Tag Archives: USCCB

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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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].

 

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CCHD’s new moral theologian?

Star rise, star fall…

According to the USCCB”s recent review and renewal pledge to reform the Catholic Campaign for Human Development, new structures will help assist CCHD in applying prohibitions on funding groups which act in conflict with Catholic social and moral teachings… A new staff position on CCHD mission and identity will be added, including an ongoing consulting relationship with a moral theologian, and a CCHD Review Board to advise the bishops and the CCHD…

NOTE: Recent reports say Nancy Pelosi, Girl Theologian, may well be available following November 2nd. 

HAPPY HOLLOWEEN…

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[Catholic Culture Exclusive] CCHD facing key test of support among US bishops

The Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD) is facing a critical test of support among the US bishops this week, CWN has learned.

All members of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) have been asked to respond by Friday, August 27, to a confidential report on the CCHD. The document—“The Review and Renewal of the Catholic Campaign for Human Deveopment”—was prepared in response to bishops’ concerns that the CCHD has strayed from its original and become too closely involved with radical political movements.

Although the “Review and Renewal” document has gone through 5 successive drafts, a number of bishops within the USCCB appear unsatisfied with the document, and supporters of the CHD are fearful that at their November meeting, the US bishops may call for sweeping changes in the program.

“CCHD is being closely examined and its mission questioned,” one ardent advocate for the program wrote in a letter to the heads of diocesan social agencies. Robert Gorman, the executive director of Catholic Charities for the Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux, Louisiana, urged allies to contact their bishops and urge them to express their satisfaction with the “Review and Renewal” document, thus giving their support to the current direction and leadership of the CCHD.

The urgency with which CCHD supporters are lobbying the American bishops suggests that they expect a showdown with the program’s critics in coming weeks. So Catholics who hope for a fundamental change in the CCHD approach might also be inclined contact their bishops this week, to express their own concerns before the Friday deadline for comments on the “Review and Renewal” document.

The CCHD was established by the US bishops in 1970 to attack the root causes of poverty in America. For years the program has been troubled by critics who have said the CCHD has become too closely aligned with radical activist groups. Last year that criticism reached a crescendo, as lay Catholic groups exposed CCHD funding for organizations that promote causes inimical to Catholic teaching, such as legal abortion and same-sex marriage. While the CCHD leadership said that such grants accounted for only a small percentage of the organization’s funding for self-help groups, several American bishops announced that they were withdrawing their dioceses from the nationwide campaign to support the CCHD.

The “Review and Renewal” document, which is currently available only to bishops and their staff members, is an effort to reassure the USSCB members that CCHD grants will go only to organizations whose purposes and activities are compatible with Catholic social teaching.

But critics of the current CCHD approach have called for more definitive reform of the organization’s activities. Rather than forming alliances with groups that promote radical social change, they say, the CCHD should recognize the underlying causes of poverty as seen through the eyes of Church social teaching: the breakdown of marriage and family life and the lack of access to quality education.

VOTF rivals rank anti-Catholics

EDITOR: Bishops speak for the Church

This blog joins with the Catholic League in condemning the behavior of the dissident group known as Voice of the Faithful. Their continual plots against and promotion of schism within the Catholic Church in America is a sure danger to authentic Catholic faith and morals including those of our children. We desire our children to grow-up in the practice of their holy faith in union with the will of God–free from such rancorous errors in service to souls in need and the Church.

Accordingly, this family of Catholic converts entrusts to our shepherd(s), supported by our prayers, the task of protecting their futures, the future of the Church, by acting now to inform by warning Catholic faithful in America on the manifest errors Voice of the Faithful represents and actively promotes.

The story follows–

Catholic League president Bill Donohue sent the following letter to Connecticut lawmakers today:

Dear Connecticut Legislator:

Some Catholics who support H.B. 5473, the bill that eliminates the statute of limitations for cases of sexual abuse, are falsely positioning themselves as being a legitimate competitor to the voice of the bishops. No group has irresponsibly assumed this mantle of authority more than Voice of the Faithful.

To be sure, lay Catholics have a right to speak to all public policy issues that touch on the affairs of the Catholic Church. But no lay Catholic organization has the right to portray itself as a substitute to the canonical authority of the bishops. That is what Voice of the Faithful has done.

In its recent letter to you, Voice of the Faithful unjustly condemns the bishops for seeking to “mislead, mischaracterize and spin the facts in an effort to preserve their temporal, rather than spiritual, authority.” In doing so, it not only goes well beyond the pale for even a dissident Catholic organization—it betrays an animus so vile as to rival the antics of rank anti-Catholics.

Voice of the Faithful is not only financially bankrupt (a reflection of its abysmally low membership), it has shown itself to be morally bankrupt as well. Unlike loyal lay Catholic sons and daughters who support the palpable reforms made by their bishops, those who support this group have never found a reform worth cheering. In other words, nothing the bishops can ever do is enough to satisfy them.

The Catholic League respectfully asks that you weigh the real-life concerns of the bishops regarding the draconian implications of this bill. And we ask that you not be distracted by those who harbor an agenda of their own.