Tag Archives: Archdiocese of Portland Oregon

Police and thieves in the streets… (Police good. Thieves bad.)

May Day and the role of St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church in Portland, Oregon.

Portland police are warning May Day demonstrators that violations of the law will not be tolerated, and now we know why. This from an Occupy Portland Tweet:


And this,

Their faces may be hidden, but they have their own propaganda machine, or as the young rads would have us call it today, an “Information Warfare Spoke” from which the following video originates.

–notice how it begins by commemorating the history of the first May Day in America (1886 Haymarket Massacre in Chicago) when a dynamite bomb was thrown at police. Yep, dynamite bomb. And according to these useful idiots that same world returns to America on May 1st, 2012…

The cohorts responsible for the above propaganda call themselves The Portland Liberation Organizing Council (PLOC). They believe in [quote], “collective control of community resources, including land, housing and space to organize.”

For the uninitiated or uneducated, this is called Communism. A failing philosophy and political system that was and remains ultimately responsible before God and man for the deaths of millions of real living innocent persons.

According to their website,

PLOC is coordinated through a spokes council comprised of working clusters (see diagram). Each cluster is comprised of groups or members within groups from the radical community that are focused on a specific area of work.

So, Portland police aside, guess if they have their own way about it the specific focus of work on May 1st this year will be that “nobody, and nothing works” and anarchy alone prevails in the streets of Portland until Capitalism is done away with.

Okay, we get it.

Radicalism and anarchy is widely associated with the Occupy Movement and May Day is its big rally and cry-in, not to be confused with love-in, peace-out, or even justice.  But for Catholics that’s not what May 1st, or for that matter, the entire month of May represents–and no Catholic or parish should ever support this rubbish. That’s why faithful Catholics in Western Oregon should start asking the Archpdx chancery why the spokes council meets every Thursday at a Catholic Church? Again, from the source:

This is a day when those heavily involved in working groups within Occupy Portland have an opportunity to exchange announcements, connect, and decide proposals affecting the inner workings of Occupy Portland. Anyone not associated with a group is welcome to attend and participate by sitting in the open caucus. Currently held in the Cafeteria at St. Francis.

Here’s a question I would like answered: Why does the Archdiocese of Portland, Oregon, permit St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church to house, promote, and support Occupy Portland, when it’s obvious that in pursuing its goals OP plans, promotes, and enables lawlessness and violence, in effect endangering society?

I can’t believe the Sacred Heart is pleased with His body contributing to the scandal of police and thieves slugging it out in the streets on May 1st, the feast of St. Joseph the Worker. I do believe, however, that the following suggestion would be more merciful and in accord with the mind of Christ: May 1 is celebrated in Communist countries as the Day of the International Solidarity of Workers. Today would be a good day to pray for atheistic Communism’s influence to cease and a proper application of the principles explained by Leo XIII in Rerum novarum and John Paul II in Centesimus annus to be the guide used by nations–including our own.

To voice your charitable objections…

+++++++++++++
ARCHDIOCESE OF PORTLAND – WESTERN OREGON
838 E. Burnside St.Portland, OR 97214-1895
http://www.archdpdx.org/

Most Reverend John G. Vlazny

abjgv@archdpdx.org

rjohnson@archdpdx.org (AB secretary)

Mary Jo Tully – Chancellor
mjtully@archdpdx.org
503-234-5334 Fax 503-234-2545

The Archdiocesan Pastoral Council (western Oregon)
http://www.archdpdx.org/

END OF POST

HT/Catholic Culture

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CCHD — “It’s All Good!”

What Is the Catholic Campaign for Human Development Trying to Do?

Did you say you want a revolution?

By Stephanie Block

The American Life League gets eternal kudos for its exposé of the connections between the “Catholic” Campaign for Human Development’s (CCHD) annual funding program and abortion.[i]  That alone should be enough to inspire profound, systemic reform of collection.However, there’s another element in this that’s also disturbing and ultimately leads to the same end of unchecked abortion rights.

Consider this bulletin insert from last Sunday, which appeared in a parish of the Davenport, Iowa Diocese. It includes the short story of a CCHD intern who describes her “opportunity to work with Quad Cities Interfaith, a CCHD-funded group.  Among other duties, I have mentored a group of central city youth who fight many obstacles, including poverty.  The group has titled themselves Hear Us Now and seeks to create a voice for themselves in the hopes of bringing about positive change in their schools, their community, and their lives.  I have seen them grow tremendously under the care and leadership training Quad Cities Interfaith offers.  This past year, they formed relationships with the police, the mayor, and school board members and have even spoken publicly at a fundraising event about the positive influence of Hear Us Now in their lives.”

Coupled with accompanying boxes of poverty statistics and the bishop’s column, “Working to Break the Cycle of Poverty,” in the November 3, 2011 diocesan paper, the impression – the promise – is that CCHD is a poverty-fighting collection.  “The Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD) carries out Jesus’ mission ‘to bring good news to the poor…release to captives…sight to the blind and let the oppressed go free,’” the bulletin insert proclaims.

But…

What is this “positive change” we Catholics are funding?

What ideas are being given voice through the youth trained by Quad Cities Interfaith?

To what end are the political relationships with police and public officials formed?

The bulletin insert doesn’t say.

It doesn’t have to.  Sound-bytes and slogans do the job.

If, however, one were to peek behind the veil, there are curious things to find.

