What’s Going on with Catholic Charities USA?

What’s Going on with Catholic Charities USA? June 10, 2013

After it was revealed recently that a board member of Catholic Charities in Florida was actually the same lobbyist for Planned Parenthood that said infanticide should be a matter between a woman and her doctor, this story exposes the fact that CCUSA is a dues-paying member and on the board of an organization that lobbied Congress to maintain funding for Planned Parenthood.

Meanwhile, Fr. Greg Boyle, who supports gay “marriage” is to keynote CCUSA’s annual event this September.

Things like this always seem like hostage situations: “Support our gay marriage/Planned Parenthood activism or the poor kid gets it.” I will figure out other things do to with my support. There are lots of worthy charities out there. It won’t be hard.

"Years, and years ago, when I read St. Mother Teresa say "they go to God!" ..."

Where Peter Is has a nice ..."
"Your second link read as black text so I didn't see it. It's a press ..."

Audrey Assad Breaks Your Heart
"A bold claim, please point out what I've said that's false."

Audrey Assad Breaks Your Heart
""If we reject that, we are Pelagians. We imagine we are Catholics, not by grace, ..."

Where Peter Is has a nice ..."

Browse Our Archives

Follow Us!

What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Norm

    Well said, Mark. Yes, there are other worthy charities to support.

    • fats

      Church in Need and St Vincent De Paul

  • Erikhnh

    Under these circumstances, they need their Catholic status revoked. Maybe the Catholic Campaign for Human Development should get the ax, too. I’m tired of Catholic Organizations having no ACTUAL Catholic oversight!

    • jaybird1951

      When i learned back in the 1990s that the Catholic Campaign for Human Development channels all of its funds to non-Catholic groups, I stopped contributing. Why should parishoners’ donations go to groups outside the Church? Don’t we have enough needs of our own? I think the greatest contribution to ending poverty the Catholic community could make would be to fund Catholic grade and high schools through an annual nationwide collection.How many schools could be kept open through the funds the CCHD collects?

  • jesspinosa

    It seems we can’t trust anyone anymore, even, or maybe especially, the organizations that identify themselves as Catholic!

  • vox borealis

    Fr. Longnecker had a great post week or so ago, on how we too often get it “backwards,” emphasizing works of charity before and above belief in Christ. I think this is what has happened to a great many Catholic institutions: they have drifted further and further from being Christ-centered, evolving essentially into secular social work organizations. And once this process is well under way, it’s had to stop it, precisely because it turns into the blackmail situation Mark Shea describes: the Bishop complains about the Catholic hospital performing abortions, the hospital board—secular and hostile to episcopal authority—tells the bishop to sod off, the bishop shuts down the hospital or drops its Catholic name, the bishop looks bad because he’s turning his back on the sick.

    I tend to be a pessimistic person by nature, but particularly about this issue. I do sometimes wonder if more or less every older Catholic charitable and educational institution should be dropped, and the Church start from scratch.

  • Tiff

    Does anyone know off the top of their heads what “good charities” there are left to support? It’s become more and more difficult to support anything beyond the local level.

    • ivan_the_mad

      Check out your local Catholic Worker house 🙂

    • So stay local. Plenty of good still needs to be done in your own local community.

      • Tiff

        We have no problem with donating locally; but when a disaster hits a certain area (tornado, hurricane, etc.) we like to know of a good national/international charity we can donate to when those things happen.

    • We regularly donate to http://www.feedthechildren.org

      As Dave suggested above, Maggie’s Place is also excellent.

    • Dano

      Saint Vincent DePaul. Keep your contributions Catholic.

  • ivan_the_mad

    Bear in mind that while there is a relationship between CCUSA and diocesan branches of Catholic Charities, they are not the same organization. You can donate to and support your diocesan branch in good faith, as they do a tremendous amount of good and tangible work in your diocese. In brief: Don’t blame your diocesan branch for the national organization’s faults (something of a parallel with the BSA brouhaha).

    • Don’t a certain percentage of funds from local chapters go toward supporting the national chapter?

      • ivan_the_mad

        I would suggest review of the annual report of your diocese’s branch to determine how their funds are dispersed. The answer is negative for mine.

  • Leroy Huizenga

    Are there other charities worthy charities to support? It seems every time I dig deeper into one, they’re tag-teaming with organizations involved in abortion or contraception or both.

