By Msgr. Marvin Mottet
Brace yourself! There is a tsunami coming — a tsunami of opposition to and criticism of the Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD), in fact, an effort to kill it.
CCHD is a program started by the U.S. Catholic bishops in 1970 to empower poor people to get out of poverty by addressing the root causes of their condition and secondly to educate Catholics and the public at large about poverty and Catholic Social Teaching (CST). CCHD has given great credibility to the church in America and is widely admired by those inside and outside the church.
Some groups and individuals have fought CCHD from the very beginning, because they do not believe that poor people should be empowered or that poor people should vote. Should we be proud of that? Doctors, lawyers, bankers, insurance companies and business people are all organized into powerful associations, but some do not feel that poor people should organize and they are discouraged from voting. This is contrary to Catholic Social Teaching which says that all people have a right to participate in the decisions that affect their lives.
At least one group is raising funds to try to kill CCHD. The group even fooled one of my good friends by sending a mailing seeking funds to destroy CCHD.
My friend, Bishop Roger Morin, who heads the Bishops’ Committee on CCHD, has sent a letter to every bishop in the U.S. to explain the facts behind this case and may answer some of your questions.
If you have more questions, you may call me at 563/324-1128 or Loxi Hopkins, diocesan director of CCHD, at 563/324-19ll.
(Msgr. Marvin Mottet is a retired priest of the Davenport Diocese.)