Tag Archives: United States Conference Of Catholic Bishops

The Catholic Con Continues

Many left-wing Catholic political organizations use Soros funds and misuse social doctrine to promote anti-magisterial, pro-abortion messages

SOURCE: Catholic World Report

One of the ways you can tell it is a national election year is that left wing Catholic political organizations re-emerge with new strategies, new funding, and sometimes even new names. But, while the organizational names may change, the players stay the same as the agenda remains to elect Democrats who will expand the progressive economic agenda, strengthen the power of the unions, and increase women’s access to comprehensive health services—including abortion.

This con game began during the 2004 presidential campaign with the creation of the Catholic Voting Project. The founders claimed they simply wanted to “promote the US Catholic bishops’ 2003 document Faithful Citizenship: A Catholic Call to Political Responsibility” and “encourage a dialogue which would allow Catholics to learn how their political views matched up to those of the bishops.” But the reality was that the Catholic Voting Project was always a front for electing pro-choice Democrats.

Catholics United and Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good

After Senator John Kerry lost his presidential bid, Chris Korzen, one of the leaders of the Catholic Voting Project blamed the defeat on Kerry’s messaging problems about abortion. A master at sophistry and community organizing (formerly an organizer for SEIU) Korzen realized that the cover had been blown on the Voting Project and disbanded—but kept the same agenda and leadership—reconstituting the Catholic Voting Project under the new name, Catholics United—a 501C-4. That same year Korzen also teamed up with left wing Catholics to help found the George Soros-subsidized Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good—a 501C-3. The two organizations shared staff members (Korzen’s 2007 salary of $84,821 as Executive Director of Catholics United was paid out of Catholics in Alliance donations).

The role of Catholics United and Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good was to obscure the debate over abortion as much as possible by propagandizing to the effect that Barack Obama, the Democratic candidate for President was the “real” pro-life candidate because he intended to reduce the rate of abortion through anti-poverty measures. They even issued a research study (by Michael Bailey and Joseph Wright) which attempted to “prove” that the poverty reduction Obama was proposing would reduce abortion. But, the study was so flawed that it had to be dramatically revised. Bailey removed his name from the revised study—which demonstrated far less of a benefit to wealth redistribution—and, eventually, the study itself was quietly removed from their website.

Still, their strategy was successful. Obama won the Catholic vote—in part, because of the successful strategies used by these organizations. Soros knew that his money would be well spent by funding a pseudo-Catholic organization. He was joined by many other major Democratic donors. During the months leading up to the 2008 presidential election, Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good attracted large donors including the late Smith Bagley, a major Democratic fundraiser who came close to matching Soros with grants from his Arca Foundation. In fact, until 2010, Bagley’s third wife, Elizabeth Frawley Bagley, a longtime Democratic Party fundraiser, was so enamored of Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good that she not only funneled thousands of dollars to the organization but also served as chair of its board. Describing herself as a “staunch Irish Catholic” Bagley has donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to Planned Parenthood and the anti-Catholic group People for the American Way.

No longer major players in the 2012 elections, Catholics United still issues press releases to convince progressive Catholics that conservative candidates hate the poor. But, like aging screen stars who have to become even more outrageous to get attention, their most recent, “Paul Ryan’s Priorities Reflect Teachings of Ayn Rand, Not Jesus Christ,” is just the most recent attempt to reclaim the higher Catholic moral ground. While Korzen has moved back to Maine to establish Maine’s Majority, a political action group, James Salt, has taken over at Catholics United—and has escalated the attacks on the Romney-Ryan team. Salt, like Korzen, was on the launch team for Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good, and did “messaging” work for Kathleen Sebelius—trying to convince voters that the pro-choice Sebelius really wanted to reduce rates of abortion even though her record of expanding abortion rights was clear.

In their most recent publicity stunt, designed to make Paul Ryan especially unwelcome when he was invited to give a speech at Georgetown University, Salt led Catholics United in creating and displaying a fifty-foot-long banner outside the event with the slogan: “Were you there when they crucified the poor?” The group denounced Ryan’s budget as “immoral” and “an outrageous slap in the face to our nation’s poorest and most vulnerable citizens.”

Although the Board of Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good continues to operate (it is now led by Alfred Rotondaro, a Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress, a progressive think tank helping to re-elect Obama), they have fewer funds and have done little beyond issuing a “voters guide” for 2012. The Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good Board now reads like a federation of labor leaders as it includes Edward McElroy (former president of the American Federation of Teachers), Tom Chabolla (assistant to the president of SEIU), Tiffany Heath (national organizer for the AFL-CIO), and Steve Callahan (former AFL-CIO coordinator of labor organizing campaigns). Few take them seriously anymore.