In the Beginning

One would discover extraordinary grants awarded during CCHD’s first years.  Here are three from the 1970-1971 inaugural grant period:

·         $50,000 to the Universidad de Aztlan, an alternative educational initiative spawned from Plan Espiritual de Aztlán (Spiritual Plan of Aztlan),[ii] a “manifesto” that insisted “economic control of our lives and our communities can only come about by driving the exploiter out of our communities, our pueblos, and our lands …. Lands rightfully ours will be fought for and defended.”  The exploiter is identified earlier in the document as the brutal “gringo.”[iii]

·         $25,000 to Interreligious Foundation for Community Organizations for Alinskyian organizing.  The Foundation was a deliberate attempt to circumvent “internal debates over Alinsky’s intentions and methods and over the role the churches should be playing in political affairs.”[iv]  In other words, to filter money less visibly, and therefore less controversially, into Alinsky’s work, supporters created an “ecumenical front” to “shield the churches supporting community organizations from the growing anti-Alinsky” sentiments of their congregations.[v]
·         $100,000 to Los PADRES an association of priests who, among other things, established the Mexican American Cultural Center, a hub of liberation theology.[vi]The question isn’t whether these organizations should be free to express their own, peculiar perspectives but is why the Catholic Church, whose perspective is so different, was funding them?  And, lest one dismiss these examples as aberrations, there are numerous others, equally anti-Catholic, funded by CHD in 1970-1971.Or consider CHD’s[vii] early educational materials, which promoted liberationism.  The CHD “Sourcebook on Poverty, Development and Justice,”[viii] published during those first years of the Campaign, argues that “the ‘religious’ person in our society is often equated with the ‘morally upright’ person” but it is, rather, the socially conscious person who is “morally upright.” The author concludes: “In biblical language, liberation is primarily liberation from sin…to speak of liberation in a social sense, then, is to speak of social sin – and to emphasize the social struggle against sin.” [ix]Another of the Sourcebook’s authors retells the parable of the Last Judgment (Matt. 25:32-46) and puts into Jesus’ mouth the words: “When you changed those structures that generate hunger, thirst, nakedness, and loneliness, when you created or operated structures through which men could finally feed themselves, satisfy their thirst and clothe themselves in a community of justice and love, it was to me that you did it.  And when you abstained, it was to me that you did not do it.”[x]Still another author touts “liberating education” – a process quite distinct from traditional western education, which is “institutional, self-serving and divorced from developmental needs, forcing the learned to look elsewhere for meaning and causing institutional education to be in many cases the experience of irrelevance.  Catholic education in the U.S. seems to have shared in this deficiency.”  The “new theory of catechesis,” which includes values clarification and a  threefold pedagogy of transference, reflection, and action-living, is lived out by the learner in a “continual dialectical interrelationship.”[xi]This is not Catholic thought.  This is not service to the poor.It is a political worldview that wants the “infrastructures” of religious institutions – their moral credibility, their interpersonal connections, their resources, and such – for its own uses.Twenty-five Years Later“OH!” someone protests.  “That was long ago. CHD was young; mistakes were made.  It changed!”Did it really?

Twenty-five years after CHD’s founding, at its anniversary celebration in Chicago, keynote speakers were prominent members of the Democratic Socialists of America?[xii]  AFL-CIO president at the time, John Sweeney, served as an advisor to the United States Catholic Conference was another influential Democratic Socialist of America.  Yet another USCCB advisor was Ernesto Cortes, southwest regional director of the Alinskyian organizing network, the Industrial Areas Foundation.  CHD grants in 1995 went dozens of Alinskyian community organizations, pushing liberationism in Catholic parishes.  CHD educational materials from the time, such as “Poverty and Faithjustice” guided participants to the conclusion that poverty in the United States requires fundamental changes in its social and economic structures. [xiii]

So many disturbing facts; so many unanswered questions.  What exactly are these fundamental social and economic changes being funded?  Are they the same as those recommended by the Democratic Socialists of America?  How are these changes to be brought about?

Entering a New Millennium

In 1998, CHD “reformed.”  Under pressure from critics, the Campaign added the word “Catholic” to its name and produced a new set of guidelines emphasizing the sanctity of life and disqualifying organizations from CCHD-funding whose primary or substantial thrust was, ostensibly, contrary to Catholic teaching.

It continued to fund the same organizations, however.

One of these was ACORN.  In 1997, the Wanderer Forum Foundation mailed a copy of ACORN’s socialist People’s Platform to every bishop in the country, and gave them documentation about the political party, called the New Party, which the CHD-funded ACORN, the CHD-funded Industrial Areas Foundation network, and the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) were building during the 90s.

The C/CHD continued funding ACORN for another decade, however, until public outcry became too broad to ignore.   ACORN’s illegal activity was something CCHD couldn’t support; its openly socialist policies and connections – its plans for “positive change” were something it did support.

And CCHD continues to support organizations with similar objectives to ACORN.  In particular, it is funding many of the organizations behind the current “movement” of civic unrest.   In other words, the mass protests of the last several years are organized, in part, by CCHD-funded groups.

Immigration: Consider the wave of marches and rallies demanding increased rights for undocumented workers.  Before sweeping the country in 2006,[xiv] they were preceded by scores of CCHDawards – such as the more than half million dollars for a Nationwide Immigrant Empowerment Project, announced in 2000, to help “immigrants identify and overcome barriers to full participation in their adopted country.”

