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[FULL TEXTS] Cardinal George Pell hammers unorthodox priest down under

“We cannot be sure whether Eric’s theological position is typical of a liberal or a radical Protestantism. But as an exercise in loyal dissent it moves beyond the limits of orthodox Catholicism…”

NOSEDIVE: The Spirit of Vatican II comes crashing down to earth.

To pell is to pelt; to knock about, is what mell is to beat with a mallet; to hammer… And yesterday Cardinal Pell hammered retired Australian priest Eric Hodgens and his unorthodox ethos of Vatican II, a spirit responsible for much of the difficulties and challenges the Catholic Church faces in the world today.

The brouhaha down under began with Hodgens bitter critique of the Church [Time to speak – and act] followed with Pell’s sharp rebuttal [Some Gaudium and No Spes] The Swag… Both exchanges follow in full:

Eric Hodgens is a Melbourne priest ordained in 1960. He has had parish appointments for all of his ministerial years except for two years of full-time study at Melbourne University. He was Director of Pastoral Formation for Priests in Melbourne for seven years while setting up a new parish. Eric has the most extensive set of statistics on secular priests in Australia and writes occasionally on Catholic and other matters. Further articles can be viewed on his blog www.catholicview.typepad.com

Time to speak – and act

A large section of Catholic priests are at odds with the public stance of the Church. The issues which disturb them include:

  • the displacement of the main game of spreading a message of life, hope, compassion and forgiveness by overstressing, moral issues;
  • foreclosing on moral issues which need revisiting – eg contraception, IVF, divorce, homosexuality;
  • World Youth Days which feed the personality cult of the pope to the detriment of the local church and which have not reversed the flow of youth from the Church;
  • the autocratic, non-consultative management style of many bishops – themselves unsuitable and unwanted and appointed without consultation;
  • the promotion of reactionary, authoritarian and fundamentalist movements such as Opus Dei, Legionaries of Christ, Heralds of the Gospel, Communione e Liberatione as real, effective responses to the challenge of faith in a secular world;
  • the non-consultative and politically motivated superimposition of a new, defective translation of the liturgy. This one has the potential of sparking a people-power revolt as a growing parade of liturgical experts list the bad policy and the abuses still being perpetrated under its banner;
  • The discomfort these priests feel ranges from embarrassment to outright disagreement.

Yet, we priests do not speak up much. Why?

We were trained not to speak up. In our earlier years we were afraid to speak up because the bishop was too awesome a figure. The rank gradient was steep. Remember “My Lord”. Remember genuflecting and kissing the ring. And bishops learned the trick of controlling the pack by showing anger or displeasure at the first sign of disagreement.

We were also trained to put the Church institution first. Rocking the boat in public was disloyalty and self-aggrandisement.

More recently priests worked out that it was useless to talk up anyway. Bishops generally were impervious to criticism, especially on issues of Roman policy.
The Diocesan Council of Priests became a waste of time in most dioceses. So, why waste your psychological energy? Just go back to your parish and do your own thing.

Finally, there was always the promise of obedience which imitated the antique oath of fealty to the liege lord. “Do you promise obedience and respect to me and my successors?” Priests took this literally and seriously.

This policy will no longer do. It is time to speak up and to act. The matter is urgent. Why?

The church in Australia and the west is in serious trouble. Church-loving laity know it, priests know it. The symptoms are clear: a drought of priests, dropping Mass attendance, the loss of the younger generation and a walking away from membership by the worn down hard core.

So, what is the cause and what response is needed?

In Europe and its offspring, membership of the Church was overwhelmingly a matter of inheritance. The baby was christened and all presumed that it would stay a Church member for life. Most European states had an established religion. They were confessional states. Even after the arrival of the secular states the denominational sub-groups remained relatively large and strong. Christian identity remained confessional – ie I belong to this church, believe what it believes and practice religion the way it does. Membership qualifications were clear and the group’s boundaries were clearly defined.

Two rules of membership provided continued existence. Firstly, you christened your children and inculturated them into the group. Secondly, there was strong group pressure not to defect.

Since World War II the social cohesion of religious groups has weakened leaving christened members freer to think and act for themselves. A lot of this is due to a massive expansion of knowledge — scientific, psychological, sociological, historical, critical. Combined with a massive expansion of education, the result is much more freedom of thought. In this new environment long assumed facts have been turned upside down. So many accepted beliefs and practices are seen as dated and irrelevant. Bemoaning the scene is no help. We must revisit the core message of the Church and re-work the way we present it in the light of the new knowledge in this new social context. One term used to describe this process is recontextualization.

