Some quotes (and 'tweets' via USCCB Media) from Bishop Morin during today's afternoon session at the Fall Conference of US Bishops:
"Two years ago with the ACORN problem, bad PR, call it whatever you want ... our action was as swift and as thorough as it possibly could be."--Bp. Morin at Press Conference following afternoon session
- Morin says some attacks of CCHD have concern for poor and legitimate concerns. We welcome questions and concerns. Others don't seem to understand Church's teaching on justice, care for poor and addressing root causes of poverty.
- Those with ideological and political agendas spread outrageous claims that bishops fund groups who promote abortion.
- Says critics say bishops not committed to caring for life of unborn. Says bishops are absolutely pro-life.
- We do not ever grant funds to any group that is ever involved in any activity contrary to Church teaching.
- CCHD is Gospel at work and faith in action.
I do not doubt Bishop Morin's sincere intention to purge all of the unworthy recipients from the CCHD. I take the man at his word. I also understand from listening to the post conference presser that the vast majority of US Bishops have good things to say about the positive impact they have personally witnessed while observing CCHD grantees. After reading Bishop Morin's document For the Record - The Truth about CCHD Funding I found myself puzzled by the line of defense the Bishop is using. I personally have not been under the impression that anyone believes the Bishops themselves support anti-life groups or their teachings. Either those of us who are concerned about the CCHD are not being heard or are being ignored. Those are the only possibilities in explaining the chasm between those who are deeply concerned about the purpose and process used to vet grantees and the CCHD.
No one is saying that the Church should not help the poor. I would like to hear less defensiveness and see examples of exactly how the CCHD helps the poor become self-sufficient. After nearly forty years of funding, there should be a whole lot of self-sufficiency. In For the Record, it is stated that "[CCHD] has distributed more than $400 million in grants to more
than 4,000 community groups throughout the United States. An independent study
conducted at The Catholic University of America in 1994 concluded CCHD has funded
projects that have affected fully half of America's poor." Telling the faithful who fund the campaign how many millions you have given on our behalf does not really help to convince the skeptic; it makes one wonder what good the money has done if it meant to merely compliment other Catholic charitable groups.
If you feed the homeless 20 million meals, I hear that you fed the hungry. If you provide clothing for 2 million inner-city children, I hear that you clothed the naked. If you provide hospital care for 20 million Americans, I hear that you cared for the sick. If you tell me you gave $400 million to community organizers, I hear nothing but a busy signal on the phone. If you want money put in the basket when the CCHD collection rolls around, let us know that it will indeed help the poor to become self-sufficient as your mission indicates. Show us. If you tell us that plenty of the Bishops support it, the words mean very little.
Mark 14:7 "The poor you will always have with you, and whenever you wish you can do good to them, but you will not always have me."