Is Anybody There?

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit,' says Yahweh Sabaoth" Zach 4:6 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Dio di Signore, nella Sua volontà è nostra pace!" . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." Ben Franklin 1759

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Why I Don't Buy the CCHD Claims of Reform!!!!!

In several recent pots I have talked about the "Review & Renewal" of the Campaign for Human Development Document & how I think the whiole thing is cosmetic. Earlier today I put up another post on some of the evidence I am seeing elsewhere that has convinced me I am right. But now, I would like to take a look at the document itself. Since the document is 15 pages long, I won't take the whole thing apart. That would take too long. So I will just hilite some things that esp stand out for me.
I want to start by saying that I uphold the authentic social teachings of the Catholic Church as found in the Catechism & the Compendium of Social Doctrine put out by the Vatican. I say that to emphasize that much that is being promoted here in the USA as thesocial teaching or "social gospel" is really a socialist agenda & runs very much counter to authentic Catholic teaching.
Overall, as I said, I found the whole thing to be more cosmetic than an attempt at authentic reform. Many of the things I read would be great, if they were sincere about them. Reform CCHD Now released the following statement about the document that expresses a lot of what I feel: "The renewal document is a positive step forward for the CCHD and if vigorously implemented, we hope to see an overall improvement in their funding practices. It remains to be seen whether or not the CCHD will be able to effectively implement these reforms."
As I have already pointed out in my earlier post, it looks like they aren't going to effectively implement them.
Now to the document itself.
The 1st line starts out with a bold faced lie: "For 40 years across the United States, the Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD) has put into practice Catholic teaching on the life and dignity of every human person." I guess that the unborn don't count given the number of Pro-abortion groups they have supported over the years. Supporting them, along with the others that go against other parts of Catholic teaching, has undermined Catholic teaching, not put it into practice.
It goes on to mention the quote from Luke 4:18 to say they have carried out the mission of Jesus. However, as I said in my earlier post, they totally ignore the ultimate reason the Catholic Church does what it does, to evangelize. They only focus on physical poverty & physical captivity while leaving the people they help spiritually poor & still in captivity to sin & death.
They gho on to say their strategy "reflects the mandate of the Scriptures and the principles of Catholic social teaching." I'd love to know if anyone at the CCHD has actually raed the Compendium of Social Doctrine, let alone knows what it actually says about Catholic teaching. & I am willing to bet the "Eucharistic transformation" they talk about is nothing like that Paapa Benedetto was refering to in Sacramentum Caritatis.
As we continue down page 2 I came accross 2 paragraphs that were pure hyperbole & trying to make it sound like the Catholic Church couldn't survive without the CCHD. But before we get there, I want to point out 1 thing that says the US Bishops have their share of responsibility in the whole mess. "CCHD grants to groups in a local community require the explicit approval of the bishop of that diocese." Did you get that?, all these groups opposed to Catholic teaching funded over the last 40 years was done by the approval of the local Bishop. & the excuse that the Bishop relied on his local CCHD committee is no excuse.
Now for the BS.
"CCHD is a unique and essential part of the Catholic community‟s broad commitment to assist low-income people, families and communities." Unique & essential???? Get real. They are anything but unique. Just look at their doppelganger in Canada, Development & Peace, that has done exactlt the same things CCHD has done to undermine Catholic teaching. As for essential, CCHD has only been arround for 40 years, the Catholic Church for almost 2000. If they are so essential, how has the Church survived for over 1900+ years without them? Oh yeah, in those days they had religious orders that were faithful to the magesterium & actually did minister to the poor in an authenticly Catholic way. We also still have a few of them arround, like Mother Teresa's Missionaries of Charity. Sorry CCHD, you are neither unique or essential.
Later in the paragraph they say: "Like many other Catholic ministries, CCHD helps people overcome poverty without regard to their race, ethnicity or religion." If the CCHD is so unique, how can it be liek those other ministries?
The next paragraph sees the hyperbole about their importance continue. "As a national initiative of the Bishops‟ Conference, CCHD is an essential and complementary part of the Catholic social mission proclaimed by Jesus Christ and taught by His Church. CCHD does not replace, nor can it be replaced by, other expressions of the Church‟s essential social mission." Again, if you are so essential & irreplacable how did the Catholic Church in the USA get along without them for almost 500 years? Or the Catholic Church as a whole for nearly 2000?
Next up comes a line that turned my stomach. "CCHD helps our Church in the United States practice what we preach about human life and dignity, social and economic justice, solidarity and the common good in local communities across our country." Given the groups it funded support abortion, gay marriage etc, I don't think CCHD has exactly put into practice what the Catholic Church preaches.
