I have changed my mind about the seminary being the devils playground in so much as I think you may have been implying that my brother seminarian and I might be like blind sheep being led by the agenda of some professors. So, if I am confused about what you meant about by your statement that “seminaries can be the devils playground and that I am only hearing one side of the story”, could you please clarify for me what you may meant by such a statement.
I don’t see anything wrong or anything satanic about Alinsky’s remarks about his membership in organizations. He was an individual who was concerned with the well being of people who were being treated unjustly. Alinsky, a Jew, worked during some of the most tumultuous and iconoclastic days of the 20th century. He was rightfully rebelling against a system that he rightly saw as raciest, misogynistic along with “the bomb” which was a real threat in the back of many well intentioned people’s minds. The Second Vatican Ecumenical Council had just ended. Give the guy a break! Was he a good orthodox Catholic…absolutely not? Does someone have to be a good orthodox Catholic to be able to bring justice to the oppressed, absolutely not? Should the Church cooperate with people and secular institutions that are working to help bring freedom to the oppressed and dignity to the down trodden, ABSOLUTLY YES! This is the point of Gaudium es Spes. The world and creation is primarily good, because God made it good, and worthy of our (Christian) cooperation.
The fact is that Alinsky’s legacy, the IAF, does good work and reflects Catholic social teaching in its actions. It does not support any anti-life issues. That is why the USCCB supports the IAF and other agencies like it. There is PICO piconetwork.org/ to name just one. There are others.
Not every chapter of ACORN may have been participating in unethical behavior. Perhaps your bishop had reason to believe that the work they were doing was good. The point is that when things came to light about just how serious things were at ACORN, CCHD stopped funding ACORN. When it became clear that ACORN was doing unethical things, CCHD did not fund them in the next funding cycle. Funding from CCHD happens once a year. There is a cap of $50,000 a year for each group for a limited amount of years and then the agency is ineligible for funding for a time of, I think 3 years.
Have you ever taken part in a “site visitation”? If not, you should give it a try. It’s a lot of fun and a great education. What happens is that the CCHD representative, usually an employee of the diocese or Catholic Charities gets a group of people together and they go and visit the group who has applied for CCHD funds. The site visitation is looking to see that the group is following Catholic teaching, is remaining non-partisan (more on partisan politics later) and is doing what they say they are doing, among other things. They “vet” the group, in other words. When you join one of the site visitation groups, you get a chance to meet people in your community who are really trying to put their faith into practice. It really is a wonderful experience.
Some of the doubts you have expressed about IAF and CCHD almost sounds like you are accusing your bishop and CCHD of willingly participating in unethical practices. What do you think the intentions of your bishop and CCHD are? Do you think that they are doing things that are working against the ability of God’s kingdom breaking through here on earth? I am not suggesting that is what you are saying. Rather, I am WONDERING if that is what you are saying. Tell me what you think your bishops and CCHD’s intentions are please?
CCHD, IAF and JustFaith are really about faithful and holy people trying to learn more about their faith and putting what they have learned into practice.
Rules for Radicals is not required reading in this seminary. We rightfully have a copy of it in our library. Is that a bad thing? By the way, Rules for Radicals was dedicated to someone named Sara and not the devil as you suggested. I still defend IAF because of the great work it does around the country. That does not mean that it might one day have some ethical problems. We will hopefully address these problems swiftly if they come up. We should address the issues of unethical behavior with a mind to help them regain their moral standing. We hopefully would not be interested in dwelling on how bad they are, but rather, we should ask them, how can we help you stand upright again. Talking to someone about their sin is not about saying “goodbye”, it’s about saying, “come closer” so that we can be in relationship again.
As far as CCHD funding “secular” organizations goes. As it says in Lumen Gentium, the Church, as part of its mission of evangelization, is obligated to participate in the secular efforts in the world that are working to bring about peace and justice and the dignity of the human person. That is why the Church has a representative at the U.N. Granted not all that the U.N. does is necessarily good, from a Catholic perspective, but we need to be there to help the U.N. see where it is falling down. Again, we don’t leave relationships when someone is wrong, we continue with them and set an example.
You have said that CCHD and IAF and JustFaith participate in partisan activities. I disagree with this completely. Although CCHD JustFaith and IAF do participate in many things that are closely tied to Republican ideals, that does not mean they are promoting a partisan agenda. The fact that JustFaith, CCHD and IAF are all 100% pro-life does not mean that they are supporting partisan ideals. All it means is that they have some goals in common.
I will stand by Jack Jezreel’s defense of his attendance at “A Call to Action” meeting. For the record, people, so that means Catholics, are free to struggle with and talk about things for faith and morals. We need to be careful not to fall into mortal sin however. The group “A Call to Action” was originated by the USCCB in 1976. It wasn’t until somewhere around 2006 that one bishop in the U.S. wanted to excommunicate some of its members. I’m not sure if that excommunication ever really happened. In any event, A Call to Action was for a number of years supported by the USCCB and the Vatican.
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