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Catholic Diocese Ends Support For Sacramento Homeless Agency

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) - Since it was founded 41 years ago, the Francis House Center has always been affiliated with the Catholic church, and for many years even received Catholic charity donations.

That relationship has now ended because of differing views between the diocese and the Francis House executive director.

"My strong support of Planned Parenthood as a provider of health care for women, especially poor women, and my support of marriage equality," said Francis House director Rev. Faith Whitmore, who added those were her personal views.

It was for those two reasons that Whitmore says the L Street homeless service agency will no longer receive its annual $10,000 donation from the Catholic Diocese of Sacramento.

"It was surprising and disappointing," she told CBS13 on Thursday.

Kathy Connor, the chancellor of the Diocese of Sacramento, says that her organization did not want to give money to a charity who's director publicly expresses opinions the church opposes.

"It's Catholic money from Catholic donors and their expectations of us is we put that money in the hands of agencies that there's good alignment with our mission and values," Connor said.

Connor also said that the diocese won't give any less money to help the homeless this year. It will just donate it elsewhere.

Francis House has already received donations from private citizens who heard about the decision of the diocese. Bob Masullo dropped off a $100 check during our interview.

"They focused in on one thing that most Catholics don't even agree with," he said.

The yearly operational budget of the Francis House is half a million dollars.

For them to take away their funding like that based on different beliefs, to me, i don't think that's very fair," Sacramento resident Melvin Sullivan said.
Whitmore says she hasn't asked the diocese to reconsider - she simply thanked them for all their years of contribution.

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