Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Live from Mothership: CCHD 2.0

After extensive controversy in some quarters over a handful of grants given by the US bishops' Catholic Campaign for Human Development to groups whose political aims conflicted with church teaching, this morning the Mothership's arm for community organizing and eradicating poverty announced a slate of bolt-tightening measures after an extensive "review and renewal" process.

Its annual mid-November collection suspended by several ordinaries in their dioceses amid the furor, among other aspects of the CCHD reform -- "affirmed" by the bench's Administrative Committee in September -- are a series of commitments that include an increased priority for supporting ad intra initiatives and, beyond tighter scrutiny over grant recipients, dictate enhanced, "ongoing" consultation with a moral theologian (who has yet to be named).

Already, accounts from the Catholic left and right have emerged on this morning's announcement. Given the delicacy of the subject-matter and its context, however, the ecclesial interest would seem to be best served by the fullaudio of today's rollout.... Ergo, for those keen to tackle it, the 45-minute session can be heard here.

The report and its outcomes will be discussed by the bishops at their Fall Plenary in Baltimore next month.

On a wider note, just as the US bishops have seen a challenge to the conditions of the grants awarded by their development arm, so too have their Northern peers; after similar controversy over actions of the Canadian bishops' Development and Peace agency, at yesterday's opening of their annual weeklong plenary in Cornwall, Ontario, in its customary opening letter to B16 the Canuck bench pledged to "renew" their D&P "in the light" of the pontiff's social encyclical, Caritas in Veritate.