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Last year an essay, which appears to be an introduction to Robert Chandler’s book Shadow World, outlined how Gramsci’s passive revolution is infiltrating the Catholic Church. Cliff Kincaid, who is President of America’s Survival, Inc., and Chandler outlined the process in ‘How Marxism Has Infiltrated the Catholic Church’. Even though it’s 16 pages long, it’s a gripping read and highly recommended.
Kincaid begins by citing a report by James Tyson, who used to work for Accuracy in Media in the US. Tyson saw the Catholic Church working with Marxist Sandinistas in 1979. The US Catholic bishops strongly supported this move. Also, although Pope John Paul II and President Reagan (1980-1988) actively opposed Communism, a former Maryknoll priest, Blase Bonpane, started negotiations between the Church and the Sandinistas. Today, Bonpane speaks of his successes in this regard at lectures around the world. He advocates building an ‘international peace system’, which is also the focus of the University of Notre Dame’s Peace Studies department. Although the Contras, with Reagan’s aid, won the battle, they ultimately lost the war. The Sandinistas control Nicaragua, managing this with the support of Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez and the Castro-influenced Sao Paulo Forum.
Kincaid also mentions that Tyson alleged that in the 1980s, the US Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) fell under the influence of leftist priests, notably the Revd J Bryan Hehir, known for his lecture series to the Institute for Policy Studies — a left-wing think tank — entitled ‘Matthew, Marx, Luke and John’. The IPS also gave Fr Hehir an award named after a famous Chilean Communist, Orlando Letelier. Today, Fr Hehir is a professor at Harvard University’s John F Kennedy School of Government.
So, we have American Catholic bishops and priests in synch with far-left political movements. But, regular readers will recall that there’s more to the story, namely in the United States itself. Last year, I reported on CCHD donations going to various left-wing community organisations and asked American Catholics not to donate to the annual nationwide collection in November. Some funding even goes to the nefarious ACORN.
Robert Chandler, the author of the aforementioned Shadow World, is a retired US Air Force Colonel and Vietnam War veteran. He has worked as a US Government strategist for many years. He explains how Gramscian thought is at work in the Catholic Church in the United States:
… to overturn the existing order and “Marxize the inner man,” one must create a subversive program of “counter-hegemony” against its supporting culture. The war against the existing culture would leave nothing outside of the struggle, especially Christianity, to negate the established modes of thought and ways of doing things.
Christianity is considered a prime target in preparing the way for a “Marxized America,” since religion, as an independent center of societal values, stands in the way of creating a new culture based on what is deceptively called “social justice” and “change.” Religion, in the Gramsci view, is the foundation for the Western values of individual liberty, private property, and the traditional family, and must be abolished in order for the new communist society to emerge.
Chandler notes that one of Gramsci’s leading proponents is actually a professor of English at the University of Notre Dame. His name is Joseph Butteglieg. Butteglieg has not only translated Gramsci’s Prison Notebooks but is also the co-founder and current president of the International Gramsci Society! He has also addressed Marxist and Communist fora in the United States.
Another Notre Dame faculty member with avowedly left-wing credentials as an activist and advisor to the UN is David Cortright. Cortright is a research fellow at ND’s Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies.
And, speaking of the UN, did you know that the president of their General Assembly in 2008-2009 was one Miguel D’Escoto — like Blase Bonpane, a Maryknoll priest — who was also a former foreign minister of Sandinista Nicaragua? As one might expect, Fr D’Escoto strongly advocates liberation theology.
What does all of this mean for the average American Catholic? Chandler cites an explanation from the late conservative Catholic author, Malachi Martin:
Malachi Martin explained that Gramsci’s quiet, anonymous revolution would do everything in the name of man’s dignity and rights, and in the name of the claims and constraints of Christianity: “Accomplish that, said Gramsci, and you will have established a true and freely adopted hegemony over the civil and political thinking of every formerly Christian country. Do that, he promised, and in essence you will have Marxized the West. The final step — the Marxization of the politics of life itself — will then follow. All classes will be one class. All minds will be proletarian minds. The earthly Paradise will be achieved.”
for nearly five decades a revolutionary Marxist fifth column has been working openly to transform American culture from one founded upon a free market and personal liberties to one that could be made amenable to a socialist governance and secularization. These subversive activities were expected to pay-off after fifteen to twenty-five years of effort — the estimated time needed for successfully instilling a new set of socialist-Marxist values in America’s youth—to “Marxize” the inner man.
