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Cracking Down on Catholic Charities

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Cracking Down on Catholic Charities

Last October, Bishop Robert Hermann, acting leader of the St. Louis Archdiocese, sent Catholic Charities board members a memo saying the organization had been allowed “to drift in a direction that began to work contrary to the desires” of previous archbishops. He informed them that the relationship between the archdiocese and Catholic Charities was “at an impasse.” — St. Louis Post-Dispatch

In a 1998 “Behind The Headlines” commentary, I summarized a recent issue of Alternatives in Philanthropy, published by the Capital Research Center, describing Catholic Charities’ increasing reliance on government handouts and its concomitant secularization. The commentary concluded as follows:

Didn’t Jesus say something rather pithy about the folly of a man gaining the world and losing his soul? What are we to think of a religious organization that seems willing to make a similarly shortsighted bargain? Where is the charity in distributing funds forcefully extracted from the taxpayer? Where is the charity in depriving productive citizens of the resources they might have used to make voluntary contributions of their own? Where is the charity in undermining the incentive for self-improvement of the destitute and debauched? Where is the faith of the determined little do-gooders who dare not rely on true charity to fund their efforts? If they had faith, and their good works were demonstrably good, God and their fellow man would ensure their success.

In recent years, Catholic Charities has embraced a leftwing agenda under the false banner of “social justice” — and, even more recently, has used its increasingly close ties with the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, to divert that organization from its true mission as well. A crackdown by the Church is long overdue, and most welcome.

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