Rome lays the blame on secularism and relativism and calls for a new evangelization. John Paul II started this call. Benedict has followed it up by establishing the Pontifical Council for Promoting New Evangelization. The problem with this is that there is no intention to review the articulation of faith and moral teaching, nor an intention to try out new approaches to liturgy, nor to experiment in inculturation. Look at the favoured new movements, the new translation of the missal, the catechesis offered at World Youth Days – all reasserting the old model which is not working.

The foreclosed answer is reconfessionalisation, not the recontextualization needed Recontextualization entails accepting, even welcoming, secular and pluralistic culture. We rearticulate our core faith so that it makes sense in that context.

We rearticulate our concept and imagery of God so that God is the unseen, transcendent core of being rather than the string puller and button pusher of a puppet world. Jesus becomes the face and voice of the unseen God and the channel of God’s faithfulness and love. Salvation is the hope that we can justifiably hold on to in the face of death – a hope reassured by our faith in Jesus risen.

The recontextualized articulation of the central message of Christian salvation is well under way. Scripture scholars like Ray Brown, Joe Fitzmyer, John Meier and Eugene La Verdiere have shown us how faith develops and its articulation grows. As Jesus became larger than life in the belief of the early Christian communities they told larger than life stories. Under their guidance the scriptures make sense.

Karen Armstrong has lucidly shown the distinction between logical and mythological discourse. If you want to have meaningful faith conversation in the modern world you must understand the power and meaning of myth.

Theologians like Roger Lenaers and Roger Haight rearticulate the core of Christian theology in a way which is credible in the modern world. Michael Morwood and Philip Kennedy have done a fine job of popularizing this recontextualized theology. But their efforts are not appreciated by Rome. Haight has been silenced. Tissa Balasurya and Jaques Dupuis were both pursued by the CDF for recontextualizing Christian faith in the face of religious pluralism.

The Catholic Church had a great chance to meet this challenge at the start of the 20’h century. The response was Pius X’s campaign against modernism with mind-numbing results. We were not alone. At about the same time the US protestants answered the challenge with their fundamentalist tracts. We got another chance with Vatican II and Gaudium et Spes. The non-converted curial remnant got busy and won the post-conciliar battle especially under John Paul II. Gaudium et Spes was dismantled. The result is our unpreparedness for the current collapse. It is now the 11th hour. The matter is urgent.

It is precisely because so many priests have taken steps along this econtextualizing path that they are in disagreement with Roman policy as it recycles the old confessional model. Many priests have already very thoughtfully modified their pastoral practice. They are already recontextualizing their own faith journey. They have replaced the simplistic faith of their youth with a more fluid faith borne out of experience, more mature and reflective appreciation of the scriptures and a more vital, dynamic theology.

Our promise of loyalty was made to the Church in the person of the bishop. If the bishop is wrong, a loyal priest speaks up. In the light of relentless alienating Roman policy, made acutely specific in the current imposition of the defective translation of the liturgy, we have the responsibility not only to speak up but to act.

Cardinal Pell responds:

Some Gaudium and No Spes

By George Cardinal Pell

Father Eric Hodgens’ piece on the Gaudium et Spes priests gives us plenty of food for thought. It is well written and provocative, as you would expect of a priest who described his own cohort as possessing “the biggest proportion of intelligent, educated and competent leaders”. But it is unbalanced, misguided, selective and sometimes inaccurate.

Recently I have been concerned by the theological extremism of some Swag contributions, and am grateful for the opportunity to state the case for the orthodox mainstream. I am not ordering anyone to “withdraw to the fortress and sing the old song”, but my best lines are still from the New Testament with its ancient truths and melodies.

Eric sees himself now as “a presbyter called and ordained by the Church – the People of God” rather than as “a priest called and consecrated by God”. It is difficult to know exactly what this means, but it might point us to a number of fundamental issues.

More cards have been laid on the table than in Father Hodgens’ earlier writings. While it would be interesting to know whether he still has any jokers up his sleeve, it is more important to recognize that many of the cards cannot be identified accurately. We do not know, for example, his answers to the nine questions he lists. We do not know the limits to his hostility to some ancient devotions such as adoration of the Blessed Sacrament and veneration of Our Lady. We do not know whether his opposition to the papacy and episcopate touches these institutions themselves or simply the style of recent incumbents. So too with priesthood and traditional Christian teaching on marriage, divorce and sexuality.