He closes his essay with a warning:
When one enters a Catholic church in Europe for Sunday Mass, often the only sound to be heard is the echo of one’s own footsteps. If Americans give up Christianity to the contemporaneous Obama rush toward socialism and secularism, they will find their inner selves “Marxized” while their footsteps echo loudly in churches across the country — a hollow protest against the end of religious faith.
In light of the Emergents and Rick Warren, that would seem to hold true for Protestants, too.
American Catholics will be voting this November in mid-term elections. Many of them come from families which have voted for and actively supported the Democratic Party for generations.
In 2008, pro-life Protestants could not fathom why many Catholics voted for Democrats — and Catholic Democrats at that — who so actively opposed Church teachings, particularly on pro-life issues.
I, too, featured a number of posts on the connections that the USCCB had with community organisers and organisations opposed to Catholic doctrine. I urged you not to give to their Campaign for Human Development.
Now, Notre Dame alumnus Michael Voris of The Vortex, a Catholic multi-media news site, explains clearly how the USCCB and the Jesuits are involved with the Democratic Party, the Obama campaign (yes, it’s ongoing) and nefarious organisations clearly opposed to the Catholic way of life.
Watch his video here, a combination of two news reports he did for The Vortex. It tells you everything you need to know about these connections. Please watch, circulate and consider your vote carefully this year.
Before I begin this piece, I would like to thank Gabriella for circulating some of my CHD links and Mary Ann Kreitzer who sent in the short CHD investigative video reproduced here. I would especially like to thank American Catholic, Blithe Spirit – the Blog and Catholic Citizens of Illinois for picking up a few of my posts and publicising them. And to those readers who stopped by to read and/or circulate these posts, I am most grateful. God bless you all.
However, this message is intended for every Catholic in the US who might be ignoring or denying the gravity of the situation …
Churchmouse Campanologist is (finally) through sermonising about the CHD. Not just this year, but forever. (Unless, of course, the USCCB terminates this programme, in which case I shall write a valedictory post.) If, as an American Catholic, you choose not to boycott this collection which takes place this weekend, November 21-22, 2009, then you really have nothing to complain about in future.
What do I mean?
- For a start, you shouldn’t be complaining about activist organisations encouraging family planning and abortion. Chances are you helped to fund these with your CHD contributions.
- Neither should you complain about left-wing couplings of parish churches and secular organisations. After all, you dropped money in the CHD collection basket. That money is financing those operations.
- And when your grandparents’ parish church closes, you might as well admit that you had a role to play in that, too. Your CHD donations go not to Catholic churches or schools but to secular organisations.
‘Oh, but we must obey our bishop!’ Any bishop worth his salt wouldn’t have a CHD collection in his diocese. If this is your bishop, then may the Lord bless him richly in this world and the next. And say a prayer of thanksgiving that he is shepherding you.
‘Gee, these posts are always so anti-Catholic.’ They’re not anti-Catholic — they’re trying to help you to save an ailing Church. If I didn’t care about the Catholic Church’s future in the US, I certainly wouldn’t have spent all these hours researching and writing about it — for you.
‘So, what do I do?’ Please take whatever money you were going to give to the CHD and donate it directly to a Catholic institution of your choice, whether that be a church, school or charity.
Fine. I know some of you would prefer to drool over sacerdotal bloggers talking about action movies. Believe me, I’ve seen it when my CHD posts get circulated to Catholic sites. We anti-CHD people might as well be whistling in the wind. But, that’s okay — someday, you can explain to your grandchildren how you personally helped to reduce the Church in the US to an amalgam of progressivism and sin by obeying your bishop in giving to the CHD.
This may be your last chance this year to investigate the CHD before the collection takes place. You may do so by clicking here. Thank you for your time.
Some of you may wonder why this blog is requesting a boycott of the Campaign for Human Development (CHD). You may say that it’s a sensational (as in ‘outrageous’) move. I can assure you that there is nothing remotely sensational about a boycott. What I can tell you is that a boycott stops money flow — and, quite simply, money talks. Stop the money and people suddenly ask why.