Faith in Public Life and Faithful America

Meanwhile, some of the staff members from Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good—and the Soros money—have moved over to Faith in Public Life, which was founded by Jim Wallis, a progressive evangelical. John Gehring left his media messaging position at Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good to become the senior writer and “Catholic Outreach Coordinator” for Faith in Public Life. Formerly an assistant media director at the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Gehring spends most of his time now attacking the same Catholic bishops he used to work for at the USCCB. The most recent battle began when Gehring criticized the bishops for their promotion of the Fortnight for Freedom events. Claiming that the bishops’ support for the Freedom events showed “just how out of touch some bishops are with the real threats faced by working families,” Gehring wrote that “while most bishops don’t want to be the Republican party at prayer, their alarmist rhetoric and consistent antagonism toward the Obama administration often convey that impression…it’s a bad sign for bishops when they are essentially forced to explain that they are not a faith based Super Pac for the Romney campaign.”

Gehring is not the only Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good employee to find himself now working at Jim Wallis’ creation, Faith in Public Life. In what appears to be a major consolidation of faith based organizations, Faith in Public Life not only houses several of the leaders of what had been Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good, it also has welcomed staff members from the organization Faithful America—founded by Tom Perriello, formerly a Catholic Democratic Congressman from the 5th District in Virginia.

Founded in 2004, as a “communications and organizing resource center dedicated to helping faith leaders reclaim the values debate in America for justice, compassion and the common good, ” Faithful America was really created to help Perriello convince voters—including pro-life voters—to move beyond what he called “divisive abortion rhetoric.” It is important to note that nearly all of the Soros-supported progressive faith-based organizations are founded to reclaim the “common good.” And, for left wing Catholic groups, a commitment to the common good always includes access to abortion rights.

In 2009 the two organizations teamed up with Sojourners, Jim Wallis’ social justice organization and PICO National Network, the USCCB-funded community organizing initiative, to create a “toolkit” on the health care reform debate. The toolkit reassured readers that conscience protections would remain in place—even though no such assurance was offered in any of the versions of the reform. Such protections were never intended to be in place.

Soros funds Sojourners (and others), by George!

Like Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good, Faith in Public Life has benefited greatly from the generosity of George Soros. Jim Wallis, however, does not like to be reminded of this fact. When Stephanie Block, the editor of Los Pequenos, a New Mexico-based online publication, wrote an article indicating this fact, Jason Gedeik, the Deputy Press Secretary for Sojourners and Jim Wallis demanded that she print an online correction clarifying that Jim Wallis had nothing to do with establishing Faith in Public Life. Gedeik claimed in his letter to Block that “Faith in Public Life was actually established by John Podesta’s non-profit group Center for American Progress.” Block refused to post the online correction, citing the group’s own online website description of Wallis’ role in creating Faith in Public Life. But, it did not end there. Wallis continued to deny funding from George Soros through the summer of 2010—even when reporters have presented him with the evidence that Soros has given Sojourners several hundred thousand dollars. And, not content to simply deny that he received the funds from Soros, Wallis went so far as to call anyone who stated that Soros had provided financial support a “liar.”

This denial of Soros funding continued until 2010 when World Magazine editor, Marvin Olasky who simply reported in July, 2010 that “in 2004 Sojourners, Wallis’s organization, received $200,000 from billionaire George Soros, a financier of left wing groups that push for abortion atheism, bigger government, and other causes.” Olasky claimed to have a printout of a page from the website of the Open Society Institute—Soros is the Open Society’s founder, funder and chairman—showing the grant. When asked to respond to Olasky’s allegations in an interview for the online publication Patheos, Wallis is described by the interviewer as having “exploded” in anger saying: “It’s not hyperbole or overstatement to say that Glenn Beck lies for a living. I’m sad to see Marvin Olasky doing the same thing. No, we don’t receive money from Soros.”

Wallis continued to deny that he ever received any money from Soros, claiming “our money comes from Christians who support us and who read Sojourners.” But, Olasky simply asked his readers to go to the Open Society Institute website and see for themselves. Unfortunately, they did—and the record of the grant had disappeared—and a large white space appeared where the record of the grant to Wallis had formerly appeared. Someone had scrubbed the site. Fortunately, there were PDF copies of the $200,000 Soros grant as well as another one of $25,000 from 2006. There were also physical copies of these pages held by a large number of people who had already discovered the funding from Soros to Wallis.

Once Wallis was unable to continue denying the large grants from Soros, his communications manager released a statement insisting that “the first of the three grants, for $200,000”, came at a time when Sojourners, according to its 2003 audited financial statement had “incurred a significant amount of net losses leading to a negative asset balance.” In other words, they had bigger financial concerns than the grant of $200,000. Later, Wallis issued his own statement claiming that he should have declined to comment until he had “consulted with our staff on the details of our funding over the past several years.” Wallis also claimed that “the allegation concerned three grants received over 10 years from the Open Society that made up the tiniest fraction of Sojourners’ funding during that decade—so small that I had not remembered them.” Most of us would not consider the hundreds of thousands of dollars from George Soros to be a “tiny fraction” of Sojourners income—especially when Wallis himself admitted that Sojourners had a “negative balance” in 2003—the year before receiving the large cash infusion from Soros in 2004. Olasky concurs, telling a reporter for Christianity Today, “If you’re in the red and someone comes up with $200,000, especially a billionaire, you tend not to forget that.”