Many additional grants were distributed.  In the 2001-2002 grant period, $30,000 was awarded the Interfaith Coalition for Immigrant Rights in California and $30,000 to the National People’s Action[xv] affiliate Organization of the Northeast for its Work, Welfare, and Immigration Strategy Team in Illinois …just to name two.

·         The California-based Interfaith Coalition for Immigrant Rights was one of 30 community organizations and local coalitions involved in launching the “Week of Action Against ICE Raids and for Immigrant Rights” in 2007.[xvi]
·         The Illinois-based Organization of the Northeast “helped organize a massive immigrant rights march in Washington, D.C.”[xvii] in 2010.

There were dozens of other CCHD-funded groups in 2001-2002 that later helped organize immigration protests and rallies.  And there were dozens more funded in subsequent years.

Universal Healthcare: Wait, we’re just getting warmed up!  What about the massive drive to pass a universal healthcare package, irrespective of abortion components?  In 2009, PICO and Gamaliel – two of the larger Alinskyian networks whose local affiliates receives millions of CCHD-dollars – worked with Faith in Public Life, Faithful America, Sojourners, and Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good (progressive organizations targeting religious institutions) to run ads on Christian radio in conservative states for “health care reform.” They coordinated “health care” Sundays during the summer to support the legislation.

Occupy Wall Street and Anti-Banking: Or, what of the Occupy Wall Street protests?  In the last decade, CCHD has given substantial money to the Interfaith Worker Justice network, which was created “to facilitate relationships between local religious leaders and labor unions throughout the United State”[xviii]  and has been working with its union allies to support the Occupy Wall Street protests.[xix]

CCHD has also given substantial grants to National People’s Action (NPA) affiliates, which are intensely committed to increased banking regulation.   A member of Americans for Financial Reform,NPA joined the AFSCME union, CCHD-funded affiliates of USAction, and the CCHD-funded, Alinskyian organizing PICO network[xx] in “fighting to regulate the financial industry.”[xxi]

Under the banner of “Showdown on Wall Street,” NPA – again working in coalition with the AFL-CIO – orchestrated protests in New York City.[xxii]   A year later, NPA’s “Make Wall Street Pay” campaign included the takeover of a DC branch of Bank of America – and involved PICO and the Alliance for a Just Society.[xxiii]  Around the same time, ACORN’s founder Wade Rathkeannounced there would be “days of rage in ten cities around JP Morgan Chase” that would be “the beginning of the anti-banking jihad,” organized by the SEIU union, which urged participants at the 2011 Left Forum “to do everything in their power to make the nation’s financial problems far, far worse,” including staying in their homes as long as possible without paying delinquent mortgages.[xxiv]

Another effort to disrupt the economy, called “New Bottom Line,” which called for participants to move as much money as possible out of major banks on November 5, 2011, was led by the same group, specifically NPA, PICO, the Industrial Areas Foundation of the Southeast (IAF-SE), and others related to the former ACORN network.[xxv]

This is the “change” Catholics are funding through their CCHD dollars.

These are the ideas are being given voice by the CCHD-funded, Gamaliel affiliate, Quad Cities Interfaith (QCI), using these strategies.  In 2005, QCI was a sponsoring organization for an immigration rally outside the National Governor’s Association (NGA) Annual meeting.[xxvi]  In 2009, QCI joined other protesters at the National Mall to “Rally for Health care Justice in Washing DC.”[xxvii]  In October 2011, it rallied at the state capitol for job creation in Illinois.[xxviii]

You want a revolution?  Why didn’t the bureaucrats at CCHD explain beforehand – in the 70s and 80s – that this is “systemic change” they’re after?  Or…did they and no one listened?

Stephanie Block is a Spero columnist. She also edits Los Pequenos.org – a publication based in New Mexico.