The late and much admired Revd Richard John Neuhaus who, among his accomplishments, edited First Things, posted a column there just over a year ago entitled ‘Obama and the Bishops’. In it, he discusses the CHD. Numerous blogs have carried this article, which bears reiterating in part here (emphasis mine below). Churchmouse Campanologist and other blogs have also revealed useful information about this 40-year old campaign, the 2009 collection for which falls on November 21 – 22.
American Catholic bishops — the USCCB — owe the faithful an explanation. Many do not appear to be leading their dioceses in any real way. Some have participated in coverups of serious sexual sin. Most stayed silent about the Notre Dame debacle earlier this year. Others languish on the sidelines with regard to actively promoting and defending the doctrines of the Church. Instead, they appear to be in a spiritual tropic of torpor. They owe the faithful an apology and an explanation for what appears to be indifference. Before he died, Fr Neuhaus took the bishops to task and included the controversial CHD in his discussion.
Fr Neuhaus discussed the obligations of Roman Catholic bishops during the 2008 Presidential race in the US:
Not all bishops covered themselves with honor in the doing of their duty. Ignoring their further duty to protect the integrity of the Eucharist and defend against the faithful’s being led into confusion, temptation, and sin by skandolon, some bishops issued statements explaining why they had no intention of addressing the problem of public figures who claim they are Catholics in good standing despite their consistent rejection of the Church’s teaching on the defense of innocent human lives. Some such bishops took the position that publicly doing or saying anything that addressed that very public problem would be viewed as controversial, condemned as politically partisan, and misconstrued by those hostile to the Church. Therefore, they explained, they were doing and saying nothing except to say why they were doing and saying nothing. Such calculated timidity falls embarrassingly short of the apostolic zeal exemplified by the apostles whose successors the bishops are. Fortunately, these timorous shepherds seem to be in the minority among the bishops.
About the mixing of politics and religion from a bishop’s perspective, he says:
In the presidential and other races, Catholics voted for pro-abortion candidates. So what? It is not the business of bishops to win political races. It is the business of bishops to defend and teach the faith, including the Church’s moral doctrine …
Earlier this year, the bishops issued ‘Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship’. It was, as I wrote at the time, a fine statement in almost every respect. But its elaborate attention to nuance and painstaking distinctions made it a virtual invitation for the Catholic flaks of Obama to turn it upside down and inside out. The statement was regularly invoked to justify voting for the most extreme proponent of the unlimited abortion license in American presidential history.
That unintended invitation to distort, eagerly seized upon by those with a mind to do so, was especially evident in the statement’s treatment of a ‘proportionate’ reason to support pro-abortion candidates. The bishops must do better next time. To be sure, any statement must be carefully reasoned, as Catholic moral theology is carefully reasoned. Yet an episcopal statement is not an invitation to an academic seminar but, above all, a call to faithfulness. The task is to offer a firm, unambiguous, and, as much as possible, a persuasive case on the basis of revelation and clear reason.
Bishops and all of us need to catch the vision of John Paul II that the Church imposes nothing, she only proposes. But what she proposes she believes is the truth, and because human beings are hard-wired for the truth, the truth imposes. And truth obliges.
Then, Fr Neuhaus focuses on the CHD:
It used to be called the Catholic Campaign for Human Development but the Catholic was dropped, which is just as well since it has nothing to do with Catholicism, except that Catholics are asked to pay for it. Some bishops no longer allow the CHD collection in their dioceses, and more should not allow it. In fact, CHD, misbegotten in concept and corrupt in practice, should, at long last, be terminated.
Ten years ago, CHD was exposed as using the Catholic Church as a milk cow to fund organizations that frequently were actively working against the Church’s mission, especially in their support of pro-abortion activities and politicians … In the last decade CHD gave ACORN well over seven million dollars, including more than a million in the past year. It is acknowledged that ACORN, with which Sen. Obama had a close connection over the years, was a major player in his presidential campaign. The bishops say they are investigating the connection between CHD and ACORN. They say they are worried that it might jeopardize the Church’s tax-exemption. No mention is made of abusing the trust of the Catholic faithful.
