July 31, 2013
Jesus is merciful, but he is not stupid; he knows the difference between right and wrong.–Francis Cardinal George, OMI Archbishop of Chicago
Today I ran across an article at CNA concerning Cardinal George’s response to an attack by the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights. It seems that this group has announced its support for same-sex marriage so, while holding out its hand to receive huge amounts of money from the Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD) it has allied itself with the militant gay movement and is promoting something it knows is against Catholic teaching.
It seems that some allegedly Catholic politicians were fired up over George’s cancellation of CCHD funds for their organization – after all, who wants to give a lot of money to somebody who has just spit in your eye – and they published a half page newspaper ad in the form of an open letter condemning George and “accusing the Church of turning her back on the poor.”
Pardon me while I pause for a moment to recover from laughing hysterically at this accusation. A 500 page book wouldn’t be enough to record all the things the Catholic Church has done for the poor since the beginning of the twentieth century alone, let alone since the time of the first Pentecost.
In response to the open letter Cardinal George had the Chicago Sun-Times publish his response on diocesan letterhead. I am including most of the letter here and would have linked to the Sun-Times pdf file but the address was too long to be accepted by my hyperlink tool. If you go to the CNA article you can access it at the bottom of their article. Emphasis is mine.
On May 23, the ICIRR board broke faith with its member organizations when it publicly supported so called “same-sex marriage.” For its own political advantage, it introduced a matter extraneous to its own purpose and betrayed its own members, who were not consulted.
The CCHD had no choice but to respect the unilateral decision of the ICIRR board that effectively cut off funding from groups that remain affiliated with ICIRR. Without betraying its donors or the Catholic faith, the Catholic Church’s long-standing work for immigrant groups and for immigration reform remains intact. This record speaks for itself and is well known. It is carried locally by Priests for Justice for Immigrants and by Sisters and Brothers of Immigrants, in collaboration with the Archdiocesan Office for Immigrant Affairs and Immigration Education, led by Elena Segura with my complete support.
It is intellectually and morally dishonest to use the witness of the Church’s concern for the poor as an excuse to attack the Church’s teaching on the nature of marriage. Four weeks ago, Pope Francis wrote: “…marriage should be a stable union of man and woman…this union is born of their love, as a sign and presence of God’s own love, and of the acknowledgement and acceptance of the goodness of sexual differentiation, whereby spouses can become one flesh and are enabled to give birth to a new life.” In other words, when it comes to marriage and family life, men and women are not interchangeable. The whole civilized world knows that.
Those who signed the open letter in the Tribune proclaimed their adherence to the Catholic faith even as they cynically called upon others to reject the Church’s bishops. The Church is no one’s private club; she is the Body of Christ, who tells us He is “the Way, the Truth, and the Life.” Because the signers of the letters are Catholic, they know that in a few years, like each of us, they will stand before this same Christ to give an account of their stewardship. [People, this is the truth. This is why the Church teaches us to meditate on the Four Last Things. We will stand before Jesus right after death and we will be judged in the light of His crucified Person. We will see ourselves as He sees us and we will account for our lives.] Jesus is merciful, but He is not stupid; He knows the difference between right and wrong. Manipulating both immigrants and the Church for political advantage is wrong.–Francis Cardinal George, OMI Archbishop of Chicago
The CCHD has been a very sore point for many years for many Catholics who are asked to contribute yearly to fund it. Think of the CCHD as a financial holding tank funded by all the dioceses of the USA that doles money out to organizations that are supposed to help the poor. Instead, as American Life League published in a detailed report in 2011 and has continued to document, the CCHD, run as an arm of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) has been proven to support groups that advocate abortion, contraception, same sex marriage, and other causes contrary to Church teachings. In recent years the head of the CCHD, Ralph McCloud, helped a notorious pro-abort woman, Wendy Davis, get elected to office in Texas while claiming he had no idea where she stood on abortion. He is still employed as Director of CCHD. This scandal has not gone down well with serious Catholics who take our doctrines of Faith seriously.
It is a very big thing that Cardinal George has cut off funding from the CCHD to ICIRR. As a Catholic, I am very grateful to him for taking action and not mincing words. Now if all the bishops of this country would oversee CCHD activities in their dioceses with vigilance and scrub the radical Marxist Alinsky ideologies from its operation at the USCCB, the knowledgeable Catholics in the pews would likely be willing to open their wallets again. Until then, I personally stand with Cardinal George. Jesus is merciful, but He is not stupid; He knows the difference between right and wrong. I can give my alms elsewhere.
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