Catholic Diocese Halts Funding Homeless Agency Because of New Director’s Views

From The Kansas City Star:

The Catholic Diocese of Sacramento no longer will fund programs at Francis House, a nonprofit agency that serves homeless people, because of its new director’s views supporting abortion rights and gay marriage.

In a letter last month, the diocese’s director of social services said the Rev. Faith Whitmore’s public statements on the issues clash with the teachings of the Catholic Church. Therefore, said the Rev. Michael Kiernan, the social services director, it is “impossible for the diocese to continue funding Francis House” as part of its annual Catholic Appeal.

Each morning, dozens of poor people line up at Francis House, located in Sacramento’s homeless services epicenter, for help with basic services such as housing and transportation. Now in its 42nd year, the organization is one of the largest homeless services agencies in the Sacramento region, serving upward of 25,000 people. It has an an annual budget of about $500,000.

For at least two decades, Francis House has received annual donations from the diocese ranging from $7,500 to $10,000, said Michael Miiller, a member of the agency’s corporate advisory board.

The diocese’s letter made it clear that it was shifting policy and removing Francis House from its fundraising campaign because of Whitmore’s affiliation with the group.