The CCHD Question Revisted

Bishop Morin recently sent a memorandum to all the American Catholic bishops to support the CCHD. The issue is described, synoptically, here.

I have noticed that archdioceses across the U.S. have had similar language on their websites about this. In Houston, our Cardinal-Archbishop Daniel DiNardo has asked the faithful to support the campaign.

The archdiocese also links to:

This information hopefully may prove useful in weighing in on the moral decision to support, or not to support, the CCHD this weekend. May God bless His Church.

17 Responses to The CCHD Question Revisted

  • I haven’t yet decided what I’ll be doing with the CCHD collection this weekend, but in passing: it strikes me that the story with the CCHD is probably like that of many bureaucratic organizations with a lot of hands in the pot. Most bishops probably understand pretty well the CCHD programs in their own diocese, but they also probably have rather too much to do to pay much attention to what programs are going on outside their diocese. Which puts the fund as a whole in one of those odd limbos in which no one is really feels responsible for the whole thing, and around the margins money gets misused in some rather appalling ways.

    So it’s probably understandable that it’s gotten itself involved in a lot or activities much more shady than something your local St. Vincent de Paul group or your diocese’s annual appeal would support. Whether that justifies not funding it or not, I’m not sure yet. Certainly, there’s not a shortage of needy and clearly accountable Catholic charities in any given diocese.

  • I haven’t made a decision either, but I am leaning more toward support rather than boycotting.

    The group advocating the boycott on its website says:

    “The CCHD has not directly funded abortion, or any explicitly anti-Catholic project to our knowledge. It has also funded groups which legitimately serve and represent the poor and marginalized.

    But it is hard to believe repeated assurances that the CCHD always carefully vets its grantees given both its history and its continued funding of groups which openly oppose the Catholic Church’s teachings on social justice, family and life issues. This must stop.”

    I am not convinced that a small number of incidences, in certain parts of the country and even repeatedly, merits a boycott of donating. I sympathize with the frustration. But advocate for closer monitoring of those in the grantee position and a report of the research the grantee has done prior to dispensing funds. In this economic climate, I am not sure if it is either moral or even prudent to advocate a boycott to undermine funds that for the most part do legitmately serve the poor and marginalized particularly since even as the boycott advocates concede the cooperation at best is remote material because, if the Bishops aren’t lying, the prudential judgments of the grantees.

    Lobby the USCCB to tighten the qualifications on that position, say, letters of recommendation regarding one’s orthopraxy, or some other creative and sensible solution. I don’t think CCHD from what I have read has a record of formal and material proximate cooperation in evil in such a vast scale that it warrants not supporting the CCHD. If someone’s conscience compels them otherwise, so be it. But I do not think it is an obligation that is binding on conscience for Catholics to follow suit.

  • I am absolutely boycotting this moral evil.

    Nothing, absolutely nothing, can justify my money being sent to pay for abortions.

    I’m glad I’m just a simpleton, I can see straight through the mud and pinpoint this evil among us.

    You guys can continue with your moral gymnastics and puzzle over a simple decision such as this.

  • I have never given a dime to it, and I do not regret that decision. I contribute directly to several Catholic and non-Catholic charities. Heaven knows that there are plenty of worthy ones out there. As a general principle, I have always preferred to deal directly with a charity that I wish to fund, rather than making contributions to a general source which then determines where my money is going.

  • Tito, I’m pretty sure that the group that is boycotting says on their website from which I quote above that the CCHD has never directly paid for abortions, nor is the money being given to organization that perform abortions. In any case, to be morally consistent, you shouldn’t pay your taxes and should double-check your health insurance to make sure it isn’t among the 40 to 80 percent of companies that covers abortion, depending on whose statistics you follow.

    Therefore far from playing a game of moral gymnastics as you so happily accused myself and Darwin of, on the contrary. In moral theology, formal cooperation where your will is aligned with the agent of evil is always wrong. The same is true of material proximate cooperation where one provides directly for the evil being done. The problem is this situation, in my view, does not meet either of those criteria. It is clearly an issue of remote material cooperation (which is not always evil and therefore one bears no culpability for the action) because as far as my reading has gone–it is those in the grantee position, not the whole campaign itself. Therefore the issue lies with the judgment of people hired for a particular position. Of course, knowledge of their judgment prior to the fact is completely impossible. If anything, the same problem has occured with the RNC. Did anyone know that their money was going toward a group that had abortion coverage in their insurance? The same is true of Focus on the Family.

