When the Catholic Bishops of the United States established the Campaign for Human Development in 1970, they mandated the Campaign to fund “such projects as voter registration, community organizations, community-run schools, minority-owned cooperatives and credit unions, capital for industrial development and job training programs, and setting up rural cooperatives.” It was subsequently renamed the Catholic Campaign for Human Development, with prohibitions on funding of projects that were not in conformity with Catholic moral teaching.
The CCHD was sold to Catholic parishioners with a slogan of “a hand up instead of a hand out,” but instead, CCHD has heavily invested in the political organizing techniques of Saul Alinsky, a Marxist organizer from Chicago who founded the nationwide Industrial Areas Foundation, which in the Chicago area is known as United Power. United Power has been financed by various mainline Protestant churches and has made great inroads into the Catholic Church in Chicago, recruiting parish ministers and receiving funding from various parishes through dues and contributions. For all practical purposes, United Power is an extension of the far left wing of the Democrat Party.
In a November 4 report in The Washington Time, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops has announced that it has hired forensic accounting specialists to investigate more than $1 million in church funding to voter-registration group ACORN, suspecting that the money may have been spent in criminal acts that would negatively impact the tax exempt status of the Church.
The CCHD has given more than $7.3 million to ACORN over the past decade for about 320 projects, including $900,000 in 2006 and $1,110,000 in 2007. In June or this year, the Catholic Church allegedly froze a $1.2 million grant for 38 ACORN chapters after the community-organizing group was accused of voter fraud in 15 states. Critics of the CCHD have challenged the USCCB to provide evidence of the freeze and confirm that no payments have been made to ACORN in 2008.
Mary Anne Hackett, President of Catholic Citizens, commented, “It is well know that ACORN played a major role in the current financial crisis by intimidating banks through public rallies, invasions of bank lobbies with large groups of ACORN activists and picketing bank executives homes. ACORN bullied banks into making loans to people who could not repay them. To avoid vilification as racist, local banks were forced to make loans to unqualified borrowers, even allowing them to use food stamps as collateral for the loans.” These practices have caused the failure of several major financial institutions and the damage continues to reverberate through the economy.
Mrs. Hackett stated further, “Funding campaigns for socialist programs and Democrat Party candidates has no place in the mission of the Catholic Church or in service to the poor.” The funds are collected from the Catholic parishioners with no accountability to them for the expenditures. Nor does the Campaign for Human Development fund Catholic Institutions and apostolates that work with the poor.
“The Catholic Church, through its contributions to ACORN, is complicit in voter fraud and the failure of our economy. This must stop,” said Mrs. Hackett. Catholic Citizens of Illinois calls on all Catholics to boycott the annual collection for the Catholic Campaign for Human Development on the weekend of November 22 and 23.