This is where they mention the Coalition of Imokalee Workers (CIW) as 1 of their examples of their work. But as has been recently revealed by Reform CCHD Now "CIW participated in the US Social Forum 2010; something the RCN reported on back in June. The US Social Forum ran a collection of workshops, many of which were devoted to abortion rights, homosexual rights, and Marxist Socialism. RCN's report also specifies three of CIW’s coalition and network partnerships that are in and of themselves pro-abortion and pro-homosexual, and whose mission is to encourage cross-issues advocacy of their members." Will someone at CCHD explain how that is praxcticing what the Catholic Church preaches?
Half way down page 3 we read the following: "From its first days, there have been some criticisms about CCHD‟s goals, guidelines and grantees. This criticism has become more visible with the wider use of internet communication and as polarization has increased in society and in the Church." In short, the CCHD is blaming the messenger. Maybe they had better face up to the fact that those criticisms have some basis in validity rather than playing the blame game. Actually, in passing the blame they are showing their Alinsky roots. Polarization has nothing to do with the validity of the criticisms. They have undermined the Catholic Church's teachings through the grantees they worked with.
"CCHD takes any alleged violation of Catholic principles and CCHD policies very seriously. CCHD deeply regrets that in this past year five groups (out of 270) violated CCHD requirements and lost all CCHD funding because they acted in conflict with Catholic teaching." It was a lot more than 5 as Reform CCHD Now has documented. & it is clear how serious they DON"T take the violations. Note the use of the word alledged. & note the fact that they only mention 5 groups & make it sound like this only happenned the last year rather than being an ongoing thing as it has been from the start.
"We apologize for the violations of CCHD policies by these groups and for the damage and confusion they have caused." I suspect the only thing they are sorry about is the fact that they got called out on what they were doing & that their actual policies are differnt than their policies on paper.
"This Review and Renewal is putting in place stronger policies and clearer mechanisms to screen and monitor grants and groups to ensure that these past violations, though very limited, are not repeated." Note that once again they are downplaying the truth. The violations were NOT limiteed but ongoing
"CCHD will do all it can to ensure that groups abide by these strengthened requirements and will act immediately and decisively if it is discovered that any group is violating these essential conditions for CCHD support." You mean like how you dealt with The Southwest Organizing Project (SWOP). The CCHD continued to give them funding, even with the Chicago CCHD raising concerns that they were engaged in activities seriously contrary to Church teaching. (U.S. Bishops’ Anti-Poverty Arm Awarded $45,000 Grant to Pro-Abort Group Despite Warnings) Gee giving them another $5,000 sure sounds like a decisive action to me. A decision of business as usual, not reform.
They go on to say "CCHD will not fund groups that are members of coalitions which have as part of their organizational purpose or coalition agenda, positions or actions that contradict fundamental Catholic moral and social teaching. CCHD is developing additional structures and guidance to address in greater detail the ethical implications of these relationships and what is morally acceptable and what is not for CCHD funded groups." What additional guidlines or structures? Sounds more like ways to cover up & justify continuing as before to me.
Pga e4 basicly reiterates the same things that I have looked at earlier in the document. But there is 1 line that stands out as an admission of guilt that they haven't been upholding authentic Catholic teaching. Why do they need to "ROOT CCHD clearly in the mission of Jesus Christ"? Isn't that what you claim you have been doing all along? It get better, the rest of the sentence says "anchoring the work of CCHD more deeply in Catholic teaching." Again, I thought it already was. Guess not.
As for the foundations they go on to talk about, I see plenty of the social but very little of the Gospel in their actions.
The rest of the documents goes on to look at the "Ten Commitments for CCHD's Future". This is where I see the cosmetics plied on thick. Rather than cover everything I will just emphasis a few points.
Let's start with the introductory paragraphs to this section. It says the commitments "are a roadmap for the renewal of CCHD and contain specific steps to assure the bishops, our pastors and our Catholic people that CCHD will be true to its biblical mission, faithful to its Catholic identity, and accountable in the ways it uses Catholic contributions to pursue justice and overcome poverty." Pardon the scepticism but releasing the names of this year's grantees would do more than the empty promises you are about to make.
Then there is this little gem of self-agrandizement: "This report does not focus on the wonderful work CCHD supports in our parishes and communities across our nation." If it is so wonderful why all the scandals?
"Instead, it responds to concerns, addresses areas that can and must be improved and offers new directions that should be taken to carry out the mission and work of CCHD more faithfully and effectively." Given that that mission has been to undermine Catholic teaching, it sounds to me like they are looking for better ways to hide the truth.
"These Ten Commitments are neither an abandonment of CCHD‟s foundations nor are they an effort to repackage 'business as usual.'" Given the reality of their foundations, yes it is a repackaging to ensure business as usual goes on.
