Saturday, November 23, 2013

Open Letter To Bishop Bransfield Regarding CCHD

Bishop Michael Bransfield oversees the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston, WV.  This letter was penned by my Catholic Media Coalition colleague Jim Fritz.  It's worth a read.  Tomorrow do NOT contribute to the CCHD collection.  Say #no2cchd.

                                                                                                November 22, 2013

Most Rev. Michael Bransfield
Bishop of Wheeling - Charleston
1300 Byron Street
Wheeling, WV 26003

Dear Bishop Bransfield;

Subject: Catholic Campaign for Human Development

In a recent commentary by Diane Taylor of New Zealand Catholic Women's Association, she stated “Children are the victims of child abuse or human trafficking, as they never have been before.  Parents, grandparents, relatives and friends are also victims. In the case of natural disasters, children are now in need of immediate attention, to be saved from the clutches of traffickers and pedophiles. This is right now claimed by those in the Philippines. (PA) (Agenzia Fides 14/11/2013)
But what of their traffickers?  This question needs to be asked.  How were they educated – by pornographic programs at all levels – maybe starting in schools?  The matter of victims themselves becoming aggressors needs to be investigated and the truth told.  Ends solely justifying means has always been a problem but never an authentic solution.
UN Agencies have long foisted harmful programs onto an ever-increasing number of unsuspecting countries.  Their solutions are part of the problem.  The results of the so-called solutions have now become more and more apparent.  Problems these programs/initiatives purport to fix have only dramatically increased.  A legitimate claim can be made for the huge increases in sexual slavery and child prostitution as examples.
For decades “childhood education and healthcare” programs have meant increases in violation of children’s/youth’s consciences.  Violations have occurred via more and more pernicious, exploitative “programs.”  Erroneous ideas have consequences, especially when put into practice, as do harmful solutions to problems.
Government-funded education and health programs have served to enable various providers of sexual devices while also providing ruthlessly erotic programs.
            We in the US are subject to the same problems.  Government programs expand with each passing year.  Some bishops are now even accepting the Common Core curriculum for education in our Catholic schools. Government grants going to our Catholic charities such as the Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD) increases pressure on them to fund organizations with anti-life agendas.  While CCHD grants have not gone to organizations that directly provide abortion or contraceptives, CCHD money has gone to grantees that politically support these social evils.  In an effort to repackage itself and regain donor confidence, the Campaign added the word “Catholic” to its name in 1998 and produced a new set of guidelines emphasizing the sanctity of life and disqualifying organizations from CCHD funding whose primary or substantial thrust was contrary to Catholic teaching.  However, the CCHD has made only minor funding corrections in response to these guidelines.
In an article by Stephanie Block regarding the CCHD, she states, ”The Catholic Campaign for Human Development is an annual collection of the United States Catholic Conference of Bishops.  It was launched in 1970 with three purposes. The first and best understood of these is the funding of economic self-help projects run by the poor as a way of addressing domestic poverty.  The second purpose is the support of social change.  The CCHD’s founding resolution stated that “the magnitude and complexity of poverty in the U.S. in a time of rapid social change...calls for the creation of a new source of financial capital that can be allocated for specific social projects aimed at eliminating the very causes of poverty....There is an evident need for funds designated to be used for organized groups of white and minority poor to develop economic strength and political power in their own community....”
            Lastly, the collection is intended to fund educational programs that will raise the level of awareness among middle and upper classes of the plight of the poor.  The founding resolution committed the Campaign to “lead the People of God to a new knowledge of today's problems, a deeper understanding of the intricate forces that lead to group conflict, and a perception of some new and promising approaches that we might take in promoting a greater spirit of solidarity…”
            To bring about social change, at least one third of CHD grants have been used to fund Alinsky-style, broad-based community organizations.  Most of these are based on institutional membership.  The largest of the Alinskyian organizations is the Industrial Areas Foundation (IAF)x with a network of over 60 local affiliates, the Pacific Institute for Community Organizing (PICO)x with about 35 affiliates, Gamaliel with over 40 local affiliates, and Direct Action and Research Training Center (DART)x with a dozen local affiliates.  ACORN, another Alinsky-style network based on individual membership rather than institutional membershipx also receives a percentage of CCHD funding.   Besides training their membership to take civic action, these groups seek an ultimate restructuring of government, education, job training and placement, healthcare, housing, and social service provision.  They are also theologically liberationist, promoting concepts of “class struggle,” consensualized “truth,” and a politicized spiritual life, assessing imperfect, troubled economic or socio-political structures to be root causes of evil rather than a consequence of human actions, taken by free and responsible persons.
