CMR kudos to Portland Archbishop John Vlazny and a Catholic charity in Oregon which split with the United Way over the organization’s funding of Planned Parenthood.

This is a brave and correct decision that will I’m sure be misreported in the media as the Catholics turning their backs on the poor in favor of the unborn. But this is exactly the kind of decision which should inspire us all because it shows that the same impulse to help the poor is tied in with the defense of the helpless unborn.

The Register Guard reports:

The Catholic Community Services Board has decided to immediately forswear the use of United Way dollars for its charity work because United Way of Lane County gives money to Planned Parenthood.

The discussion began in March after Archbishop John Vlazny of the Portland Archdiocese visited Eugene to sprinkle holy water around the 58-year-old charity’s new Sixth Avenue service center for homeless and low-income clients.

The visit came just before Planned Parenthood of Southwest Oregon began its first-time offering of the abortion pill, RU-486, which some church leaders regard as the moral equivalent of surgical abortion.

The archbishop advised Catholic Community Services to contact United Way and explain its objections to Planned Parenthood, said Bud Bunce, archdiocese spokesman.

“If there was going to be no changes made, his recommendation was they (Catholic Community Services) would need to withdraw from United Way,” Bunce said. “Planned Parenthood is now offering abortion services in Lane County. Abortions are contrary to Catholic moral teachings.”

The Catholic Community Services board voted at its meeting earlier this month to sever ties with United Way, which had been a partner in serving the poor in Lane County for at least two decades.

This is a financial blow to the organization as the United Way allocated $71,000 to Catholic Community Services, which was set to provide help to the poor.

But this is the kind of decision that can and should inspire parishioners to give to the charity. Priests around the archdiocese will I hope explain it.

Planned Parenthood has insisted publicly that none of the money they receive from the United Way goes towards abortion funding but that’s just a shell game that Archbishop Vlazny saw right through. Archdiocese spokesman Bud Bunce said “Catholic Community Services could be seen to raise money in their promotional efforts for United Way and could be seen as raising money for Planned Parenthood in that way.”

Let’s hope other Catholic charities are inspired by this decision and follow suit. You simply can’t help the poor by turning your back on the unborn. We are called to stand up for the helpless. All of them.