The following comes from a June 10 Lepanto Institute article by Michael Hichborn:
Then Jesus approached and said to them, “All power in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age.” Matthew 28:18-20
The Great Commission, which is the primary act and purpose of the Catholic Church, has never changed. The conversion of peoples and nations to the Teachings of Our Blessed Lord is the charge given to the Church, and everything done by the Church is done to this specific end. And anything done without this specific end is empty and without purpose.
Why, therefore, in recent years have the great acts of charity which have always belonged to the Church, been handed over to those who do not seek first the conversion of sinners? Until the 20th century, the Catholic Church had worked through religious orders to provide aid to the poor, health care to the sick, and education to the ignorant. Catholic hospitals were filled with nuns and priests well educated in the healing arts, and the cost of health care was quite low. Catholic school classrooms were led by nuns and priests, and even the poorest kids in the neighborhood could afford a world-class education there. And the care of the world’s poorest was done by missionaries who sought first the salvation of the souls they served, while also working to provide food, housing and clothing … and it didn’t cost billions of dollars to do it.
The first charitable institution to be industrialized was healthcare. One by one, Catholic hospitals went from being staffed by priests and nuns to private doctors with families to house and feed, cars to drive, and college tuitions to pay. As a result, health care costs went up, and the Church’s influence went down. Suddenly, what had been a corporal work of mercy was now an industry.
Catholic education soon took a hit, as nuns and priests were replaced by private teachers and administrators, who also required salaries for their families. And as Catholic education became more of an industry, the influence of the Church declined there as well.
That the works of charity are now an industry is completely undeniable. Catholic charitable organizations compete with other organizations for large government grants, and in the name of helping the poor, executives in these organizations are raking in the cash. For instance, the tax form 990 for fiscal year 2014 for Catholic Charities USA shows the top eight paid employees all making over six figures each. In fact, for working a logged 35 hours per week, Fr. Larry Snyder made $381,080 and his Chief Operating Officer raked in $412,439. That’s two individuals working to help the poor, pulling in nearly half-a-million dollars EACH. All told, with benefits included, the top eight executives at Catholic Charities USA account for $2,027,680.
It’s no different at Catholic Relief Services. The latest tax form 990 shows that CRS’s president, Dr. Carolyn Woo, is earning $445,426 in salary and benefits in order to do “charitable” work. And the obscene salaries paid to the top eight of CRS’s executive leadership comes to $2,180,935. In fact, 27.5% of the Rice Bowl collection for 2014 (see page 18 of CRS’s 2014 Annual Report) paid the salaries and benefits of these eight individuals ALONE. That’s one of every three dollars collected from pew-sitting Catholics across the country going to pay the salaries and benefits of eight people … all in the name of helping the poor.
Worse than executives at Catholic charitable organizations getting rich in the name of helping the poor, much of the actual work is being outsourced to organizations who have no interest in maintaining the integrity of Catholic moral teaching. For example, the Catholic Campaign for Human Development doesn’t actually do ANY of its own work; all it does is dispense grants to community organizing groups (many of whom are acting in direct opposition to Catholic moral teaching) who do the work CCHD claims it does. Catholic Relief Services applies for and obtains large government grants that require it to pass some of the money along to organizations that are attacking the Gospel of Life. In 2012, CRS provided $64.65 million to organizations that are themselves dispensing contraception, committing abortions and performing sterilizations.
And while all of this is going on, the Mandate of the Church has taken a back seat. In September of 2014, CRS’s Vice-President for Government Relations and Advocacy Bill O’Keefe said in a CNN interview, “We assist people of all backgrounds and religions and we do not attempt to engage in discussions of faith.” He added, “We’re proud of that. We like to say that we assist everybody because we’re Catholic, we don’t assist people to become Catholic.” This statement is not dissimilar from what CRS’s Chief Operating Officer Sean Callahan said to Michael Hichborn in a November 2012 meeting. Callahan told Hichborn that CRS works to convert people’s minds to how to treat people and how to do things, but not to the Catholic Faith. When Hichborn reminded Mr. Callahan that Catholics have an obligation to proclaim the Gospel and bring all souls to Christ, his response was to equate feeding people and preaching the Gospel with “bribing the poor.”
The meaning of the word “charity” is Love. There is no love in mere philanthropy, and certainly not in an industry masquerading as a charity. As the Venerable Fulton J. Sheen would say, “If souls are not saved, nothing is saved.” CRS, CCHD, and Catholic Charities USA are Catholic in name, but do very little (if anything) to bring souls to Christ. If the hierarchy of the Catholic Church is truly interested in reducing poverty throughout the world, the poverty it must begin with is the poverty of the soul.