We cannot be sure whether Eric’s theological position is typical of a liberal or a radical Protestantism. But as an exercise in loyal dissent it moves beyond the limits of orthodox Catholicism.

Let me attempt to state the issue in the most basic terms.

We find no evidence in Eric’s article that the Catholic Church is the recipient of divine revelation, “God’s message not some human thinking” (1 Thess 2.13); nor that the Catholic Church was founded by the Son of God “the Word who was with God . . . the Word who was God” (Jn 1.1), Jesus the Christ, the son of Mary with a divine as well as a human nature. If Christ is divine, New Testament teachings have a unique authority.

Eric writes with the genuine anguish of most of us older Catholics who grew up at an unusually high tide of faith and practice and lived through the radical decline which followed the social revolution of the 1960s in the First World. But some of the damage was self-inflicted.

One major point of difference is that in my view Eric’s prescriptions are a significant cause of our problems. His solutions were put into practice after the Council, to some degree in Australia, but especially in Belgium, Holland and French-speaking Canada. They emptied the Churches there.

Pope Paul VI appointed no bishops who were opposed to the ethos of Vatican II, and for various reasons the good bishops appointed in Holland were overwhelmed, tossed aside by the liberal gales. This brings me to another contemporary fact, which I never anticipated as a young seminarian in Rome during the Council or as a young priest. The now aged liberal wing of the Church, which dominated discussion after the Council and often the bishops and the emerging Church bureaucracies, has no following among young practising Catholics, priests or religious. This is not only true in Australia, but everywhere in the Western world. In these different countries dominated by a secular media and intelligentsia, liberalism has no young Catholic progeny.

On reflection we should not find this surprising, as growth is tied to Gospel fidelity, to faith, love and sacrifice. After Vatican II many of us overestimated our cultural strengths and underestimated the virulence of anti-Christian forces. You need strong Christian foundations to participate productively in “open dialogue”. Without these roots the end of the road is agnosticism.

I should conclude with a few words in defence of the four popes who were mauled, especially Paul, John Paul II and Benedict. Incidentally it is a matter of historical record that at the 1971 Synod of Bishops, Pope Paul offered to the bishops the option of ordaining married men to the priesthood and the bishops declined to accept this.

All three popes were prolific writers, while John Paul II and Benedict were professional academics with a record of scholarly and popular publications rarely if ever equalled by any Australian priest. I believe Pope Benedict is now our most distinguished living theologian.

The charges against the Holy Father do not amount to too much e.g. instituting a special year to honour priests (which was well received by priests and people), continuing with a new translation of the Roman Missal, and encouraging the Tridentine Mass to be celebrated. He did not receive back the bishops of the Society of St. Pius X, but only lifted their excommunication. They are still in schism.

Pope John Paul provokes a special hostility, allegedly an abuser of power, out of touch in scripture, limited in theology, a bad listener. It is a surprise that anyone came to his funeral. In particular he is denounced for emasculating the leadership of the Church, who are clerical and compliant, “low on creativity, leadership, education and even intelligence”.

In an astonishing example of provincial arrogance, Hodgens claims that “the more intelligent and better educated” bishops (only “some” to be sure) are corrupt and have sold their soul for advancement. Me thinks he protests too much.

Pope John Paul and Pope Benedict were not hostile to intelligence, education or competence, but they have striven regularly to appoint bishops who will defend the apostolic tradition and strive to implement policies which will strengthen the Catholic position, not white-ant it.

Hodgens’ misunderstanding of the magisterium is typical of his position. The magisterium refers primarily to the teaching authority of the pope together with the bishops (Vatican II’s collegiality). The baptised faithful share in this and so do the theologians with priests and religious.

Certainly the teaching authority of the bishops was recognized early by St. Ignatius of Antioch (+107 A.D.) and St Irenaeus, Bishop of Lyons (+200 A.D.) with his apostolic succession lists of bishops to defend the apostolic tradition. The ancient teaching chair of the bishop exemplifies this, predating by many centuries any groups of professional theologians in the medieval universities. In Pope John Paul’s 27 years of pontificate 24 individuals were disciplined for their theological views, including eight who were silenced or removed, in the worldwide Catholic community of more than one billion believers. Father Hodgens himself escaped any reign of terror and so did many hundreds of dissidents.

