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Fraud and the USCCB

Will Their Excellencies Listen to His Holiness?

Father Celatus POSTED: 12/20/12


( Fraud has been a part of human history ever since the fall of mankind. The very first fraud was that committed by none other than Satan, who convinced the woman Eve that by defiance of God, she and Adam could actually become as gods themselves, knowing good from evil. Whether or not Adam was fooled by this fraud or simply decided to die with his wife we are not told, but that original fraud occasioned the Original Sin, from which we have suffered ever since.

Perhaps the most famous of the biblical fraudsters were to be found among the Patriarchs. Chief among them was Jacob, who defrauded his brother of his birthright and blessing for a bit of pottage. Never mind that his mother put him up to it and his brother deserved it and providence had preordained the outcome; God had not approved their fraudulent means. And so mother and son suffered for their fraud: Jacob had to flee his homeland and never saw his mother again and he himself was the victim of fraud, at the hands of his uncle, who tricked him into marriage with a woman not of his choosing and several years of unjust labor. Fraud ran deep in that family.

Unfortunately, fraud continues to raise its insidious head from age to age and time to time, even among those entrusted with the care of the Church. Take, for example, the fraud upon the flock that is annually perpetrated by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB). I have in mind the Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD), which would be better named as the Crooked Campaign for Human Detriment. Several Catholic news sources and watchdog organizations, to include The Remnant, did their best to warn the faithful about this campaign in advance of the annual collection for the CCHD taken up in parishes nationwide.

Chief among the watchdogs, whose unwelcome barking falls upon deaf episcopal ears, is a unified coalition of twenty four concerned Catholic institutions known as Reform CCHD Now (RCN). The RCN coalition describes itself as follows: “We are faithful Catholics who are concerned that the funds we provide to the National Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD) in special annual Sunday collections have gone and continue to go to corrupt and partisan political groups, and even groups which sometimes work against the Church.”

Contrast this with this CCHD guideline, which states, “CCHD will not fund groups that are members of coalitions which have as their organizational purpose or coalition agenda, positions or actions that contradict fundamental Catholic moral and social teaching.” To which claim, in the face of damning evidence from RCN and others, we cry foul and make the charge of fraud.

In fact, according to the summary report of the RCN, no fewer than 46 of the 195 Catholic dioceses in the United States had grantees last year which are in violation of CCHD guidelines. More specifically, the total number of grantees in violation of the CCHD guidelines is 72, which represents 37 percent of the total number. According to one Catholic theologian of Christendom College, at least 20 of these CCHD grantees are clearly guilty of formal cooperation with evil.

For those who would like to see the RCN report in its entirety, go to:

Even as the ink was drying on checks cut by unsuspecting faithful to support the CCHD, it was announced by the Vatican that the Pope had just penned an apostolic letter, timely on this topic. This most recent papal motu proprio, “On the Service of Charity,” emphasizes that Catholic charitable activity must not become just another form of organized social assistance and that charitable agencies supported by bishops and national conferences conform to Church teaching.

The text of the apostolic letter is available on the Vatican website but here are some key articles:

It is the duty of the diocesan Bishop and the respective parish priests to see that in [charitable initiatives], the faithful are not led into error or misunderstanding; hence they are to prevent publicity being given through parish or diocesan structures to initiatives which, while presenting themselves as charitable, propose choices or methods at odds with the Church’s teaching.

In particular, the diocesan Bishop is to ensure that charitable agencies dependent upon him do not receive financial support from groups or institutions that pursue ends contrary to Church’s teaching. Similarly, lest scandal be given to the faithful, the diocesan Bishop is to ensure that these charitable agencies do not accept contributions for initiatives whose ends, or the means used to pursue them, are not in conformity with the Church’s teaching.

The diocesan Bishop is obliged, if necessary, to make known to the faithful the fact that the activity of a particular charitable agency is no longer being carried out in conformity with the Church’s teaching, and then to prohibit that agency from using the name “Catholic” and to take the necessary measures should personal responsibilities emerge.

Contrast these articles decreed by the Holy Father with just a sampling of abuses by the CCHD:

District of Columbia Grassroots Empowerment Project (Empower DC) was granted $50,000. This group published and distributed a “guide for youth stopped by the police,” which explains what a girl should do if she is in possession of drugs or working as a prostitute. Empower DC uploaded a video promoting homosexuality and it promoted an LGBT workshop for youth.

Chicago Latino Union was granted $75,000. This grantee was the fiscal sponsor of ARC 109, a convening of activists in support of unfettered abortion rights and the gay-rights agenda.

Knoxville SOCM Resource Project was granted $65,000. SOCM promoted the “Tennessee Human Rights Statement” which would make any objection to open homosexuality illegal.

Rochester Tompkins Country Workers Center was granted $35,000. This collation of 43 members includes the local Planned Parenthood and local NOW, and two socialist organizations.

Pressure from the faithful and directives from the Holy Father: will the CCHD now be reformed? Time will tell but experience leaves little hope for change when it comes to USCCB shell games.

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