It’s almost November, and for local Catholics that means the Archdiocese of Cincinnati is ramping up efforts to support the controversial Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD). Although it doesn’t generate the headlines it once did, and in fairness the local groups funded aren’t nearly as offensive as the scandal-plagued ACORN or the simply obnoxious Contact Center (whose logo included an upraised Marxist-style fist), CCHD is still associated with community action groups which take positions on public policy matters about which Catholics are free to disagree. In any event, I’d like to focus on the concluding paragraph of this year’s CCHD letter from Archbishop Schnurr, which was almost certainly written by Tony Stieritz of the Catholic Social Action Office, a group that, again, operates like the Cincinnati branch office of Catholics for Obama. Here it is:
We send two-thirds of this collection to the national CCHD offices at the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (much of which comes back to fund organizations operating in our archdiocese). The remaining one-third of the collection is granted to agencies in our own archdiocese by way of recommendation of our own archdiocesan CCHD Committee. A smaller portion supports the U.S. bishops’ Black and Indian Mission Fund, anti-poverty education efforts in our parishes and schools, and administration of those funds. It is our strict policy that organizations that receive CCHD funds must not participate in or promote activities that promote abortion, same-sex marriage, the death penalty, affronts to human life and dignity, or any positions contrary to fundamental Church teaching.
If this were the old Sesame Street show, Big Bird would sing, “One of these things is not like the others.” The one thing of course is the death penalty, which Catholics may support, placed alongside abortion and same sex marriage, which Catholics may not. Pope Benedict explained it all rather well in his famous “Ratzinger Memo” on the eve of the 2004 presidential election, so there’s no need to rehash the arguments now.
The inclusion of the death penalty in the AOC’s list of anathemas is also rather silly. The CCHD funds leftwing organizations, none of whom would dream of supporting the death penalty. So why include it? As a sop to the CCHD’s “progressive” constituents, many of whom are presumably still smarting from all the censorious attention their cause got a few years ago.
N.B. The entire Nov. 21-22 weekend collection at your parish will go to the CCHD. As I’ve written before, leave your wallet home and consider making a donation to a more worthy cause.