Please note the following paragraph and circulate it — even for a second or third time – to people who aren’t aware of or who deny the awful truth about the CHD:
What most Catholics don’t know, and what would likely astonish them, is that CHD very explicitly does not fund Catholic institutions and apostolates that work with the poor. Part of the thinking when it was established in the ideological climate of the 1960s is that Catholic concern for the poor would not be perceived as credible if CHD funded Catholic organizations. Yes, that’s bizarre, but the history of CHD is bizarre. 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 can return the envelope empty—and perhaps with a note of explanation—without the slightest moral hesitation.
Even Fr Neuhaus advocated a boycott!
My advice is to either give your CHD money to a worthy Catholic institution of your choice or to another charity which espouses Christian values (e.g. Salvation Army). Certainly, that choice is yours to make. However, there are many unknown organisations in the CHD list. Do you know what they support and what activities they engage in?
In closing, perhaps you have seen the following two-minute video (thanks to Mary Ann Kreitzer) which will tell you where your CHD donations have been going to date. Please circulate — again, if necessary:
Yes, it just may be possible that there are a few honest, helpful community organisers on this earth. One of them, Rey Lopez-Calderon, appears to be one of the good guys who went into organising to genuinely help the underprivileged. He’s worked with the United Farm Workers in California and in the Pilsen neighbourhood in Chicago.
He also worked for the Gamaliel Foundation, recipients of Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CHD) funding. And that’s where he got a slightly different insight about community organising. He wrote his story recently for Blogcritics. It’s called ‘Walking the Edge of Immorality’. What a picture he paints.
As regular readers of Churchmouse Campanologist know, Gamaliel’s head organiser is a chap named Greg Galluzzo, who is either an ex-Jesuit or went to a Jesuit seminary — reports differ. Barack Obama also worked for them in the early 1990s.
By way of apology, Rey says:
The idea of an international, faith-based organization that brings together people of all colors and creeds is certainly a noble cause. But the organization’s philosophy was flawed from day one. I worked for Gamaliel in the late 1990s up until 2001…
My former mentors, Greg Galluzzo and his wife Mary Gonzalez, took over the Gamaliel Foundation after breaking with the Industrial Areas Foundation (IAF), the organization founded by Saul Alinsky. Gamaliel’s leadership system was built on notes obtained from the IAF …
Working life was more Alinsky-oriented than faith-based. It certainly wasn’t Catholic. Rey says:
I have never seen such a strange and warped culture anywhere. Staff were pitted against each other by Galluzzo and Gonzalez.
Galluzzo, in Rey’s words:
wanted organizers to be tough bastards who could build power like the Conquistadors … (no virtù needed at all).
felt that organizers should fight fire with fire.
used to give a cultish advanced training seminar titled ‘Walking the Edge of Immorality’ where he repeatedly stated ‘the ends justifies the means’ and nonchalantly told us that to have an impact on society we had to be willing to ‘lie, cheat, and steal for the greater good’.
… We could be shady to get power but once we had enough power, knowing the Good would be enough for us to make the right decisions.
Too bad Galluzzo … skipped the course on Aristotle where he would have learned that character is a function of habit — i.e. doing shady things makes you shady whether or not you grasp the Good. The final straw for me was when Galluzzo sent out a weekly report with a reflection that we organizers needed to promote a noble myth to our churches that our work was about justice, God, and peace even though we really knew it was about power.
He knows it’s the wrong way to go about things. Okay, he’s way, way to the left and works with IAF affiliates — you can read his blog here. I can’t see the point in encouraging victimhood in this day and age. Whatever happened to character and virtue? However, do note his conclusion:
I left Gamaliel disillusioned and disgusted by what seemed to me to be pure evil. How could a faith-based organization operate under such a skewed, cynical view of the world? Where was God in that scheme? I should have exposed them then. I had a duty to do so. We can’t content ourselves with feelings of moral superiority while people with corrupt principles are out there building power. We ignore these bad apples to our own peril. We have to be willing to shake the tree, letting the rotten ones fall where they may.
Rey would probably disagree with my advocating a boycott of CHD. Some of that money just might be going to organisations he works for and with. Nevertheless, we know already that some of the funding goes to the Gamaliel Foundation.
Please think carefully before giving to the CHD — in fact, please boycott the collection. It’s not Catholic and it doesn’t support Catholic ideals, no matter what the USCCB or their spokespeople say.