As one not making a fortune in my charitable field (Catholic education), I demand of the speaker: just where are all these nuns who “should” be teaching in my Catholic grade school? I further resent the suggestion that I can’t witness to the Faith because I’m not under vows or wearing a habit.
” Why, therefore, in recent years have the great acts of charity which have always belonged to the Church,
been handed over to those who do not seek first the conversion of sinners? ”
Tom Byrne if you are acting first for the conversion of sinners (bringing Souls to God) – then God bless you.
Right on! Well said. From the Catholic perspective, it makes no sense to have lots of well-fed, nicely clothed poor people with great health care dying and going to hell.
This article points out the author’s take on charity to industry, but does not suggest any remedies. Catholic Charities USA is a very large organization that does “good works” and coordinates a lot of the effort in nearly every diocese in the nation. It is a huge job to run that type of organization. Should the management all be on poverty wages? Should they not try to help people in need? Should all of their efforts be directed at Catholic only or only to those who are willing to become Catholic? The author would have been more helpful if solutions had been provided.
If any Catholic charity does not adhere to ” ON the SERVICE of CHARITY ” in entirety which went into effect Dec., 2012 – then they must – – – – –
STOP using the name “Catholic”, and become a secular social services organization.
Report abuses to the appropriate Diocese Bishop.
BobOne, the solution is for ALL Catholic Charities to adhere 100% to Catholic Church teaching, and to spread the Gospel – This is a requirement.
In addition to helping the physically poor, they must help the spiritually poor. Some do and some don’t.
” The meaning of the word “charity” is Love. There is no love in mere philanthropy, and certainly not in an industry masquerading as a charity. As the Venerable Fulton J. Sheen would say, “If souls are not saved, nothing is saved.” CRS, CCHD, and Catholic Charities USA are Catholic in name, but do very little (if anything) to bring souls to Christ. If the hierarchy of the Catholic Church is truly interested in reducing poverty throughout the world, the poverty it must begin with is the…
“…. If the hierarchy of the Catholic Church is truly interested in reducing poverty throughout the world,
the poverty it must begin with is the poverty of the soul. ”
Saving the body is not more important than saving the Soul.
An institution that forgets or rejects the teachings of it’s very own founder, Jesus Christ, is doomed to experience the most turbulent waters. When the apostles took their primary focus off of Christ and the Great Commission, then the huge waves came crashing into the boat from ALL directions.
1. A MAJOR “charitable” housecleaning of ALL professional Catholics from ALL chanceries, parishes, universities, high schools and grammar schools. When the money benefits and perks totally end, then the truly faithful clergy will remain.
Benefits: Smaller Church but a holier Church.
That was the whole premise of the so-called “inquisition”, wasn’t it Catherine?. Too bad it got such a bad rap. It was meant to weed out the fake and lazy “dead wood” professionals so the Church could be active and vital. These leeches who batten down on Church largesse and suck out the juice are nothing more than parasites who should be sent packing!
“It was meant to weed out the fake and lazy “dead wood” professionals so the Church could be active and vital.”
That’s exactly right Dana!
So what in your mind constitutes a “professional Catholic”? Do you mean anyone who takes a salary but doesn’t teach the Faith or anyone who takes a salary? As a Catholic elementary school teacher I have no pension, no tenure and salary and benefits well below those in the local public school. So what are these “perks” you speak of?
Tom, you do not work for a “Charity”, and you have to admit that you do require a salary to support yourself and/or your family (as most of us do).
Please re-read the article. I think you are misinterpreting it.
“So what in your mind constitutes a “professional Catholic”? ” =
“In his interview with Peter Seewald Pope Benedict admits his sadness at the influence of professional liberal Catholics, particularly those advising bishops, especially about their media image. He agrees with Peter Seewald’s analysis that these liberal Catholics are compromised by a ‘culture of doubt’.
Pope Benedict: ‘ These are all phenomena that one can only observe with sadness. It is sad that there are what you might call professional Catholics who make a living on their Catholicism, but in whom the spring of faith flows only faintly, in a few scattered drops. We must really make an effort to change this.’
“Smaller byr Holier Church: Catherine
I know it seems contradictory to Evangelization – but a smaller Faithful Church is IMO a pre-requisite to successful Evangelization. Without our own house in order we cannot credibly Witness to others – and the Infiltration / Abuse / Coverup of Homosex Ephebophiles targeting Adolescent Boys has so damaged both our ‘treasure’ and Credibility to make that an uphill battle (albeit one we can win).
