Tuesday, February 23, 2010

CCHD: Finding the Best Path to Reform

For many years, some Catholics have expressed everything from concern to dismay to outrage over some of the groups that receive grants from the Catholic Campaign for Human Development. The charge is that a number of these groups are in coalitions that promote reproductive rights, same sex marriage, etc. Last fall the Catholic Campaign announced the defunding of a few organizations apparently responding to the investigative work of Rob Gaspar of Bellarmine Veritas. Since then new allegations have been made and a Reform CCHD Now coalition has formed. We talk to two of the members - Deal Hudson and Rob Gaspar

Here are a few more links pertinent on this topic.






  1. I have heard of the need to reform the CHD, now the CCHD, for decades. The continued use of Church money for groups whose efforts diametrically oppose Church teaching warrants a righteous anger. Dispassionate lofty negotiations encourage the clericalistic arrogance within the USCCB. I see nothing wrong with the Voris approach. Passion is understandable and effective.

  2. Anonymous 1
    I agree with you in that I am displeased with the way Catholic money has been used to support anti-Catholic agendas. But Voris is presenting the information in a way that shuts down communication with the offending party.

    We live in an age in which our bishops can video conference directly with Rome and a Bishop can get approval for his own locally coherent customized plan for the diocese that he is in charge of. I question the need for a USCCB and the national blanket "nuances" to Catholic teaching that it generates. I just don't believe that such a centralized body of power can be effective at ensuring orthodoxy and becomes a target of special interest groups who are very powerful and very manipulative. True, Rome is such a centralized body, but I believe that it is a body started by God. The USCCB is a body started by man. God has demonstrated throughout history that He protects what He builds.

    I can't offer my talents on a national level, but I can offer them to my bishop. Our church is suffering because people are just giving faceless money instead of themselves. Once my money leaves my hand, I no longer have control of it. But my talents will only be manifest where I am. Does the Lord want our burnt offerings or does he want us?

    If Voris would have presented his message in a much less antagonistic manner, I believe it would reach more hearts. God is the only one who I trust to properly exercise righteous anger. Voris has released name calling video after name calling video. He needs to exercise temperance with his anger. I can excuse the emotion in 1 passionately charged correction video, but video after name calling video starts to look more like a Fox or MSNBC opinion manipulation campaign instead of a Christian act of fraternal correction.


  3. Chris, I think you're on to something. Voris does sometimes go to far. But while that may turn some people off, it should not excuse the CCHD from actually considering the facts presented, which is how they're using the antipathy some have toward Voris. They are ignoring the charges, and hurt feelings are no excuse.

    And Al has a point, to a point, on this show when he says "well, that's the problem with coalitions."

    But there's something radically different between joining a coalition that is dedicated to advancing homosexual "marriage", abortion, etc., whose members may not be homogenous in their approach; and joining a coalition that is rightfully asking the CCHD for a reform of their whole program, but whose members SOMETIMES are uncharitable in their approach. To portray these two very different instances as if they are equivalent is to make a serious error. I expect Al agrees, but it needs to be clarified.

  4. Anonymous 2 - I don't thing anybody is saying that Voris' ridiculous rants excuse the CCHD from considering the facts presented. I think Al said during both interviews that this research is important and the Bishops need to answer the charges. It seems to me that Al pretty much agrees with Deal Hudson and the other gentleman that was on today. He just objects to the extreme statements that end up being counterproductive. That's why Deal Hudson said what he said, because people like Voris end up hurting the Coalition's chances at accomplishing what they are setting out to do.

    - Claire in Ypsilanti

  5. Al and Nick,
    Really... if Al wants to take on a complex issue like CHD (re-monikered CCHD) on his show, Al needs to do his homework and look more closely at the CCHD grant list year after year. Look at the extensive exposes done by Paul Likoukis from the Wanderer and Stephanie Block of Los Pequenos. Many of the CCHD grantees are community organizing organizationslike ACORN who agitate class welfare and are social change agents. ACORN has been funded for many years and was blocked only when their criminal actions were exposed after the 2008 elections. I did not appreciate Al Kresta putting Deal and Rob on the defensive AND Deal "making nice" with Al over this crisis at the USCCB. Let's not shoot the messengers like Rob Gasper and Michael Voris. We're not attacking the bishops BUT we need to look at the bureaucracy running the USCCB and revisit it's charter and investigate what they're doing exactly. I did not appreciate the articles written by USCCB staffers before the 2008 elections promoting seamless garment principles and actually recommending Obama's health care plan inferring Obama was the right candidate! I can furnish evidence. There is a lot going on at the USCCB that warrants close investigation and it should be done by an independent party. Does any informed Catholic believe the U.S.bishops policed themselves effectively during the clergy scandal exposes? They had to commission the independent John Jay College of Criminal Justice to lay out the whole horrible coverup by high Church officials. Back to CCHD: One new example for you - there are other funded groups that are working for immigration rights and their advocacy activities oppose the sovereign authority of our nation and the difficult work of the INS, Homeland Security, and US Border Patrol. To be clear there are bishops and bureaucrats at the USCCB who are using Catholic donations to support illegal immigrant rights. I don't personally have a problem with Bishop Jaime Soto of Sacramento taking money out of his own pocket to hire an immigration lawyer to defend an illegal immigrant. It's another issue when unsuspecting Catholics in the pews provide undirected donations and are not being told where their money is going! Full disclosure! Enough is enough! Here's another example: One grantee called "A Project of Chinese for Affirmative Action" gives workshops on promoting gay rights. I will send Nick an email with information on this. I've done independent research on CHD for some time (as a Catholic journalist in California) aside from Bellarmine and Reform CCHD NOW.There are big problems with the whole mission of CCHD and, worse, how Catholic donations are being misused to support radical agendas that are not consistent with authentic Catholic social teaching including the preeminent principle of "subsidiarity". I commend Bellarmine, RealCatholicTV, and the sponsors of Reform CCHD Now in looking beyond the "smoke" to put out the fires at the USCCB, CCHD and other departments run by the USCCB who are misrepresenting the Church's primary mission - to bring souls to Christ.