——————————————————————————–
[i] To read the 2011-12 report, visit www.reformcchdnow.com
[ii] Lee Stacy, Mexico and the United States, (Marshall Cavendish, 2002 ) p.70.
[iii] Full text of Plan Espiritual de Aztlán (Spiritual Plan of Aztlan): www.utpa.edu/orgs/mecha/aztlan.html
[iv] P. David Finks, The Radical Vision of Saul Alinsky, (New York: Paulist Press, 1984), p 167.
[v] The Radical Vision of Saul  Alinsky…p 234.
[vi] Texas State Historical Association, “PADRES,” from The Handbook of Texas Online: www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/ixp02 (accessed 11-3-11)
[vii] The word “Catholic” wasn’t added the Campaign for Human Development’s name until 1998.  Therefore the acronym for the Campaign’s early years is CHD.
[viii]  “Sourcebook on Poverty, Development and Justice,” edited by the Education Staff of the Campaign for Human Development, published by the United States Catholic Conference, undated (around 1973-4).
[ix] Sourcebook…(emphasis in the original), pp. 67, 73; written by Peter J. Henriot, S.J., Staff Associate of the Center of Concern.
[x] Sourcebook…. “The Social Mission of the Church in the United States,” by Sr. Elinor Shea, OSU and Frederick J. Perella, JR., Assistant Educational Coordinator of the CHD, p. 45 (quoting ReneLaurentin, Liberation, Development, and Salvation, p. 123).
[xi] Sourcebook…. “Education to Justice” by Sr. Josephine Dunne, SHCJ, the Education Coordinator of CHD, pp. 117, 119-120, 124-125.
[xii] Namely, Dr. Cornel West and Dolores Huerta, honorary chairs of the Democratic Socialists of America.
[xiii] “Poverty and Faithjustice: An Adult Education Program on Christian Discipleship in the United States,” prepared by the Catholic Campaign for Human Development and Catholic Relief Service, published by the United States Catholic Conference, 1998, p.2.  According to the declaration of Msgr. Dennis M. Schnurr, General Secretary NCCB/USCC, at the beginning of “Poverty andFaithjustice,” the material is a 1997 CCHD planning document, approved by general membership of the NCCB, which authorized the CCHD “to develop relevant materials on social justice issues in order to raise the consciousness of parishioners.”
[xiv] See, for example, “Rallies across U.S. call for illegal immigrant rights,” CNN Politics, 4-10-06: articles.cnn.com/2006-04-10/politics/immigration_1_jaime-contreras-national-capital-immigration-coalition-illegal-immigrant-rights?_s=PM:POLITICS
[xv] As a dues-paying member of United Power for Action and Justice, ONE is also affiliated with the IAF.
[xvi] “Immigrant Communities Demand An End to Immigration Raids,” 2-26-07
[xvii] Adam Doster, “Chicago Group Wants Intransigent Lawmakers To Pay ‘Political Price,’” Progress Illinois, 6-8-10.
[xviii] George E. Schultze, SJ, “Work, Worship, and Laborem Exercens in the United States Today,” working draft paper, University of San Francisco, undated.
[xix] Among other things, the IWJ website carries “We are the 99 Percent: Occupy Wall Street,” Congregation Discussion Guides and “Prayer Service for Supporting Occupy Together,” (accessed 5-4-11).
[xx] Americans for Financial Security, coalition members:  ourfinancialsecurity.org
[xxi] Heather Booth bio, New Organizing Institute Staff: www.neworganizing.com/profile/Heather-Booth
[xxii] Showdown on Wall Street, 4-29-10: showdowninamerica.org/showdown-wall-street
[xxiii] Make Wall Street Pay Press Release, “Homeowners Tell Attorneys General: ‘Not Enough;’ Hundreds Go to National Association of Attorneys General’s Convention,” 3-7-11:makewallstreetpay.org/news/2011_0307c.html; David Dayen, “National People’s Action Takes over BofA Branch in DC: Updates, 3-7-11: news.firedoglake.com/2011/03/07/national-peoples-action-takes-over-bofa-branch-in-dc
[xxiv] F. Vincent Vernuccio and Matthew Vadum, “SEIU plans days of rage against Wall Street: Boycotts, Marches, and Protests…How to Put Banks on the Edge of Insolvency,” Canada Free Press, 7-18-11.
[xxv] “Hundreds Protest Wells Fargo Shareholder Meeting in SF,” San Francisco Bay Guardian (online), 5-4-11;  Joel B. Pollak, “Email from Lisa Fithian to Occupy Wall Street Confirms ACORN Role in Occupy’s Next Assault on Banks,” [undated but around 10-21-11].
[xxvi] Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement, informational flier: “Hundreds of Iowans rally for Immigration Reform; Announce plan to engage governors, Iowa’s political leaders in reform efforts: Call on Governors Vilsack, Huckabee and Iowa Political Leaders to Fight to Restore Integrity, Humanity to Nation’s Broken Immigration System,” 7-16-05:www.iowacci.org/news/pressreleases/latino/latinopress_3.htm
[xxvii] Quad Citites Interfaith: www.qcinterfaith.org/modules/piCal/index.php?com_mode=flat&com_order=1&event_id=742
[xxviii]  “Gamaliel of Illinois Action for Jobs at State Capitol – Part 1:” www.youtube.com/watch?v=q4aZyAkHkxI

It’s Your Choice… CCHD or Better Catholic Giving in the Archdiocese of Portland, Oregon

Click on logo to access Better Catholic Giving information

SOURCE: CRISIS MAGAZINE

The Catholic Campaign for Human Development: Reform or Bust

By Rey Flores

For many years now, Catholics across America have been asked by their local parishes to contribute to a variety of causes, mostly to help the less fortunate. As Catholics we are called to live the gospel and to practice the corporal works of mercy. This includes aiding those who are in need of basic necessities: from food and shelter to clothing and education. The Catholic Church is indeed the largest charitable organization on the planet.

While many Catholic charitable activities have done and continue to do good work on behalf of the poor, there are a number of specific efforts that have raised some concerns. Most infamous of these is the USCCB’s Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD). How, exactly, is it spending Catholics’ dollars?

While the CCHD has certainly faced extensive criticism, it has also had many defenders. On the USCCB’s website for the CCHD, its mission is described as follows:

The Catholic Campaign for Human Development is the domestic anti-poverty, social justice program of the U.S.Catholic bishops. Its mission is to address the root causes of poverty in America through promotion and support of community-controlled, self-help organizations and through transformative education.

While this sounds ideal in theory, the CCHD’s mission has simply not been adhered to. In its 40-plus year history, the CCHD has funded many organizations and activities that are at best questionable and at worst downright reprehensible. Indeed, through the CCHD annual November collection, American Catholics have funded efforts promoting “reproductive justice”, (i.e., abortion) and “marriage equality” (gay “marriage”), among other causes.

