Tag Archives: Stephanie Block

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

Catholic Campaign on Human Development: The American Life League Report on links to abortion groups

Catholic Campaign on Human Development: The American Life League Report on links to abortion groups

By Stephanie Block

In a long and lengthening list of frustrations over the Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD), one certainly has to be its response to criticism.  For 40 years, this “charity” has – deliberately on the part of some folks – hidden its primary objectives and misrepresented its critics.  Then, when public outcry has grown too strident, it has staged mock “reforms.”

The most recent of these “reforms” came last year, with the release of “Review and Renewal of the Catholic Campaign for Human Development as Accepted and Affirmed by the USCCB Administrative Committee.”   It was a surly retort to protest over its several funding scandals.

The first scandal concerned decades of CCHD support to ACORN, an Alinskyianorganizing network that was aggressively engaged in progressive (translation: aborted babies) politics and had been over the years been caught in embezzlement schemes, voter fraud, and a host of other scurrilous activities.  CCHD was publicly informed that ACORN had serious problems in 1997. [ii]   Its “reform” then was to tack “Catholic” onto its name and give its grant guidelines token tweaks…but the funding patterns continued exactly as before, with ACORN still receiving approximately 5% of the CCHD pie.

The second scandal engaged the pro-life community, which was particularly aroused over the life-relevant issues that CCHD’s progressive political bias exposed.  As they began digging deeper, scores of grantees with direct ties to abortion promotion (and other problematic moral positions) were unearthed.   It was unfathomable that a collection of groups with such ties was working – is working – under the auspices of the Catholic Church.

“Review and Renewal” acknowledged that five groups – out of the many exposed – “violated CCHD requirements and lost all CCHD funding because they acted in conflict with Catholic teaching.”[iii]  That left a long list of grantees whose anti-Catholic actions were somehow acceptable to CCHD.

And it took a long time to release the next round of grantees in order to, ostensibly, assure that the “substantially revised CCHD Grant Agreement” was indeed “used for all pending and future funding allocations and grants.”[iv]  That meant that groups selected under earlier CCHD guidelines signed the new Grant Agreement in order to receive CCHD funds. In other words, the selection process places the onus of determining which organizations are in compliance with Catholic moral principles on the organizations themselves – which, often, are not administered by Catholics.

CCHD hoped these actions would reassure Catholics that CCHD was awarding its grants in conformity with the newly refined, more Catholic principles.

Sadly, it isn’t so.

The American Life League Report[i]

The American Life League looked closely at the latest crop of grants[v] and what it found is appalling.

They discovered that CCHD’s most recent grant awards included:
·        *   $35,000 to Centro Campesino, which received funding from the Minnesota Department of Health to expand its Community HIV Health and Education Risk Initiative – an initiative that includes the distribution of condoms.[vi]   (After being informed of this, CCHD said it would defund Centro Campesino.)

·        *   $45,000 to Somos un Pueblo Unido, which is part of a coalition opposing the Defense of Marriage Act.  Somos un Pueblo Unido also promotes “reproductive justice”[vii] and contraceptive sex education. [viii]
·       *    $30,000 to NYC AIDS Housing Network, which is a member of several pro-abortion, pro-homosexual organizations,[ix] endorsed the Transgender Day of Remembrance, participated in the openly socialist US Social Forum, and distributes condoms.
·         *  $45,000 to the Southwest Organizing Project, the lead “community partner” for one of the Elev8 projects in Chicago.[x]  These partnerships are supported by Atlantic Philanthropies, an international foundation whose Elev8 programs around the country make “comprehensive sex education a requirement for receiving the four-year grant, which totaled $18 million in Chicago.”[xi]   SWOP is a critical component to assure that “comprehensive” – contraceptive – sex-ed programs in Chicago public schools are accepted by the “community.”
·        *   $35,000 to Desis Rising Up and Moving (DRUM), which regularly participates in Marxist, pro-abortion, pro-homosexual forums.[xii]
·        *   $50,000 to United Workers Association, which joined Equality Maryland, promoting same-sex marriage,[xiii] as well as Progressive Maryland – a local affiliate of the Alinskyian organizing network USActionwhich also pushes same-sex marriage.[xiv]
·        *   $28,000 to Intercommunity Justice and Peace Center, which has listed among its “friends and colleagues” the pro-abortion National Organization for Women (NOW), the International Socialist Organization, and pro-homosexual P-FLAG.[xv]  Current links include the dissident Catholic coalition Call to Action.[xvi]
·        *   $25,000 to Michigan Interfaith Voice, an affiliate of the Gamaliel Alinskyian organizing network.  Michigan Interfaith Voice has also received multiple grants from the Arcus Foundation specifically for the promotion of homosexual “rights.”[xvii]
·        *   $40,000 to Michigan Organizing Project (MOP), an affiliate of the Interfaith Worker Justice Alinskyianorganizing network.  MOP has also received at least seven grants from the Arcus Foundation since 2007, again, specifically for the promotion of homosexual “rights.”[xviii]
·       *    $40,000 to Coalition LA, which produced a voter guide in 2000 calling for a NO vote on Proposition 22, banning same-sex marriage. [xix]
·        *   $40,000 to Women’s Community Revitalization Project (WCRP), which has been an “associate member agency” of Women’s Way[xx] and long-time grant recipient of its “Community Women’s Fund,”[xxi] which only funds pro-abortion, pro-birth control organizations.[xxii]
·         *  $40,000 to Georgia Latino Alliance for Human Rights, which believes that those rights includeuniversal access to abortion, as evidenced by – but not limited to – its membership in the abortion-advocacy groups Healthcare for All coalition,[xxiii] and US Human Rights Network.[xxiv]
·         *  $25,000 to Restaurant Opportunities Center of New York, which was a member of the abortion-advocacy group US Human Rights Network (USHRN).[xxv]  It has also done work, through guidebooks and focus groups, to present current law favoring LGBT individuals to the restaurant industry.
·        *   $25,000 to Philadelphia Unemployment Project which, along with other groups (such as the aggressively homosexual “rights” ACT UP Philadelphia), sponsored a partisan voter guide advocating abortion “rights.”[xxvi]

These organizations, coming from an utterly un-Catholic perspective and actively working for immoral purposes, were supposedly well-vetted and in full compliance with CCHD’s new, more stringent Grant Agreement.  CCHD has given them over half a million dollars this past year.

What a sorry abuse of the laity’s charitable intentions.  This is not “helping the poor.”

Progressive Networking

Unfortunately, the American Life League Report isn’t done.  The problem isn’t simply that a few organizations escaped the CCHD vetting process, were “accidently” funded, and will be weeded out next round.  Rather, these individual instances of regrettable grant awards are a small part of a larger, more serious pattern of supporting the work of progressive networks to push a “culture of death” via their CCHD-funded affiliates.

Ironically, this is exactly what CCHD stated it would be very careful not to do.  Last year, it wrote that CCHD“will not fund groups that are members of coalitions which have as their organizational purpose or coalition agenda, positions or actions that contradict fundamental Catholic moral and social teaching.” [xxvii] However, many of the above-mentioned organizations are members of exactly that sort of coalition – coalitions that are fundamentally working against Catholic moral and social teaching.

Those aren’t the only ones, though.  The American Life League Report lists scores of additional CCHD-fundedorganizations that belong to coalitions with pro-abortion and/or homosexual “rights” agendas.  This past year alone, after its “careful” vetting process, CCHD awarded over a million dollars to organizations working in consort with anti-Catholic coalitions.

If ALL researchers can uncover the abortion and homosexual “rights” activities of so many CCHD-fundedgroups, how is it that CCHD staff is incapable of uncovering the same information?  Either CCHD lacks the ability or it lacks the will to discern between advocacy that is in harmony with fundamental moral principles and advocacy that contradicts those principles.

