The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops met this week in Baltimore and decided to cut all ties with ACORN. The Roman Catholic Church has cited complaints over voter registration fraud allegations as well as other questionable ACORN dealings.
In June the brother of ACORN founder, Wade Rathke, was alleged to have embezzled nearly $1 million from ACORN. It was then that the Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD) froze its contributions to the group.
According to CNN, during the past ten years the CCHD has donated more than $7.3 million to ACORN projects. And $40,000 went to the Las Vegas, Nevada ACORN chapter “that was raided before the election in an investigation into fraudulent voter registration forms.”
Roger Morin, auxiliary bishop of New Orleans, said that a church review, which was completed last November, found that ACORN no longer met funding standards. In addition to the embezzlement problem Morin said the registration fraud complaints "raise additional serious concerns."
(See ACORN Voter Registration Fraud Issue Festers)
In a letter to the Bishop’s conference, Morin wrote:
“We simply had too many questions and concerns to permit further CCHD funding of ACORN groups”. . . .the ban on donations to ACORN won't be lifted "until and unless it is clear that CCHD funds will not go to an organization that has engaged in unlawful activities or voter registration fraud."
ACORN Executive Director Steven Kest issued a statement stating that it was grateful for the church’s funding in the past and that ACORN was looking forward to continuing “discussions with CCHD officials and the bishops in the months ahead . . .”
However, Ralph McCloud, the Human Development campaign's director, said the church has "severed ties" with ACORN and there are no plans for further discussion at this time.