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Saturday, September 13, 2008

Picking the pockets of pew-sitters - Saul Alinsky and the Campaign for Human Development

Saul Alinsky was smart enough to know that money equals power and the Catholic Church has access to huge amounts every Sunday. He wanted to get some of the action for his Industrial Areas Foundation. With the help of Jack Egan, a Chicago priest and protege, the beginnings of a Catholic charity to support the poor was born: The Campaign for Human Development (later The Catholic Campaign for Human Development, CCHD).

The bishops' website describes the organization: "Founded in 1969, CCHD's pastoral strategy is empowerment of the poor through a methodology of participation and education for justice, leading toward solidarity between poor and non-poor as impelled by the Church's biblical tradition, modern Catholic social teaching, and the pervasive presence of poverty in the United States. This ministry for justice is rooted in our baptism and faith commitment." Note the language which is typical of liberation theology movements. CCHD has a history of funding exactly that type of "charity."

How could the Church possibly be involved in a movement founded by a Jewish agnostic known as Machiavelli in a suit? One whose ethics diametrically oppose Catholic principles? To a large degree it was because of his connections to modern-minded clerics who were ready to see big changes in the Church after Vatican II and apparently had few moral compunctions. Fr. Jack Egan, later a monsignor, was a protege of Alinsky's and a founder of the campaign. He also was a facilitator of the original Call to Action conference in Detroit in 1976 organized by the bishops to listen to the concerns of the people. The conference was taken over by change agents in the church, horrifying some of the naive bishops but leaving liberal Catholics chortling and optimistic that doctrinal change was coming on a wide range of issues. There was nothing accidental about all this. It was the culmination of strategies right out of the Alinsky handbook.

Read the Wanderer Forum report A Commentary on Catholic Campaign for Human Development Funding of the Industrial Areas Foundation

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