The annual CCHD collection is coming up in a few months. No surprise that the Catholic Right is packing for a shootout. Again. Deal Hudson has his usual pink-slip solution ready. (Doesn’t this man ever think of something besides putting people out of jobs? What if he were in charge of executive compensation in the bank & mortgage crisis?) We had our go-round on CCHD here several months ago. I wondered openly if this wasn’t part of the post-election sour grapes. “The Left is in control of all our money,” came the complaint.
Too much of CCHD money goes to ideological and political activities that are dear to the left wing, and it’s been pointed out, with painstaking detail, for at least 10 years now.
My commentariat never came to the table with examples of anti-poverty efforts supported by the Right. It might be that the younger of the set still believe in voodoo … I mean trickle-down Reaganism. And local bishops are steering CCHD money to left-wing-dear groups because … well … there are precious few right wing groups that advocate for the end of poverty, oppression, and the like. Do you think the Acton Institute is interested in this kind of work? Have they ever applied for a CCHD grant?
Catholics have a certain cheapskate streak. This is not news. Charitable giving within Catholicism generally ranks half that of most Protestants. If there’s a reason not to give to the parish, or to some other church-connected charity, it usually doesn’t have to be a big one. It’s a common meme on the blogosphere to deny funding to some priest, bishop, diocese, parish, the Vatican, or whatnot for some offense felt. Sometimes, but not always, alternatives are given. I usually don’t read that Deal Hudson has an alternate charity for you to plunk down your ten-percent. I’m generally skeptical of the suggestion to withhold money, unless it’s accompanied by a genuine alternative to send cash elsewhere. (But not the original complainer.)
The Catholic Right has also shown itself willing to be more political than charitable. So when LifeSiteNews comes up with some major CCHD scandal, how much cred does it have? Like Deal Hudson, it will also take your charity dollar–happily so, I expect–but be aware you’re funding a lot of middle-class folks. They’re doing mostly honest work, I’m sure. But they don’t exactly come under the prescription of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
So while the scattered scandals of CCHD money going to bad places is a concern, certainly, if such claims are indeed true and can be substantiated. I would keep watchful of those who are calling for the dissolution of an agency. See if alternatives aren’t being proposed. And if they’re not, do some investigation on your own and ask Mr Hudson and his confreres where instead they would suggest you fight poverty, hunger, homelessness, and a lack of medical care. That would seem reasonable, no? What sort of answer do you suppose you’ll get?