Monday, August 1, 2011

Big lizard in my backyard

On July 20th, The Catholic Diocese of Buffalo announced that their partner, The Catholic Charities of Buffalo, had surpassed the yearly 'appeal' amount for the year.

Catholic Charities of Buffalo, every year, appeals to the community for funding, and this year, in these economic times,  they had reached their goal by July 20th.

This year's goal: 10.5 million dollars. To date, Catholic Charities of Buffalo has collected $10,601,157.94 from the 8 counties that compose Western New York. To put this in perspective, Western new York contains roughly 2.5 million people.

Catholic Charities is the largest non-governmental 'humanitarian' organization in the country. It was founded in 1910, and is headquartered in Alexandria, Virgina. Their annual revenue is $3.83 billion.

This year's 'appeal' slogan is, to quote the Diocese of Buffalo: "“Whoever. Wherever. Whenever.” because Catholic Charities is always there, providing help for people of all faiths and walks of life when they need it most."

Now, two things: 1) When you quote a sentence that begins with a quote, it looks really stupid, and, 2) 10.6 million dollars??? From people in Western New York? Who are these people? What do they do?

Well, I did some research.

Stated plain as day on Catholic Charities USA's website is the following:

Vision of Catholic Charities

Believing in the presence of God in our midst, we proclaim the sanctity of human life and the dignity of the person by sharing in the mission of Jesus given to the Church. To this end, Catholic Charities works with individuals, families and communities to help them meet their needs, address their issues, eliminate oppression, and build a just and compassionate society. 

Ok, fine, a very nice mission statement. As you may have guessed, I have some concerns. Before the pichforks emerge, please let me state that my concerns are not that they share in the mission of the zombie from Nazareth. As I have stated many times, believe what you want to believe. My problems are a bit more...pragmatic.

In 2006, Archbishop Sean P. O'Malley and leaders of Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Boston announced that the agency would terminate its adoption work, rather than comply with state law which would force it to place children under the guardianship of same-sex couples, which conflicts with the moral teaching of the Church.

In 2009, the Washington, D.C. chapter of Catholic Charities was confronted with legislation that would compel them to offer family health insurance plans for their same sex employees equivalent to the packages provided to heterosexual couples. Catholic Charities, USA's response? They stopped providing health care for ALL employees. Of course, there is a provision that allows any employee who received health insurance previous to this policy shift to be 'grandfathered' in.

None of this would be concerning to me if Catholic Charities wasn't the leading non-governmental adoption program in the United States. None of this would be concerning to me if Catholic Charities didn't employ 304,932 people. But, they do.

While we are filing lawsuits, and protesting memorials, An organization with a clear theological perspective has collected 3.83 billion dollars from the country to further their agenda. They have collected 10 million dollars from your neighbors in the last six months. They are the second largest social service provider in the United States, surpassed only by the federal government. They offer counseling, mental health treatment, disaster relief, and assistance for impoverished neighborhoods.

My real problem is not what they are doing. My problem is: What are we doing?

-Paul Wittmeyer

1 comment:

  1. My big issue is, "whoever." Unless, apparently, you are gay...