Progressivism, it’s worked out well for the Church, hasn’t it?

I have a problem with strange bedfellows, notice the reference to progressive Catholic Bishops and Priests, not to mention Alinsky’s dedication, sounds not so good to me


Back of the Yards Neighborhood Council


The Back of the Yards Neighborhood Council (BYNC) is one of the oldest community organizations in America still functioning. Founded in New City on the Near South Side in 1939 by Saul Alinsky and Joseph Meegan, the council was dedicated to their motto, “We the people will work out our own destiny.”

The BYNC set the pattern for what is known as the Alinsky school of organizing. An outside organizer would work with local leaders to create a democratic organization where people could express their needs and fears, and gain improvements in their conditions via direct action. Membership in the council was based on organizations, rather than individuals, thus using the neighborhood’s existing social institutions.

The initial efforts of the council centered around basic organization and economic justice. Overcoming nationalistic hatreds in this ethnically diverse community, they managed to join the Roman Catholic Church and radical labor unions in common cause.


The idea behind the Alinsky method

The idea behind the Alinsky method is that the community organizer forms an alliance with the leaders from the neighborhood, i.e., with those community members who have significant support. Together they set up a democratic, community-based organization. The strength of the organization comes from the collaboration of the ally leaders, who are strategically identified by the organizer and are agitated to run the organization. In the Back of the Yards, Alinsky had three main allies: the manager of a recreation center, Joe Meegan; a Communist union organizer of the local meat packing plants, Herb March; and a progressive Catholic bishop, Bernard J. Sheil. So the strength of BYNC reflected the fact that Alinsky managed to unite in one platform the seemingly most antagonistic figures of the community: the Catholic Church and the unions.