Breaking: 27 Senators Demand HHS Explain Denial of Grant to US Bishops

I’ve been trying to watch the live-feed of the public sessions and press conferences of the U.S. Bishops meeting in Baltimore today, where religious liberty issues have frequently come up.

Today witnessed another important development in Washington, DC:

Senators Rubio and Ayotte

Twenty-seven U.S. senators requested information on how the Department of Health and Human Services graded applicants for anti-trafficking grants and asked why the U.S. bishops’ Migration and Refugee Services was denied one.

EWTN News obtained a copy of a Nov. 9 letter—signed by legislators including Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.) and Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.)—which gives department secretary Kathleen Sebelius until Nov. 18 to ensure that the department respected the bishops’ conscience rights “and did not violate current law in awarding this grant.”

The senators asked for “a full explanation of your department’s decision” and whether the bishops’ “position regarding abortion referrals was a factor in your department’s decision making.”

They also requested a list of grant applicants, their applications, scores and comments from an independent review, as well as all department documents and communications related to the funding decision. [EWTN News/CNA]

I explained the backstory in this Nov. 1st post: “Obama Appointees Denied USCCB Grant By Utilizing “Unfair, Politicized” Justifications

The Health and Human Services department, under the leadership of (catholyc) Kathleen Sebelius, is amassing quite a track record of stonewalling Catholics, the US Bishops, and now, 27 Senators elected by the American people when they demand to know if the agency is making decisions based on political ideology. In other words, HHS seems intent on rewarding its pro-abortion friends, and harming pro-life organizations, even when (as in this case) the pro-life groups have an objectively better track record of assisting people who need help.

What happened to the “most transparent administration in history”, Mr. President?



  • Jon

    Yes…but the Catholic Church should not, in the first place, be relying on secular-government funding (money involuntarily “donated” by — stolen from (?) — taxpayers) to support Her organized “charitable” efforts. True charity can only be voluntarily given. What a tangled web the Church weaves for itself when it becomes dependent on and accountable to (objectively anti-Catholic) governments; when, using an unethical if not immoral means, it takes other people’s money to fund what could possibly be good ends. “Catholics! End your thralldom to Big Government and go back to making money the hard — and moral — way: EARN it.”

    • Joe M

      Jon. The old libertarian angle. The Church isn’t dependent or “relying” on government funding to do charity. She would continue charity work just the same without it. However, participating in the building of our society is an important mission of the Church. Discriminating Catholics from public service work is a way of marginalizing the role that Catholicism plays in our society. We should stand up for the right to participate in every level and capacity that anyone else is allowed.

  • Triple

    Transparency? Couldn’t agree with you more Thomas, but first we’ll need to repeal Congress’ exemption from the Freedom of Information Act, they passed for themselves in 1991. Ever since then it’s been dig, dig, dig.

  • Jerry

    The Bishops need to begin holding people like Sebelius who profess to be Catholic to account. And the list goes on and on, Pelosi, Biden .. etc.

    • Whitney

      Excommunicate them all, loudly and publicly. Let the world know they are barred from salvation until they change their ways. Let the world know that these people’s pro-abort followers are next to be cast out.

  • Dan

    And while the Bush administration granted Faith-Based Initiatives funding heavily to evangelical groups (see: political insiders) while notoriously denying funding to non-Christian groups, no one said peep. Guess it wasn’t an issue then.

    • AWashingtonDCCatholic

      Do you have evidence to back up that statement? If so, which grants, what was the basis, etc.

    • Triple

      Hi Dan which non-Christian groups were denied funds?

    • Donna

      America is a Christian nation. It’s mores were based in its beliefs. While I am not averse to other cultures, in America my rights to my enjoying and professing my own culture are being obliterated. I will not sit by and allow this to happen.



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