CCHD has demonstrated, again and again, that its political prejudices leave little room for concern over baby killing.

 Stephanie Block is a Spero columnist and the editor of the New Mexico-based Los Pequenos newspaper. She is a member of the Catholic Media Coalition.
[i] American Life League, “Investigative Report on the Catholic Campaign for Human Development’s Grants for the year 2010-2011,” 10-3-11: www.reformcchdnow.com
[ii] Wanderer Forum Foundation Commentary on the Campaign for Human Development, 1997.  A copy was sent to every bishop in the United States who headed a diocese.
[iii] “Review and Renewal of the Catholic Campaign for Human Development as Accepted and Affirmed by theUSCCB Administrative Committee,” p. 3.
[iv] United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Office of the Catholic Campaign for Human Development, “The Truth About CCHD: Promoting Catholic Values – 7. Why was CCHD delayed in publishing its grants for 2010?” undated but @ 2010-2011 old.usccb.org/cchd/PROMOTING-CATHOLIC-VALUES[1].pdf
[v] United States Conference of Catholic Bishops website, Department of the Catholic Campaign for Human Development, 2010 Grantee List: www.usccb.org/about/catholic-campaign-for-human-development/grants/upload/cchd-grantees-2010.pdf
[vi] Minnesota AIDS Project: www.mnaidsproject.org/resource-guide/detail.php?i=606
[vii] Somos un Pueblo Unido website: www.nmcf.org/new/impact/womens-lives/somos-un-pueblo-unido
[viii] Tides Foundation 2009 Grants Report: www.tides.org/fileadmin/user/pdf/Tides-RJ-Fund-2009-Public-Docket.pdf
[ix] NYCAHN is a member of the Ney York City Human Rights Initiative (NYCHRI which has a mission to assure full implementation of the pro-abortion Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women.NYCHRI also promotes pro-abortion and pro-homosexual activism.  NYCAHN also belongs to the Center for Community Change which has, among other things, worked for continued federal funding of the abortion-provider Planned Parenthood.
[x] Southwest Organizing Project website: www.swopchicago.org/display.aspx?pointer=6002
[xi] LISC/Chicago: www.lisc-chicago.org/display.aspx?pointer=7425.  LISC/Chicago (Local Initiatives Support Corporation) is an intermediate organization “for channeling corporate and philanthropic resources into localinitiatives.”  Around 2008, “Atlantic Philanthropies provided LISC/Chicago with a grant to create a program that would partner NCP lead agencies with schools and community-based health centers in CPS middle schools …” “Renewed Funding—and New Achievements—for Elev8,” 9-1-11, www.lisc-chicago.org/news/1430.
[xii] DRUM was a sponsoring organization for the 2007 “Trans Day of Action for Social and Economic Justice,” as part of the Transgender Day of Remembrance: charlotteaction.blogspot.com/2007/06/3rd-annual-trans-day-of-action-for.html; it participated in the Marxist, pro-abortion, pro-homosexual 2010US Social Forum:organize.ussf2010.org/org/drum-desis-rising-moving; DRUM’s co-founder, Monami Maulik was a speaker at the 2011 Left Forum: leftforum.org/files/left-forum-2011-Program-Guide-web.pdf  The Left Forum is openly socialist and supports abortion and homosexual “rights.”
[xiii] Equality Maryland listing of “organizations [that] oppose any amendment to the Maryland Constitution that would ban civil marriage and its vital protections for same-sex couples:”replay.waybackmachine.org/20080906110713/http://equalitymaryland.org/issues/marriage/organizations.htm
[xiv] Progressive America affiliate list: progressivemaryland.org/page.php?id=2480
[xv] IJPC no longer refers to these links as “friends and colleagues” but now says: “The listing of an organization does not suggest IJPC endorsement.”  The organizations cited in the American Life League report have been removed.
[xvi] ijpc-cincinnati.org/resources/national.  Call to Action “reform” demands to the Catholic Church include acceptance of abortion, contraception, and homosexuality as “normal” and ethically acceptable.
[xvii] Arcus Foundation, social justice awards category: www.arcusfoundation.org/socialjustice/grants/awarded
[xviii] Arcus Foundation, social justice awards category:www.arcusfoundation.org/socialjustice/grants/awarded
[xix] The American Life League report states that the CCHD was informed of the Coalition Voter Guide in 2009 and that not only did CCHD never address the concern, it gave Coalition LA another grant in 2010.  Coalition LA is also a partner of the Center for Community Change, which has, among other things, worked for continued federal funding of the abortion-provider Planned Parenthood.
[xx] Women’s Way no longer lists WCRP as a member agency. Nora Lichtash, WCRP Executive Director, was on the Advisory Board of “A Change of Pace,” Women’s Way 2008-updated signature research report in support of “reproductive rights.”
[xxi] Women’s Way, “Community Women’s Fund Grantee in the News,” www.womensway.org/index.asp
[xxii] Women’s Way, “Community Women’s Fund Information,”www.womensway.org/resources-community-fund-general.asp; The American Life League report states that in 2009 the CCHD was informed of WCRP’smembership in Women Vote PA, a pro-abortion coalition. Shortly after, WCRP was removed from Women Vote PA’s coalition list and was awarded a CCHD grant the following year.
[xxiii] Healthcare for All coalition members list: healthcareforamericanow.org/site/content/who_we_are
[xxiv] US Human Rights Network coalition members list: www.ushrnetwork.org (as of 9-11, this website address was inactive and no other web address was available for the organization.)  GLAHR is also a member institution of Atlanta Jobs with Justice, a local affiliate of Jobs for Justice, which actively promotes abortion, homosexual rights and Marxism.  The American Life League Report documents these assertions with photocopies from pertinent webpages.
[xxv] US Human Rights Network coalition members list: www.ushrnetwork.org (as of 9-11, this website address was inactive and no other web address was available for the organization.)
[xxvi] The Philadelphia Coalition for Essential Services and Philly Neighborhood Networks with [others],“Non-partisan Voters Guide: COMMUNITY FORUM FOR THE NEXT GOVERNOR,” 2010:
phillyces.org/Documents/gubernatorial%20forum%202010%20-%20voters%27%20guide.pdf
[xxvii] United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, “Review and Renewal of the Catholic Campaign for Human Development as Accepted and Affirmed by the USCCB Administrative Committee,” 9-15-10, p. 3.

CCHD ‘has risen from the grave’

 So, “the Count” lives on, CCHD has risen from the grave…

What better metaphor could be found for the annual CCHD collection than that of the eternally insatiable Count Dracula and his apparent spell over the USCCB?

–No protest for orthodoxy could ever hold him.

–No parish door has ever barred his way.

–To resist him is useless.

–To rise up against him is futile.

–And in the end, he drags away his cash box…

See for yourself…. 

[Note: It’s yet to be determined if that’s a young Michael Voris grappling futilely with the Count himself at the 1:57 mark].

 

END OF POST

Same as it ever was? — USCCB “Review and Renewal of the Catholic Campaign for Human Development” betrays utter lack of reform

I’ve downloaded and read the CCHD “Review and Renewal of the Catholic Campaign for Human Development as Accepted and Affirmed by the USCCB Administrative Committee,” – promulgated on September 15, 2010 – and can only cry in absolute frustration, that nothing has changed. The new, improved CCHD is still all about funding Alinskyian organizing (organizing based on the organizational theories of the late, great Saul Alinsky)….which is still all about progressive politics…which is still all about killing babies.

Yes, CCHD grants will go to progressive organizations that are also concerned with decriminalizing undocumented immigrants, socializing medicine, and nationalizing public education, as it always has, but those are issues good men and women can disagree about. Good organizations, on the other hand, don’t support politicians and policies that kill babies. Since CCHD continues to fund organizations that support pro-abortion politicians and policies, nothing has changed.