    • I suggest unwed mother’s homes and those working directly with the disabled and the homeless, but keep your dollars local.

      • Paxton Reis

        I agree…keep your donations local.

        Seems that these large non-profits (not for profits?) are another industrywhere there is a lot of cross fertilization from one corporation to the other. The C-level folks probably run in the some circles so get to know each other quite well.

    • Dave

      One good charity for unwed mothers is Maggie’s Place.

  • Known Quantity

    I doubt very much that you have ever written more than one check to CCUSA. You have probably supported local Catholic Charities organizations. These are all locally incorporated and represent an important aspect of the charitable work of the particular diocese. Some will be more orthodox than others, to be sure, but you should not decide whether or not to support your local CC based on the activity of CCUSA which is not a governing organization. Let’s be careful not to paint with too broad of strokes . . . you may be damaging the reputations of organizations that have nothing to do with this.

  • Michael Lindner

    Thanks Mark. As others have posted, there are local charities or branches that do not have these problems. But what about trying to reach more globally? I have contributed to things like CRS, but have heard troubling things about them. Right now I’m down to Peter’s Pence and Caritas. Any other suggestions?

    • Dan F.

      Food For the Poor seems to be pretty good, even if their solicitation mailings get annoying

  • E.Cameron

    I am in nursing school right now looking forward to working in a local Catholic hospital that supports my beliefs and practices. Please visit my site and read my story. I am currently looking for donations to complete my last semester of nursing school. http://www.gofundme.com/37y2ho

  • justjg2

    I heard about this and at our parish no collection was made for Catholic Charities this year. I will not give to it. It is just another group taken over by non-believers, like the Girl Scouts of America etc.

  • Harold Benghazi Koenig

    While I wish to show respect to our pastors, I keep having the feeling that I, following orders, advanced on the enemy only to discover that my officers were dining with them in the officers’ club. I’m taking incoming, and they’re having another drink.

  • Irksome1

    I am beginning to wonder if such scandals aren’t just the inevitable outcome from any organization’s efforts to align itself with or extract benefits from the government. Isn’t it obvious, under such circumstances, that the primary objective of any organization can become obscured in favor of the acquisition of more money or influence?

  • MyKCMom

    Thanks Mark for alerting me to this! I would encourage everyone to write their Diocese and let them know why they can’t give in good conscience. Also, after reading and contemplating these things, I have to say that on the surface it may seem like a hostage situation… but it could easily be turned around to argue if you give to Catholic Charities, what exactly are we giving to these kids? It’s looking less like life and more like death to me.

  • angelccorr

    After reading this to my fiancé, who happens to be a new Catholic, he just blew a gasket! I warned him before he became a Catholic that there are two factions in the Church; liberal and conservative. It seems these days that the liberals are running much of the Church. It can be very disheartening, but as an old priest once told me, “Satan is at the doors of the Church. He already has those outside the Church.”
    God help us! I recommend Catholics watch ChurchMilitant.TV. It is on the internet.

    • I think that you’re mistaken to call the wing that supports abortion and gay marriage liberal. They are not liberating a thing and have shown themselves to be perfectly content to impose their own orthodoxy when they have the power.

    • Dan Sealana

      No. There is ONE Church. Dividing us into imaginary “liberal” and “conservative” factions is useless.

  • Deacon Jason Schalow

    Mark, while I don’t have any insight into issues with CCUSA in general, I do wonder if the ongoing ‘speaker wars’ are productive or whether they are an unhealthy move toward a ‘culture of ritual purity’.

    Fr. Boyle is certainly a person who runs a major Catholic charitable organization (which has nothing to do with marriage issues or women’s ordination) so it seems reasonable that CCUSA would have him as a speaker, his other views notwithstanding.

    In any case, here are a few more thoughts along that line if you are interested: http://graceanddirtyfeet.blogspot.com/2013/06/against-culture-of-ritual-purity.html

    • alin

      I don’t know quite well what you mean by culture of ritual purity. If you mean unattainable goal of sainthood, I disagree with you. it is a universal call to all Catholics to sainthood. In our thoughts and in our words we are called to it. As stated in Mt5 Therefore you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect. Perhaps we need to be reminded of that universal call to perfection. Just as an athlete is looking at the finish line of the race.

      our moral standards called us to rebuke sin.(planned parenthood/abortion; homosexuality) Fr. Boyle is called by divine teaching, to preach the Word of God. He needs to claim his catholic identity. He needs to hear it or he should not have made any controversial statements in the first place. He is entitled to his opinion. Can he really set himself aside the institution that he represents as a leader. Everything is not permitted like Paul said?

