The American Life League (ALL) recently released a report of the on-going problems with the Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD), the bishops annual anti-poverty collection. The report indicates that problems with CCHD have increased in the past year and that the bishops' charity is actually funding more bad organizations than it did last year despite its well publicized review of the process. The response from CCHD to the ALL report was a brief news release accusing ALL of releasing rehashed and innacurate data that is without substance. Hmm...who to believe?
This debate isn't new; it's raged now for several decades. CCHD claims to be helping relieve poverty, while critics point out that many of the recipients of Catholic money diametrically oppose Church teaching and work to organize for abortion and homosexual rights. So what about the latest round in the debate? Who's right? On which side does the balance of truth fall?
ALL released a 200 page report outlining the offending organizations with specifics about those involved in, for example, condom distribution, promotion of homosexuality, etc. The brief response from CCHD and the two page press release from bishops involved with the program at the national level claim the allegations are rehashed and recycled information that are without substance and that the organizations have been reviewed. They also accuse ALL of pushing an agenda without addressing any of the specifics in the ALL report. In essence, their response was, "We've vetted the organizations and they're fine. Trust us."
Stephanie Block addressed the CCHD response in a cogent piece at SperoForum: Without Substance: The debate over the Catholic Campaign for Human Development goes on and on... Block is an expert on Alinsky organizing and has researched the bishops charity for over twenty years including its direct ties to Alinsky community organizing groups.
After years of disinformation from the CCHD and a history of funding liberal causes, it's hard to take their two page denial and attack of ALL seriously. As Block points out, with specific examples from CCHD's most recent grant report, the organization continues to funnel Catholic dollars into objectionable organizations that are less interested in alleviating poverty than in promoting political causes that often violate Catholic teaching. As Block says, the debate goes on and on and unfortunately so does the reality that CCHD simply can't be trusted.
To read the ALL report, the bishops' memo, and the CCHD response go here. Decide for yourself whether the information is rehashed, recycled, and without substance.