There has been no reform of CCHD.

There has been no renewal of CCHD.

CCHD has intractably set its course. It was founded to fund Alinskyian organizing and it will, if this document of “review and renewal” is any indication, go down funding Alinskyian organizing.

The document’s Introduction, for instance, after a whole lot of pious rhetoric, lists 4 examples of “CCHD’s remarkable work.” Two of those examples are Alinskyian organizations: Communities Organized for Public Service (COPS), an affiliate of Saul Alinsky’s Industrial Areas Foundation network, and the Federation of Congregations United to Serve (FOCUS), an affiliate of PICO, a network founded in the IAF-style by an IAF-trained organizer. This is “CCHD’s remarkable work.”

Pro-life groups around the US, under the banner of Reform CCHD Now, have demonstrated that dozens of CCHD grantees have been directly engaged in activities that violate Church teachings. According to “Review and Renewal,” CCHD has withdrawn funding from only five of them. If this is the best CCHD can manage, despite overwhelming evidence against the others, CCHD assurances that it will be putting into place “stronger policies and clearer mechanisms to screen and monitor grants and groups” is very un-reassuring.

And while it has verbally distanced itself from groups that are also indirectly engaged in activities that violate Church teachings, the money pours from Catholics, who think their donations are “for the poor,” straight into progressive coffers. So while CCHD states it “will not fund groups that are members of coalitions which have as part of their organizational purpose or coalition agenda, positions or actions that contradict fundamental Catholic moral and social teaching,” it continues to fund the Alinskyian organizing networks and their affiliates. The two “model” grantees give us a very nice picture of how this plays.

Democrat pro-choice politician Henry Cisneros of San Antonio owed his successful mayoral bid directly to the IAF. “IAF’s most successful projects have been based in Texas, where Communities Organized for Public Service (COPS) in San Antonio helped elect Henry Cisneros as the city’s first Hispanic mayor.” [David Walls, “Power to the People: Thirty-five Years of Community Organizing,” The Workbook, summer 1994. Cisneros served as mayor of San Antonio from 1981 to 1987.]

As for the Federation of Congregations United to Serve, it recently became a partner with Public Allies Central Florida. Public Allies, whose founding advisory board included President Obama and whose Chicago chapter was run by Michelle Obama from 1993-1996, was one of the original AmeriCorps programs. Its mission is to “advance new leadership” and, in that capacity frequently has “partnered” with Planned Parenthood (e.g. Milwaukee and Pittsburgh). In fact, Public Allies’ national head of finance and administration is Tim Hosch, previously the Controller at Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin. What an interesting partner for a CCHD-funded organization.

Guilt by association? You betcha. These associations marry Alinskyian community organizations to the progressive policies and persons of the Democrat Party – and Alinskyian community organizations are the groups that receive the bulk of CCHD grants.

With that in mind, consider CCHD’s new “commitments,” detailed in “Review and Renewal.” Many of them involve plastering statements of intention here and there (“Add introductory statement on CCHD mission foundations and identity on all forms, applications, materials,” “Revise CCHD Grant Agreement to more clearly state prohibited activities,” “…add more specific language to the CCHD Grant Agreement,” “…revise and refine the CCHD Grant Agreement for greater clarity”) that will mean absolutely NOTHING unless there is a fundamental restructuring of the collection.

Similarly, creating “a new position to focus on promoting, safeguarding and monitoring the Catholic identity of CCHD and compliance with CCHD requirements” will accomplish NOTHING if the person who fills that position thinks – as CCHD has argued for 40 years – that Alinskyian community organizing and its political shenanigans are perfectly compliant with CCHD requirements.

It’s all doublespeak unless there’s a change of direction – a metanoia – a conversion. Doing what CCHD has always done will produce what CCHD has always produced.

Stop trying to “Share the Good News of CCHD” (could “Review and Renewal” have crafted a more offensive statement?) and start sharing the good news of Jesus. Stop trying to “empower the poor” and help them, instead. Stop worrying about the bad PR (“CCHD will develop more timely, consistent and effective ways to monitor and respond to coverage of CCHD in both new and traditional media”) and worry instead about bad programs. For heaven’s sake, don’t try to persuade us that “enlarge[ing] the range of grant amounts ($25,000 – $75,000)” to organizations whose progressive fellowships – that’s “dead babies” when you come out of the bureaucratic and into the real world – is positive.

Way toward the end of “Review and Renewal,” there’s a little item that “CCHD will seek appropriate ways to integrate its activities to protect the life and dignity of those who are poor or suffering from economic injustice into the broader USCCB “life and dignity” priority…The connection between family (broken families, absent fathers, domestic violence, unwed pregnancies, etc.) and economic (joblessness, low wages, discrimination, globalization, etc.) aspects of poverty should be an area of continuing focus for CCHD.” It’s the best part of this sorry 15-page document.

However, one would like to know why, in the one spot in the US where this very connection was attempted – the Archdiocese of Chicago – the CCHD director was “let go.”

For 40 years, the Catholic bishops and the Catholic community in the United States have been duped. They have been unwitting partners in a serious and sustained commitment to manipulate low-income people and poor communities into supporting a progressive agenda that has included dead babies. That isn’t how we serve the poor – and it doesn’t make their lives better.

But it does insure that the reviewed and renewed CCHD is pretty much the same creature as it’s always been.

Stephanie Block is a member of the Catholic Media Coalition and the editor of the New Mexico-based Los Pequenos newspaper.

Info: http://www.usccb.org/cchd/

Researcher — Clerical Sexual Abuse: Separating Fact, Fiction, and Anti-Catholic Bias

 

‘Chronicles’ editor recounts propaganda campaign against Catholic Church

By Stephanie Block

“Never waste a crisis.” Chronicles editor Scott Richert describes a propaganda campaign against the Catholic Church in the US that has spread globally.
Scott Richert

A few weeks ago, a New Mexico county paper published a political cartoon depicting a small boy standing before a towering prelate, presumably Pope Benedict XVI. The boy says, “I was molested by a priest!” The prelate gleefully responds, “I forgive you.”

There are many “points” implied by this wicked bit of commentary, one of which seems to be that our society’s pedophile problem is a “Catholic” problem. This cartoon is no anomaly. To read secular news coverage, even in a predominantly Catholic part of the country, is to be bombarded with the message – sometimes subtle, sometimes blatant – that clerical celibacy and Church hierarchy intrinsically breed corruption.

Media messages have “an effect. A late April/early May New York Times/CBS News poll found that 73 percent of all respondents, and 53 percent of all Catholics, believe that ‘child sexual abuse by Catholic priests is a problem that is still going on today,’ despite the very solid evidence to the contrary,” Scott Richert, executive editor of Chronicles, told a June conference held at the Rockford Institute in Illinois. [Quotes are taken from Richert’s June 3, 2010 Rockford Institute lecture, “Clerical Sexual Abuse: Separating Fact, Fiction, and Anti-Catholic Bias.” Video clip of talk: http://www.rockford institute. org/?p=389 ]

Richert calls these media messages “propaganda,” and looks at specific polling questions about media coverage of the pedophile scandals “designed to gauge whether a piece of propaganda has been effective, rather than merely to sample public opinion.” Despite evidence “that Catholic clerical sexual abuse has, throughout this entire period, been less common than sexual abuse by those in other professions (especially other profession focused on children),” there is still a popular perception, fueled by unrelenting and distorted media reporting, that the evil Catholic Church is alone in this problem – with the painful; corollary that child sexual abuse will be under-investigated in those fields where it’s most prevalent.

In an interview, Richert answered some questions about this issue.

Block: You describe in some detail the questions pollsters have asked Catholics about priest scandals of the past several decades as reflective of a propaganda campaign against the Church. Could you give any concrete examples of this?