Soros money continues to flow into Wallis’s initiatives—and now is flowing into Faith in Public Life, the new home for Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good personnel. The Big Con continues—and sadly, John Gehring, a former employee of the USCCB is now part of that con. But it is getting much harder for the progressive organizations like Catholics United or Faith in Public Life to hide their tracks now that everyone knows who they really are.

About the Author
Anne Hendershott

Anne Hendershott is Distinguished Visiting Faculty Member at The King’s College in New York City. She is the author of Status Envy: The Politics of Catholic Higher Education.

Call To Action Sends e-Card to God, Bishop’s should reply on behalf of God

In 2006 the Vatican confirmed Bishop Fabian Bruskewitz‘s 1996 decision to excommunicate members of the dissident group Call to Action. Unfortunately, the excommunication order applied only within the Diocese of Lincoln, Nebraska.

I say “unfortunately” because the e-card to God above proves, yet again, that Call To Action continues to endanger souls, (not the least their own), and that the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) should act as one body to apply the same disciplinary actions nationwide as was done in the Diocese of Lincoln.

At that time Cardinal Giovanni Battista Re, prefect of the Congregation for Bishops, stated within the confirmation letter to Bruskewitz that Call To Action is “causing damage to the Church of Christ”, and that, “the activities of ‘Call to Action’ in the course of these years are in contrast with the Catholic Faith due to views and positions held which are unacceptable from a doctrinal and disciplinary standpoint.”  Re further pointed out in his closing remarks, that “to be a member of this Association or to support it, is irreconcilable with a coherent living of the Catholic Faith.” Thereby upholding Bruskewitz’s own judgement and decision that Call To Action is “totally incompatible with the Catholic faith”. And so, the disciplinary action was deemed “properly taken.”

So, what about Call To Action today?

Causing damage to the Church of Christ?

Check…

Activities of Call To Action in contrast with the Catholic faith?

Check…

Views and positions unacceptable from a doctrinal and disciplinary standpoint?

Check…

Irreconcilable with a coherent living of the Catholic Faith?

Check…

Totally incompatible with the Catholic faith?

See above.

As I write, the church is fighting the culture of death for the sake of religious freedom in America, 100% of bishops who head dioceses have spoken out against the  odious Obama/HHS mandate.

A mandate supported by Call To Action. 

Hopefully, Bishop’s will soon realize that any well-coordinated defense of the Catholic Church from such outside forces must necessarily include defense of the faith from those posing to be inside, and act.

END OF POST

Catholic Media Coalition Joins Bishops To Defend Religious Freedom Against the HHS Mandate

The Catholic Media Coalition praised the Catholic bishops of the United States today for their unanimous call to defend the First Amendment freedom of religion guaranteed to religious institutions and people of faith. The Obama administration’s mandate requiring religious institutions to provide contraception including abortifacients and requiring  individuals to participate in health plans covering these moral evils is a direct assault on the First Amendment freedom of religion and the free exercise clause.

Mary Ann Kreitzer, President, CMC president, said, “We join with our bishops in opposing the administration’s unprecedented assault on religious rights and freedom of conscience. The HHS mandate does not just impact Catholics, but every religious institution and individual who acts from deeply-held faith-based beliefs. Many of our forefathers fled the old world because of religious persecution. They established a new world where the right to worship God was respected and protected as an unalienable right. The Founders of this nation would be appalled at the abject tyranny of the Obama administration. As faithful laity, we stand in solidarity with our bishops and demand an end to the HHS mandate. There is no compromise that can make it acceptable to Catholics.”

Among the statements of the bishops applauded were the many letters read in dioceses throughout the country calling on the Catholic faithful to oppose the mandate and particularly the letter to the U.S. Bishops from USCCB head, Cardinal Timothy Dolan:

This is not just about contraception, abortion-causing drugs, and sterilization—although all should recognize the injustices involved in making them part of a universal mandated health care program. It is not about Republicans or Democrats, conservatives or liberals. It is about people of faith. This is first and foremost a matter of religious liberty for all. If the government can, for example, tell Catholics that they cannot be in the insurance business today without violating their religious convictions, where does it end? This violates the constitutional limits on our government, and the basic rights upon which our country was founded.

CMC joins Cardinal Dolan in affirming that the issue is not simply contraception or abortion, but “religious liberty for all.” We call on all Catholics to stand in solidarity with our spiritual shepherds to protect the rights of people of conscience.

Catholic Citizens of Illinois Joins Catholic Media Coalition Boycott of the Annual CCHD Collection

Catholic Citizens of Illinois has once again joined the boycott of the Annual Catholic Campaign for Human Development Collection. The statement of the Catholic Media Coalition is below. After the USCCB announced a review and renewal policy that would improve vetting of grantees, we were hopeful that the CCHD would take a new direction. We have also posted below the Executive Summary of the investigation by American Life League and the partners at Reform CCHD Now which indicate that rather than improvement, the questionable groups that receive grants from the CCHD have actually increased.