Above is a set of progressive connections with American churches. Blue boxes denote recipients of secular funding. Green boxes signify active donors. Pink boxes signify progressive recipients and related connections.
Part of the reason for my putting this together is to help you understand that Christianity in the US does have progressive connections which may be leading your church down a secular, relativist route. It’s also to help give Catholics reasons for boycotting the Campaign for Human Development collection later in November.
Documented sources for the chart:
This is by no means an exhaustive chart, but it gives you an idea of where some of your donations go and where your church or related institutions may get some of their money.
On September 22, 2009, LifeSiteNews (LSN) reported that two of the four groups the BVM had mention have been defunded. CHD Director Ralph McCloud said:
… they have defunded the Chinese Progressive Association (CPA), which has been funded for the last four years, and was set to receive $30,000 this year. The CPA’s 2008 voters guide (on the BVM website here and here) urged Californians to vote against enshrining the true definition of marriage in the state’s constitution (proposition Eight) and requiring parental notification for minors seeking abortions (proposition 4). LSN left a message with CPA, but has not heard back.
CCHD has also defunded the Los Angeles Community Action Network (LACAN), says McCloud, which has been funded for the last five years and was to receive $40,000 this year. LACAN has promoted same-sex ‘marriage’ and actively supports contraception and the morning-after pill through a clinic at the Downtown Women’s Center. An LACAN representative told LSN that they have not yet been informed about any change to their funding status.
At the time the article ran, McCloud had received no word on the other two groups in question — Young Workers United and Women’s Community Revitalisation Project. Both are known for their liberal sexual advocacy.
Forgive me, but it’s difficult to believe that McCloud was ‘shocked’ by the BVM’s report. The 26-page list on the USCCB website, which Churchmouse Campanologist featured yesterday, had all the hallmarks of organisations no true Catholic would wish to donate to. Can’t the USCCB and McCloud interpret language? How many times did my post highlight ‘Industrial Areas Foundation’, ‘PICO’ and ‘community organisation’? It must follow, therefore, that these groups espouse a leftist philosophy and will support leftist programmes, whether sexual, social or political.
And, what Catholic groups were in there? Catholic Charities, for example? None, anywhere! This is why I ask you to stop being duped and to please desist from dropping money in the CHD collection in November.
Not giving any money will dry the CHD up quicker than Clearasil can work on a zit.
The BVM’s founder, Rob Gasper, said of the CHD’s response (emphasis mine):
… the response so far is not satisfying. [Gasper] maintains that every grantee should be required to state publicly, rather than merely privately, that they would abide by the Church’s social teaching, including on the right to life. ‘Put that in a public forum and I think that would go a long way to help the situation,’ he said, ‘because, some of these groups, they don’t mind doing this sort of thing in private … but they wouldn’t want to do something like that in public, because their membership base would be in an uproar.’
That last sentence alone should be telling Catholics that the CHD is giving to the wrong organisations. Why they persist in giving to leftist groups is unfathomable.
So far, it seems as if only one Catholic priest has come out criticising the CHD. Unfortunately, Fr John Neuhaus died earlier this year. In 2008, he said:
… the CCHD ‘has nothing to do with Catholicism, except that Catholics are asked to pay for it’.
He called the organization ‘misbegotten in concept and corrupt in practice’, and went so far as to urge that it be terminated. ‘What most Catholics don’t know, and what would likely astonish them,’ wrote Fr. Neuhaus, “is that CHD very explicitly does not fund Catholic institutions and apostolates that work with the poor.’ Neuhaus suggested that the bishops would do better to spend their money on more Catholic-related projects, such as ’Catholic inner-city schools’.
What more can one say? Please consider this campaign over the next few weeks and your prayerful response to it.
Thank you and God bless.
Hello, Catholic readers in the US!
This is just a reminder that the Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CHD) is coming up in November. Whilst this might be a bit early for you to think about it, please be aware of where this year’s funds will be going. Ask yourself: is it time to starve the beast?
Thanks to the USCCB list of 2009-2010 grantees — 26 pages – you now have the information below to pass along to your friends, families and fellow parishoners.
Read the document in full to see who will be receiving funds from your area. Here are a few snippets (emphasis mine for words or phrases that should set alarm bells ringing). Remember that CHD does not give to Catholic organisations!