Many concerned Catholics have challenged the USCCB and the CCHD to either reform the organization or stop the collection altogether. Thus far, the USCCB and CCHD have defiantly defended their efforts, painting their critics as partisan, xenophobic, and even racist. Sadly, because the CCHD has assisted some groups that specifically work to assist undocumented immigrants, some more politically conservative Catholics tend to let their political interests trump their Catholic obligations in regard to human dignity. Some Catholics dislike this aspect of the CCHD’s activities and for the record, the USCCB has never advocated that immigration laws be violated. The worst part is that some of the left-leaning CCHD-funded organizations tend to swallow up many of the traditional Catholic immigrants and lead them down the wrong path to secular leftism.

Some efforts have been made by the CCHD to placate its critics by offering token revisions of its funding guidelines, but these reforms have turned out to be no more than smoke and mirrors. It would be a worthwhile effort for all Catholics to do their homework and question their pastors, bishops and the CCHD itself about what is truly going on with this collection. I also strongly encourage the clergy and the laity to go directly to the organizations which have received funding from the CCHD and ask them what it is they do, how they do it, who they network with and ultimately how exactly is it that they are helping the poor break the cycle of poverty. Only then can you know the truth about the CCHD.

Chicago Reform Efforts

In Chicago a few dedicated members of the clergy and laity, attempted to reform the CCHD at the place of its birth. There were some victories. In 2010, the Chicago CCHD awarded grants to pro-life warrior Joe Scheidler and the Pro-Life Action League, the Women’s Center of Chicago and Aid for Women. This wasn’t an attempt to convert a social justice collection into a pro-life collection, but to educate others about the simple truth Pope John Paul II said so eloquently; “If the right to life is not defended decisively as a condition for all other rights of the person, all other references to human rights remain deceitful and illusory.”

It must be emphasized that authentic Catholic social justice is a good thing and empowering people to fight their own battles is certainly an effective tool for positive change. However, the CCHD tends to keep associating itself with organizations that directly oppose non-negotiable Catholic teachings or are closely linked within networks that tend to support blatant anti-life and anti-Catholic activities.

The monies collected every third weekend in November across all or most Catholic parishes in America are distributed as follows. Twenty-five percent of every local collection remains in the participating diocese or archdiocese. The remaining seventy-five percent is sent to the national CCHD office located at the USCCB’s national headquarters in Washington D.C. The national CCHD then distributes larger national grants mainly at its discretion.

At the Chicago CCHD, it was proposed and agreed that the local office was going to keep seventy-five percent in Chicago and only send the national organization twenty-five percent. This was a way of telling the national CCHD that trust had been breached with contributions from Chicago’s Catholics. After one of Chicago’s auxiliary bishops who sat on the national bishops’ council for CCHD protested, Chicago was forced to split its local collection fifty-fifty with the national CCHD.

This past year, the only pro-life grant awarded in Chicago was an in-house grant to the Archdiocesan Respect Life Office. Not surprisingly, the Rev. Larry Dowling, one of the priests who fervently opposed the Chicago reform efforts and also the president of ARISE (Dowling’s ecumenical faith and labor organization), has been awarded a whopping $20,000 grant.

Terminology and Language of the CCHD

Every Catholic who has had any doubts about the CCHD should familiarize himself with the social justice-speak of the CCHD. Let’s break it down here.

Social justice is a pairing of words that individually are pretty straightforward, but together they have caused much disagreement among Catholics. “Social” refers to human beings and their interactions with each other, which are pretty much unavoidable. The word “justice” seems uncontroversial, unless we disagree over what constitutes justice. And many groups funded by the CCHD have a profoundly different understanding of justice from the Church’s.

Another oft-used term is empowerment. This means to give power to someone who previously has not had any. “Empowerment” is typical community organizing jargon from the streets of Chicago. Chicago is home to the birth of community organizing via its godfather Saul Alinsky.

How exactly does the CCHD claim to empower people in a community? The CCHD is a great believer in the “hand-up” theory over the less empowering “hand-out” approach. CCHD frowns upon funding direct service organizations because it does not see this as a way to empower an individual, but simply as yet another form of charity. Many critics of the CCHD have a hard time understanding this concept, but if the CCHD remained faithful to Catholic moral teaching, there would nothing wrong with its efforts to empower people.

CCHD has mostly gotten in trouble because many of its funded groups tend to see voter registration and political activity as the catalyst for breaking the cycle of poverty. While it is clear that having a voice in the political arena is a factor in bringing about change in a community, the CCHD contradicts itself because one of the funding guidelines requires applicant agencies to refrain from any political activity. It is no accident that the CCHD has indeed funded organizations blatantly involved in political activities, such as the infamous ACORN.

The term “transformative” means to change a condition, nature or function of something. In the case of the CCHD’s work, its leaders often speak of “transformative education.” And this wouldn’t necessarily be a bad thing if the transformations envisioned were in line with Catholic social teaching. The problem is that the way the CCHD educates others about transformative change and empowerment is more in line with the socialist and Marxist ideals so prevalent in community organizing. This raises a figurative, and indeed a literal, red flag.

“Subsidiarity” is a favorite word of the CCHD. Subsidiarity, simply put, entails allowing the people directly affected by an issue to make choices for themselves rather than having a larger entity control their lives. In theory, subsidiarity is a positive thing, but many of the community organizations funded by the CCHD have in fact worked against it. They in fact control a community with their social campaigns, only serving to transfer the power from the welfare state to the community organization, leaving the affected people in a community once again powerless. For a truly Catholic understanding of subsidiarity, see “The Principle of Subsidiarity,” written in 1996 by David E. Bosnich for the Acton Institute’s “Religion and Liberty.”