CATHOLIC MEDIA COALITION ENDORSES BOYCOTT OF ANNUAL CCHD COLLECTION

For years the Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD) has awarded grants to organizations that work against Catholic teaching, particularly with regard to human life and marriage. Not only have donations from generous Catholics in the pew gone to groups that organize and lobby against Church teaching, but they have indirectly, and even directly, helped to elect liberal politicians who advance evil causes.

In view of the recent devastating report from American Life League and ReformCCHDNow which indicates that the problems continue and have even worsened, the Catholic Media Coaltion endorses a boycott of the annual CCHD collection and urges Catholics to give instead to local organizations that serve the poor. Crisis pregnancy centers, Catholic free clinics and food pantries, Catholic shelters and homes for unwed mothers, organizations that serve the third world through clean water and immunization projects are all worthy alternatives to CCHD.

Despite their assurances to the contrary CCHD continues to funnel a large percentage of donations into community organizing groups and coalitions that are hostile to the faith and undermine the family. That is, certainly, no way to help the poor.

Catholic Citizens of Illinois has once again joined the boycott of the Annual Catholic Campaign for Human Development Collection. The statement of the Catholic Media Coalition is below. After the USCCB announced a review and renewal policy that would improve vetting of grantees, we were hopeful that the CCHD would take a new direction. We have also posted below the Executive Summary of the investigation by American Life League and the partners at Reform CCHD Now which indicate that rather than improvement, the questionable groups that receive grants from the CCHD have actually increased.

Below is the Executive Summary of the 2010-2011 CCHD Grants Report, Frequently Asked Questions Report and the Letter of Dr. William Marshner, the Theologian at Christendom College who reviewed the current grantees.

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY FOR 2010 – 2011 CCHD GRANTS REPORT

Background

For a number of years, there has been concern with the grants that CCHD distributes. There have been specific complaints that a significant portion of the grants have been given to organizations working in direct contradiction to Church teaching.

In 2009, American Life League joined with several other concerned organizations to form the Reform CCHD Now Coalition. In March of 2010, the coalition sent a report on CCHD to each bishop, showing that, in 2009-2010, 51 out of 237 groups receiving CCHD funding either directly or through coalition membership promoted abortion, birth control, homosexuality, and/or Marxism. Thus, 21% of the groups funded by CCHD were involved in such work.

As a result of this activity, CCHD conducted an internal effort to revamp its grant process and ensure that all grantees adhered to strict guidelines. The results were published in a CCHD Renewal Document.

2010-2011 Grantees

In January, 2011, CCHD published its list of 2010-2011 grantees. At that time, American Life League reviewed the list and was disappointed to see that many of the offending organizations were still on the list and, in fact, others have been added.

The attached report documents that, of the 218 organizations funded by CCHD, 14 are directly involved in activities contrary to Church teaching and 40 are actively involved in coalitions with such activities. Thus, 54 groups (24%) funded by CCHD are involved in anti-Catholic work.

The number, and percentage, of offending organizations has actually INCREASED in the last year -from 51 to 54 groups and from 21% to 24%.

These 54 organizations received a total of $1,863,000 of the $7,608,000 distributed in CCHD grants in 2010-2011.

Frequently Asked Questions

1) What is the primary purpose of Reform CCHD Now’s (RCN) 2010-2011 CCHD Grants Report?

The primary purpose of the Grants Report is to assist the bishops in maintaining the Catholic identity of the CCHD. RCN supported the USCCB’s effort to strengthen CCHD’s grant guidelines through the review and renewal process. RCN’s 2010-2011 Grants Report is an evaluation of the CCHD’s grantees applying the Review and Renewalguidelines adopted by CCHD after last year’s report.

2) Is the information in this report just based on “unverified web-based information”?

The researchers used Open Source Analysis, a methodology of tools and techniques promulgated by the U.S. Director of National Intelligence (DNI), the Department of Defense (DOD), and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). This research methodology is also widely practiced in investigative journalism and commercial competitive intelligence.

These tools and techniques require the application of rigorous fact checking, source reliability and credibility scoring, and cross referencing with other independent sources for verification. CCHD’s dismissal of this methodology as “unverified web-based information” indicates a refusal to accept the serious nature and reliability of this research.

For more information regarding the reliability of open source analysis seehttp://www.fusion2004.foi.se/papers/IF04-1172.pdf.

3) Was this report discussed with CCHD staff prior to release?

Yes, in April 2011. The 2010-2011 CCHD Grants Report was hand delivered to the executive director of the CCHD and the findings regarding each individual grantee was discussed. Similar additional meetings with USCCB staff took place in the six months prior to the public release in October.

CCHD’s “Response to Recent Attacks on CCHD,” claims “While some progress was made in these sessions, they usually ended with ALL disagreeing with the CCHD mission as set forth by the bishops and CCHD disagreeing with ALL’s efforts to accuse groups of violating CCHD guidelines based on web searches and without any contact with the groups or dioceses.”