  6. I think it necessary to ask the question. Why did the USCCB get into bed with groups like ACORN in the first place?
    Does the laity really have to keep such close watch on the USCCB? I mean, I have a big family to care for and I live in a diocese with it's own "Call to Action" problems.

    I don't agree with Voris' tact. Like I said, I think he needs to exercise temperance with regard to his anger, but I believe that the USCCB has instigated Voris' polarizing reaction.

    I guess I'm the kind of Catholic who wants to see heads roll over historical events like Obama being aloud to speak at Notre Dame. Instead, we have good Catholics who were arrested for protesting Obama's invitation. That is backwards and cause for anger.

    I don't appreciate the American bishops who pressured John Paul 2 to change Church teaching on homosexuality, contraception, abortion, married priests, woman priests, and other things of that sort.

    I don't appreciate the bishops who try to stiff arm EWTN.

    I believe there is just cause for Catholics to be angry at the USCCB but anger must be bridled with Christian self control. The true enemies of the Church have been dying off for 2000 years now. That's not going to change. Judas didn't win, Peter did. Catholics should simply point out the facts and not taint it with name calling. Catholics should not try to sound like Bill O'Reilly or Chris Matthews do on political matters. The Church unites, it doesn't polarize. We are fishers of men, not tailors of infighting. If Voris believes he wields Christ's Sword of Truth, then he should whiled it to John Carr's face and not to some youtube camera, that's the Christian way. We are a people who are supposed to engage in person to person interaction. We don't set traps for our brothers and we don't drag someone's personal reputation out into the public square and flog it. We are the laity. Has Voris been commissioned to do what he is doing by some Bishop?

    Let the Princes of the Church take note of these events. If they refuse to shepherd their flock according to Christ's teaching, then they open the door for disordered behavior in their sheep.


  7. CCHD takes hard working peoples money in Sunday collections for its own personal philanthropy much guided by liberal politics. In many ways this fund shouldnt' even exist, except as an avenue to help feed, clothe and cure. However, even with a much narrower focus I'm sure they would overlap with other catholic organizations. So whats the prime justification for its existence?... I dont really know 'Human Development' is code to me for spend at will.

  8. Shooting the Messenger?

    Will someone please tell me why Michael Voris is being accused of "ridiculous rants" and intemperance? What has he said or done to elicit these disparagements? I don't see anything hysterical or intemperate in the video clips I get from RealCatholicTV. Is he speaking the truth or not? Is he guilty of calumny and detraction or not? It has been attributed to St. John Chrysostom or St. Athanasius the popular saying, "the floor of hell is paved with the skulls of bishops". I for one do not intend to follow those prelates destined for such a fate.

  9. Phil,

    How's this:

    Nov. 4, 2008
    “Are these so-called Catholics’ religious medals and necklaces cutting the oxygen off to their brains? If they even wear religious medals”

    Oct. 5, 2009
    “There is no doubt that the American Bishops today are now presiding over the greatest meltdown of the Church since the Protestant revolt of 500 years ago”

    Dec. 3, 2009
    “What the hell is going on here? Is there anyone who works at the USCCB in a position of influence who isn’t either gay, or pro-abortion, or is a Democrat, or an Obama crony”

    Feb. 2, 2010
    “Many of them (employees of the USCCB) pretend to be serving the poor, while their real motive is to weaken the Church from the inside”

    Feb. 9, 2010
    The USCCB “has really accomplished little, other than to produce scandal and confusion, and lots of votes for the Democratic Party and its agenda.”

    Feb. 12, 2010
    “You have to begin to wonder, is the Bishops Conference an organization whose goal is to help spread the faith? Or to fund and spread the Democratic Party gospel?

    Feb. 15, 2010
    USCCB is “not much else than a mouthpiece for the Democratic Party agenda”

    “A faithful Catholic sort of has to do a double-take at any document the Conference produces”

    “The average Catholic simply can’t know with any great certitude if what is coming out of the Conference is truly representative of Catholic teaching”