Vengeance Is Mine, Says the Bishop of Portland

Jim Burroway

March 24th, 2010

I guess the only cheek the Catholic Church in Maine is interested in turning is… well…

Today’s Portland Press Herald reports that the Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland, Maine and the Washington-based Catholic Campaign for Human Development have yanked a $17,400 grant to Portland-based Preble Street’s Homeless Voices for Justice program, and promise to deny an expected $33,000 for next year. The two organizations say that Preble Street violated its grant agreement by supporting Maine’s “No on 1” campaign last fall.

Maine voters passed Question 1 and banned same-sex marriage by a 53%-47% margin. But despite that victory, the Catholic Church is still looking backwards to punish its “enemies.”

Homeless Voices for Justice is a statewide advocacy group led by people who had been homeless themselves. Preble Street runs several housing programs and other services for the homeless and poor. They also provide staff support for Homeless Voices for Justice.


March 24th, 2010

Well Praise Jesus. I’m sure He is very proud of his followers.


March 24th, 2010

It says a lot about their priorities and morality.

It makes me wonder why anyone upholds these people as any kind of moral authority – especially on top of the child abuse scandal.

When people reveal themselves to be so self-absorbed, so petty, so hateful – how can anyone look at them as any kind of source for morality? It boggles me it really does


March 24th, 2010

Just made a donation. They are top-rated by Charity Navigator.


March 24th, 2010

Thanks, Matt. I just made my donation and an added bonus to helping out Preble Street is the message feature. I gladly made this donation in ‘honor’ of Bishop Malone and the following message will be sent to him:

“Don’t worry Your Excellency, despite your poor example in living out the Gospel others haven’t forgotten the command to take care of those in need. So this donation to Preble Street is made in your honor. One question though: Sir Richard Rich became Attorney General of Wales when he turned his back on his fellow man for political gain, what exactly did you get?”

Stefano A

March 24th, 2010

What I am about to say may surprise some readers, considering my usual disdain for religious privileging.

Setting aside what I consider to be the dubious moral priorities of the Catholic Church in this instance, on principle I really don’t have a problem with the church revoking/refusing funding in this instance.

The way I see it, this is no different than the right of the secular government to deny funding to religious social service operations who require religious adherence for the receipt of services.

But I do question, as I stated, the moral priorities of the diocese.

Stefano A

March 24th, 2010


As a not of clarification, I think this differs than the situation in Washing DC where the diocese ended partnership benefits for all couples.

The difference in that case was that the church had other options available for continuing to offer benefits and maintain what their religious tenets required. (CF the option the San Francisco diocese implemented, for instance.)

In the instance of the granting of funds, the regulations are clear just as are the secular governments regulations for requiring funding.

But again, I do think the churches priorities are definitely off kilter.

paul j stein

March 24th, 2010

It is all about the MONEY with the Catholic Church. The ability to pass assets on to heirs is what led the Catholic Church to discontinue the practice of allowing priests to marry. They wanted the Church to keep ALL the money and assets. They are the dinosaur of religions. They will be extinct when the female Latin followers (all that will be left) wake up and want some basic rights in the church.


March 24th, 2010

Catholics for Marriage Equality is raising money to fill the gap as well. I think it’s interesting that one of reasons NOM uses to keep their contributors names hidden is the fear of economic retaliation. Yeah.

David C.

March 24th, 2010

The RCC is indeed anti-Christ. It has abandoned its purpose and exists only for its own sake. A pathetic institution that in spite of its moralizing is completely incapable of manifesting even the most basic tenets of the faith it purports to keep. Its demise cannot come soon enough.


March 24th, 2010

Stay classy.. Whatever it takes to justify your totally invented religious concerns..


March 24th, 2010

The core issue, for me, is that the Church was using its funds to muzzle a social justice group.

It didn’t just limit how its funds could be used, but offered funds in exchange for a organization-wide ban on supporting birth control or lgb-related issues. Not just the organization, but sponsoring organizations, and any funded project in any of the organizations.

My complete rant is here.

Stefano A

March 24th, 2010


That’s a very good point.


March 24th, 2010

Thanks, Matt, for the suggestion of making a donation and for providing the Preble Street link. I made my donation, ‘dedicated’ it to Bishop Malone, and posted a call on Facebook. I think we can make the money up collectively in relatively short time.


March 25th, 2010

Stefano: I don’t question the Catholic Church’s right to give money to private charitable groups as it sees fit. In fact, I strongly defend their rights under the First Amendment even if I find their stance morally repugnant. That’s not the issue here. To me it’s their strong-arm tactics in political matters even against groups like Preble Street. I have the same right as the Catholic Church in making donations as well as speaking out against their meddling in politics.


March 25th, 2010

Thanks for giving the link to donate. I have also donated in honor of “Bishop Malone’s Chronic Lapse in Morality”.

John Doucette

March 25th, 2010

If the Catholic Church is denying further grants to Preble Street for supporting No on 1 campaign, then shouldn’t the Catholic Church be denied funding (their tax exempt status) for supporting the campaign against No on 1?

Liz Hale

March 30th, 2010

Catholics for Marriage Equality is asking for donations to the homeless agency to make up this funding loss.

To donate securely on-line, click :

Or send a check to
“Preble Street Resource Center”
Development Department
PO Box 1459
Portland, ME 04104

Note “HVJ” on the check or in the on-line dedication box (for Homeless Voices for Justice).

The Roman Bishops are the modern Pharisees whom Jesus constantly criticized for their self-righteousness, their faulty presumptions of infallibility, their inability to think outside-the-box of tradition and legalism, and their dearth of spirituality, compassion, and healthy development.

Their obsessive homophobia was already unhealthy, but now it’s become cold and ruthless.

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