Community Organizing

Ask community organizers what they actually do for a living. They will tell you that they develop leaders to fight against injustice and by doing this, they empower the poor. In reality, the mostly white, college-educated, middle-class organizers exploit the poor, enabling them to self-perpetuate their poverty. If the community organizers really did develop leaders to fight their own battles, why is it that people like Madeline Talbott from Chicago’s Action Now (formerly named ACORN) continue to be at the helm, instead of any of the hundreds of thousands of so-called leaders she and ACORN developed during the last 25 to 30 years?

The CCHD might know, since it gave ACORN hundreds of thousands of dollars in that period. Just how much money has the CCHD given to questionable causes? In New York, Los Angeles and Chicago, the local CCHD collection usually raises close to a million dollars each third Sunday in November.

Typical community organizing in Chicago doesn’t go beyond the mandatory loading of rented school buses with poor African- or Latino-Americans to either street agitation protests or photo opportunities with liberal elected officials during “lobby” days. After all the cameras and reporters are gone, the blacks and Latinos all get back on the buses, all wearing their Action Now t-shirts and return the placards and signs given to them by the white organizers. Then they are given a sack lunch, and a bottle of water, and delivered promptly back to their ghettos and barrios to face the very same injustices they supposedly went to fight against.

While organizing a protest or lobby day, community and labor organizers often talk about “body count” in their planning meetings. Lead organizers demand that the street organizers turn out as many “bodies” as they can to create an illusion of power in numbers. These numbers are further broken down into racial categories so that the properly “diverse” image is captured by the media.

I’ve seen so-called “leaders” in these communities work with organizations for up to ten years and yet continue to live in the same squalor that they lived in before they first got caught up in the web of community organizing. Forgive me for being blunt, but to put it in the simplest terms, community organizing is nothing more than poverty pimping and the CCHD is a funding source fueling this tragic charade.

While the CCHD is adamant about its mission of addressing the root causes of poverty, one would be hard-pressed to find any mention in any of its literature of what the Church considers the real causes of poverty. If the CCHD is indeed working from within a Catholic worldview, why are the Church’s perspectives never included? It is apparent that the CCHD has identified these root causes from a secular perspective, which only focuses on the temporal, physical needs of the person. As Catholics, we are obligated to see the entire person, made in the image and likeness of God. The whole person is not just a physical being, but a spiritual one. While the earthly physical needs are important in this existence, the CCHD neglects to acknowledge the spiritual part of a person.

I believe that the true root cause of poverty is a lack of God in our lives. All other dysfunctions emerge because of this one. When we lack God, we lack respect for ourselves. A whole series of maladies tend to manifest themselves in a soul with no solid spiritual anchor: alcoholism, abuse, abortion, drug use, prostitution, promiscuity, violence, thievery or any other evil that you can imagine.

While I was the Director of the Chicago CCHD, I was told by some of the left-leaning clergy that we should not be talking about spiritual poverty in regard to the CCHD’s goals. If a group claims that the Catholic Church is no longer interested in helping save the souls of the poor, then something inside that group is certainly rotten.

What can we do? The first step is to educate our fellow Catholics about the CCHD and how it has used the faithful and their money to undermine our faith and the Church. While some staunch CCHD supporters ridicule its critics and accuse them of not living out the Gospel, they are dead wrong.

The American Life League and RealCatholic TV have done a tremendous job in exposing the CCHD and the deeply questionable organizations it has funded.  I strongly suggest that you read ALL’s reports and watch RealCatholic TV’s videos online to get more background on the CCHD and its practices.

Better Catholic Giving

While the CCHD collection takes place this year, consider instead supporting the new effort of Better Catholic Giving. BCG is a group of Catholics that is in the process of reviewing all of the CCHD grantees with actual site visits to the CCHD-funded organizations in question. The BCG hopes to act as a mediator between the CCHD and its critics to either confirm wrong-doing or to educate all Catholics about CCHD-funded groups and what exactly they are doing to help the poor while practicing authentic Catholic Social Teaching.

Rey Flores Rey Flores is the Director of Better Catholic Giving and an independent freelance writer and can be contacted at BetterCatholicGiving@gmail.com.

END OF POST

Josephine County H1N1 State of Emergency: Health notice and new liturgical norms for St. Annes’ Catholic Church

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HEALTH NOTICE

H1N1 Influenza

EDITOR NOTE: Here’s the State of Emergency Declaration from the Daily Courier, followed by Fr. Bill Holtzingers’ new liturgical norms:

 

Josephine County declares swine flu emergency

Associated Press – October 23, 2009 6:25 PM ET

GRANTS PASS, Ore. (AP) – Josephine County has declared a state of emergency over the swine flu.

The declaration Friday by county commissioners in Grants Pass cited two people dead, 21 in the hospital, and many more sick with the H1N1 virus.

County health director Belle Shepherd says the declaration will allow the county to get faster results on state lab tests and extra medical personnel if the local hospital gets overwhelmed.

Shepherd says Josephine County has 1 of the highest rates of hospitalization of swine flu cases in the state, and that hospitals in Grants Pass and Medford are near capacity – a condition known as code yellow.

Commissioners in neighboring Jackson County, where Medford is located, will consider making the same declaration at their meeting Wednesday.

