Human Development.
In 2012, the Reform CCHD Now coalition identified seven CCHD grantees affiliated with Interfaith Worker Justice. The problem is that the leadership of Interfaith Worker Justice is filled with individuals who promote abortion and homosexuality, and many of them are committed Marxist socialists. A detailed report on the serious moral issues of Interfaith Worker Justice can be read here. But the issues with Interfaith Worker Justice, though legion, aren’t what we at the Lepanto Institute are concerned with … at least for the moment.
The problem is that the director for the Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD), Ralph McCloud, is a member of the board of directors for Interfaith Worker Justice (IWJ). As the director for the CCHD, McCloud’s job is to approve grants for a variety of community organizing groups across the country. He does this on behalf of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops. In other words, no organization receives funds without McCloud’s seal of approval. However, as a member of Interfaith Worker Justice’s board of directors, McCloud has a vested interest in the funding and activities of IWJ. Thus, the conflict.
Over the years, many faithful Catholics have sounded the alarm about funds from the CCHD reaching the pockets of organizations that promote abortion, contraception, homosexuality, and Marxism. Since 2009, a focused effort coordinated by members of the Reform CCHD Now coalition have documented solid evidence of over one third of the CCHD’s grants being given to organizations working against the Catholic Church. Even though members of the coalition met with McCloud on numerous occasions, these concerns seemed to continue to fall on deaf ears. Given the latest discovery, one has to wonder if McCloud is more loyal to the organizations for whom he is writing checks than he is to the Catholics supplying those funds.
At some point in 2014, McCloud joined the board of directors of Interfaith Worker Justice. Even if one were to ignore the serious moral problems associated with a Catholic serving in a leadership capacity of an organization run by pro-aborts and Marxists, it is completely unethical for McCloud to sit on the board of an organization soliciting him for funding. There is no way for McCloud to verify his loyalty to the USCCB if he is funneling money to Interfaith Worker Justice, especially if serious problems are found with the affiliates for whom he approves funding.
And there is a serious problem with at least ONE of the IWJ affiliates he sent a check to.
The Northwest Arkansas Workers Justice Center (NAWJC), received $50,000 from the CCHD in 2014. In addition to being an affiliate of Interfaith Worker Justice, this organization is a member of Arkansas Citizens First Congress, which works for the rights of homosexuals to adopt or be foster parents. NAWJC’s president of the Board is a pro-abortion, pro-homosexual Democrat party activist.
With this information, McCloud is stuck. He is either loyal to the Church and Her teachings, and will sever funding to IWJ affiliates, or he is loyal to IWJ and will maintain funding for these organizations. Whatever his decision may be, it is a conundrum of his own making. He placed himself in this conflict of interest. But now that this one is public knowledge, the even bigger question is, “Is this the only one?”