On Monday, Catholic University issued a statement responding to a letter sent to its president, John Garvey, on December 13 by a group of 49 left-wing Catholic academics objecting to the school’s acceptance of a $1 million donation from the Charles Koch Foundation.
The school blamed Faith in Public Life, a group funded in part by atheist George Soros, for misrepresenting the donation in a blatantly political manner. In its statement, Catholic University called “[t]he letter spearheaded by the organization Faith in Public Life . . . an unfortunate effort to manufacture controversy and score political points at the expense of The Catholic University of America.”
In its statement, The Catholic University of America said it “has no intention of revisiting its decision to accept the grant from the Charles Koch Foundation.”
The statement also criticized the motivation and credibility of the letter’s signators, who “seek to instruct The Catholic University of America’s leaders about Catholic social teaching, and do so in a manner that redefines the Church’s teaching to suit their own political preferences.”
“We are confident that our faculty and academic leadership are well versed in Catholic social teaching and well equipped to apply it,” the statement read. “We created a school of business and economics for the express purpose of promoting respect for the human person in economic life, based on the principles of solidarity, subsidiarity, human dignity, and the common good. The aim of the Charles Koch Foundation grant — to support research into principled entrepreneurship — is fully consonant with Catholic social teaching.”
In addition, the statement noted that “[n]early two weeks after the University publicly announced the grant, an organization called Faithful America launched a petition drive in opposition. Faithful America appears to be an affiliate of Faith in Public Life, the organizer of the letter. . . it is telling that after a two-week-long effort to recruit faculty support at Catholic University, it was able to muster the signatures of only three professors, less than one half of one percent of the University’s faculty.”
Breitbart News reported on Tuesday that the left-wing Catholic academics who signed the letter attacked Charles and David Koch for their support of the Tea Party movement.
On Wednesday, CNS News reported that Faith in Public Life “has been funded by atheist billionaire George Soros,” noting that “[i]n 2008, Faith in Public Life received $200,000 from Soros’ Open Society Institute, according to the institute’s IRS filing.”
Bill Donohue, president of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights told CNS News that “[t]he real story here is not the money being given to Catholic University by successful entrepreneurs; it is the source of the money being given to those who initiated the attack.”
According to Donohue, “Faith in Public Life spearheaded this highly politicized assault, and it is funded by left-wing zealot George Soros . . . an atheist billionaire who is no friend of the Catholic community. In fact, he funds causes that the Catholic Church works hard to oppose: abortion, euthanasia, drug legalization, and many other radical initiatives.”
Soros has backed a number of far left projects throughout his career. Breitbart News reported in June that the Soros funded National Immigration Forum is a major financial supporter of the Evangelical Immigration Table, a group pushing to grant citizenship to illegal aliens.