Richert: The final questions of the New York Times/CBS News poll that I mentioned in my talk read like push polling—that is, using question to try to change attitudes rather than to measure them. But the most egregious example of bias is found in question 25, right in the middle of the poll: “Do you think the problem of sexual abuse of children and teenagers is a more common problem in the Catholic Church than it is in other walks of life, or is it just as common a problem in other walks of life?”

Notice what’s missing? Those who were polled were given the opportunity to say that sexual abuse is “more common” in the Catholic Church than outside of Her, or “just as common” outside of the Catholic Church as in Her. “Less common” in the Catholic Church (or “more common in other walks of life”) was not an option.

Block: It certainly colors the answer, doesn’t it? Do you have any particularly egregious examples of biased reporting in the media’s coverage of the Church pedophile cases?

Richert: The New York Times’ coverage of the case of Wisconsin priest Fr. Lawrence Murphy is a very good example. I’ve discussed it at length on the About.com GuideSite to Catholicism: http://catholicism. about.com/ b/2010/03/ 29/the-pope- and-fr-murphy- fact-fiction- and-anti- catholic- bias.htm; http://catholicism. about.com/ b/2010/04/ 26/the-new- york-times- public-editor- on-clerical- sexual-abuse. htm; http://catholicism. about.com/ b/2010/04/ 30/the-new- york-times- attack-on- pope-benedict- the-rest- of-the-story. htm. Those three pieces show how the coverage unfolded, and how the Times’ narrative—that Pope Benedict XVI protected a pedophile priest—was both untrue and delivered at the instigation of a lawyer who has made $60 million of such cases and repeatedly sued the Vatican.

Block: In your lecture, you said that the incidence of sexual abuse in the Catholic Church actually began to decline in 1980, “before public attention was drawn to it, and before the Church instituted various measures.” What happened?

Richert: One particular cohort of priests—born between 1925 and 1950 and ordained between 1950 and 1975—were responsible for the bulk of the crisis. And most of the bishops who transferred priests accused of sexual abuse and who covered up allegations in the 1980’s and 1990’s belong to this same demographic cohort. By 1980, they had begun to retire or die, and by 2002, most of them were no longer active priests.

Block: So, the next question would obviously be, why were such a disproportionately high number of problematic priests ordained between 1950 and 1975?

Richert: As early as the 1940’s (long before Vatican II, which has often been blamed for this crisis), far too many in the Church—bishops, priests, and laymen—began to regard the priesthood as a profession or occupation, rather than as a vocation. Clerical celibacy is a discipline, but it also reflects a metaphysical reality: The celibate priest is married. His spouse is the Church. He must devote his life to Her the way that a husband devotes his life to his wife. His children are the members of his congregation.

In other words, the celibate priesthood is not an alternative to marriage but a different form of marriage. When, for various reasons, some bishops lost sight of that, they began, as Fr. Thomas Loya, the pastor of Annunciation Byzantine Catholic Church in the Chicago suburbs, has said, “to ordain men to the priesthood who weren’t fit to be husbands and fathers.”

Block: Does that analysis apply to bishops, too? Without a doubt, some of the Church’s problems – and I mean real problems, not media biased problems – can be laid at the feet of bishops who permitted deeply disturbed priests to continue functioning in positions where they could abuse children…

Richert: Perhaps the best analysis of the problem in the episcopacy was written by Rockford Bishop Thomas Doran and published in the February 22, 2002, issue of the diocesan newspaper, the Observer. “Sometimes,” Bishop Doran wrote, “people’s intentions are good. They look the other way, or they misjudge the nature of the problem. That was, it must be said, once the case with respect to pedophiles. Not so many decades ago the best science said their obsession could be cured, or at least treated and brought under control, in the same way that people can be freed from the snares of alcoholism and drug addiction. . . . Now we know better. . . . [W]e all must join together in beseeching God to make us duly conscious of the monstrosity of this evil.”

Treating the priesthood like a vocation and treating grave sin as a medical or physical problem rather than a metaphysical one went hand in hand.

Block: It’s been particularly disheartening to watch media attacks against Benedict XVI – it’s so undeserved. Your lecture went into great detail about all the steps he’s taken to address clerical sexual abuse, stemming from years ago, before he was pope. Could you summarize some of them?

Richert: Concerned by the slowness with which cases of clerical sexual abuse were being handled by the Roman Rota (which previously had authority over them), Cardinal Ratzinger wanted to streamline the process—and, also, to control it himself. He successfully lobbied Pope John Paul II to have responsibility for such cases transferred to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. Since April 30, 2001, over 3,000 cases worldwide have been investigated by the CDF. In those cases in which the CDF has found sufficient evidence to authorize a canonical trial, over 85 percent have resulted in convictions.

Cardinal Ratzinger had a hand, too, in the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People, adopted in 2002 by the U.S. bishops, and adapted by bishops’ conferences in other countries to their own circumstances.

Over the objections of other high-ranking Vatican officials, Cardinal Ratzinger ordered the investigation of Father Maciel, the founder of the Legion of Christ, which resulted in his removal from ministry and his exile to a monastery.

And finally, after his election, Pope Benedict put into place strict new rules to prevent the admission of not only practicing homosexuals but those with homosexual tendencies to the ministry. Over two thirds of all cases of abuse in the United States between 1950 and 2002 involved adolescent (i.e., postpubescent) males, and thus are more accurately described as homosexual acts rather than pedophiliac ones.

Block: Why are groups such as Survivors’ Network of Those Abused by Priests (SNAP!) and Voice of the Faithful so critical of Benedict XVI? One would think, with their ostensible concern to clean up abuse in the Church, they would applaud his work…

Richert: Exactly. Which calls into question their true motives. Both oppose the ban on homosexuals in the priesthood; both call for the end of clerical celibacy; and SNAP, in particular, has agitated for women priests. SNAP has also received significant funding from lawyers who have sued the Catholic Church.

Block: You said there were only six allegations of clerical sexual abuse in the entire United States in 2009. I realize clerical sexual abuse is just beginning to be uncovered in several European countries, so the subject is in the news, but it seems there’s a disproportionate emphasis about it in the US. What’s going on?

Richert: This latest round of media coverage has been served up by lawyers with a vested interest in keeping a dying problem alive. Jeffrey Anderson, the attorney who has made $60 million off of suits against the Church, directed the New York Times to the Father Murphy story. Less than a month later, he used that case as the basis for his latest lawsuit against the Vatican and Pope Benedict.

Block: So, if we accept the thesis that there’s a “propaganda campaign” – or a media bias – against the Catholic Church, the next question is “why.” What’s behind it?

Richert: Beyond the greediness of lawyers who are running out of clients, I think it’s the hatred of Pope Benedict XVI for believing—really, truly believing—what the Catholic Church teaches. And “modern” men and women—and journalists today are nothing if not “modern”—cannot believe that anyone could really believe what the Church teaches.

Block: Thanks so much for your time and all the work you’ve put into researching this.

**************************************************

On Thursday, June 3, 2010, Scott P. Richert, executive editor of Chronicles: A Magazine of American Culture, delivered a lecture, “Clerical Sexual Abuse: Separating Fact, Fiction, and Anti-Catholic Bias.”

Drawing on his extensive research, Mr. Richert showed that, despite the surge in reporting over the last year, incidences of the abuse of children by bishops, priests, and deacons have decreased remarkably since the early 1980’s, thanks in no small part to the efforts of then-Cardinal Ratzinger. So what (or who) is behind the groundswell of media coverage of the “crisis”—and the attacks on Pope Benedict the XVI?

Mr. Richert answers that question and more in his lecture, which is available for purchase in an audio CD from The Rockford Institute. Call (800) 383-0680 to order your copy today.