However – without recognizing & Rejecting the Radical Gender Feminist Misandry (Hatred of Men & Boys, Masculinity & Normal Heterosexuality) that has accompanied the Homosex Attack, any ‘reforms’ would be hollow and often backfire.
“Worse than executives at Catholic charitable organizations getting rich in the name of helping the poor, much of the actual work is being outsourced to organizations who have no interest in maintaining the integrity of Catholic moral teaching….”
This is the Central Problem – Anti-Catholic Activists being given the donations of the Faithful, to undermine the Faith. ‘We’ Hire Outsiders who oppose our faith, instead of recruiting and taking care of our own with Jobs that take the place of Charity, instead give of handouts After laundered through Alinskyite ObamAcorn pork patronage slush funds.
Shame – Giving the Donations of the Faithful – to those working to Destroy them and the Church, and pretending such Evil is ‘social…
“Without our own house in order we cannot credibly Witness to others,”
“This is the Central Problem – Anti-Catholic Activists being given the donations of the Faithful, to undermine the Faith.”
Another two excellent posts Michael McDermott! No wonder you received the honorary bingo card.
The CRS (Catholic Relief Services), Catholic Charities, and CCHD (Catholic Campaign for Human Development) –
apply for and receive about $63 MILLION annually from Federal Government GRANTS.
When you take money from the government, you must play by government rules.
Even when those rules violate your Faith – in violation of
“On the Service of Charity”.
And all “Catholic” charities are required to spread the Gospel and not merely be another social services organization – per “On the Service of Charity”.
(The head of CRS makes approx. $500,000 which includes her benefits.)
“When you take money from the government, you must play by government rules.”
” As the Venerable Fulton J. Sheen would say, “ IF SOULS ARE NOT SAVED, NOTHING IS SAVED “.
CRS, CCHD, and Catholic Charities USA are Catholic in name, but do very little (if anything) to bring souls to Christ.
If the hierarchy of the Catholic Church is truly interested in reducing poverty throughout the world,
the poverty it must begin with is the POVERTY of the SOUL. “
My husband and I contributed a sizable amount to the Salvation Army for the Nepal Relief Fund. The Salvation Army has extremely low administrative costs, with very few paid staff. I refuse to give to CRS, CCHD and Catholic Charities. I also don’t give to the Diocesan Annual Appeal because they find these groups.
Today’s Church has too many problems. I discussed this website and similar ones, with some very good prelates, who are deeply dedicated to Our Lord. Plus, I showed them the posts of those who seem so– “un-Christian,” and lacking in good manners and good character, using this website to persecute and attack others! These Churchmen do not like all of these Catholic websites, with their upsetting news stories, stirring up laymen, who are so helpless to do anything!! The good advice I received, is to only get basic Catholic news stories, and let it go, keeping peace with God. Just be a good Catholic, live and die in peace, with God– being a good soul, practicing our Faith!!
Speaking of CHARITY– to add to my above post– June 12th, we had the Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. To remain in Him, in His Sacred Heart, in His Divine Mercy, and keep His peace and His love– is enough. The whole world is too dizzying, too impossibly corrupt, violent, and painfully difficult, to handle!
As the religious orders collapsed, their work should have been taken up by diocesean bishops and priests, but was not. Now hospitals that were serving the sick and the poor are serving only the wealthy sick, and even wealthier doctors and administrators. Unfortunately, this ship has already sailed.
Rather than giving to the USCCB’s charities that violate “On the Service of Charity”, some other Catholic Charities that one may consider are:
1) “Aid to the Church in Need”;
2) “Missionaries of the Poor”;
3) Your local “St. Vincent de Paul”;
4) Volunteering at your local “St. Vincent de Paul”;
5) Give Catholic Bibles and the CCC to the literate – those who are spiritually poor.
When doing your annual spring cleaning – remember that in addition to $ that St. Vincent de Paul also takes clothing, food, and items that are in reasonably good condition. In many cases they can pick up large items.
In England, up until the Reformation, the Catholic Church ran all the charities, and there were no taxes, except during a war. With Henry VIII and the cessation of Catholic institutions, taxes became pernament. Here in America, the Church ran the first hospitals, the orphanages, schools, and rest homes with the help of sisters and brothers. Most of the nuns are gone, there are practicaclly no brothers left, so now the laity are running these still operating institutions. Unfortunately, most have become for profit even though they receive tax exemption status, and the workers must receive a just wage.