The 1st Commitment talks about CCHD's Catholic ID. "CCHD will be more clear on the "Catholic" in the Catholic Campaign for Human Development." So why haven't you dons so in the past. & again, given what is going on in Chicago, I suspect that this is as cosmetic as it gets.
On to the 2nd Commitment. This is basicly an admission that they are going to be spending a huge effort at spin & cover-up.
4th Commitment: "CCHD will link its activities more directly to the Priorities of our Bishops’ Conference, specifically defending human life and dignity, strengthening marriage and family life and reflecting and celebrating the diversity of our Church and nation." As opposed to your current supporting of groups that promote abortion, gay marriage & undermining family life?
7th Commitment: "The fundamental safeguard remains the approval of the diocesan bishop before a group can be funded." As I pointed out before, the Bishops haven't exactly been doing their job. Some, like Mahony, openly support the groups that the CCHD has funded in the past that undemine Catholic teaching. Other Bishops have relied on their local CCHD director, who, in many cases may have whitewashed things to cover up the truth about the groups they were seeking the Bishop's approval for.
"CCHD will improve and strengthen formation and training for CCHD Diocesan Directors, in addition to encouraging selection and support of qualified directors by dioceses. CCHD can only be as strong as its diocesan leadership and activities." What kind of training? How to better cover things up so the Bishop doesn't get suspicious? The Bishops have to take more responsibility to ensure these directors are going to select the right groups & organizations. The buck stops with them. Not the directors. This whole section also sounds like it is aimed at providing the national CCHD cover as well. "Gee, we were simply taking the Bishop at his word that the group was OK.
& 1 line really raises some alarms for me. "In addition, any action to suspend CCHD funding requires the involvement and agreement of the local bishop." So if the group is pro-abort, or pro-gay marriage & the Bishop refuses to agree to stop funding then the CCHD will continue funding them? That is what it sounds like to me.
Commitment 9, Ethical guidance. "Any CCHD funded group that subsequently and knowingly takes positions that contradict Catholic teaching in these areas (advocacy of abortion, same sex marriage, euthanasia, racism as well as use of the death penalty, punitive measures toward immigrants) will be cut off from any CCHD funding as soon as this violation of CCHD requirements is documented." Given the past track record of ignoring documentation this doesn't exactly give me confidence things are going to change.
This section talks about developing a relationship with one or more moral theologians. I think Bishop William Murphy & Bishop Roger Morin, the bishops who oversee the Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD), sincerely want the CCHD to be cleaned up. They have already appointed Father Daniel Mindling, OFM Cap, academic dean & professor of moral theology at Mount St. Mary's Seminary in Emmitsburg, Maryland, as a consulting theologian. While I don't know much about Fr. Mindling, I am willing to give the Bishops the benefit of the doubt for now.
It is the CCHD staff I am not so sure about.
So far, they haven't exactly followed through on their promises. Instead it is "business as usual" at CCHD. Rather than supporting groups that are authenticly Catholic & uphold authentic Catholic teaching, such as socialism bad#, capitalism good*, they continue to support socialistic groups that oppose authentic Catholic teaching.
It make take a total dismantling of CCHD & starting from scratch rather than reform to solve the problems. In the meantime, I will not be giving a cent to the CCHD collection this year. Instead I will support groups that follow the authentic social teaching of the Catholic Church & work to save souls as well as bodies.
__________________
#Pope Pius XI called communism "intrinsically evil" & anti-Christian, with its avowed goal being the complete destruction of private property, family & religion. Other Popes have said similar things about other forms of socialism.
*This doesn't mean that capitalism can't be abused, just that, as Pope John Paul II said: " the free market is the most efficient instrument for utilizing resources and effectively responding to needs." Centesimus Annus (n. 34) He goes on to say "If by ‘capitalism’ is meant an economic system which recognizes the fundamental and positive role of business, the market, private property and the resulting responsibility for the means of production, as well as free human creativity in the economic sector, then the answer is certainly in the affirmative, even though it would perhaps be more appropriate to speak of a "business economy", "market economy" or simply "free economy". But if by "capitalism" is meant a system in which freedom in the economic sector is not circumscribed within a strong juridical framework which places it at the service of human freedom in its totality, and which sees it as a particular aspect of that freedom, the core of which is ethical and religious, then the reply is certainly negative." (n. 42)
& while I highly doubt they would want to, I would highly recommend that they read Thomas E. Woods Jr's book The Church and the Market: A Catholic Defense of the Free Economy for a better understanding of the Church's teachings in this area. (See also his article Capitalism and Catholicism)

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