Diocese of Sacramento clarifies decision to cut funding for Francis House — money will go to other programs helping the homeless that don’t ‘actively oppose our strongly held beliefs’

Fr. Michael F. Kiernan, director of Social Services for the Diocese of Sacramento, has issued the following statement clarifying the diocese’s decision to cut off funding to Francis House. (For background, see: “No more ‘parishioners’ money,” published in California Catholic Daily on Friday, March 9, 2012.

As you’ve probably seen in press reports this week, the Diocese of Sacramento has decided not to include funding for Francis House, a local Sacramento charity, in the 2012 Annual Catholic Appeal.

I notified Francis House in a 45-minute, face-to-face meeting with their Executive Director last January. It was a respectful conversation, reflecting the productive partnership we have enjoyed with Francis House and the good work Francis House has done — and will continue to do — on behalf of homeless families in Sacramento.

The decision wasn’t made lightly.

Catholic teaching compels us to help people in need, not because they are poor or sick, but because our concern for the poor is inseparable from our regard for human life and the dignity of the human person. It’s what compels us to protect life from natural birth to natural death, oppose abortion and act on our core belief that marriage is between one man and one woman.

While we don’t expect or require organizations that receive our grants to promote Catholic teaching, we do expect, along with the parishioners who contribute to the Annual Catholic Appeal, that these organizations and their leaders not actively oppose our strongly held beliefs.

Please be assured that our commitment to helping those who are homeless is undiminished. The funding that would have gone to Francis House will be directed to other homeless programs.

If you have any additional questions or concerns, please feel free to contact Rick Maya, Executive Director of The Catholic Foundation, at (916) 733-0266 or myself at (916) 733-0254.


Posted Tuesday, March 13, 2012 12:23 AM By charlio
The enemy now advancing against us is increasingly conscious of the fact that there can be no question of neutrality. The forces now opposed to the Faith design to DESTROY. The battle is henceforward engaged upon a definite line of cleavage, involving the survival or destruction of the Catholic Church. And ALL — not a portion — of its philosophy. The quarrel is between the Church and the anti-Church — the Church of God and anti-God — the Church of Christ and anti-Christ. There is a clear issue now joined between the retention of Catholic morals, tradition, and authority on the one side, and the active effort to destroy them on the other. The modern attack will not tolerate us. It will attempt to destroy us. Nor can we tolerate it. We must attempt to destroy it as being the fully equipped and ardent enemy of the Truth by which men live. The duel is to the death. – Hilaire Belloc, “THE GREAT HERESIES” (1938), Chapter 7, “The Modern Phase”

Posted Tuesday, March 13, 2012 1:43 AM By BETTY
CCC: ” 1759 An evil action cannot be justified by reference to a good intention. The end does not justify the means.” Catholics and others of good will MUST not support or advance EVIL – even to help the Poor or support other social programs.

Posted Tuesday, March 13, 2012 2:15 AM By MIKE
There is a section in the CCC under “Good Acts and Evil Acts” on page 435, #s 1756, 1759, 1760, 1761. Why doesn’t all Catholic staff when dealing with the media simply quote the CCC which we are all required to adhere to? It might even cause some to read the CCC, and bring them to Holy Mother Church. The above is not merely a decision of an individual Bishop, but a teaching of the Church.

Posted Tuesday, March 13, 2012 6:13 AM By Thomas Edward Miles

Posted Tuesday, March 13, 2012 7:03 AM By MacDonald
Glad that Fr. Kiernan repeated just WHY the funding was cut. As a Church, we should not be expected for support organizations that violate our Catholic teachings on sex, medical ethics, etc. However, I do feel VERY badly for the Catholic midwives in Scotland (whom the government wants to supervise abortions), and the workers in England (whom the government is preventing from wearing a crucifix around their necks). Headscarves for Muslim women = yes. Crosses for Catholics = no. Is that government even nuttier than ours?

Posted Tuesday, March 13, 2012 7:16 AM By JMJ
Tough love, as us parents know, is sometimes difficult, but necessary. Let us pray that all of those at Francis House will convert and repent and do just what St. Francis did: be right with God and His Church. +JMJ+

Posted Tuesday, March 13, 2012 7:21 AM By WmMarg Kue
Thank you for taking this stand. We stand with you, Cardinal Dolan and all other Faithful Catholics. May God keep us strong in the battle as we put on the armor of God (Eph.6:11) and pray St. Michael the Archangel, protect us in battle… God Bless you

Posted Tuesday, March 13, 2012 7:59 AM By Joan Sacramento
What other homeless program in Sacremento, should I give to in place of Francis House, now that I am aware of this problem.

Posted Tuesday, March 13, 2012 8:02 AM By Maryanne Leonard
How thrilling to see a Catholic priest risk public condemnation for taking a stand against an organization that does good while at the same time actively opposing Catholic values. Delivering his principled decision to withdraw funding and support for such an organization with respect magnifies the dignity of this priest and beautifully represents the magnificent teachings of the Holy Roman Catholic Church. We are blessed to have such a strong priest and so are the homeless who will continue to be aided by us all.

Posted Tuesday, March 13, 2012 10:30 AM By JLS
MIKE, where does Catholic dogma say we are, in your words, “we are all required to adhere to” the CCC? Is Catholicism, to you, like a step by step set of written instructions that each one is supposed “adhere” to? It continues to seem to me that you are replacing Catholicism with Judaism with a Christian veneer. I guess, then, that you simply do not see the difference.

Posted Tuesday, March 13, 2012 10:44 AM By JLS
MIKE, the critical issue in your advocation that Catholics are required to “adhere to the CCC” is that of what is called legalism. The long range implication is convincing Catholics that they are required to follow a set of rules or laws in all facits of their lives … And it being that Catholicism is a hierarchical religion, then this legalism invites Catholics to condition themselves to follow whoever is said to be their leader. Since we know that there are wolves in sheep’s clothing in the hierarchy, then your system invites a catastrophe of the blind following the blind. Why you put your faith in written documents at the exclusion of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit is odd, especially since it is a heresy embodied in Protestantism, yet also an ancient one. Jesus went to great lengths to dispel us of legalism, then embodied in what we call “phariseeism”. Is it that you have avoided studying to see what I’ve been trying to convey to you for months? Or is it that you are intentionally promoting this heresy of replacing God with a book?

Posted Tuesday, March 13, 2012 10:48 AM By JLM
If I may respectfully suggest a wording change here: “It’s what compels us to protect life from natural birth to natural death.” I think he means “from *conception* to natural death.”

Posted Tuesday, March 13, 2012 11:16 AM By Abeca Christian
I’ve read the article maybe I have not been paying attention well but what is Francis House doing that is not within Catholic teachings? I trust that we are doing the right thing but I was just wondering what is Francis House doing wrong?

Posted Tuesday, March 13, 2012 11:17 AM By Denise Riggio
Aren’t the Missionaries of Charity in Sacramento? they’re always a sure bet to give our money contributions especially when looking for an alternative.