For Fiscal Year 2014-2015, the Catholic Campaign for Human Development provided a $65,000 grant to the Hmong American Farmers Association (HAFA) through the Archdiocese of St. Paul & Minneapolis.
Summary of Problems
- The founder and executive director of HAFA actively promotes abortion and same-sex “marriage.”
Page 5 of the CCHD’s grants list for 2014-2015 identifies Hmong American Farmers Association (HAFA) as having a received a $65,000 grant. At issue is the fact that the founder and executive director of the organization actively and financially promotes abortion and same-sex “marriage.”
HAFA was founded by Pakou Hang in 2011, and she is currently serving as its first executive director.
In June of 2015, Catholic News Service interviewed Hang for a few comments about Pope Francis’ encyclical on the environment. From the article:
In Minnesota, the members of the Hmong American Farmers Association were looking forward to learning more about the encyclical’s references to climate change because their livelihoods can be affected by changing weather patterns.
Pakou Hang, the association’s executive director, told CNS that members of the group were enthusiastic that their practices — diverse crops, smaller acreage, successive harvesting, sustainable practices that preserve topsoil — would be among the kind supported by the pope.
“It will give us more evidence that farming on a smaller scale with diverse crops … is actually good for the environment,” she said.
Catholic News Service, no doubt, believed Hang would be a good source to quote, considering her organization received such a large grant from the CCHD. However, had CNS known of her strong advocacy and support for abortion and same-sex “marriage,” perhaps it would not have been so quick to contact her.
In 2012, Hang donated against the Catholic Conference of Minnesota and fought against the Marriage Amendment, which would have defended Traditional Marriage.
In 2007, Pakou and her sister Kaying donated money to an organization called “Pro-Choice Resources,” which provides funds to girls seeking an abortion but who can’t afford one.
In 2007, Hang ran for City Council in St. Paul, MN. Included in her endorsements are several pro-abortion and one pro-homosexual organizations. Two of the pro-abortion endorsements came from organizations whose mission is to elect pro-abortion women to elected positions.
In addition to pro-abortion and pro-LGBT endorsements, Hang received a $300 contribution to her campaign from Emily’s List. The only mission Emily’s List states on its website is, “We elect pro-choice Democratic women to office.”
The founder and executive director of HAFA has made her support for abortion and same-sex “marriage” not only a matter of public record, but has actualy put her money where her mouth is. As the executive director of HAFA, what she says and does is a representation of the organization itself. As the founder of the organization, the organization is an extension of her own philosophies. In 2012, Bishop Soto, who is the chairman of the CCHD Subcommittee, ended funding for an organization called Francis House, because its director performed same-sex marriages and advocated for so-called “abortion rights.” Faith Whitmore, the director of Francis House, said “I have never represented any of those positions on behalf of Francis House.” But this did not suffice as a defense for Bishop Soto. From the article:
In its letter to Whitmore, the Sacramento Diocese said it respects the work Francis House does and cannot expect every organization it supports financially to “actively promote Catholic teaching.”
“We can expect, however, that they or their leaders not publicly oppose Catholic teaching and that, unfortunately, is the situation in which we find ourselves,” the letter reads.
Given the evidence, HAFA is equally ineligible for Catholic funds from the CCHD.