Conservative icon Richard Viguerie is irked with the Catholic Campaign for Human Development.

He’s annoyed enough that he’s launched a nationwide campaign calling on fellow Catholics to withhold their annual gifts — usually collected on the third weekend of November.

Richard Viguerie

At 78 years old, Viguerie is credited with creating the conservative coalition that elected Ronald Reagan and both Presidents Bush. It could be said he invented direct-mail fund-raising in the 1960s and 1970s. He was the brains behind Jerry Falwell’s Moral Majority. His marriage of grassroots fund-raising and conservative politics brought evangelical Christians into the political process as never before in American history. George Magazine once wrote that his entering politics was one of the “defining political moments of the 20th century.”

He has been credited with helping a variety of conservative organizations grow powerful and get involved in political activism, think tanks, publications and election of candidates to the U.S. House and Senate, state legislatures and governors’ mansions.The Washington Post called him the “conservatives’ Voice of America.” The Washington Times listed him as one of 13 “Conservatives of the Century.”

Now he’s irked and is urging fellow Catholics nationwide to ignore appeals this weekend from their local bishops and parish priests — and to bypass the annual collection for the CCHD.

In a letter e-mailed to millions of Catholics, Viguerie said the CCHD is providing funds for causes contrary to Catholic values. He wrote:

“For the past several years, I have become increasingly outraged, as are many other devout Catholics, by the horrible abuses of our trust and faith by organizations funded by the CCHD. The simple fact of the matter is that significant portions of the grants made by the CCHD have been given to leparish priests ft-wing organizations working in direct contradiction of Church teaching. This must stop, and the only way it will stop is if Catholics across America stop giving to CCHD.

“When the November 19-20 offering comes around, do not give to the Catholic Campaign for Human Development, because almost none of the grantees provide any direct help to people in need of food, shelter, clothing, or medicine. Rather, they are all about power, grassroots organizing, and left-wing political influence.”

Viguerie cited a new report from the American Life League which found that several organizations funded by CCHD promote abortion, birth control, homosexuality or Marxism. Others receiving CCHD funds are actively involved in coalitions that promote such activities.

“I’m sorry to report that, rather than reduce the number of grantees involved in left-wing politics and activities contrary to Church teachings, the number has actually increased,” he wrote. “I’m confident you will join me in refusing to give a single cent to the bishops’ Novemeber 19-20 appeal.”

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