LECTURE VIDEO SAMPLE: 

END OF POST

“Just Faith” = Junk Faith

This from RESTORE-DC-CATHOLICISM:

“Just Faith = Junk Faith

By Janet Baker

In my post this past Thursday regarding the “environmental events” in the Archdiocese of Washington, you noticed that Just Faith has a hand in all this nonsense.  In conjunction with this post regarding Just Faith, I’d suggest you review the posts about “progressives” – particularly the Real Catholic videos regarding the same.  The characteristics of progressives can all be found in the Just Faith program.  Indeed, the website of Just Faith unabashedly proclaims its progressive proclivities.  I also recommend the reading of an excellent article on the Just Faith debacle entitled “Just Faith Is a Big Part of the Problem“, written by my friend and colleague, Stephanie Block, who regularly writes for Spero News.

Two or three years ago, the Just Faith program was introduced into the Archdiocese of Washington; that was before I operated this blog.  However, I was quite aware that a Trojan Horse was being introduced into the archdiocese and tried to sound an alert.  My warnings were rebuffed by people whom I thought would be keen to the dangers.  One told me that her parish implemented Just Faith without the ill effects, and that my warnings were destructive.  While I’ve no problem believing that her particular parish may have been successful in separating the wheat from the chaff, it is my contention that there is inherently much more chaff than wheat in the Just Faith program.  The writings and afilliations of the founder, Jack Jezreel, corroborate my conclusions.

Go to its website http://www.justfaith.org/.  We will now take a little tour.  Let’s look at its “news” page, that is, its newletter archives.  The first newsletter contains an article by two Network officials, touting their efforts to promote the Obama Hell Bill.  You might recall last month that Network was rebuked by the USCCB for its support of the Hell Bill, that further unleashes abortion upon our society.

I learn much about an organization by its board members and their other affiliations. Think back to the Real Catholic videos and the unsavory alliances of USCCB staff and other anti-Church organizations.  Click “about”, then “board of directors”.  Tom Chabolla caught my eye only because he lives in my area.  I googled him and discovered that he is an assistant to the president of Service Employees International Union (SEIU); prior to that, he was associate programs director for Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD).  He’s also on the Advisory Council of Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good.  He’s also on the board of Center for Community Change; in past months, much has been learned about that bunch.  Mr. Chabolla certainly is a busy man!

Marie Dennis is another “neighbor” of mine.  In 2007, she was elected president of Pax Christi International, a dissident organization.  She too is involved with Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good.  She is director of the Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns.  By the way – look down that list, and notice Judy Coode.  She works for the Archdiocese of Washington while being affiliated with Pax Christi?

Gary and Mary Becker are an interesting couple.  Judging from where they live (near Jezreel), I’d bet they’re good friends of his.  They did the Just Faith course and are big promoters of it.  What’s really interesting, if you read that link, is that they’ve ostensibly “trained as spiritual directors”.  Don’t you just wonder what competent authority “trained” them?  I’m betting it’s none that’s recognized by the Magiserium.  If I’m wrong, I’m open to correction via the comments.  Anyway, they’ve opened their own spiritual-direction enterprise called Stillpoint: The Center for Christian Spirituality.  That name seems to be a bit of a misnomer, for if you click “programs”, you see that you can get “direction” in all sorts of religions: Buddhist, Jewish, Unitarian, etc.  Anyway, not only can you receive direction (such as it may be), but you can train to become a director yourself!  Doesn’t that just sound great??  Boys and girls, can we say “new age racket”?

Rev Daniel Groody, CSC, teaches at Notre Dame University – the same that soiled itself by its bestowal of an honorary degree upon the Messiah Most Miserable.  Fr. Groody is considered to be “an expert on immigration”.  He also is involved in (bet you can’t guess!) Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good.  I’m beginning to sense a pattern here!

Steve Kute is a neighbor of Jezreel’s, too.  There is a Steve Kute of Kentucky who donated $1,000 to Moveon.org.  I hope they’re not the same, but they probably are!  Meg Bowerman made known her sympathies for Voice of the Faithful after she took umbrage at her local bishop for not advertising one of their conferences in the diocesan newspaper.

Such are some of the Just Faith board members – but what of Jezreel himself? 

The answer to that burning question can be found in his own touting of Just Faith.  It’s called “How to turn a lukewarm parish into a hotbed of social justice“.  Now think for a minute about the phrase “hotbed of social justice”.  I find the use of the word “hotbed” rather interesting.  I’ve only seen it used to describe intrinsic evil, such as “hotbed of civil unrest” or “hotbed of sexual perversion”.  Why, oh why, does Jezreel use “hotbed” to describe the outcome of his program?  Could he be inadvertently admitting something that he wouldn’t admit knowingly?  At any rate, let’s look at the article.

In the second paragraph, he says he “was convinced of the primacy of justice work in the life of faith“.  Right there you see a big indication of one root problem.  What assumes “primacy” in the Catholic life of faith is Jesus Christ and heaven.  It is summed up nicely in the old Baltimore Catechism question, “Why did God make me?  God made me to know, love and serve Him in this world, and to be happy with Him in the next.”  Social justice certainly is a component in this life-mission of the Catholic, but not a primary component by any stretch of the imagination.  Eternal salvation has a much higher priority, as earthly societies will pass away while the immortal soul will not.

Take note of the “conversion” stories.  We read of Gary and Mary Becker, mentioned earlier in this post.  In the article, though, there’s no mention of the Stillpoint schtick.  Moving on down, read of Rosemary Smith et al (the “R” is a blue drop-down cap).  They started a “women’s homily series”.  Boys and girls, women are not permitted to give homilies, no “ifs, ands or buts”.  They’re gunning for women’s ordination.  In the next paragraph we see David Chervenak advocating for gay rights.  Boys and girls, can we say “dissidents”?

Isn’t it interesting how Jezreel makes only the briefest mention of them – almost like a subliminal suggestion embedded in other harmless(?)-sounding stuff, like the poison pill in the mashed potatoes.  It is swallowed unwittingly, then starts debilitating one’s thnking and their very spiritual life.  That’s how much of this progressive crap is insinuated in parochial and diocesan life.

To my friends who take exception to my opposition to Just Faith  I truly am glad that your parish escaped the harmful effects of Just Faith – at least for now.  You may well be the exception to a very deadly rule.  However, by your participation, you have done harm by: 1) opening yourselves and your successors to addtional influences from Jezreel et al, that may well compromise their faith and 2) lending credibility to Just Faith.  The apple rarely falls far from the tree – and this Just Faith tree is indeed very rotten.

END OF POST

Even prolifers can be blinded by Culture of Death

 

Cleaning up the Catholic Campaign for Human Development…

Even prolifers can be blinded by Culture of Death

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Stephanie Block — Speroforum.Com

“[R]acial bigotry is not merely a product of intentional interactions between individuals but racialized social relationships developed over generations and manifested in all of society’s major institutions.” [Johnny Eric Williams, “Unveiling Systemic Racism: ‘Barack the Magic Negro’” Revisited,” Racism Review, 1-13-09]

The above statement has been a difficult one for dominant cultures to grasp. Sin, after all, isn’t systemic – it’s personal, that is, it’s the deliberate act of a person. A person lynches another human being; a person withholds an employee’s wages; a person throws toxins into drinking water …these are acts over which a person has personal control and therefore personal responsibility.

However, despite the fact that many individuals know better than to lynch another human being and are personally revolted at the thought of lynching, even despite the fact that lynching is illegal, doesn’t entirely eliminate a culture of bigotry. Subtle expressions of racial prejudices may linger even in individuals whose personal values eschew such bigotry…ask anyone “of color.” The very term “racial” in such a context is a good example since, in realty, for all the variations of humanity’s skin tones and hair textures, we are a single, genetic “race.”

