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Camino De Santiago

Along with a group very special friends, my brother Tim, and two Priests, we will be walking the Camino de Santiago in Spain beginning in August. Please friend me "Deacon Pat Kearns" on Facebook to follow the journey. I realize with limited internet, Facebook will be the easiest way to share the journey. I will share more on the blog when I return. I am also looking forward to using the experience in the current novel I am work on "Climbing Out of the Darkness."

Saturday, November 21, 2009

The Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD) Crisis


What a big controversy currently associated with the Catholic Church this weekend.

This weekend in most churches through our the nation there will a second monetary collection for the CCHD. Yet so many have come out with reports that this organization uses Catholic money to support anti-catholic causes such as abortion, homosexuality, etc.

So who are these people?

Per their website: The Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD) is the anti-poverty effort of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. CCHD’s 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. Many of these organizations do their work through community organizing and economic development efforts.
CCHD fully upholds the Church’s teaching on the sanctity of human life from conception through natural death. The Campaign funds projects that empower the poor and help them organize themselves to move out of poverty. All grant applications are carefully screened and funds are provided only to projects with objectives and actions that are fully in accord with the moral teachings of the Catholic Church. Partisan activity is strictly prohibited. The local CCHD director and CCHD field representative evaluate every proposal. Endorsement by the local bishop is required for every project recommended for funding.

This coupon is even being circulated among some catholics that will be put into the collection basket instead of money in protest of the organization and support of.

So what does our Bishop say:

We contacted our diocese and received a report that we are supporting the organization. As a Deacon I will follow the wisdom of my Bishop who is much smarter than I and can see the much larger picture.

What are other Bishops saying about this issue:

Responding to concerns about the Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD), Archbishop John Nienstedt and Archbishop Charles J. Chaput have said the CCHD still does “much good,” despite several “disturbing” incidents and “mistakes” in which the campaign funded groups that worked against Catholic teachings.

Archbishop Nienstedt of St. Paul and Minneapolis said the Campaign aims to “break the cycle of poverty” for 40 million people in the U.S. by funding local “self-help, anti-poverty” organizations. Many of these are not under the auspices of the Church, but agree to follow guidelines which prevent them from violating Catholic teachings, the archbishop explained.
He then noted recent controversies in which the CCHD had to stop funding for three projects that violated those guidelines. He said CCHD funding was “immediately cut off” when violations were made known.

As an example, he referred to an immigrant workers’ rights group that began advocating against California’s Proposition 8 and for same-sex “marriage.” Such a position, Archbishop Nienstedt said, “obviously has nothing to do with the rights of immigrants.”

In November the CCHD issued a document “For the Record – The Truth about CCHD Funding” to respond to various charges and criticisms.

In that document, the CCHD said it “fully upholds” Church teaching on the sanctity of life.

The American Life League, which is critical of the CCHD, claimed that the campaign did not address the allegation that grantees are “closely associated with pro-abortion organizations.”
“It is well and good that it affirms the sanctity of human life… but the fact remains that Catholic funds have been used and are still used to support such organizations,” the ALL’s Michael Hichborn wrote.

He said in addition to the CCHD grantees profiled by ALL, CCHD grants should be denied to every organization that has received funding from pro-abortion organizations, has been promoted by Planned Parenthood, or has been involved with “Marxist socialism.”

The CCHD’s response to concerns that all grant money is “fungible,” Hichborn said, was “inadequate and inaccurate.” If one project of an organization is well funded, he said, money in the organization’s general fund is freed up for other projects.

If an unworthy organization is running a good project, Hichborn argued, a Catholic cannot donate to that project because it “lends credibility” to the organization, causes scandal to the laity, and frees up the organization’s general fund for other “evil projects.”

The CCHD reported that the Los Angeles Community Action Network (LACAN), which was accused of promoting same-sex “marriage” and actively supporting contraception and the morning-after pill, was cleared by a review conducted by the Archdiocese of Los Angeles and also had the support of the Archdiocese of San Francisco.

Hichborn charged that this was an “absolute indictment” of the archdioceses’ “complicity in supporting immoral organizations.”

He also claimed that the CCHD addressed “the exact same allegations” 12 years ago using similar fact sheets. These “striking similarities,” Hichborn said, show that these problems have persisted for some time.

Archbishop Nienstedt’s letter defended the CCHD. Though reports about some grantees’ actions are “disturbing,” he said, “one has to realize that they are four out of over 250 projects that are funded by CCHD every year.”

“I am aware that some groups have widely advertised such flaws in the CCHD system, hoping to torpedo the whole operation. This, it seems to me, is the classic ‘throwing the baby out with the bath water.’ There are imperfections, yes, but there is also so much good that is being done through this collection.”

He pointed to Bishop Roger Morin of Biloxi, Mississippi , who gave public reassurances about the CCHD grant approval process at the U.S. bishops’ fall assembly in Baltimore.

“In light of those assurances, I have no hesitation in contributing to this collection and I encourage your generous participation as well,” Archbishop Nienstedt continued.

Archbishop of Denver Charles J. Chaput also commented on the CCHD controversy in an interview with Mike Sullivan of the group Catholics United for the Faith. He said that people should be “prudent” and shouldn’t jump to “rash conclusions.” He said that he believed that some CCHD staff has made mistakes, but he said some blogs had been “excessive in their judgment.”

“People shouldn’t believe everything they read or be upset with the kind of intensity that I’ve seen, because I think that intensity leads to blindness.”

He said that people could contribute to the CCHD collection without worrying that they are supporting causes that conflict with Church teaching.

“If people don’t like the decisions of the Campaign staff and their allocations, one of the ways they can show their displeasure is by withholding funds from their diocesan collections,” the archbishop added.

“We bishops serve ourselves and the collection well if we are honest about mistakes, try not to make them again, and move on appropriately.
Deacon Pat: Somehow I have a strong feeling that this year's Crisis message for the CCHD is a clear message that if you don't entirely clean up your act, funds just might not be forthcoming in the future...... Just a hunch.... but what do I know?

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