    Far from being a question of simplicity where the moral choice is binding on every person, it actually requires prudential judgment and I think a Catholic can disagree with you in good conscience. Assume what you will about my moral integrity if you must; I, at least, gave you the benefit of the doubt you were actually following your conscience.

  • We can disagree on this issue, that I do not dispute.

    But for me, this is a “no-brainer”.

    The monies sent to these organizations are used for promoting abortions.

    Case closed.

    You know full well where these monies go. So you can’t mention anything like remote cooperation with evil because you are aware where the money goes.

    It’s easy. It’s simple.

    As far as the RNC, they have never received a single penny of mine.

    Unless Jesus is running for president as a Republican, they won’t be seeing my money anytime soon.

    Life doesn’t have to be complicated.

    But go ahead and talk yourself into donating money to CCHD.

    I know exactly where I stand. I’ll be sleeping with a clean conscious and a smile on my face.


  • Tito,

    In moral theology, something does not cease to be remote material cooperation because you are aware some sort of evil will occur. Moreover, I have yet to see it established that an automatic CCHD donation goes to a widespread funding of abortion groups and that such occurences are not incidences that occur in specific regions.

    Thus, one can reasonably disagree with your conclusion and in good conscience. No,life doesn’t have to be complicated; nevertheless it is.

  • Eric,

    I’d like to purchase those Rose-Colored Glasses you have.

    Should I try ebay or Amazon?

    I’d like to put them on and see Cardinal Mahony celebrate a Gregorian Rite Mass.

    I’d like to see Archbishop Wuerl begin catechesis with Nancy Pelosi and John Kerry.

    I’d like to see unicorns frolic in the meadow.

    Aint gonna happen.

    REFORM CCHD and Belarmine Ministries have already shown documented evidence.

    But it seems you want Jesus Himself to walk you through a Holy PowerPoint presentation and break down Ross Perot style.

    Again, life doesn’t have to be complicated, you only make it so.

  • Excuse me? Must you really resort to ad hominem attacks? Did I call you any names or assert that your views are wholly delusional? Not at all.

    There is nothing complicated about my argument: Catholics can disagree. Again, I have not seen such evidence and I have seen nothing that negates my arguments. The problems are individual grantees that work for the CCHD. That is obvious, but it isn’t obvious that the number of incidences requires punishing the whole system by a boycott. I really don’t take issue with people who think otherwise; apparently you do to the childish point of being insulting.

    Truthfully Tito, you know nothing about my life or my perspective on it so I would really appreciate it if you would cease your claims to such knowledge.

  • Ad hominem?

    So having fun on your rosy view of life is an ad hominem attack?

    I am totally confused by your last comment.

  • I have a “rosy” personality? How is my personality relevant to the question of the CCHD?

  • It seems that you’re characterizing me as overly sentimental and fantastically romantic to the degree that such idealism renders my conclusion absurd. This is argument is oriented toward my person and away from the subject; hence, I perceive it to be ad hominem because I fail to see how your very uncharitable sarcasm really furthers this debate.

  • Isn’t some of the local contribution earmarked for local programs? And weren’t a few of the problematic charities located in L.A./California? Living in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, I’m very suspicious and leaning against giving to CCHD.

  • J. Christian,

    I would strongly suggest donating that money instead to a “Catholic” organization such as the Saint Vincent de Paul Society.

    In addition to the CCHD providing grants to secular organizations, they provide funds to organizations that promote abortions.

    I’ve volunteered in the past at SVDS and it is the real deal. In my experience anyway.

    So a donation to SVDS would be an excellent alternative to CCHD.

  • I am severely puzzled here. Do we have to go to Washington [or wherever the bureaucracy is located] to find out what are the needs of the poor in our parishes?

    I permit myself to recall to you youngsters that LBJ’s War On Poverty was meant to end poverty in the U.S. It was about as successful as his military operation in Vietnam.

  • If you don’t like CCHD, you probably won’t like SVDP either once you apply the same standards.

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