Information from: Daily Courier, http://www.thedailycourier.com

fr_bill_newOctober 23, 2009

Dear Parishioners,

As we all know, the flu season is upon us. In the past several days, I have received many inquiries from parishioners who have felt uncomfortable at Mass while the flu spreads in our communities. Clearly, common sense is the best advise anyone can give. Everyone should be conscientious about washing their hands and refraining from touching their eyes and nose. If anyone is not feeling well, they should not attend Mass.

However, because of the H1N1 virus, things are different. On Friday morning, Oct. 23, Josephine County declared a local state of emergency due to the outbreak of H1N1 influenza. Therefore, after consultation with the Archdiocese Office of Worship and others here in our own parish, I have decided to return to the regulations given to us last year by the Archbishop during our last flu outbreak.

This means that I am asking everyone to refrain from holding hands during the Our Father, replacing a shake of hands at he Sign of Peace with a friendly wave to each other, and Communion in the hand with the host only. This means we will suspend the offering of the Precious Blood at Mass. These regulations will be in effect until I determine that it is okay to return to our normal liturgical norms. As was the case last year, some will not agree or like these directives, but I ask your obedience and potential sacrifice of your personal piety for the greater good of the community. Thank you for your understanding.

Sincerely,

Fr. William Holtzinger

Pastor

Heavy Metal Mass: St. Mary’s, Eugene

Is the LIFETEEN Mass necessary?

PARRISH SCHOOL 2009 020
PIC: YOURS TRULY RECEIVING COMMUNION ON THE TONGUE SUNDAY....

REFORMS OF THE NEW MASS COMING?: Its been reported here that in March, Cardinals and Bishops members of the Congregation for Divine Worship voted almost unanimously in favor of:

…a greater sacrality of the rite, of the recovery of the sense of eucharistic worship, of the recovery of the Latin language in the celebration, and of the remaking of the introductory parts of the Missal in order to put a stop to abuses, wild experimentations, and inappropriate creativity.

No talk of reforming the reform, however, helped deliver our family from the LIFETEEN Mass held on Sunday, August 23rd, at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Eugene, Oregon. A Mass that will forever be ingrained within my memory and filed under, “The Heavy Metal Mass of 2009”.

FEEDBACK — Hendrix turning over in his grave

Guitar feedback has been described as a cat chasing its tail — amplified sound reaches a microphone and is amplified again causing screech. The old saying, “Come to a screeching halt” can be applied here. As that is exactly what happened within the Mass at St. Mary’s Sunday–it came to a loud screeching halt, and that, on at least four different occasions.

The re-presentation of the mysteries of this divine and saving faith discovered within the Holy Mass took a back seat to the overamplification of sound, ala, Jimi Hendrix. Here’s what was happening within me spiritually:

Christ has died: SCREEEECH‘Hold on a second, Jesus’.

Christ is risen:  SCREEEEEEECH‘Wow! Did that happen again?’

Christ will come again: SCREEEEEEEE-CHEEE-SCREECH‘Oh, Come on, the volume is too loud, and microphones to close!’

Receiving Holy Communion: SCREEEE–EEEE–EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEECH‘Okay, that’s it, tell the kids, honey, that after reception we’ll meet outside in the garden by Our Lady to pray in silence…”

REDEMPTION…

Thanks be to God for the Priest…

His homily was on the modern-day Catholic understanding of, well, being authentically Catholic in the Church and world today. That includes accepting with holy faith Church teachings on the moral life, and this priest of God pounded home the message with a constant reprise of Jesus saying, “Will you leave me also?” following each moral issue: Fornication outside of marriage… Contraception… Abortion… In the spirit of ‘this’ Mass my wife and I pounded knuckles.

On our way out of Mass following reception my Ten-year-old son, Andrew, stated the problematic reality of the LIFETEEN Mass clearly:

Andrew: “Dad, promise me you won’t take us to another LIFETEEN Mass.”

Me: “I’m curious, Andrew, why do you say that?”

Andrew: “Because, it’s inappropriate for the Mass.”

The young man with the white sword will be leading future uprisings against the use of LIFETEEN within the Holy Mass.
ASK ANDREW: The young man with the white sword will be leading future uprisings against the use of LIFETEEN within the Holy Mass. (CLICK TO ENLARGE)

LEAVING THE MASS FOLLOWING RECEPTION

I’ve taught all my 5 children to remain in Church until the priest exits following Mass. This is the teaching norm of the Church and is the norm for our family. It was with no little hesitation, then, that I brought my family out of Mass on Sunday to pray following reception… But, if the priest were to ask me as we exited, “Will you too leave me?” I think, I would have responded in this way:

“No, Jesus, I’m only going out into the garden to hear your Word…”

EDITORS NOTE: I’ve intentionally avoided here all the many reasons that LIFETEEN is inappropriate for the Mass because I wanted to focus on this experience of the St. Mary’s Mass alone. Click here for further information/comments on the subject from other concerned Catholics dedicated to reform of the reform to learn more about LIFETEEN.

END OF POST

Jubilee Year To The Apostle Paul by Archbishop John Vlazny

Catholic Sentinel 07.18.08

The jubilee year to the apostle Paul began at a Vespers service in Rome this past June 28, the vigil of the Feast of Saints Peter and Paul. It was one year ago that Pope Benedict XVI announced this special jubilee year. Historians have placed the birth of St. Paul somewhere between the years 7 and 10 AD. Hence the jubilee year marks the bi-millennium of St. Paul’s birth.