Eric is a bit too generous to his generation, to which I belong. Many were formidable, but we coincided with a period of decline probably unparalleled since the Reformation.

“Reflections on an ordination golden anniversary” is thought provoking. I am glad Father Hodgens has enjoyed his years of priesthood. Unfortunately much of the analysis is mistaken since his solutions, to the extent we can identify them, are less than Catholic and would make a difficult situation worse.


Credible Signs of Christ Alive: Case Studies from the Catholic Campaign for Human Development by Stephanie Block

james mary evans
james mary evans

   John Paul II was quite clear that Catholic educational and charitable works must be Catholic in their own understanding and Catholic in their identity.  Service to one’s fellows, while laudable in itself, must serve an additional, fundamental end: the proclamation of the Gospel. (“‘Church’s Educational and Charitable Works Must Be Truly Catholic,’ Says Pope: Receives U.S. Bishops from the Northwest and Alaska,” June 24, 2004, www.zenit.org)

That’s a tall order.  It implies a tremendous responsibility to assure that a charity’s services are in keeping with Catholic moral understanding as well as Catholic evangelical purposes. 

To say it another way, regardless of the “goods” a Catholic charity might procure for the needy, if it has also funded condom distribution, supported Machiavellian political activism, or – because of particular alliances -eschews Catholic moral principles, it deserves to be de-funded. 

It takes more than just saying one’s charity manifests the “living Christ,” as Paul Hogan does in his book Credible Signs of Christ Alive: Case Studies from the Catholic Campaign for Human Development.  A “good deed” that has been attached to a political agenda – and we’re not talking a social order brought under the kingship of Christ, but a manipulated, consensus-driven governance – simply can’t be equated with God’s work. 

So, does the Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD) manifest the “living Christ?”  Credible Signs chooses six CCHD-funded organizations – its charity showpieces, not its principal grantees – to illustrate its work.  They are showpieces, not representatives of principal grantees, because one doesn’t find, for example, any mention of the Alinsky-founded Industrial Area Foundation affiliates, despite its receiving about 16% of the annual grant pie.  But if CCHD feels other groups better reflect its work, then by all means, it’s worth examining them.  

1.  Grace over Chicken: The Delmarva Poultry Justice Alliance

The first close-up of a CCHD-funded organization examined by Credible Signs is the Delmarva Poultry Justice Alliance, located in Delaware in the Diocese of Wilmington.  This is chicken raising country and the industry not only pays its workers poorly, ostensibly to keep consumer prices low for chicken meat, but also engages in practices designed to keep competition at bay.

The Delmarva Poultry Justice Alliance was founded in 1996 to address these problems and it has received CCHD grants since 1999.  Until 2003, the Alliance was an affiliate of another CCHD-funded organization, the National Interfaith Committee for Worker Justice (NICWJ).  The NICWJ was given a $100,000 CCHD grant in 1999, then used its CCHD money, matched by other funding bodies, to make its own grant to the Poultry Alliance, thereby giving the Alliance access to additional CCHD generosity.     

One of individuals who was particularly influential in creating the Delmarva Poultry Justice Alliance was Rev. Jim Lewis, an Episcopal priest and activist in anti-death penalty, gay rights, labor, and women’s reproductive issues.   To serve the Delmarva Poultry Justice Alliance members, who are largely poor, immigrant laborers, Lewis helped to establish La Red Health Center.

La Red does a lot of good work – there’s no denying that: prenatal care, immunizations, nutritional counseling, primary, acute and chronic disease, mental health and substance abuse counseling, and an array of other fine services.

But La Red is a Division of Public Health Title X partner and as such provides what is euphemistically called “reproductive health services,” as well.  This includes the provision of, or referral to, a wide range of abortifacient contraceptives and sterilization. 

As for the NICWJ, its founder and executive director, Kim Bobo, is a speaker for Call to Action, a dissident “Catholic” organization that works to overthrow Church moral teachings on abortion, contraception, homosexuality, and marriage and desires to restructure the Church with democratically elected bishops and priests, married and women clergy, and small faith communities to support its liberation theology.