Area A – New York City - Movement for Justice en El Barrio: a social justice organisation which is funding its own full-time … community organiser
Area A – Allentown, PA – Congregations United for Neighborhood Action (CUNA): a member of the PICO National Network and trains ‘ordinary people’ to become ‘leaders’ for their communities. Sounds like more community organising!
Area A – Philadelphia, PA – JUNTOS: Helping Mexican and Latino immigrants ‘build power for justice’ and ‘strengthen the ability to organise workers’ (day labourers).
Area A – Providence, RI – Fuerza Laboral: ‘immigrants and low-income workers who organise to end exploitation in the workplace’.
Area A – Providence, RI – The Rhode Island HUD Tenant Project, Inc.: They ‘organise the unorganised tenants’ into tenant associations that ‘take action‘
Area B – Chicago, IL – Southwest Organizing Project: The name says it all.
Area B – Chicago, IL - Parents Organized to Win, Educate and Renew: This ‘organizing center’ builds ’leadership and power‘ of low-income parents.
Area B - Joliet, IL - DuPage United: This ’network of institutions’ helps citizens to ‘take collective action‘ for ‘human dignity, social justice and the greater good‘.
Area B – Gary, IN – Central District Organizing Project: What’s in a name? They ‘bring together residents, religious and community organizations‘ into ‘a powerful coalition‘.
Area B – Baltimore, MD – United Workers Organization: This is an ‘organization of low wage workers who are organizing for better wages and working conditions’.
Area C – Washington, DC – Partnership for Renewal in Southern and Central Maryland: This is ‘a congregation-based organization’ affiliated with the Gamaliel Foundation.
Area C – Miami, FL – Broward Organized Leaders Doing Justice: Helps support ‘organizing and training’ to ‘bring about systemic change‘.
Area C – Palm Beach County, FL – PEACE: A ‘community-based organization dedicated to building member organizations to effectively fight injustices‘ in low-income areas.
Area C - Baton Rouge, LA - Faith United for Empowerment and Leadership, Inc.: A PICO affiliate.
Area C – Baton Rouge, LA – Greater Baton Rouge IAF Sponsoring Committee: Part of Alinsky’s Industrial Areas Foundation!
Area D – Tucson, AZ – Pima County Interfaith Council: Affiliated with Alinsky’s Industrial Areas Foundation.
Area D – Des Moines, IA – A Mid-Iowa Organizing Strategy: A multi-faith ‘community organization‘ to help the ‘faith community live out its prophetic imperative for justice’.
Area D – Omaha, NE – Omaha Together One Community: A mix of church congregations, neighbourhood organizations and ‘a working affiliation with labor organizations‘.
Area D – Santa Fe, NM – Albuquerque Interfaith, Inc.: ‘A broad-based, multi-ethnic, power organization‘ affiliated with Alinsky’s Industrial Areas Foundation.
Area D – Fargo, ND – New Sudanese Community Organization: ‘A new community organizing group’ for ‘a powerful and unified voice’.
Area E – Fresno, CA – Faith in Community: A PICO affiliate.
Area E – Los Angeles, CA – Southern California Education Fund: Part of Alinsky’s Industrial Areas Foundation.
Area E – Los Angeles, CA – People Organized for Westside Renewal: It ‘employs a community organizing strategy focused on relationship building and direct action‘.
Area E – Sacramento, CA – North Valley Sponsoring Committee: Part of the PICO Network.
Area E – Orange, CA – Orange County Congregation Community Organization: This is the OCCCO discussed in one of my earlier posts.
The choice is yours. Don’t forget that the descriptions of the organisations and their purpose is designed to work on your heartstrings and emotions. But, you can’t be completely sure what the reality is. So, give if you feel the need and do so at your own risk.
It’s disingenuous that the USCCB makes this statement, particularly with regard to ACORN, which many people knew about months before the bishops stopped the funding:
… the Bishops work very hard to promote [the CCHD mission] and protect it by careful review and monitoring of CCHD grants to make sure they comply with CCHD’s guidelines and Catholic teaching.
Alinsky (if he could see this) be proud to see the extent of infiltration in the Church! Why make his successors proud? Stop funding the CHD!
Tomorrow: More recipients of the CHD’s 2009 funding
To 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
To read previous posts about Saul Alinsky, the Archdiocese of Chicago and the Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CHD), click here.