Difficult as it is for us, as a society, to embrace the full personhood of people from differing backgrounds and appearances – particularly when such a realization seems to interfere with our own self-interests – we are further along that path than the one that recognizes, as a society, the personhood of human beings who are not yet emancipated from the womb. Our legal institutions, for now, have put the problem into the lap of the woman who carries an in utero person, treating him or her as property rather than as a distinct and individual creature.

In such a society as ours, where the dominant culture infects not only legal institutions but social institutions such as the media and schools, as well, even people who would describe themselves as “pro-life” are trapped by norms of abortion-supportive expressions and behaviors. The Catholic Church in the United States finds itself in this position.

A glaring example of this problem is its Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD) collection that, as an organization, argues exists to “help the poor.”

When critics have pointed out that a disproportionate number of CCHD grants support organizations – many of them Alinskyian organizing efforts – that are in some way related to Culture of Death policies, CCHD defenders are apoplectic. Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good writes, for instance:

In recent months, the campaign has been attacked by right-wing bloggers and partisan ideologues. While they have successfully pressured CCHD to de-fund groups that have taken some positions opposed to church teaching, these critics have also launched a concerted effort to exploit the ACORN scandal to get CCHD to stop ALL funding for community organizing efforts. At least five dioceses have cancelled this year’s collection. Several bishops have threatened to raise the issue next month at the U..S. bishops’ annual meeting in Baltimore.

The assumption in this response is that CCHD not only doesn’t need to concern itself with the social injustice of abortion but that where “solutions” to poverty – healthcare legislation, for example – include fellowship with pro-abortion forces, they may morally be pursued. Healthcare for some, according to this culture-of-death infused thought, trumps abortion for others.

That deadly consequence of funding organizations with one foot in the culture of death political camp never crosses the collective CCHD mind and fails to horrify it is the equivalent (by analogy…it’ s actually more serious) of a racist policy never crossing the mind of a 1950s white legislator. The racism isn’t overt – it’s part of the subconscious fabric of times. Similarly, today the pro-abortion position may not be overt…heck, the good folks at CCHD are surely good, pro-life Catholics… but the subconscious behavior betrays a participation in the culture of death. The issue of pro-abortion consequences simply doesn’t enter the equation.

That’s a big problem – Reform CCHD Now [http://www.reformcchdnow.com/].

END OF POST

St. Joan of Arc Mpls. – Dialogue on difficult church issues, or, advertisement to subvert the Catholic Church in America?

tj200809182332-1

Editors Note: 

In this week leading up to Divine Mercy Sunday I’m praying the novena and Chaplet of Divine Mercy daily. Today’s intention (The Fifth Day) relates to Christ’s will that we should bring to Him the souls of all those who have separated themselves from his Church. Our Lord encourages us, saying:

 “Immerse them in the ocean of my mercy. During my bitter Passion they tore at my body and heart, that is, my Church. As they return to unity with the Church my wounds heal and in this way they alleviate my Passion.”

Yes, of course, Our Lord was speaking to Blessed Faustina preeminently about Protestantism and the scandal of Christian disunity as it was understood in her age, but we ourselves are able to recognize within the one Passion this very same tearing of His body and heart in our own days.

One need only consider, for instance, that with every non-ordination publicly proclaimed as “valid” by the sect Roman Catholic WomenPriests another soul thus separates his or herself from full communion with the Church through self-excommunication.

This is serious business. And made all the more serious and troubling by the confusing fact that many of these souls have stated outright the unbiblical notion of refusing to hear the Church in this matter, and in doing so, fail to acknowledge the reality of their own excommunication.

The following report begins with the long-troubled parish of St. Joan of Arc in Minneapolis, but portends of an even deeper tearing of the body and heart of the Church with the advent of the American Catholic Council. I encourage you for the sake of these souls, their return to full unity, and ultimately for the sake of alleviating this ongoing passion of Christ, that you too pray with me for these children of the Church and by actively making your concerns known about the American Catholic Council by contacting your bishop and the Archbishop of the Diocese of Minneapolis and St.Paul – Most Reverend John C. Nienstedt, S.T.D.. The story follows… 

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Last Palm Sunday (2008) St. Joan of Arc Catholic Church in Minneapolis, Mn. brought us “liturgical” images like this one above. This year there were no such heinous images offered up to heaven within the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. Instead, there was this faith-threatening invitation found within the Sunday bulletin:

SJA Palm Sunday Bulletin April 5, 2009

Catholic Coalition for Church Reform: A number of Catholic organizations and groups are partnering for a prayer breakfast on Saturday, April 18 at the Metropolitan Ballroom. Planning will begin for a series of Synods of the Baptized to initiate dialogue around difficult issues in our Church. Cost is $25; no one will be turned away due to inability to pay. FFI contact Julie Madden.

What the unsuspecting pewsitter needs to know

Perhaps for the sake of cover from Episcopal notice, what the SJA bulletin ad conveniently fails to mention to Joe and Mary Pewsitter is that those “Catholic organizations and groups involved in planning this series of “Synods of the Baptized” (Note: Only bishops can convene Synods) to dialogue around difficult issues within the Church” are using this prayer breakfast as a fundraiser and means of support for the newly formed anti-church organization known as the American Catholic Council.

The SJA promo ad advertises the Catholic Coalition for Church Reform. Only upon visiting their site does the unsuspecting Catholic learn about the American Catholic Council (ACC). The ACC is a multiplicity of heterodox church reform groups and other like-minded sympathizers who are currently in the planning stage of developing their stated goals of radically restructuring the Roman Catholic Church along the lines of the American Constitution-meaning, democratic governance by the laity–A proposition obviously at odds with the Head and Founder of the Church.

According to the event flier found on the Catholic Coalition for Church Reform website:

[The] CCCR is a coalition of Minnesota Catholic organizations dedicated to Church reform, including the Association for the Rights of Catholics in the Church (ARCC), the Catholic Pastoral Committee on Sexual Minorities (CPCSM), Call To Action MN (CTA-MN), Corpus, Dignity Twin Cities, the Progressive Catholic Voice, Roman Catholic WomenPriests, FutureChurch, and MN St. Joan’s Community, dedicated to women’s ordination. The keynote speaker at our April 18 Prayer Breakfast will be Janet Hauter, vice-president of Voice of the Faithful, and co-chair of the American Catholic Council, a national convention dedicated to church reform, projected for 2011.

Reform of the reform groups

Up until the onset of the homosexual abuse scandal within the Church, reform groups in America (such as many of those mentioned above) were widely known to be waning in influence due to many factors including: lack of interest and non-involvement by laity, the reassertion by the Holy Spirit of fundamental truths concerning authentic Catholic faith and morals under the leadership of Pope John Paul II and (now) Pope Benedict XVI, as well as, by the aging populace of the reformers themselves.
After the scandal broke, however, reformers were reenergized for a time making it possible for new groups such as Voice of the Faithful to emerge. When it became apparent that the original good intentions and goals of VOTF were exchanged instead for the apostate goals associated with structural reorganization of the Catholic Church, VOTF too fell by the wayside both in membership and financial support. Which seems to remain their same struggle today. Perhaps this helps explain, at least in part, why two members of VOTF are the first ever co-chairs of the American Catholic Council. We shall see.

While it may be true that the majority of American Catholics have very little interest in helping to undermine the Catholic Church in America and will rightly reject this latest mystery of betrayal by kiss, one hopes that American bishops will not overlook the danger that the ACC represents in the days, months and years ahead. It would be a terrible mistake to underestimate the intent of the ACC or extent to which they’ll plunge themselves headlong in acting out their long-held goal of restructuring the Church. The “Institutional Church” as they see it has for the most part, and for many years now, frustrated the member organizations that now make up the ACC. This latest reform of the reform movement into one big trail drive shows signs of desperation, including a reckless encircling of the wagons for survival.

