Bishops repudiate “Catholics for Free Choice”
League exposes “letterhead” organization
Within weeks of the first public admission – during a radio debate with a Catholic League representative – that “Catholics for Free Choice” (CFFC) is a memberless, well-financed “letterhead” organization, the nation’s Catholic bishops have issued a strongly worded denunciation of the group.
On November 4, the Administrative Committee of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops issued a one-page statement noting that CFFC has “no affiliation, formal or otherwise, with the Catholic Church.” The statement made it clear that several media interviews with CFFC leaders at the time of the Papal visit to Denver had given the group an aura of credibility it did not deserve.
The bishops made it clear that CFFC was an integral part of the pro-abortion lobby in Washington and that it was in no way entitled to claim a Catholic label because its stated positions “rejected unity with the Church on important issues of longstanding and unchanging Church teaching.” “In fact,” the statement went on, “there is no room for dissent by a Catholic from the Church’s moral teaching that direct abortion is a grave wrong.”
In a broadcast debate on August 22, with C. Joseph Doyle of the Catholic League, Frances Kissling, president of the self-styled “Catholic” organization, admitted publicly, for the first time, that her organization had no members and that it received funding from openly pro-abortion groups such as the Playboy Foundation.
According to Doyle, “CFFC is an anti-Catholic front group financed by such adversaries of the Catholic Church as the contraceptives industry (through the Sunnen Foundation), the Ford Foundation, the Unitarian Church, and Hugh Hefner’s Playboy Foundation. It has also received substantial in-kind support from Planned Parenthood.”
When Doyle questioned how many members CFFC had, Kissling responded, “We’re not a membership organization. we have no membership.”
Kissling’s admissions, after years of public postering as a Catholic membership organzation claiming broad-based grassroots Catholic support, reveal the organization to be an abortion-industry front designed to cast doubt on and foster dissent from Church teaching.
Reports of Kissling’s debate with Doyle were carried in The Pilot, The Wanderer, The National Catholic Register, Catholic TwinCircle, the Catholic Advocate, Catholic World Report, and on the USA Radio Network. And those are just the ones we know of.