Sunday, June 13, 2010

CCHD and bishops

The Catholic Campaign for Human Development is an organization which was founded by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops in 1970. CCHD has always been controversial to some Catholics. The mandate of the CCHD prevents its grant money from going directly to the poor. Instead its suppose to support organizations which are working to eliminate poverty through social programs.
Most, if not all of its monies go to secular organizations, that is not to expressively Catholic or even Christian organizations. In its past monies which have passed through the national organization have gone to groups which do not support Catholic teaching.
The effectiveness and proper use of grants in individual diocese are very much a function of the level of oversight of the individual bishops. Where the bishop is orthodox and willing to take to time to ensure fund management is scrupulous in adherence to Catholic doctrine on the part of grantees funds donated to the CCHD can do much good. In cases where this is not so funds donated to the CCHD can at the least make possible the diversion of funds to support programs hostile to Catholic teaching and at worst actually support activities which are actually against Catholic teaching, such as abortion, contraception, homosexuality and hostility to the traditional family.
At least eight U.S. bishops have stopped taking donations for the CCHD in their diocese, instead using that same money to support charitable organizations locally, in some cases in programs which would not have been permitted under the CCHD program, such as support for a food pantry for the hungry.
One group Reform The Catholic Campaign for Human Development has sent a report to every bishop in the United States. It should be pointed out that this group is not calling for the elimination of the CCHD, but for meaningful reform. The information revealed in the report is chilling to any faithful Catholic. No less that 18 grantee organizations are revealed in the report to be supporters of abortion or same-sex "marriage." At least 31 are said to require further investigation. In many cases an even cursory look at the web sites or liturature of the offending grantees would show that they support positions at odds with Catholic teaching. No great amount of investigation needed.
It should be mentioned that CCHD has literally hundreds of grantees nationally and many more through the local diocese. One would hope that the vast majority of these groups are compatible with Catholic teaching, not involved in disallowed activities, such as political action or support of specific political candidates or parties and are compatible in their activities with Church teaching.
To count on more than hope, perhaps the USCCB should heed the call for an audit of grantee organizations.
CCHD was founded as a response to the plight of the poor in the United States, for it to fulfill its mission it must be grounded in authentic Catholic teaching.