      I do encourage Catholics to support the institution CCUSA. We need to be vigilant. We need to recognize that we as Catholics need help. We must ID the problem.

      • Deacon Jason Schalow

        alin, by a ‘culture of ritual purity’ I mean the mistaken notion that a person’s sins or imperfections in one area automatically taints them so as to discredit them in every other area. People can be fundamentally confused about some things and still have valuable wisdom and insight about others.
        Fr. Boyle, for instance, is an expert on gang intervention programs. He runs one of the best (if not the best) in the country. It would seem logical for a Catholic Charity unbrella group to invite a person who runs a Catholic charity to speak at an event. His other erroneous stances don’t somehow ‘invalidate’ him as a speaker.
        Of course, we are all called to Christian perfection. The question is not that…it is how we treat our brothers and sisters who (like us) are still on the way there.

        • alin

          Thanks for your reply Deacon. I agree with you that we are not perfect. We are all sinners. We do have compassion for the sinner. That’s the nature of our faith.

          Fr. Boyle ‘s view certainly do not invalidate him as a speaker. However, it raises serious ethical concern about his faith. Fr. Boyle’s actions are subject to criticism. What he said, his interventions have raised questions of ethical matter which may have normative implications.

          • Deacon Jason Schalow

            alin, I agree completely. If CCUSA is inviting him to speak about marriage issues or women’s ordination, I would have to question their judgement. However if he is there to talk about working with troubled youth then I don’t think it speaks badly of CCUSA at all. Whatever other issues they may have I am not fully aware of, but I don’t think this is one of them. And if, as the article indicated, Catholic Charities passes the info on to the proper diocesan authorities then they have done their part to correct any errors.

  • kasia62

    I, too agree with most of the sentiments when suggesting to keep vigilant in matters of financial contributions. We have all fallen victim to the ease of writing out checks instead of physically donating time and presence. And what about the push for United Way at work? I think that we all assume by acceptance that people who say they are working for Catholic agencies and Catholic agencies, who are basically manned by lay people, are following Christian practice and are true supporters of the faith. We forget that it is all of our responsibility to keep those practices on the right track. It is written that our Churches will fall; succumb to the secular influences; the faithful will suffer along with the unfaithful; clergy will fail us and misguide us; Satan will reap his havoc to those who choose him and he will wreak vengeance on those who remain faithful to God. This didn’t just start, but perhaps we can see it more clearly now as more and more truth is exposed. God will triumph in the end, the decisions are ours to remain diligent with Him; pray for strength and wisdom to follow the truth; listen to his advocates which will always provide the very simple way with God. It’s all written down; we have the Holy Spirit for guidance; we have some holy and remarkable clergy; we have another pope who remains with the scripture and tradition. I continually check out all organizations, religious and not, for whatever support I may give or withhold. It’s work, but the technology helps. We need to move from the temptations of “comfort” to defending the truth. God never said it would be easy, but He did promise that He would give us all that was needed to make the right choices for eternal peace and happiness. God help us!

  • fondatorey

    It seems like a lot of ‘mainstream’ Catholic groups – ‘charities,’ University boards etc – get people who are hardly Catholic at all but who are connected or influential. Finding someone to ‘serve’ who is actually in favor of murdering people in cold blood is a new one for me though.

  • Andy, Bad Person

    NOTE TO ALL: CCUSA is not the same thing as your local division of Catholic Charities. Please continue to check out your local charities to see if they are worthy of support.

  • Marie

    Mary’s Meals is a great charity to support!

  • Michael

    Charity is a verb; fundraising is barely a noun 🙂

  • trespinos

    If you wish to go beyond the local, and I think we should, I second the recommendation for Food for the Poor. I would also add the traditional focus of American Catholics, the “Black and Indian” mission fields, specifically the Edmundite Southern Missions (note, not their New England college) who do terrific work among the desperately poor in Alabama’s rural center, and St. Francis Mission Foundation, who are toiling on the Rosebud Reservation to give the Lakota a chance in life.