Many CUF members have contacted our office asking for advice about this year’s collection of the USCCB’s Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD).
The basic issue is that in the past the CCHD has funded organizations that are at odds with some of the Church’s teachings on social justice, family, and life issues.
At this year’s annual Fall Meeting of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops in Baltimore, I asked CUF episcopal advisor Archbishop Charles J. Chaput to offer his advice on the issue:
People, first of all, should be prudent. They shouldn’t just jump to rash conclusions. I have seen some blogs that are excessive in their judgment of the issue and are harsh in what they say.
Some of the members of the CCHD staff who have allocated funds from the collection have made mistakes, and I think the Campaign itself admits that.
Whether these mistakes are frequent enough for people to be as upset as they are is a matter of the facts: They have to look what the facts are, not just jump to conclusions. People shouldn’t believe everything they read or be upset with the kind of intensity that I’ve seen, because I think that intensity leads to blindness.
I think that people can contribute to the collection without worrying that they are supporting causes that conflict with Church teaching.
At the same time, Jesus tells us that our treasure should be where our heart is. If people don’t like the decisions of the Campaign staff and their allocations, one of the ways they can show their displeasure is by withholding funds from their diocesan collections. It’s unfortunate that mistakes have been made, and I think the staff has to be more cautious and more critical in its judgment.
There are many ways of responding to the situation. We bishops serve ourselves and the collection well if we are honest about mistakes, try not to make them again, and move on appropriately.