CHD bannerNEW_02To read previous posts about Saul Alinsky, the Archdiocese of Chicago and the Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CHD), click here.

The social activism of the Catholic clergy might appear to laypeople to have peaked in the 1970s, but that would be a mistaken view.  It has merely gone mainstream, with funds still pouring in to the CHD via designated second collections at Masses across the country, normally in November.  

Here are just a few examples of where CHD money has gone over the past 25 or more years:

  • 1985$40,000 for Chicago’s Developing Communities Project, led by then lead organiser, Barack Obama
  • 1986: $33,000 for Obama’s Developing Communities Project, which Obama continued to lead 
  • 1992: ACORN funding (see below) for Project Vote, a Chicago programme which Obama also led
  • 1995: Cardinal Bernardin helped commit $116,000 from the national CHD fund to Chicago Metropolitan Sponsors, an Alinsky Industrial Areas Foundation organisation
  • 2000 – 2008: $7m went to ACORN (Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now), an Alinsky-influenced, leftist network under criminal investigation in several states.  ACORN supports radical, ‘in your face’ local and national causes as well as abortion.  CHD funding stopped only in November 2008, well after every other American wondered when the bishops would halt the allocation of $1m to the group.
  • Ongoing: $20,000 to $30,000 per community group across the country under the guise of ‘community organisation’
  • Also ongoing: 4% to 5% of total CHD funds to the Gamaliel Foundation, a Marxist socio-political network of Alinsky-inspired organisations
  • Still ongoing: Alinsky’s own Industrial Areas Foundation, which receives 16% of CHD funds annually!  

Barack Obama was still a lad when Alinsky died in 1972.  So, how did he get to be so adept at Alinskyite techniques?  One of his community organiser mentors was Greg Galuzzo, a former Jesuit, who was lead organiser for the aforementioned Gamaliel Foundation.  Gamaliel has no direct connection with the Catholic Church and does not support Catholic teachings.  

The Revd Owen Kearns, editor-in-chief and publisher of the National Catholic Register, was among a small group of representatives from the Catholic press in the United States who met with President Obama in July 2009. (H/T: Doug Lawrence’s blog.) Fr Kearns states (emphasis mine):

The President said he had fond memories of Cardinal Bernardin and that when he started his neighborhood project, they were funded by the Catholic Campaign for Human Development …  The president spoke about how during Cardinal Bernardin’s time the U.S. bishops spoke about the nuclear freeze, the sanctuary movement, immigration and the poor, but that later a decided change took place. He said that the responses to his administration mirror the tensions in the Church overall, but that Cardinal Bernardin was pro-life and never hesitated to make his views known, but he had a consistent ‘seamless garment’ approach that emphasised the other issues, as well.

InsideCatholic.com explained last year:

99% of Catholics in the pews haven’t any idea of how much they have invested in building the political infrastructure that has now been activated to support Obama. That infrastructure always supports the Democratic Party and its candidate, but now they have a candidate who comes directly out of their political culture, well to the left of previous Democratic nominees like Gore and Kerry.

Yet, it’s not just laypeople who are ignorant of the facts.  Catholic journalist Stephanie Block observes:

A few bishops understand exactly what the Catholic Campaign for Human Development is and approve what it funds. Most, however, swallow the concept of its ‘helping the poor’ and have probed no deeper. Busy about the Lord’s work of minding their dioceses, they’ve trusted others to run the ‘social justice’ offices.

It’s important to understand that the USCCB does not fund Catholic organisations and charities with CHD monies!  This is because they wanted the CHD to be seen as impartial when the campaign was established in 1969.  The American Catholic sagely notes:

The bishops could really help poor people by promptly shutting down CHD and giving any remaining funds to, for instance, Catholic inner-city schools. In any event, if there is a collection at your parish this month, I suggest that you return the envelope empty—and perhaps with a note of explanation—without the slightest moral hesitation

For all of us still scratching our heads and wondering why this is allowed to go on, the Snow Report offers an answer:

For anti-capitalist radicals — as indeed for zealots generally — the ends justify the means. It has ever been so — for the Jacobins, the Communists, the fascists and now the post-modern Alinsky/Obama left. And that is because of the very nature of those ends as radicals conceive them. A world without poverty, war, racism, or ‘sexism’ is so noble, so perfect in contrast to everything that has preceded it — that it would be criminal not to deceive, lie … in order to advance or protect the cause

You can also read more here: ‘The Influence of Saul Alinsky on the Campaign for Human Development’, Lawrence J Engel, December 1998

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