1. ALL made clear that it has never disagreed with “the CCHD mission as set forth by the bishops.” ALL is only concerned with the funding of organizations whose actions, agendas, and ideologies are antithetical to Catholic moral and social teaching: advancing abortion, homosexuality, birth control, and Marxism contrary to the CCHD mission as set forth by the bishops.

2. The information contained in the report is factual. To date, CCHD staff does not dispute the facts but disagrees with ALL’s understanding of them.

4) Was this report discussed with bishops prior to release?

Yes. The Grants Report was provided to the head of the CCHD subcommittee in March 2011 and to the president of the USCCB in July 2011. The Grants Report was then sent to the entire body of U.S. bishops in September 2011.

5) Is the information in the 2010-2011 Grants Report old or recycled “charges”?

Thirty-five of the 55 grantees (63 percent) that violate CCHD Review and Renewal guidelines profiled in this year’s report were not in last year’s report. New information on the grantees from last year is also included in the report. The CCHD claim that “These are not new accusations, but a repackaging of past charges” is accurate only in that 20 grantees which were on last year’s report are again profiled this year because funding them continues to violate grant guidelines and Catholic moral teaching.

6) Has the CCHD refuted the findings and evidence outlined in the 2010-2011 report?

In the CCHD’s “Response to Recent Attacks on CCHD” document, CCHD offers no specific response to any evidence contained in the full report. The response claims, “They [ALL] rely almost exclusively on unverified web-based information and primarily on Internet sites of organizations that are NOT funded by CCHD.”

As was addressed in the question on methodology [FAQ #2], this statement is not accurate.

1. Primary Sources: Information that an organization posts on its own website is a primary source, i.e. an organization’s own statement of its actions, ideologies, and agendas. In essence, it is the official public face of that organization.

For example, the Intercommunity Justice and Peace Center (page 78 of the report) listed its friends and colleagues as follows:

National Organization for Women, Equality Cincinnati, International Socialist Organization, and P-FLAG: Parents, Friends and Families of Lesbians and Gays.

IJPC promoted these organizations that advocate for abortion, same-sex marriage, and/or Marxism. This information is not unverified, nor was it found on some other website. This is irrefutable. (IJPC has since updated its web site but the screen capture is within the report.)

2. Secondary Sources: Information collected from other websites, media outlets, and documents related to CCHD grantee activities include press releases, official grant reports, annual reports, program guides, event announcements, voting guides, and other such sources. Such documents do not constitute “unverified web-based information,” but are indeed standard sources used both in research and legal proceedings.

The veracity of these materials is deemed to be highly reliable because they are not based upon rumor or hearsay, are subject to public scrutiny, and are official reports from various organizations regarding the activities of themselves and their participants and members.

7) What are the findings regarding coalition memberships of CCHD grantees?

The CCHD guideline very clearly states, “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.”

The report details dozens of grantees with coalition memberships that defy Review and Renewal grant guidelines. All information provided was cross-referenced and verified from a variety of independent and primary sources. Attributing all these violations to rogue employees and errors of membership does not seem plausible.

8)Has the report been reviewed by a moral theologian?

Yes. The report was thoroughly reviewed and analyzed by Dr. William Marshner, professor of theology at Christendom College. Click here to read Dr. Marshner’s findings regarding the moral validity of the report.

Mr. Paul Rondeau, Executive Director

American Life League

Sir:

Last week, you expressed the wish that a moral theologian review your “Investigative Report on the Catholic Campaign for Human Development’s Grants for the Year 2010-2011,” prepared this July; and I volunteered to do so. My academic credentials and publications are available for inspection on the website of Christendom College, where I have taught for over 30 years. I should confess at the outset that, before turning to the academic life, I worked for several years in journalism and was published in periodicals distinctly critical of what many churchmen accepted as “renewal” in the decade after the close of Vatican II. Since then, I have come to accept the pastoral wisdom of the Church’s “preferential option for the poor,” of which the CCHD is a striking expression. I therefore undertake this review with sincere personal sympathy for the Campaign and sincere respect for its guiding principles.

As you say on p. 3 of your well-organized Report, it is CCHD policy that “no grantee may participate in or promote activities that contradict the moral and social teachings of the Church.” The moral basis for this policy is the fact that funding an organization is practical willing (as opposed to just wishing) that it succeed in what it regularly does. Hence the funding of an organization is formal cooperation in what it regularly does.

But in Catholic moral theology, it is never licit to cooperate formally in an immoral project. Hence a CCHD grantee must not do or promote, as a regular part of its work, anything evaluated by Catholic doctrine as immoral. Thus the CCHD policy is morally sound. But its implementation is another story. Your Report has documented at least 11 cases which, in my judgment, are cases in which prima facie the grantee has done or promoted an immoral activity.

