Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Can Anything Good Come Out of Washington?

I'm beginning to think that the bishops need to move the headquarters of the USCCB (U.S. Conference  of Catholic Bishops) out of Washington, D.C.  A political mindset seems to be creeping into the bureaucracy of the conference.  It's not hard to happen in that atmosphere.  Washington thinks differently than we do.  Washington thinks its perfectly okay to maintain a big bureaucracy and it is the patriotic duty of the rest of us to hand over cash so that it can continue to perform its exalted function.  If we question whether contributions are being used wisely, or if it is even necessary to fund certain operations, we are told that we don't understand, or that we don't have all the facts or that we just don't appreciate that Washington operates at a higher consciousness to which we are not privy (being ordinary non-Washington mortals), or we are just ignored.  Being distanced from the people helps to sustain the autonomy of the bureaucracy.  Honestly, most American Catholics probably don't even know that such a thing as the USCCB exists.

Why am I getting worked up about the USCCB?  Because over the years its Washington bureaucracy has  funneled our contributions to questionable enterprises.  The Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD) is one of those arms of the bishops' conference that has sent money to entities that support such issues as abortion on demand and the gay/lesbian agenda.  Part of the problem seems to be that the CCHD mandate is to fund community organizers and economic development.  According to Jack Smithat at the Catholic Key Blog (of the Archdiocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph), the community organizers tend to be a little duplicitous in their enterprises, while the economic development group does some good with its funds.  One of the questionable community organizing groups that received CCHD funds is the Center for Community Change, an organization that has been receiving funds from the CCHD.  THis same organization has engaged in political activities, including actively promoting abortion and developing leaders for same sex marriage advocacy.  Another group that was ultimately defunded by the CCHD was Acorn.

Deal Hudson wrote a scathing summary today of the CCHD based on research done by the American Life League (ALL) and Bellarmine Veritas Ministry (BVM) . The CCHD campaign takes place around Thanksgiving and parishes take up a collection from Catholics who, most likely, believe that their money will be spent for charitable purposes in conformity with Church teaching, not for the advocacy of immoral activities.   ALL reports that one fifth of CCHD's grantees in 2009 promoted abortion. 

Catholics should say, "enough!"  Write to your bishops now and demand that an investigation be done into the recipients of our money.  It is absolutely senseless that we should be funding those who would oppose the basic teaching of the Church.  The devil must be laughing at our stupidity.  Any staff member of the USCCB who was involved in those programs, involved in advocating immoral activities or involved in funding these activities, must be fired.  It's as simple as that.  Then, we should take a very close look at the operations and staffing of the USCCB and determine what is truly necessary.  While Catholic parishes and schools are closing throughout the country, we cannot afford to underwrite a bloated bureaucracy.  Especially one that is funding those who would work against our deeply held beliefs.

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