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Posts Tagged / Catholic Charities

  • Sep 05 / 2009
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It’s obvious enough that a person can sin by doing something wrong, somewhat less obvious that he can sin as well by not doing something right. The Catholic Church, in its infinite wisdom, distinguishes between sins of commission and sins of omission, and condemns them both.vincent 2

It was an understanding of the sin of commission that prompted protest recently when three lay Catholic organizations issued an alert to their members encouraging them to support the socialistic healthcare “reform” legislation being drafted by Congress. Provisions relating to abortion and euthanasia, among others, make that legislation completely unacceptable for Catholics, and support for it sinful.

Spokesmen for these organizations expressed surprise at the protest, denied that they were supporting what they clearly had supported, and accused their critics of being disingenuous and deceitful.  In other words, they compounded their first sin of commission by committing at least two more: lying about the obvious implications of their support and slandering the faithful Catholics who had called them on it.

What has escaped widespread notice and protest, so far, is the fact that the leaders of these organizations are also guilty of the sin of omission. In addition to doing something wrong, they have also failed to do something right. Not only have they effectively supported abortion with their recent alert, but, over the course of many years, they have failed to express strong opposition to it. (Had their pro-life sentiments been unequivocally expressed all along, their protestations over the reaction to their recent alert might have had a more honest ring.)

The Society of St. Vincent de Paul, for instance, has published position papers on affordable housing, health care, immigration, fair wages, restorative justice, predatory lending, homelessness, and hunger — but not abortion. Its Voice of the Poor committee purports to speak for the voiceless, but it has never seen fit to speak out on behalf of the one poor person who really cannot speak for himself, the unborn child.

Individual members of the Society who have commented on this omission and sought to correct it have been rebuffed by leadership.

The conferences and councils of the Society make heroic efforts to help unwed mothers and struggling families, but imagine if the Society as a whole truly were a voice of the poor unborn child. Imagine if its 120,000 members in the United States spoke as one in opposition to abortion. Imagine if the national leadership echoed that voice. What an impact they could have!

But no. The issue isn’t even worth a position paper.

  • Mar 08 / 2009
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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.

  • Jan 23 / 2009
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Racial Reeducation

As part of its continuing nationwide campaign to cut poverty in half by 2020, Catholic Charities USA is ramping up efforts to help people understand the ties between poverty and racism. . . . Precious Blood Father Clarence Williams, senior director of racial equality and diversity initiatives at Catholic Charities USA, said Catholics must begin to understand the depth of poverty and take significant steps to alleviate it across racial lines. — Catholic News Service

You’re probably familiar with the phenomenon of radical leftwingers using the banner of “social justice” to implement their agenda in the Church, but I wonder if you’re aware of another looming threat: racial reeducation. Under the auspices of Catholic Charities, Fr. Clarence Williams will introduce his “racial sobriety” program to dioceses across the country.

In person, Fr. Clarence, whom I’ve met, is disarmingly cordial, not the least bit threatening. But his program is malicious, utterly vile, and dangerous. I tried to read his book, also called Racial Sobriety, but was so repulsed by it that I got less than halfway through. The premise is that all white people are bigots and all blacks are innocent victims. A white person who denies being a bigot is, ipso facto, a bigot. Any person, white or black, who fails to affirm the malignancy of white culture is in denial. White participants in the program, modeled on the AA 12-step plan, must admit their bigotry before they can be healed. You can imagine what happens to a person who resists self-denunciation. The program would be laughable, were it not for the fact that Catholic Charities and the Society of St. Vincent de Paul have committed to implementing it.

  • Nov 11 / 2008
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Wolves in Sheep’s Clothing

“Charitable organizations must not forget the Christian meaning of their activity, influenced by the present philanthropic climate or by excessive reliance on public funds,” [Cardinal Paul Josef Cordes said in an address to U.S. bishops this morning]. Catholic charity, Cordes said, is intended to be a “sign of God’s goodness.”

Cordes said that Cor Unum recently organized a set of spiritual exercises for leaders in church-run charities, to some extent designed to foster a clear sense of what makes Catholic charitable activity distinct from its secular counterparts. — National Catholic Reporter

It’s about time the Church did something to rein in the radicals who have been subverting her doctrine for the last 50+ years. But don’t expect “spiritual exercises” to bring them back into the fold. The Lefties are convinced of their own sanctity and think that everything they do is holy, no matter how malicious. Catholic Charities and the Society of St. Vincent de Paul have been infiltrated by change agents determined to hijack these worthy organizations and use them to enact their own “social justice” agenda.

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