Greensburg Catholic Diocese Protects Their Toys From the Gays

From the Post-Gazette

Here's the past that troubles me.

The Catholic Campaign for Human Development was founded in 1969 to fund efforts to eradicate the causes of poverty. In 2009, it awarded more than $7.7 million to 250 community and church groups. It doesn't give money directly to the poor, but funds self-help groups in which poor people work to fix problems such as poor schools or slum housing. Some conservative groups have long complained that this strategy gives the campaign a liberal bias. But criticism reached new heights last year.

But officials in the Greensburg diocese were troubled that the campaign gave no money to alleviate poverty directly and said that the new Diocesan Poverty Relief Fund would do just that.

How is it a liberal bias to empower people to tackle their own challenges?  What about “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach him how to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.”?

Apparently, it is better if the folks giving the money get to call the shots on how to solve your problems.  Hmmm.  Why does that seem familiar? 

Anyway, this is a sleight of hand game.  Our very own Bishop Zubik is a big kahuna with the Campaign for Human Development and there are clear safeguards in place, including repaying the money if you are in violation of church teaching. 

I think it is more wingnut venom from those who are threatened by the empowerment of poor people.  I think they toss abortion and gay rights into the mix to terrify the ignorant and gain support for their overarching goal of maintaining control over diocesan resources. They can't find a way to slice the Catholic Church from its mission to serve the poor, so they bring out the big guns of those who don't deserve justice — pregnant women and gay people. 

I ran a faith based ministry project for about 14 months back in the nineties.  The piece that REALLY worked was the piece that empowered people.  Sure, I had men mowing the grass and painting in exchange for the cash assistance (I had to do that), but I started a program where women in our rural community were able to volunteer in the thrift store and receive credits toward purchasing clothing for their family.  It was hugely successful.  And it was the idea of a group of women who advised me on how to get the Center growing — people who lived in the community and understood the local work ethic as well as the harsh impact of poverty.  They lived it, they came up with the program and it sustained itself long after I left. 

This about controlling the lives of the poor, not justice.  If they have to revisit the tired old anti-gay, anti-woman rhetoric to maintain control, so be it.  There is no way the powers that be in Greensburg wants poor people with power calling the shots. 


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