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Catholic Charities needs to be more Catholic and more charitable November 16, 2011

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, Dallas Diocese, episcopate, General Catholic, sadness, scandals, Society.

Bishop Paprocki gets it.  In response to Catholic Charities of several dioceses in Illinois determining to forego state funding and stop having adoption/foster care agencies, due to Illinois new requirement to place children with same sex couples simulating marriage, Bishop Thomas Paprocki of Springfield had this to say:

“The silver lining of this decision is that our Catholic Charities going forward will be able to focus on being more Catholic and more charitable, while less dependent on government funding and less encumbered by intrusive state policies.”

Dr. Jeff Mirus then goes on to examine in depth the myriad problems of the current Catholic charitable structure, or business model – dependence on government handouts breeds further dependence, sloth, and undermines the very idea of charitable giving.  Monies taken by the force of government do not constitute charity.  Even worse, he who pays the piper calls the tune.  The government imposes all kinds of regulations with that money they hand out, some of which are inimicable to the Faith.  As society continues to deteroriate and fall away from its Christian heritage, those rules will become more and more onerous, demanding more and more horrid compromises of core beliefs on the part of the Church.  It’s something I’ve written about a number of times on this blog, how the current model of Catholic charitable funding is terribly flawed, with 90% of the outlays coming from government at one level or another.  I don’t think this can long continue. 


True charity is a voluntary sacrificial giving for the personal good of someone in need. While many in social service careers have wonderful motives, and some may go beyond their duties to perform many acts of personal charity, public social services do not represent that direct and vivifying charity by which we voluntarily enter the life of another to seek the good of the whole person—of the brother or sister in need. There are typically vast affective and effective gulfs between State social programs and true charity. Catholic Charities, by its very nature, should maximize the latter.

It is worth rereading the second part of Pope Benedict XVI’s encyclical Deus Caritas Est to review and more deeply grasp this precise and essential point.

One final thought: When people [or organizations like Catholic Charities] rely primarily on the State for their needs, they become increasingly dependent on the State. A cycle of dependency is perpetuated and seldom escaped through State programs. Yet such programs invariably increase the power of the State in a way which reduces the influence of other institutions which make for a more vibrant social order. [As the state grows, the Church shrinks.  Look at Europe] By contrast, when a person’s extraordinary needs are met with charity, there will generally be a natural progression of assistance which addresses the root causes of the visible misfortune. People can get “back on their feet”, and then they often become new agents of charity in their own right.

Through this process, the intermediary institutions which provide such sacrificial service gain stature in the minds and hearts of those they serve, attracting others to the same values and service. A whole tapestry of good habits, and organizations which foster them, will emerge to enrich the social order.



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