Matt C. Abbott
Pro-abort pol honored at Chicago parish school
By Matt C. Abbott
October 30, 2009

Here we go again...

The Lakeview Action Coalition, reportedly a grant recipient of the Catholic Campaign for Human Development, on Oct. 22 gave an award to pro-abortion Illinois State Rep. Sara Feigenholtz at the school associated with the notoriously leftist St. Clement Church.

A source active in the pro-life movement said in an e-mail:

    'After three weeks of phone calls to various archdiocesan offices before the event, the $65.00 per plate fundraiser for the Lakeview Action Coalition took place at St. Clement in Chicago. This is where Sara Feigenholtz received her award [named after the Rev. Gregory Dell, incidentally], despite the recent commitment from Cardinal George to support a ban on big-name pro-abort honors at Catholic churches.

    'I am now in the investigation phase of this matter and getting the big run-around of excuses from bishops, pastors and others of how the matter got missed. So far, it sounds like Jimmy Lago [the chancellor] made the final call to go ahead with the event as he felt it would be a greater scandal to cancel the event soon before it happened. When I originally called St. Clement to verify the event taking place, no one knew anything and it did not show up on their schedule (of course)!'

Frankly, the "It's too late to cancel the event now" and "We didn't know anything about it" excuses are getting very old. But, hey, this is the type of thing that occurs when we have spineless, heterodox, politically-connected bureaucrats running the show in some of the dioceses.

Sadly, a pro-abortion politician being honored on parish grounds is apparently no big deal to the powers that be. And, of course, the leftist "mainstream" media don't give a damn — that goes without saying. But can you imagine the outcry if, say, Bishop Richard Williamson of the Society of St. Pius X were to be honored, or even invited to speak, on parish grounds? Do you honestly believe the pastor (assuming it was someone else associated with the parish who organized the event) would allow it to take place? And would archdiocesan officials say, "Well, it's too late to cancel the event now"?

I sincerely doubt it.

So we have a "culture" in certain segments of the Church that believes it's really not that bad for a politician, Catholic or non-Catholic, to support legalized baby-killing, but if you've made some foolish comments about the Holocaust, well, that's evil and you'll be run out of town on a rail (if you even get there in the first place)!

Now, I'm not suggesting that Williamson should be honored or invited to speak at a Catholic parish or institution; and, no, I don't agree with his views on the Holocaust. But, at the same time, no Catholic parish or institution should give any platform whatsoever to pro-abortion politicians — or to "Catholic" dissenters, for that matter. Enough is enough.

Speaking of the Catholic Campaign for Human Development...

    'A coalition of Catholic organizations has formed to ask faithful Catholics to boycott this year's Catholic Campaign for Human Development collection, scheduled for Sunday, November 22 in many dioceses, and place a specially-designed coupon in the collection basket instead of money. The group has also launched a Web site dedicated to informing Catholics and tracking the progress of the campaign at The coupon may be downloaded and shared directly from the Web site's home page.

    'The coalition has formed in response to the continuing scandal of the CCHD, and is calling the CCHD to a major reform, focused on ensuring grantees' fidelity to Church teaching on social justice, family and life issues.

    ''It is said that 'sunlight is the best disinfectant,' and we are trying to shed some light not only on the CCHD, but also on some wonderful organizations that actually serve the poor and disenfranchised in a way that is consistent with Catholic teaching,' said Rob Gasper, president of Bellarmine Veritas Ministry, one of the groups calling for a reform of the CCHD. 'We just think that faithful Catholics in the pews should be able to trust that the money they give to the CCHD is going to reputable organizations that in no way work against the Church.'

    'The Web site was launched with four goals:

      '1) To call the CCHD to greater transparency in its grants process, and to revisit its criteria for choosing grantees.

      '2) To encourage faithful Catholics to download, share and place the Reform CCHD Now coupon in this year's annual special CCHD collection, held in many parishes on November 22, 2009.

      '3) To suggest reputable alternative organizations that faithful Catholics can be sure perform great service to the poor but do not oppose the Church in any way.

      '4) To create a clearing house for information on the campaign to reform the CCHD going forward.

    ''We support without qualification our Catholic bishops,' said Stephen Phelan, communications manager for Human Life International. 'We are confident that many of them will support this call for greater transparency in the CCHD, and to a deep reform in the organization. In this campaign we are asking that the CCHD reconsider its philosophy and practices.

    ''We respectfully call the CCHD to respond to Pope Benedict's call in his recent encyclical, Caritas in Veritate, when he challenged development professionals to work toward an authentic, integral human development based on a Catholic view of the human person and in the love and truth of Jesus Christ.''

© Matt C. Abbott


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Matt C. Abbott

Matt C. Abbott is a Catholic commentator with a Bachelor of Arts degree in communication, media and theatre from Northeastern Illinois University. He also has an Associate in Applied Science degree in business management from Triton College. Abbott has been interviewed on HLN, MSNBC, Bill Martinez Live, WOSU Radio in Ohio, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel's 2019 ‘Unsolved’ podcast about the unsolved murder of Father Alfred Kunz, Alex Shuman's 'Smoke Screen: Fake Priest' podcast, WLS-TV (ABC) in Chicago, WMTV (NBC) and WISC-TV (CBS) in Madison, Wisconsin. He’s been quoted in The New York Times, the Chicago Tribune and other media outlets. He’s mentioned in the 2020 Report on the Holy See's Institutional Knowledge and Decision-Making Related to Former Cardinal Theodore Edgar McCarrick (1930 to 2017), which can be found on the Vatican's website. He can be reached at

(Note: I welcome and appreciate thoughtful feedback. Insults will be ignored. Only in very select cases will I honor a request to have a telephone conversation about a topic in my column. Email is much preferred. God bless you and please keep me in your prayers!)


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