By William Mayer
March 25, 2011 - San Francisco, CA - PipeLineNews.org - In an official 2009 document prepared by Catholic Charities USA [see, http://www.catholiccharitiesusa.org/NetCommunity/Document.Doc?id=1924] the organization details its activities, including expenditures as well as income, in that calendar year.
For those not intimately familiar with the workings of this national social welfare group, the amount of funding it has to work with might come as a surprise, $4,270,309,450, a lot of money no matter how one looks at it.
Even more revelatory, of the $4.2B dollar amount, fully 67% comes from the government. That means that nearly $3B of the total, 2 out of every 3 dollar received is dependent upon the largesse of the fed and provided, I think it would be safe to say, without the full knowledge of hard-strapped American taxpayers.
There are a number of reasons why this information is important, primarily because of the potentially corrosive, morally corruptive effect it might have upon Catholic policy makers.
A recent extensive investigation undertaken by this author [see Bitter Harvest: How Marxist "Progressives" Have Infiltrated the American Catholic Church] and prefaced in a companion piece [please refer to The U.S. Conference Of Catholic Bishops' Dereliction Of Duty On Pro Life Matters] arrive at two disturbing conclusions:
1. That the Church has primarily, over the last few generations especially, steadily increased its political activity, under the guise of "Social Justice," and that the majority component of this political activism is slanted in a hard-left philosophical direction, we believe in a manner inconsistent with any reasonable construction of traditional Catholic theology.
2. That despite the undeniably pro-life rhetoric coming out of the American Catholic Bishops' executive body, the USCCB, the organization has adamantly refused to even take a position on efforts to defund America's single largest provider of abortion, Planned Parenthood.
The contrast in funding levels between PP and Catholic Charities is marked, with the former receiving approximately $350M/year and the latter upwards of $2.8B.
In searching for the disconnect on the part of the USCCB between its stated values on this matter and its actions [or more correctly, its lack of action] the issue of funding looms large.
It seems entirely possible, if not probable, that the hand of official Catholic activism which might prove pivotal in halting the flow of federal funds to the PP abortion mill, has been stayed by fear of it being removed from its place on the government teat in a similar manner.
We are, of course not advancing a position which conflates the morally repugnant actions of PP with the goodness of the charitable work carried out by Catholic Charities, but the enemies of the Church, the doctrinaire leftists would undoubtedly try to make that very case, unleashing a firestorm of criticism [which the MSM would be all over] that would undoubtedly provide considerable impetus in support of the sentiment that if one is defunded, so should the other - despite their vastly differing moral value.
This logic is certainly not wasted in the ivory towers of USCCB, these are learned men and they certainly can connect these rather obvious dots.
What may however be lacking in USCCB's calculus, is now that the Pence [R, IN] legislation to defund Planned Parenthood, has passed the House, and is on its way to the Senate, the leftist establishment will without doubt go gunning for Catholic Charities regardless of the outcome of Mr. Pence's efforts. [Please note: the defunding of the National Public Broadcasting Company, only hastens such a potential outcome]
The Church has a lot to lose, not all of it of a monetary nature.
The receipt of this level of taxpayer funded largesse which flows into the Catholic bureaucracy, we must surmise, has created a morally corrosive conflict of interest - it's hush money which silences the Church on one of the key aspects of its moral teaching, for fear of upsetting the apple-cart.
As a likely result, the USCCB has abdicated it role as moral leader, cowering behind the considerable stacks of greenbacks which it receives from Uncle Barack.
We suggest a different and winning strategy for USCCB and its Catholic Charities ministry, one which doesn't reek of moral turpitude.
The USCCB should stay true to its dogma, and do everything in its power [it has an undeniably formidable lobbying ability, witness its role in the passage of ObamaCare, similarly an area of concern] to assist the U.S. Senate in understanding the morally correct position of defunding Planned Parenthood, while at the same time affirmatively making the case to define the services provided by Catholic Charities as being ethically admirable and let the chips fall where they may.
If things remain as they currently are, if the Bishops allow themselves to be blackmailed into silence then perhaps while keeping their blood money, they will take a hit to their continued credibility that, on top of the scandals with which the Church is already dealing, is so massive their teaching authority on all matters may be permanently blackened.
One harkens back to the persecution of third century Christians by Roman emperor Diocletian, in which entire families were exterminated, in ghastly fashion, in public spectacles of unimaginable horror. These disciples suffered greatly for their faith, is the potential loss of a few bucks by an organization which is already quite wealthy, worth destroying that tradition?
The ball is clearly in your court gentlemen, make the Catholic laity proud.
©2011 PipeLineNews.org LLC, William Mayer. All rights reserved.