            The educational programs of the CCHD are also liberationist.  An older CHD publication, “Sourcebook on Poverty, Development and Justice,” produced by the CHD during the tenure of Sr. Josephine Dunne, SHCJ (CHD Education Coordinator) is a collection of essays explaining the foundational liberation theology of the CHD and its preference for “liberating education.” “Liberating education,” for Dunne, was a process quite distinct from traditional western education, which she typed as “being institutional, self-serving and divorced from developmental needs, forcing the learned to look elsewhere for meaning and causing institutional education to be in many cases the experience of irrelevance.  Catholic education in the U.S. seems to have shared in this deficiency.”  In its stead, Dunne offered a “new theory of catechesis” that included values clarification and a threefold pedagogy, which she termed transference, reflection, and action-living (see-judge-act), lived out by the learner in a “continual dialectical interrelationship.”
            Recent CCHD-produced educational materials continue to use see-judge-act pedagogy.  While see-judge-act methodology is not necessarily manipulative, it is often designed to lead participants to pre-determined conclusions.  Session 1 of “Poverty and Faithjustice,” for example, presumes that any adequate response to poverty will require fundamental changes in the social and economic structures of the United States.  JustFaith, the most recent educational program used by the CCHD, continues in the same vein as its predecessors.”
            In an article from the American Life League they state: "We are encouraged by and wish to acknowledge CCHD’s positive steps," added Michael Hichborn, director of ALL's Defend the Faith project. "Still, with over 20 problematic grantees that continue to receive Catholic funds, we cannot recommend participation in the program. CCHD's vetting process has yet to fully adhere to its established guidelines."
Hichborn offers two examples of current CCHD grantees not worthy of "a single cent" of Catholic funding: Community Action Board (CAB) and Syracuse Cooperative Federal Credit Union.  CAB admits it pushed for the establishment of family planning services in public schools. SCFCU, founded by the Socialist Party USA's 1988 vice presidential candidate, gave donations to Planned Parenthood and supports homosexual activism.
            Bishop Bransfield, I urge you and other bishops to be more active in pursuit of positive changes to the CCHD. The other day on our Catholic Radio Station, WDTF, here in Berkeley Springs, Father Larry Richards came out with a statement during one of his programs saying, “When we die we will be judged by our sins of omission the same as our sins of commission.”  If you know Father Larry he is one who pounds his fists on the pulpit and when he talks, people listen.
I had to check this out and do some self-study.  From the Catholic Dictionary it states, "Omission" is here taken to be the failure to do something one can and ought to do.  A person is guilty if he neglects to act under circumstances in which he can and ought to act.  The degree of guilt incurred by an omission is measured like that attaching to sins of commission.
In another statement: James 4:17 declares, "Anyone, then, who knows the good he ought to do and doesn't do it, sins."  A sin of omission is a sin that is the result of not doing something God’s Word teaches that we should do. It is generally used in contrast with the corresponding phrase “the sin of commission,” or sins that a person actively commits.  Paul juxtaposes the two concepts in Romans 7:14-20.  He decries his tendency toward both types of sin.
In the New Testament, the classic example given by Jesus is the account of the Good Samaritan.  After a man had been beaten and left in need of help, the first two men to pass by—a priest and a Levite, both of whom knew better—failed to act.  The third man, a Samaritan, stopped to show compassion to the man in need (Luke 10:30-37). Jesus used this example to teach that we are to likewise help those in need.  By doing so, he clearly communicated that it is sinful to avoid doing good, just as it is sinful to pursue what is evil.
Jesus further describes the sins of omission in the parable of the sheep and the goats in Matthew 25:31-46.  The goats, those who are sent away by Christ, are those who saw others hungry and thirsty, but did not provide food and drink.  They are those who saw others in need of clothing, who were sick or in jail but did nothing to clothe or comfort them.  These are all examples of sins of omission.  There was no sin committed against these needy people—they were not intentionally starved or deprived of their clothing.  But the sin of omission was committed when those who could have provided for them chose not to.
Finally, the apostle Paul provides a summary statement that explains why we should do what is right and refrain from sins of omission: “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up” (Galatians 6:9).  When we do the will of our heavenly Father (Matthew 12:50), we avoid sins of omission and live productive, fruitful living pleasing to God (Romans 12:1-2).
With a very few exceptions, the bishops are ignoring the CCHD problems just like the priest and a Levite ignored the man who had been beaten and left in need of help.
            As Father Larry Richards said, “When we die we will be judged by our sins of omission the same as our sins of commission.”  Ignoring the children who are the victims of child abuse or human trafficking, ignoring the Alinsky-style networking, ignoring the heretical Catholic education in the U.S and ignoring the funding of organizations with anti-life agendas has to be a sin of omission.
I will continue to pray daily for all bishops, and you are one I especially mention.

Thanking you in advance,
Jim Fritz

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