Friday, November 19, 2010

Scandals and Second Collections

Reform CCHD“If you want peace, work for justice.”

The quotation is attributed to the late Pope Paul VI. (It is also attributed to the American writer Henry Louis Mencken. Don't ask me why.)

But before the Mother Teresa quotation was my favorite and only bumper sticker, the decor of choice was this slogan of the American bishops' Catholic Campaign for Human Development. Not that I ever gave them any money, I just thought it was a cool bumper sticker. That, and the buttons.

But as we have learned in our earlier piece on bumper stickers, we cannot always expect a lot of depth to accompany the message. "elderj" of InterSection shares this discovery:

[A]s I thought about it, I realized that there are some assumptions buried deep within this seemingly innocuous statement. These assumptions are deeply and profoundly mistaken.

Unfortunately, the mistaken assumptions are not limited to slogans.

In this video clip, Bishop Roger Morin, chairman of the Subcommittee for CCHD, outlines the Review and Renewal of CCHD, explaining their aspiration to continue CCHD's work for the poor, and their resolution to strengthen it in the future. But will it be enough? Is this current endeavor on the level?

The mission of the CCHD has been “to address the root causes of poverty in America through promotion and support of community-controlled self-help organizations and through transformative social justice, education, and solidarity between poor and non-poor.” Since the program began in 1969 as the "National Catholic Crusade Against Poverty," the faithful have learned that money raised by the bishops every year, obtained through an annual second collection in the parishes, has gone in part to organizations and endeavors, which pursue causes in violation of Church teaching and practice.

This is most notable in participation in efforts which favor abortion and various "family planning" services such as contraception, as well as those groups which promote the legitimacy of same-sex marriage. No less explosive has been the recent discovery, that CCHD funds were being used to support the radical political group "Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now" (ACORN) sparked outrage among the faithful. That support was recently and resolutely terminated. But the problems aren't over yet.

This year, LifeSiteNews has reported that as many as ten American bishops have disassociated themsevles from the annual collection. In addition, Sofia Guerra of Always Catholic has done significant research into the scandalous use of CCHD funds. (Sofia once told me: “I just go to their own website, and follow the money.”)

This weekend, Catholics in the United States will be called upon to give generously to the annual collection for the CCHD. But until this problem is solved, the sincerity of appeals for "helping the poor" would surely ring hollow. Many priests will be placed in a position to promote that which they know to be cooperation in morally objectionable activity. It is they, not the CCHD, who are worthy of our support.

This weekend, form your conscience according to the mind of your Mother the Church, not a bunch of damage-control-obsessed paper-hangers. DO NOT CONTRIBUTE TO THE CATHOLIC CAMPAIGN FOR HUMAN DEVELOPMENT! Tell your pastor of this refusal, and tell him why. Tell your bishop of this refusal, and tell him why. Instead of enabling the outrage, give directly to those charities and programs which are authentically Catholic.

Again, tell them of this, and tell them why.

1 comment:

Jeff Miller said...

Thankfully my bishop is one of the ten and the collection will be for efforts directed by my bishop.