These cases are:

Centro Campesino (granted $35 K), which distributes condoms, as CCHD now admits; it claims to have defunded the group, but evidence for this correct decision is not yet forthcoming; the bishops are owed an explanation of what exactly has been done;

Somos un Pueblo Unido (granted $45 K), which trains immigrant women to advocate “reproductive justice” (i.e. contraception and abortion) and which took from other sources at least two grants to do so; CCHD has yet to explain its lack of response to this information;

NY City AIDS Housing Network (granted $30 K) which is listed on an NYC government website as a place to get condoms; CCHD has yet to explain its lack of response;

Southwest Organizing Project (granted $ 45 K); which is involved in the Elev8 sex-ed program, which distributes condoms and IUDs and refers for abortions at Marquette Middle School in Chicago; CCHD was informed of this problem by its own regional director, Mr. Rey Flores; to date, CCHD has explained neither its lack of response nor its termination of Mr. Flores;

Desis Rising Up and Moving (granted $ 35 K), which advocates and participates in groups advocating sexual “liberation” and abortion;n Michigan Interfaith Voice, A.K.A. Gamaliel of Michigan (granted $ 25 K), which has taken grants from the pro-abortion and pro-homosexual Arcus Foundation to advance Lesbian-Gay-Bisexual and Transsexual (LGBT) rights, which include a “right” to be legally “married”;

Michigan Organizing Project (granted $40 K), which has taken grants from the Arcus Foundation for the same purpose in 2007-2009 and in 2011;

Coalition LA (granted $45 K), which produced a voters’ guide favoring same-sex marriage and telling people to vote NO on the ballot-measure to repeal it; the issue here is not just how the state will treat homosexual persons but whether state law will abandon the meaning of the word ‘marriage’, contrary to Catholic doctrine;

Women’s Community Revitalization Project ($40 K), which sponsored a pro-abortion voter’s guide in Pennsylvania and took money from a feminist, pro-abortion organization called Women’s Way; CCHD was informed of this problem in 2009 but re-funded the group in 2010; since the bishops of PA have played an historic role in the pro-life cause, they are certainly owed a specific explanation of this payment to their declared enemy;

Philadelphia Unemployment Project (given $25 K), which, despite its good work toward issues of workers’ compensation, sponsored the same kind of pro-abortion voter’s guide; in a state as heavily Catholic and Democratic as Pennsylvania, it passes belief that the Church cannot find a pro-labor organization that keeps fully clear of the culture of death;

Restaurant Opportunities Center of NY (given $40 K), which produced “guidelines” telling businesses to make questionable accommodations to LGBT preferences, including permission to cross-dress during work-hours and to choose whichever lavatory suited the worker’s subjective preference.

In every one of these cases, the grantee has behaved in such a way that continued funding puts the Church in a position of formal cooperation (or in the apparent and proximate danger of formal cooperation) with moral evil. The problems with United Workers Association, Intercommunity Justice and Peace Center, and Georgia Latino Alliance for Human Rights are addressed below in conjunction with organizations cited in the coalitions category of the Report.

Your Report also documents many cases which pose a lesser but still serious problem, namely, that of unwise material cooperation. These are cases in which a CCHD grantee has affiliated with (or become a member of) some broader organization (hereafter: umbrella group) which sponsors, advocates, etc., actions and positions of which the Church cannot approve. With commendable clarity about this problem, CCHD policy reads as follows: “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.”

Again, the policy is correct and seems straightforward, but its implementation is problematic. You list 13 umbrella groups; given your documentation of what appears on the websites maintained by these groups, it is prima facie the case that CCHD grantees belonging to them violate the policy just stated. They ought to be defunded, and yet they are not.

I see only two ways to explain this situation. Either the policy is not really adhered to, or else its wording is a work of the lawyer’s art, in which ‘organizational purpose or coalition agenda’ is a technical expression meant to exonerate umbrella groups whose immoral activity is not their sole or primary public purpose. In that case, the policy is too tightly drafted, in my judgment. It fails to secure the moral good for whose sake one avoids material cooperation with evil wherever possible: the moral good of giving no appearance of evil.

You also provided for my review some recent correspondence of yours with the Campaign. It is good to see that a dialogue has been begun. Still, I cannot be satisfied with CCHD’s blanket dismissal of much of your Report, on the ground that your information is taken from websites.

Everyone knows that websites can be in error or out of date. But why would a grantee or umbrella group post and maintain on its own website false or obsolete information? To say the least, one needs to see specific explanations. Perhaps providing such explanation would require man-hours of work to which the CCHD does not think ALL, as an outside group, is entitled. But the bishops of the United States are most certainly entitled.