In 1970, the Revd P David Finks, personally trained by Saul Alinsky, and now effectively controlling the CHD, went with the other members of the Catholic Committee on Urban Ministry to an Industrial Urban Institute that Alinsky was running. Its purpose was to:
bring together a dozen or so priests to examine in some detail the practical process of group organisation to effect social change based on the goal of a free and open society. It seemed clear after several years of investigation that Mr. Alinsky and his staff had developed the best process and rationale for organising people.
It didn’t take a political strategist to figure out that CHD funds would be earmarked for Alinsky’s projects. Chicago’s Cardinal Cody had already picked up on the notion and wrote Bishop Bernardin warning him about it. It seems, however, that Bernardin knew and empathised with Alinsky’s work. Cardinal Cody was the only prelate in Chicago over the past 30+ years to object to Alinsky. Therefore, Bernardin could safely ignore Cody on the matter.
Finks, meanwhile, wrote an article entitled ‘Poverty Crusade: Getting It off the Ground’. In it, he suggested that those involved with the bishops’ task forces read Alinsky’s 1947 book, Reveille for Radicals, and The Professional Radical: Conversations with Saul Alinsky by Marion Sanders. In another article, he described a link-up between Alinsky’s Rochester, NY FIGHT Organisation and the Xerox Corporation. Finks said:
the organisation and selling to the bishops of the Campaign for Human Development–all were an attempt to make available and find support for Alinsky’s approach to community organisation.
Wow. Imagine being so enthralled by Marxist theory and practice that you completely disregard the words of Our Lord and the teachings of His Church!
In November 1970, Egan wrote to Bernardin explaining that local clergy would need to be involved in achieving the objectives of the CHD, including the $50 million fundraising mandate. As the General Secretary for the National Catholic Conference of Bishops, Bernardin realised that he would have to lend his name and his time to further the programme. This he gladly did. The first CHD parish collection a few weeks later raised $8.4 million nationwide, an astronomical sum in those days and the largest single collection in the history of the US Catholic Church at that time.
Since then, the numbers increased five-fold to a total of $225 million in donations by 1998. It is unclear how well the funds have been used. Yes, we read where the money has gone but see little evidence that the blight in Chicago, New York, Los Angeles and other urban centres has disappeared. In fact, it appears that little has changed over the past 40 years, despite astronomical sums being thrown at these very real problems.
Yet, many American Catholics have swallowed the CHD line completely. In an article dated September 4, 2008, Catholic Democrats criticised a remark from Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin in which she derided candidate Barack Obama’s community organiser history. The article says in part:
Community organising is at the heart of Catholic Social Teaching to end poverty and promote social justice … The US Conference of Catholic Bishops has operated the Catholic Campaign for Human Development, its domestic anti-poverty and social justice program, since 1969. In 1986, the Bishops issued Economic Justice for All: Pastoral Letter on Catholic Social Teaching and the US Economy, which said, ‘Human dignity can be realized and protected only in community’. Senator Obama worked in several Catholic parishes, supported by the Catholic Campaign for Human Development, helping to address severe joblessness and housing needs in economically disadvantaged neighborhoods of Chicago.
See? Even the laity are bamboozled, to borrow an Obama word. That explains all the Obama bumperstickers seen in the car parks of Catholic parishes, which infuriates conservative pro-life Protestants no end. Gee, and all along I thought that obeying the Word and spreading the Gospel were at the heart of the Catholic Church’s teachings. Like other Christians, Catholics are commanded to look after the less fortunate, but do they need sacerdotal community organisers to do that?
But even the Catholic Democrats can’t come up with any evidence of material improvements from all the cash poured into disadvantaged neighbourhoods. Community organising isn’t something you do for a while and then move on once you’ve improved things. You never really want to improve things because then you’d have to look for another job. And that might imply looking for real work.
Nope, community organising funded by the CHD cash cow — and other religious institutions — is here to stay. It’s an industry now, don’t you know.
Please think twice before you feed the CHD any more money. Unless you love your community organiser in the dog collar, that is.
You can read more here: ‘The Influence of Saul Alinsky on the Campaign for Human Development’, Lawrence J Engel, December 1998
Tomorrow: Conclusion - the CHD, ACORN and Obama