For example, all the headlines last month read that the State of Connecticut was trying to force the Catholic Church to reorganize itself financially. There was a big hullabaloo over the government attempt to impinge upon the eternal affairs of the Church, and thus, our religious freedom. What was not so widely publicized from the beginning was the reality that two Members of VOTF were responsible for helping introduce the content of the bill #1098 to lawmakers, [See: here] which in turn was placed on the legislative agenda before being pulled (without vote) due to strong Catholic protests locally and nationwide.

General Counsel of the U.S. Conference of Bishops, Anthony Picarello, described the bill during the controversy, saying that 1098 was not only “blatantly unconstitutional” but also that it “targets the Catholic Church explicitly and exclusively, and attempts to use the civil law to alter Church governance.” Mr. Picarello nails it, of course, because in effect members of VOTF attempted to influence the Church through civil litigation by instigating the specious use of government in the clear attempt to undermine the apostolic nature and authority of the Catholic Church in America. And that’s the plan of reformers however tragically nearsighted and dangerous that might be…  

Bishop Lori [Diocese of Bridgeport] warned the faithful at the time, saying that, “If this bill were to be enacted your bishop, would have virtually, virtually no real relationship with the 87 parishes…they could go off independently, some of them could break off from the Church if they wished, and go their own way as has happened, for example, with the Episcopal Church.” One doesn’t have to look to the Episcopal Church for future examples of independent catholic parishes with virtually no real relationship with their bishop. Try this story from another part of the world for the sad results of such a break in communion.

Remember, I said “signs of desperation”

What’s obvious (and pitiful) concerning the lessons learned in Connecticut is that these groups perceive that unless they somehow manage to garner control of the wealth of the Church, (placing it into the hands of the laity), they will not find themselves in any viable position of power to leverage bishops in order to secure the “change” they seek. It comes down to money equals power for them. And for such reform groups it makes sense, because the change they seek flies in the face of authentic faith and morals as proposed for belief within the Catholic Church and bishops obliged to defend faith and morals cannot accept the multitude of errors these groups propose for belief under the guise Catholicism.

As it is, today’s reform groups remain under funded, are prevented mostly from using church facilities within dioceses by bishops because of their heretical anti-Catholic stances, find themselves unsupported by the same laity they presume to be the voice of, and therefore have come to determine that in order to remain relevant and survive they need now band together in order to keep alive the dream of recreating the Church in the world according to their own image. But, the question remains: Is it possible they might succeed?

Those “and other” groups and the future moves of the ACC

What the Connecticut blunder taught VOTF and other likeminded reform groups is that bishops and laity alike will not stand for government abrogation within the eternal affairs of the Church, financial or otherwise. And any further attempts on the part of reformers to openly (or secretly) use government as their jackhammer to undermine the foundation of the Church will not only meet with swift rejection as it did in Connecticut, but may even signal the final death nil for Church reform groups through episcopal action as well as final recognition by the faithful that the “spirit of Vatican II” is, what it is, a spirit of destruction that harms the Church, and thus, her mission in the world–the salvation of souls.

Licking their wounds, reformers must come up with another alternative. To gain the means to realize victory they need financing that far exceeds what many “prayer breakfast fundraisers” might provide. And that alternative may consist in turning their attention to other groups for help. Groups such as heterodox Christians and sympethetic non-Christian political activists, tacticians, and community organizers with long histories of emnity with the Church. No, I would not be surprised if the ACC moved into a mode of operation that mimicks groups such as Faith in Public Life, who helped successfully dupe nearly 55 percent of Catholics in America into voting into power the culture of death under the pretext of “hope” and “change”. At any rate, I look for an ACC full court press for help upon the following groups [described here] such as:

  • Catholic Organizations – official catholic bodies
  • Dissident Organizations- exist actively and deliberately to alter Catholic church teaching. All these organizations are associated with Call to Action.
  • Other Religious Organizations – member organizations from other religions, usually liberal members. Many who make abortion and homosexual rights denominational policy.
  • Community Organizations- Alinskyian organizations and their networks. These organizations are made up of congregations from all denominations. They have an historical and ongoing relationship with Call to Action. They promote liberation theology, progressive political activism, and they often receive funding from the Catholic Church.
  • Issue-based Organizations- organizations working for a particular cause. In this category we find a large number of Faith in Public Life members whose only advocacy is to act to secure abortion rights or homosexual rights.

Reform Groups: resurrection from the dead, or, Custer’s last stand in Detroit?

Bishops and laity alike would be wise to be on guard for reformers approaching such groups for needed financial assistance, training, and adaptation of the same successful community organizing tactics within their dioceses and parish’s as was utilized in the election of 2008. Simply put, there will be no effective American Catholic Council if reformers can’t somehow hoodwink laity and bishops into believing that their illegitimate goals are, well, legit. And this entails substancial participation of both bishops and laity for any chance at success. If they fail here, the American Catholic Council tentatively scheduled to convene in Detroit, Michigan, in the fall of 2011, will end up being just another Catholic Call To Action convention that no one pays any real serious attention to any longer–and the only difference being is that this Catholic charade will be held in another city other than Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Or perhaps, stated more positively, it will turn out to be Custer’s last stand in Detroit.

For the sake of the Church, that is, the Sacred Heart of Jesus, let us hope so.

From Davos To Devo: The Center for American Progress

By Stephanie Block

There is big money, George Soros’ money, behind religious progressives. Take a look at John Podesta’s Center for American Progress.

     When I was corrected for crediting Jim Wallis with helping to establish the progressive network called Faith in Public Life – despite the fact that it says so on the Faith in Public Life website (silly me) – the corrector attributed the real “establishment” to John Podesta’s non-profit group, Center for American Progress (CAP). 

George Soros
George Soros

     If you’ve listened to any conservative talk radio lately, you may have heard Podesta’s name in connection with a new censorship movement. CAP published a report in 2007, “The Structural Imbalance of Political Talk Radio,” which found that “of the 257 news/talk stations owned by the top five commercial station owners… 91 percent of the total weekday talk radio programming is conservative, and 9 percent is progressive.” CAP seeks (according to the recommendations of this report) to remedy the imbalance by restricting ownership of commercial radio stations and fining “commercial owners who fail to abide by enforceable public interest obligations.” 

     In addition to its censorship project, CAP has helped establish Media Matters for America, an Internet site “devised as part of a larger media apparatus being built by liberals to combat what they say is the overwhelming influence of conservative commentators.” [Jim Rutenberg, “New Internet Site Turns Critical Eyes and Ears to the Right,” NY section of the NY Times, May 3, 2004] 

     Now, I don’t want to misuse the term “established” again, so here’s what I mean by it: according to the New York Times, the “project was developed with help from the newly formed Center for American Progress [CAP], the policy group headed by John D. Podesta…” [Ibid.] 

     So, what we have here is a two-pronged response to the “conservative” message – censor and attack. Wait, there’s yet another prong, Faith in Public Life, which CAP also helped establish – according to, ahem, reliable sources (namely, my corrector, Jason Ge deik, Deputy Press Secretary of Jim Wallis’ Sojourners. But one also finds, independently of Gedeik, that the information was published in The Nation [Sarah Posner, “Democrats Chase Evangelical Votes,” 10-27-08, which says Faith in Public Life was “incubated” at the Center for American Progress after the 2004 election]). 

     And what is this Faith in Public Life “resource center” but a network of religious progressives gathered together to reshape the media perception about Christian values. Their writers and speakers – abortion “rights” activists and homosexual “rights” activists prominent among them – claim to represent the “true” voice of morality… beautifully bolstered by progressive politics. Censor, attack, and make it look as though God is on your side…you have to hand it to CAP. 