With hope that these reflections may be of use to you and to the Church, I am

Yours in Christ,

W. H. Marshner,

Professor of Theology

Christendom College

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

Click on logo to access Better Catholic Giving information

SOURCE: CRISIS MAGAZINE

The Catholic Campaign for Human Development: Reform or Bust

By Rey Flores

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Chicago Reform Efforts

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

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

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

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

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

Terminology and Language of the CCHD

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Community Organizing

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Better Catholic Giving

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

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

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(Full Text) Bishop Cupich: Clarification of diocesan position

From the Catholic Diocese of Spokane…

Bishop Cupich: Questions about involvement in the 40 Days for Life Program
September 16, 2011

During his first visit with the Respect Life Committee of the Diocese of Spokane Bishop Cupich expressed his gratitude for the commitment of the members. He also shared with them his plan to place emphasis on education. Surveys show that Catholics by and large mirror the general population when it comes to attitudes and decisions made about life issues. The present political environment has become very toxic and polarizing, to the point that people have become fixed in their positions, especially in regard to abortion, and are unwilling to talk to each other. The pastoral challenge is to get people to take a second look at the issue of abortion.

It was on the occasion of his visit with the committee that the prospect of having the 40 Days for Life operate in the Diocese of Spokane this year arose. He expressed admiration for the many lay men and women dedicated to keeping the protection of the unborn a priority in society. While the 40 Days for Life program is not a Catholic initiative nor endorsed by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, he concluded that participation in it and in vigils by individuals or associations of Catholics was possible. At the same time, he indicated that he would not consider it under the umbrella of the respect life efforts of the Diocese. The Catholic Church is concerned about a broad range of respect life issues and has a pastoral tradition which shapes its approach. It is critical that we rely on programs initiated by the Church, lest our concerns and our pastoral approach be defined too narrowly. The committee expressed support for this approach and their eagerness to work with the Bishop towards the goals he outlined.

When visiting with the presbyterate, the Bishop asked the priests to approach respect life issues as teachers, for that is what they are. Teachers create new openings for learning and reduce obstacles. Their intense passion to share the truth leads them to greater patience and prudence and not frustration with and disdain for students who fail to respond appropriately. Their witness to the faith through teaching becomes all the more powerful when the presbyterate works together in unity and solidarity.

It is also important, the Bishop noted, to keep in mind that oftentimes decisions about abortions are not made primarily in clinics. Such decisions are made around kitchen tables and in living rooms and they frequently involve a sister, daughter, relative or friend who may have been pressured or abandoned by the man who fathered the child. Attitudes too are formed in homes and families. This would seem to suggest, the Bishop told the priests, “that our primary efforts as teachers need to be focused on our families and our parish communities, always demonstrating solidarity with vulnerable women.”

As for the specific question of the priests’ participation in the 40 Days for Life vigils, the Bishop recognizes that a given priest in good conscience may feel the need to participate in the vigils and he should never be forced to go against a good and informed conscience. The Bishop only asked that all priests prayerfully reflect on what he has told them, commit themselves to making teaching effectively their first priority and keep in mind the irreplaceable power of the witness of their unity with each other.

Questions about limiting respect life and other materials dealing with social policy issues to publications of the diocesan bishop, USCCB and the WSCC

When the three diocesan bishops, all of whom are new to their dioceses in Washington State, met to review policies of the WSCC, they were asked if they wanted to reaffirm the policy of limiting distribution of respect life and other materials dealing with social policy issues to those published “by the diocesan bishop, the Washington State Catholic Conference (WSCC) and the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops USCCB.” This policy has been in force for at least 20 years. The bishops decided to continue this policy.

Faithful Citizenship Document: a problem that needs to be remedied, and what you can do to help…

On July 14, the Catholic Advocate’s Deal Hudson & Matt Smith released the following statement regarding the quadrennial Faithful Citizenship document. In it they decry the fact that no substantial changes are foreseen to ambiguous language found within the 2008 document which allowed Catholic voters to believe they can vote for pro-abortion politicians under certain circumstances. This overview from the Catholic Advocate is followed by a sample letter we hope you will adapt, adding your personal opinions and concerns, when you write to your Bishop to express your concern about removing the ambiguity of their “Faithful Citizenship” document at their upcoming meeting in Baltimore this November.

Every four years the Catholic bishops publish a document entitled “Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship.” If tradition holds, a new version of “Faithful Citizenship” is due to be approved at the bishops’ annual Baltimore meeting in November.

We’re told that no substantial edits are being made to the 2008 version of the document, so that we can expect the 2012 version to be roughly the same as its predecessor.

If so, this is a problem and needs to be remedied. The 2008 version of “Faithful Citizenship” contains several passages (Sections 34-37) that are capable of overly broad interpretation. Groups like Catholics United and Catholic Democrats cherry-picked the following passage from Section 35 for prominent display on their web sites and in their printed materials.

“There may be times when a Catholic who rejects a candidate’s unacceptable position may decide to vote for that candidate for other morally grave reasons.Voting in this way would be permissible only for truly grave moral reasons, not to advance narrow interests or partisan preferences or to ignore a fundamental moral evil.” [emphasis added].

