A $40,000 Catholic grant was returned after a representative of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops visited the community group soon after their leader, Gladys Vega, spoke out for a local Transgender beating victim. The absence of these funds leaves our allies, The Chelsea Collaborative Latino Immigrant Committee, which advocates for immigrant workers, in dire straights.
According to the Boston Globe The community group was shaken after a representive of the American Catholic Bishops visited their group. Following the visit the group tried to clarify what exactly the Roman Catholic campaigns expectations were in exchange for the grant.
“Ultimately, Vega said, the Catholic Campaign did not answer the questions to the collaborative’s satisfaction. At one point, she said, the Catholic Campaign suggested that specific questions about thorny issues — for example, about whether it would be acceptable to hold a rally in support of the victimized transgender woman — could be posed to local church authorities first.”
“The group’s work is about community empowerment, Vega said, and the Catholic Campaign “is telling us that in order for us to do a campaign against the assault of a transgender woman we need to check with the archdiocese or consult a local priest. That didn’t sit well.”
My heroines and heroes…
“Vega said she is now scrambling to find other sources of income because few organizations underwrite the kind of work the Latino Immigrant Committee does. Recently, for example, the committee has been fighting for workers at a local bakery paid below the minimum wage. The grant represents 82 percent of the committee’s funding and helps pay for a staff member to assist the committee’s community activists, Vega said. The Chelsea Collaborative’s annual budget is $1.4 million, she said.”