Now, a little background on the operations of this media machine: 

     In December 2004, national religious leaders (including Jim Wallis) laid the groundwork for creating Faith in Public Life. It had a board in place in 2005, and on June 20, 2006 issued a press release announcing its “official launching,” though it had been operational six months earlier. Wallis’ Sojourners is mentioned as one of the groups FPL supports. 

     June 28, 2006, Obama spoke at a Call to Renewal Conference hosted by Jim Wallis’ group Sojourners. The speech argued that Democrats needed to grasp proper role of f aith in the public square. Religion wasn’t the property of the Christian right and there are “values” of import to believers besides gay marriage and abortion. 

     April 13, 2008, Faith in Public Life organized the Compassion Forum at Messiah College, where Democrat presidential nominees Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton were questioned by religious leaders, among them Jim Wallis, about “value issues” and their religious beliefs. 

     As an aside, by the time Obama accepted his party’s presidential nomination (June 3, 2008), the Democratic National Convention had launched an initiative to organize “faith communities” around the party’s values. An August 24, 2008 Interfaith “Service” before the Democratic National Convention in Denver, designed “to honor the diverse faith traditions inside the Democratic Party,” included Jim Wallis among its featured participants. 

       In mid-August 2008, Obama appeared with John McCain at mega-pastor Rick Warren’s Saddleback Church to answer questions about his policies and his religious beliefs. Obama already knew both Wallis and Warren. At the 2006 Call to Renewal speech (see above), he had said, “Pastors, friends of mine like Rick Warren …Religious thinkers and activists like our good friend Jim Wallis and Tony Campolo…” According to the NY Times, the forum was cosponsored by Faith in Public Life. 

     The target of all this activity, remember, are “faith communities.” CAP was founded on July 7, 2003 due in no small measure to the generosity of billionaire George Soros (also one of the major funders of the Democratic Alliance, with its “religious outreach” component, including Faith in Public Life representation), who wanted to create a progressive think tank, able to respond quickly to conservative media “attacks.”

       CAP has over a dozen spokespeople to which are added Faith in Public Life’s capabilities, directed particularly to people of various religious traditions. CAP posts daily “Talking Points” and a daily email newsletter, The Progress Report. It has several associated blogs, a youth outreach program, and a “sister advocacy organization” – the Action Fund – a 501c-4 lobbying arm. Faith in Public Life also has daily “faith news” emails – linked summaries of various media reports, usually with a progressive bent. 

      What’s going on here? If you – the observant Protestant, Jew, or Catholic – feel a bit like a clay pigeon, there may be a very good reason for it. Big money has been spent to shoot you out of the heavens and into the progressive hunting pouch.

Stephanie Block is the editor of Los Pequenos – a New Mexico-based publication. Her columns are made possible by the sponsorship of generous individuals who believe information about the development and dissemination of progressive ideology needs to be more widely understood. Please fell free to share — acknowledging authorship — these articles with others. If you would like more frequent publication of Stephanie Block’s work, tax-deductible donations can be sent to: Catholic Media Coalition – PO Box 427 Great Cacapon, WV 25422 Attn: Progressive Watch

Photo Credit: Photo: JOEL SAGET/AFP/Getty Images

Socialism is a dirty word by Stephanie Block

socialism1

Here is an explanation for the case that it is impossible to be a true Socialist and Catholic simultaneously.Someone complained that the article “Catholics and Socialism” (Spero 11-25-08), declaring that “socialism is a dirty word,” failed to explain why that’s the case. The article demonstrated that those who authoritatively speak for the Catholic Church affirm socialism’s inherent evil but didn’t explain their reasons for such a position. Pro-socialists can argue that the Catholics are wrong – it’s a free country (for a while longer, any way) – but they can’t argue (truthfully) that Catholicism supports them.

Mister Critic also questioned the distinction between Christian “communism” and Marxist socialism (or communism). After all, weren’t the early Christians “communists?” And, if it was good enough for them…

In a nutshell, Christian “communism” – placing all one’s material goods where they can be used in common by all “the brothers” – is the personal choice of an individual, freely embraced, in the context of total submission to God, the author of creation, for the sake of charity. Those elements make it a virtuous act.

Marxist Socialism, on the other hand, is an imposed, “universal” economic ideology/praxis. What that means is:

Socialism is coercive (since it only works if everyone is playing in the game, those who don’t want to play must be forced – or, as the Chinese and Russians did, killed). Therefore, as socialism isn’t, in most cases, a personal choice, it isn’t, per se, an act of virtue. One isn’t virtuous for doing what one is compelled to do (though, through heroic suffering, there are always opportunities for acts of virtue).

Socialism is unjust – there is no natural reward for hard work and no natural punishment for laziness (and I do recognize that the natural world can be unjust, too. That said, in the natural world, the injustice is “accidental”, that is, it isn’t essential to the system – hard work will usually pay off, if there isn’t a drought or catastrophic illness, etc. Socialism, however, builds injustice into the system, with tremendous psychological consequences. A man will generally strive harder when he thinks he has a chance of prospering. Similarly, as 20th century history proves, over and over, he will tend to produce only the bare minimum if he sees it doesn’t make a bit of difference, one way or the other.)

Socialism is ordered toward the materialistic – the intention that all men in the State are to enjoy an equal share of its “goods”, whether they equally have worked for them or not. Christian “communism”, by contrast, is ordered to the spiritual, out of charitable motives. (The Christian “communist” is concerned that his brother is decently fed and clothed but isn’t obsessed that there’s an equal distribution of material wealth – in fact, general indifference to such matters is considered laudatory).

Ideologically, socialism holds Man as the arbiter of morals (this is an essential component of socialism and not the quirk of individual socialist thinkers. Socialist thought holds that the “common good” isn’t discovered by the adherence of a society to God’s will but is determined by a consensus of society’s citizens).

Furthermore, as an economic system, designed to help citizens prosper, socialism simply doesn’t deliver. Economist Thomas Sowell writes:

The rhetoric of socialism may be inspiring, but its actual record is dismal. Countries which for centuries exported food have suddenly found themselves forced to import food to stave off starvation, after agriculture was socialized. This has happened all over the world, among people of every race. Anyone who saw the contrast between East Berlin and West Berlin, back in the days when half the city was controlled by the Communists, can have no doubts as to which system produces more economic benefits for ordinary people. Even though the people in both parts of the city were of the same race, culture and history, those living under the Communists were painfully poorer, in addition to having less freedom.

Much the same story could be told in Africa, where Ghana relied on socialistic programs and the Ivory Coast relied more on the marketplace, after both countries became independent back in the 1960s. Ghana started off with all the advantages. Its per capita income was double that of the Ivory Coast. But, after a couple of decades under different economic systems, the bottom 20% of people in the Ivory Coast had higher incomes than 60% of the people in Ghana.

Economic inefficiency is by no means the worst aspect of socialistic government. Trying to reduce economic inequality by increasing political inequality, which is essentially what Marxism is all about, has cost the lives of millions of innocent people under Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot, and others. Politicians cannot be trusted with a monopoly of power over other people’s lives. Thousands of years of history have demonstrated this again and again.

While my desires for a better life for ordinary people have not changed from the days of my youthful Marxism, experience has taught the bitter lesson that the way to get there is the opposite of what I once thought. [Sowell, From Marxism to the Market”]

So there you have some of the “whys” authoritative Catholic sources eschew socialism. Now, go wash out your mouth with soap.

Stephanie Block is the editor of Los Pequenos, and a member of the Catholic Media Coalition. Her columns are made possible by the sponsorship of generous individuals who believe information about the development and dissemination of progressive ideology needs to be more widely understood. Please fell free to share — acknowledging authorship — these articles with others. If you would like more frequent publication of Stephanie Block’s work, tax-deductible donations can be sent to: Catholic Media Coalition – PO Box 427 Great Cacapon, WV 25422 Attn: Progressive Watch

By Stephanie Block
Source: Spero News