Bobo contributed (with the assistance of the Campaign for Human Development-funded Midwest Academy) to the manual How to Win: A Practical Guide for Defeating the Radical Right in Your Community. Radical Right, in this instance refers to pro-lifers, any group of parents who want to review school curricula, oppose sex education, or seek “parental permission for anything,” any group of citizens concerned about sexual orientation “rights,” home schoolers, or folks desirous of religious activity of any sort in any public forum.  Conversely, it provides a plethora of materials in support of abortion and gay “rights,” among other issues.

The activist handbook’s list of “right wingers” includes the American Life League, William Donohue’s Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, Franciscan University of Steubenville, Human Life International, Knights of Columbus, National Coalition Against Pornography, National Coalition on Television Violence, National Conference of Catholic Bishops (NCCB), Secretariat for Pro-Life Activities, National Right to Life Committee, Opus Dei, and the Pro-Life Action League.

How, then, are we understand the Delmarva Poultry Justice Alliance to be a model CCHD grantee?  It is, on the one hand, a legitimate association of workers seeking economic betterment.  On the other hand, its mentorsand founders procured these goods with the blood of poor children.

2.  Tenants’ and Workers’ Support Committee

The second organization featured in Credible Signs is the Tenants’ and Workers’ Support Committee of Virginia (TWSC, now called Tenants and Workers United – TWU).  This organization was founded in 1986, the north Virginian affiliate of another CCHD-funded group, the Virginia Organizing Project.

TWSC is discussed in Credible Signs for its work toward a living wage law, or, more precisely, a minimum wage hike.  In this effort, it has networked with dozens, if not hundreds of other CCHD-funded groups around the country.  The issue is controversial and a thoughtful Catholic, exercising a preferential option for the poor, might fall on either side of the debate.

What a Catholic cannot support is the other work of the Virginia Organizing Project – and through it, TWSC.  Among other things, the Virginia Organizing Project assisted the state’s homosexual activism network in its successful effort to pass legislation in 2005 to allow private employers to offer health insurance and other benefits to domestic partners. It also opposed the Affirmation of Marriage Bill, a proposal to expand the existing Virginia Defense of Marriage Act.

CCHD has always had a problem with fungibility.  Catholic money awarded for a “good” project – or, at least, a tolerable project – frees an organization to use resources for morally untenable projects.  The problem was so pervasive that in 1998 the Campaign drafted new guidelines, emphasizing the sanctity of human life and stating clearly that not only must funded projectsconform to the moral teachings of the Catholic Church, but that any organization whose primary or substantial thrust was contrary to Catholic teaching – even if the project itself was in accord – would be denied funding. 

Good guidelines, but they require a vigilant will to enforce them.  The $105,000 to the Virginia Organizing Project and the $111,000 to TWSC since1998 suggest that there is no such will.

3. Camden Churches Organized for People

Next we look at the PICO affiliate of community organizations in New Jersey, Camden Churches Organized for People.  Credible Signs lauds the organization for helping to revitalize a dying city – specifically for its vision paper (“A Vision for the Recovery of Camden”) that led to passage of the 2002 Camden Recovery Act (CRA), a $200 million package supposedly designed to restore Camden’s neighborhoods and economy.

What has been the result of this act, however?  The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that the CRA’s redevelopment plans include extensive and involuntary relocation of residents. (Elisa Ung,  “Candidates: Rein in Camden redevelopment,” Philadelphia Inquirer, September 14, 2005) 

Other reports complain that State Sen. Wayne Bryant, who wrote and sponsored the CRA with Camden Churches Organized for People backing, has received a kickback – the Camden Redevelopment Agency created by CRA hired Bryant’s law firm to acquire properties. (Bob Ingle, “Stem-cell research plan could hurt Republicans,” Courier Post Online, January 10, 2005)   The CRA also gives the governor veto power over school board decisions.  In the view of one council member, “The [city] government is being taken over right now….My colleagues and the mayor gave up their right to govern the people of the City of Camden.” (Jeffrey Muckensturm, “The Camden Democracy Gap,” zmagsite.zmag.org, October 2003, quoting Ali Sloan-El, city council member) 

Oh, and $13.25 million allocated by the act went to the Cooper Hospital – University Medical Center, whose Women’s Center provides a full range of family planning and birth control services.

4. Southeast Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement: Stop the Factory Farms

Here’s one that looks promising – a local organization devoted to independent family farms and battling the inhumane and ecologically unsound practices of “factory farms.” 

