The Catholic Diocese of Portland is turning out to be one of the more disgusting facets of the Church:
Preble Street's Homeless Voices for Justice program has lost $17,400 this year and will lose $33,000 that it expected for its next fiscal year.
Officials with the Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland and the Washington-based Catholic Campaign for Human Development say that Preble Street violated its grant agreement by supporting Maine's "No on 1" campaign last fall.
No on 1 opposed a ballot proposal to overturn the new state law legalizing gay marriage. Voters approved Question 1 on Nov. 3.
Homeless Voices for Justice, a statewide advocacy group, is led by people who have been homeless. It works on issues that affect the homeless, such as supporting affordable housing and preventing violence against the homeless.
Portland-based Preble Street, which runs a dozen programs to provide housing and other services for the poor and the homeless, provides staff support for Homeless Voices for Justice.
Catholics for Marriage Equality has begun an effort to replace the lost funding by raising $17,400 for Homeless Voices for Justice. Anne Underwood, a co-founder of the group that advocates for same-sex marriage, said Bishop Richard Malone is punishing the homeless because of politics.
"This is petty vindictiveness," she said. "After the election is over, suddenly the money is revoked from poor people because of a political opinion held by the bishop."
This is perhaps the most revealing part of it:
In December, Catholic Charities Maine, which is led by Malone, sent a letter to Preble Street asking it to return $2,400 that the diocese had granted for the Homeless Voices for Justice program.
"We regret the collaboration must end at this time," wrote Sandra Thompson of Catholic Charities Maine, who coordinated the distribution of the church's local anti-poverty funds. "Accountability to the Catholic community requires this."
"Accountability to the Catholic community"? When pigs fly.