Elsewhere online
March 08, 2012

Sacramento Charity Loses Church Support Over New Leader's Views

The Catholic Diocese of Sacramento pulled support from a local social-service charity after it hired a new director who has publicly supported abortion rights and same-sex marriage, writes The Sacramento Bee.

In a letter last month to the Rev. Faith Whitmore, the new head of Francis House, the diocese's director of social service said the church could no longer support the homeless-services charity, to which it has given $7,500 to $10,000 a year from its annual fund-raising appeal among parishioners.

While the diocese does not require grantees to "actively promote Catholic teaching," the Rev. Michael Kiernan wrote, it expects "that they or their leaders not publicly oppose Catholic teaching and that, unfortunately, is the situation in which we find ourselves."

Ms. Whitmore, a United Methodist minister, performed marriage ceremonies for gay couples during the brief period in 2008 when same-sex unions were legal in California, and she has publicly declared herself pro-choice on abortion. She said she took those stands as an individual and has "never represented any of those positions on behalf of Francis House."