Every year we celebrate two major feasts in honor of St. Paul. The first always takes place on Jan. 25, the Feast of Paul’s Conversion. Saint Paul is often described as the Apostle to the Gentiles. A Jew by birth, but a Roman by citizenship, Paul went out to proclaim the truth of Christ to the entire world. Before his own conversion he had actually been persecuting the early Christian community. During this jubilee year the Feast of the Conversion of St. Paul falls on a Sunday, Jan. 25, 2009. That Sunday will be the third Sunday in Ordinary Time. But the Pope has granted permission for and is encouraging the celebration of the Feast of the Conversion of St. Paul on that day. The second reading for that day, since there are only two readings for the Feast of the Conversion of Paul, is to be taken from the third Sunday of the year. Because it is a Sunday the Creed will be recited.

The other feast in honor of St. Paul, a solemnity, is observed on June 29, which will be a Monday in 2009, concluding the jubilee year. Together with St. Peter, St. Paul is a principal patron of the Church of Rome. Each year on June 29, a Mass in the Vatican Basilica is celebrated during which the Holy Father bestows the pallium (a circular band of wool worn around the neck and over the shoulders) on recently installed metropolitan archbishops as a symbol of jurisdiction and authority. I received my own pallium on this feast back in 1998.

The Roman Missal includes a Votive Mass for St. Paul. I am asking our priests to celebrate that Votive Mass frequently during the jubilee year on ferial days when no memorial, feast or solemnity is required. I also hope that many of our parishes will provide holy hours in honor of St. Paul the Apostle. An outline of such a holy hour is available on the USCCB website. It includes Benediction of the most Blessed Sacrament. A holy hour would seem especially appropriate in the month of October when we pray for missionaries the world over, in January near the feast of the Conversion of St. Paul and again in June at the conclusion of the Pauline Year.

Shortly after his election as the successor of St. Peter, Pope Benedict the XVI made a visit to the major basilica of St. Paul outside the walls of Rome. During that visit he pointed out that our church is by nature missionary with a very urgent duty to evangelize. In secular times, that missionary mandate, the Pope stated, is more timely than ever. Paul’s conversion took place on the road to Damascus thwarting his goal to destroy the Christian community. Ironically, that aborted journey led St. Paul to make Jesus Christ the very center of his life. Paul’s conversion was rather dramatic, to say the least. He was literally knocked off his horse and blinded by the light of truth. Once God restored his sight he never faltered in his mission of bringing the gospel to the world as he knew it then.

I find it interesting that a complaint I sometimes I hear about some of our priests is much the same as the complaint that was made about Paul. Even though he was sent by Christ to preach the good news, Paul, it seemed, was far from being a good speaker. We are told in Paul’s second letter to the Corinthians that his adversaries said “his bodily presence is weak, and his speech has no account.” The success of his mission obviously cannot be credited to his own personal talents. But rather it depended, as Pope Benedict XVI observed last year, on his own “personal involvement in proclaiming the gospel with total dedication to Christ, a dedication that feared neither risk, difficulty nor persecution.”

Perhaps there is a very good lesson in all of this for us today as we are sometimes frustrated by our own efforts to bring the good news to a world caught up in itself and its own personal agenda. What is that lesson? Pope Benedict says, “The Church’s action is credible and effective only to the extent to which those who belong to her (you and me) are prepared to pay in person for their fidelity to Christ in every circumstance. When this readiness is lacking, the crucial argument of truth on which the Church herself depends is also absent.” My friends, therein lies the real challenge before us during this year of jubilee dedicated to St. Paul. If our faith is simply a matter of private practice and merely an outpouring of words, there will be no change of heart and no moving away from sin to virtue.

When I first heard about this Pauline year in the summer of 2007, I especially noted one aspect that the Pope underlined in his announcement of the year of jubilee. It was the ecumenical dimension. At the very beginning of the proclamation of the good news, there was only one Christian community. But today there are many, unfortunately separated, because of divisions and misunderstandings over the centuries. This year of St. Paul seems to be the perfect opportunity for Catholic parishes to reach out to their neighboring Christian churches and come together in prayer, study and good works in a realistic effort to promote unity and harmony among all the followers of Jesus Christ.

There is a very ancient tradition about the last meeting of St. Peter and Paul before their martyrdom. It would seem that the two great apostles met not far from the present day Basilica of St. Paul where they embraced and blessed each other. Christians from the earliest times considered Peter and Paul inseparable, even if each had a different mission in life. Peter established the first community of Christians from the Jewish people. Paul was sent to the gentiles for the purpose of spreading the gospel far and wide. Even though they had different charisms they both worked for the same cause, the building of the church of Jesus Christ.

Here in the Archdiocese of Portland we are blessed with three churches dedicated to St. Paul, one in Eugene, another in Silverton and the third in St. Paul. In fact, it was in St. Paul, on Jan. 6, 1839, a Sunday and the feast of the Epiphany of Our Lord, that Fr. Francis N. Blanchet, the priest who became our first archbishop, celebrated the first Mass ever in the Willamette Valley. The jubilee year provides all us here in Western Oregon with an opportunity to thank God for the gift of the Eucharist in our communities, a gift in which Catholics of Western Oregon have shared for 170 years, a gift that continues to empower our own evangelizing mission as it did for the Apostle to the Gentiles.