This passage was also cited in discussions of “Faithful Citizenship” held across the nation’s parishes in 2008. Anyone who objected to the implication of this passage could have been met with an equally confusing citation from the previous paragraph, Section 34, which states:

“A Catholic cannot vote for a candidate who takes a position in favor of an intrinsic evil, such as abortion or racism, if the voter’s intent is to support that position. In such cases a Catholic would be guilty of formal cooperation in grave evil. At the same time, a voter should not use a candidate’s opposition to an intrinsic evil to justify indifference or inattentiveness to other important moral issues involving human life and dignity.” [emphasis added]

In other words, a Catholic could vote for a pro-abortion candidate as long as he or she did not intend to support his pro-abortion position. What is a person to say to that? No one is capable of judging another person’s intention. The practical consequence of this statement is clear: Catholics can vote for any pro-abortion politician they want — all they have to do is have the right intention.

“The following passage, Section 36, adds to the confusion about whether or not a Catholic voter can or cannot vote for a pro-abortion politician:

“When all candidates hold a position in favor of an intrinsic evil, the conscientious voter faces a dilemma. The voter may decide to take the extraordinary step of not voting for any candidate or, after careful deliberation,may decide to vote for the candidate deemed less likely to advance such a morally flawed position and more likely to pursue other authentic human goods.” [emphasis added]

A Catholic voter, therefore, can vote for pro-abortion politicians as long as they do not “advance” that “morally-flawed position” but would “pursue other authentic human goods.”

These sections contain three loopholes allowing Catholic voters to support pro-abortion politicians:

1) If they do not intend to support that position (34), or

2) if there are offsetting “morally grave reasons” (35), or

3) if a candidate will pursue “authentic human goods” rather than the “morally-flawed” position he holds (36).

After positing these loopholes, how can the bishops expect Catholic voters to make sense of the following paragraph, Section 37:

“In making these decisions,it is essential for Catholics to be guided by a well-formed conscience that recognizes that all issues do not carry the same moral weight and that the moral obligation to oppose intrinsically evil acts has a special claim on our consciences and our actions. These decisions should take into account a candidate’s commitments, character, integrity, and ability to influence a given issue.” [emphasis added]

Why should a Catholic voter feel the weighty obligation to oppose “intrinsically evil acts” when the bishops themselves provide three different loopholes to put that concern aside?

There is one question the bishops should answer in the 2012 version of “Faithful Citizenship”:

What are the “grave moral” or “proportionate” reasons that would justify a Catholic voting for a pro-abortion candidate?

The answer to this question will clarify the confusion caused by Sections 34-37.

During the 2008 campaign, many individual bishops attempted to address the confusion of “Faithful Citizenship.” Bishop Robert Vasa, for example, pointed out that voting for a pro-abortion candidate is never justified when the opponent is pro-life. Similarly, Bishops Kevin Vann and Kevin Farrell insisted there are no “‘truly grave moral’ or ‘proportionate’ reasons, singularly or combined, that could outweigh the millions of innocent human lives that are directly killed by legal abortion each year.”

The document can be clarified by the full body of the USCCB at the November 14-17, 2011meeting in Baltimore.

If the bishops republish the 2008 version “Faithful Citizenship” for the 2012 election — without changes — they will be providing Catholic voters another carte blanche to cast their vote for any pro-abortion candidate they want. The incoherence of Sections 34-37 do not serve the building of a culture of life in our nation.

Deal Hudson is president of Catholic Advocate in Washington, DC; Matt Smith is vice president.

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Sample Letter to Your Bishop

Below is a sample letter we hope you will adapt, adding your personal opinions and concerns, when you write to your Bishop to express your concern about removing the ambiguity of their “Faithful Citizenship” document at their upcoming meeting in Baltimore this November.

Date

Bishop

Address

City, State, Zip

Quick link to find your Bishop:

http://new.usccb.org/about/bishops-and-dioceses/diocesan-locator.cfm

Dear Bishop ____________ ,

Peace be with you, and thank you for your service to our Holy Roman Catholic church.

I am a practicing Catholic (alternates: weekly or daily communicant, woman religious, priest, etc.) in your diocese.

I am very concerned about the ambiguity in the 2008 “Faithful Citizenship” document, leading many pro-contraception & pro-abortion groups to persuade Catholics to vote for candidates who support their agenda, in complete contradiction to church teaching.

“Among the many “social conditions” which the Catholic must take into account in voting, the above serious moral issues [abortion, euthanasia, cloning, embryonic stem cell research, same-sex marriage] must be given the first consideration”. 

Those were the words of Cardinal Burke, made when he was still Archbishop of the diocese of St. Louis, instructing Catholic voters in his Diocese.

All Catholics deserve such clear and unequivocal leadership from their own Bishops and Priests, many of whom defer to the “Faithful Citizenship” document from the USCCB.

To help strengthen the document, I urge you to place “Faithful Citizenship” on the agenda of the upcoming U. S. Bishops’ meeting in November and ask you to promote discussion of this critical issue, seeking to remove the ambiguity in the existing document.

Sincerely yours,

Name

Address

City, state, zip