Trouble is, Southeast Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement is an affiliate of National People’s Action (NPA), a coalition of groups around the United States founded in 1972 by Gale Cincotta, a student of Saul Alinsky’s.  Alinsky taught that a “people’s organization” has to “personalize” an issue by identifying one individual to be demonized.  “Direct action,” of which NPA is a proponent, might include the bussing of protestors to the homes of such targeted business or government leaders.  Civil political debate is then replaced by tactics of mob intimidation.

Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement uses these tactics. It has protested on the front lawns of individual school board or farm bureau members, chanting and shouting at them and their families through the windows of their homes.  It has published its targets’ home phone numbers in newspaper ads, inviting -and generating – harassing phone calls.  Imagine the outcry if Catholic money funded anti-abortion “direct action.”

5.  The Anti-Displacement Project

The fifth example of a model CCHD-funded organization is another affiliate of National People’s Action (NPA).  This one, Anti-Displacement Project (ADP), works out of Springfield, Massachusetts. 

Besides the obvious problem of its tactics – and the use of Catholic charitable donations to fund training people in these tactics – the Anti-Displacement Project recently co-hosted an “Immigrant Rights and Workers Rights” rally to protest the low wages given to undocumented workers and announce the creation of Casa Obrera Worker Center at APD’s offices.  The worker center is designed to help organize the undocumented “to improve the conditions of employment, and to provide legal representation and other services.” (Peter Goonan, “Protest follows labor breakfast,” The Republican, September 09, 2006)

6.  Proyecto Pastoral at Dolores Mission

Last, but not least, Credible Signs looks at Proyecto Pastoral, a project of Dolores Mission in Los Angeles, California.  Dolores Mission is a center for liberation theology, using its work among the poor to spread an alternative way of “being church.”

Fr. Thomas Rausch, SJ, writes, for instance, that “…the worship of the community [of Dolores Mission] and the strong influence of liberation theology themes clearly drive its many involvements. Music is simple but strong, with lyrics projected on an old movie screen. An emphasis on praxis is evident in the preaching. Only part of the assembly receives communion; the heart of Dolores Mission is its call to empowerment in response the community’s daily experience of poverty and injustice.”  [Fr. Thomas Rausch, SJ, “Liturgy and Evangelization in the North American Context”]

Dolores Mission has a coordinator for the dozen or more base communities the parish hosts and through which its ministries are run.  Sister Giulii Zobelein, OP, Director of Religious Education at Dolores Mission writes that the “small Christian communities” – not Christ – are the life blood of Dolores Mission.  She says: “They are modeled on groups that began in poor areas in Latin America. They meet weekly in homes, reflecting on the Sunday Gospel and how it applies to their lives. It is from these groups that action for peace and justice springs.” (www.msjdominicans.org/DoloresMission.pdf )

The action for peace and justice to which Sister refers has included agitating protests of proposed laws to criminalize illegal immigration, claiming – erroneously – that such legislation would slap felony charges against doctors, teachers, social workers and ministers who aid undocumented immigrants.  (Ellie Hidalgo, “Catholics fast to urge just immigration laws,” Catholic News Service, 2/16/2006) 

Dolores Mission peace and justice action also includes its Comunidad en Movimiento (Community in Action) program, which runs monthly meetings with all the department heads of the Los Angeles Housing Authority to discuss their issues. (David Scheie with T Williams and Luisa Pessoa-Brandão, “Organized Religion and Civic Culture: Final Report from a Strategic Review,” prepared forthe James Irvine Foundation by Rainbow Research, Inc. April 2001.)

Bottom line… 

The “model” CCHD-funded programs highlighted in Credible Signs illustrate exactly the problem with the Catholic Campaign for Human Development: the CCHD does not exercise responsible oversight of its grants.  With its arsenal of modern advertising techniques directed at generous Catholic heart and purse strings, it promotes abortion, immorality, big government, and flawed theology. 

These “model” groups are not anomalies.  They represent the typical CCHD grant.  Nearly ten years ago, the Wanderer Forum Foundation produced its CHD Commentary (www.wandererforumfoundation.org/publications).  It demonstrates that all major grant recipients of the CHD/CCHD are every bit as problematic as the six featured organizations of Credible Signs.  The essential CHD funding patterns of 1997 remain unreformed.

© Los Pequenos de Cristo, Inc.