By REY FLORES
The time has come again, folks, to hide your wallets and purses from that old collection known as the Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD).
This year, the CCHD collection takes place on the weekend of November 23 and 24 and the USCCB is sticking the collection basket right under our noses already.
As the former director of the CCHD in Chicago a few years back, I seriously believed that I and a few solid priests, bishops, and laity would be able to work hard and make the CCHD more Catholic. I really thought it would be possible for social justice and respect life forces to work together, but it proved to be a much bigger task than anyone could imagine.
We’ve all heard the expression about leading a horse to water, but not being able to make the horse take a drink. That seems to be the case with all of the evidence that has been brought to the attention of clergy at all levels. Reports are all well-documented and accessible by anyone via the Internet.
It certainly doesn’t help that there are still countless numbers of Catholics that still trust that the collection is doing the “right thing” and never question where CCHD money goes. They’ll blindly write the check out or stuff the preprinted envelopes with cash, all ready to be delivered in some instances to secular community organizers.
While it should be noted that the CCHD rewrote its grant guidelines and has begun defunding some of the groups that were previously funded with impunity, it is still very frustrating to see the bishops repeat “move along, nothing to see here” when confronted with evidence about the kinds of secular efforts the CCHD continues to fund.
The national director of the CCHD is none other than Ralph McCloud, a lay Catholic with quite an interesting connection to Texas gubernatorial candidate and pro-abortion filibuster favorite Wendy Davis.
The American Life League and LifeSiteNews (see report by Patrick B. Craine dated June 28, 2013) have reported on this in the recent past, but somehow McCloud is still in place.
From Craine’s report:
“Ralph McCloud, director of the Catholic Campaign for Human Development, an arm of the USCCB dedicated to combating domestic poverty, served as the treasurer on Davis’ campaign team in her bid for the State Senate in 2008, in which she unseated a pro-life incumbent, Republican Kim Brimer. . . .
“McCloud responded at the time that he was not aware of Davis’ position on abortion and that his role on the campaign was minimal.
“But critics pointed out that Davis’ stance on abortion was clear even then. Her campaign was strongly backed by Planned Parenthood and the pro-abortion PAC Annie’s List raised hundreds of thousands of dollars on her behalf while McCloud was serving as treasurer.
“McCloud had served with Davis on the Fort Worth City Council from 1999 to 2005. In his response, he said Davis was a ‘friend and colleague’ who had asked him to serve as treasurer in an ‘honorary role’ and that he was ‘unaware that she subsequently took a position on abortion that conflicted with my own strong pro-life convictions’.”
I ask: What else needs to happen? Does lightning have to strike the offices of the USCCB’s Peace and Justice office before we slay the CCHD beast once and for all?
In an October 29, 2013 press release, the USCCB announced: “In the Archdiocese of Seattle and the Dioceses of Spokane and Yakima, the Intercommunity Peace and Justice Center works with help from 16 religious communities and local ‘Women’s Justice Circles.’ One program, ‘Justice for Women,’ organizes women living in poverty by bringing them together with economically stable women from local faith communities. With low-income women in the lead, the Circles identify the conditions that need changing and offer women spiritual strength and support.”
Is this the best example that the CCHD could come up with? In my experience, these so-called “women’s justice circles” are by and large simply interfaith intercommunity nonsense, where the circles resemble New Age groups that barely touch on Catholic identity, let alone Catholic faith.
These programs are usually run by your garden variety of Catholic orders of wayward pant-suited nuns who still haven’t gotten over the end of the Woodstock era. One can almost hear the Joni Mitchell records playing in the background.
These do-gooder nuns like to work within immigrant communities of mostly low-information, low-education level immigrant communities where many women are already poorly formed in the teachings of the Catholic faith; all they need are these supposed faith leaders to push them over the edge into a lifetime of new-age social justice.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: The only remedy for the CCHD is to drive a stake of true justice through its heart, and have the bishops start focusing more on saving souls.
One look at all of the socialist agendas and Christian persecution going on right outside our windows should be telling enough about how this do-gooder, social justice ecumenism has ravaged our Church.
Before the CCHD collection this year, please read Phyllis Schlafly’s and George Neumayr’s No Higher Power: Obama’s War on Religious Freedom at your earliest convenience. The book was published in July of 2012.
In the appendix of this book you will find documentation straight from the vaults of the Archdiocese of Chicago, where it outlines how bishops were giving Barack Obama $33,000 a year to basically organize leftists with Catholic money.
In the same documents you will find how ACORN was also receiving $30,000 for its ridiculously named “Homesteaders Rights Project,” which was the beginning of the eventual Fannie May/Freddie Mac housing collapse.
Say no to the CCHD and please share this far and wide with your Catholic family and friends. Also clip, copy, and share this article for next year as well.
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(Rey Flores can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Rey is also available for speaking engagements at: www.cmgbooking.com/speakers/618-rey-flores.)