Bishops Respond to Attacks on John Carr

Bishops working closely with John Carr, who oversees the Catholic Campaign for Human Development, say new claims against him and the agency are false and “totally ridiculous.”

“I’m concerned about these attacks on John Carr, and I know they are false, and I think they are even calumnious,” said Bishop William F. Murphy of Rockville Centre, N.Y., who chairs the U.S.C.C.B. Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, the bishops’ domestic antipoverty initiative. “I am taking this to be a very sad, sad commentary on the honesty of some people in these pressure groups.”

Bishop Howard J. Hubbard of Albany, N.Y., chairman of the U.S.C.C.B. Committee on Inter-national Justice and Peace, said he had worked with Carr for more than 30 years and “always found him to be a staunch opponent of abortion.”

A report released on Feb. 1 by the Reform C.C.H.D. Now Coalition, a group that includes the American Life League, Human Life International and Bellarmine Veritas Ministry, alleged “a systemic pattern of cooperation with evil” by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops because of Carr’s past involvement with the Center for Community Change and said the Washington-based organization “has lodged itself into the highest places of power in the U.S.C.C.B. while working to promote abortion and homosexuality.”

Carr, executive director of the U.S.C.C.B.’s Department of Justice, Peace and Human Development, said he stepped down as chairman of the center’s board in February 2005, and the board never addressed those issues during his tenure. “My experience with C.C.C. was that it focused on poverty, housing and immigration and had no involvement in issues involving abortion and homosexuality,” he said. “When I served, the board never discussed or acted on any position involving these matters, and if they had, I would have vigorously opposed any advocacy for access to abortion or gay marriage.”

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