Bishop Morin Reports to Bishops on Review and Renewal of Catholic Campaign for Human Development

November 18, 2010 By Public Affairs Office

WASHINGTON (November 18, 2010) — Bishop Roger Morin of Biloxi, Mississippi, chairman of the Subcommittee for the Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD), the anti-poverty program of the U.S. bishops, reported on the recent steps by his committee and a workgroup of bishops to review and renew the policies and practices of the program. He made this report November 15 at the annual Fall General Assembly of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) in Baltimore. Joining him for the presentation of the report were Bishop David Zubik of Pittsburgh, Bishop Terry Steib of Memphis, Tennessee, and Bishop Frank Kane, auxiliary of Chicago.

Full report follows:

The Review and Renewal of CCHD

A year ago I came to this podium to pledge a serious review of our Catholic Campaign for Human Development. Today I come to thank those who led the effort to fulfill that pledge, to thank our Administrative Committee for their action in September to “accept and affirm” the Review and Renewal of CCHD as the basis for moving forward, and to thank you my brother bishops, for your sharing your concerns and input and recommendations throughout this process and in our regional meetings this morning that continue to shape this task.

This Review and Renewal of CCHD does three fundamental things:

  • it reaffirms CCHD’s Catholic foundations and priority for the poor;
  • it responds to concerns about some CCHD funding practices; and
  • it makes “ten commitments” to strengthen CCHD as a faithful and effective expression of Catholic social and moral teaching and the Gospel.

Our work is not done. We will be responding to the suggestions voiced earlier today in our Regional Meetings and in the discussions to come. The concerns expressed this morning reflect the specific new directions of the Report.

  • to give priority to the participation of Catholic parishes and parishioners, pastors, religious and diocesan leaders and Catholic institutions in CCHD’s work
  • to better ensure that CCHD funds will not be used to support any activity which conflicts with fundamental Catholic moral and social teaching, particularly human life and dignity, marriage and family, and a priority for the “least of these”
  • to help CCHD become more focused and strategic by advancing the priorities of the Bishops’ Conference, especially as they impact poor communities.
  • provide more effective ways to involve bishops earlier in the process and to share the good news of what CCHD does in our communities to lift people out of poverty and to overcome injustice.

These are your concerns and our agenda for the future.

The work is already underway, your CCHD Subcommittee approved on Saturday:

  • A more specific Grant Agreement that clearly defines CCHD’s Gospel Mission and Catholic principles, outlining what CCHD can fund and what it cannot
  • A new CCHD Application Form which emphasizes CCHD’s Catholic identity and encourages and rewards Catholic participation in CCHD’s work.
  • In addition, Father Dan Mindling, OFM Cap., the academic dean and professor of moral theology at Mount Saint Mary’s Seminary, has accepted our request to serve as a theological advisor to CCHD.

The Report provides a detailed plan of action, making clear that this review is neither repackaging “business as usual” nor abandoning CCHD’s unique mission to the poor. We:

  • Have heard and are addressing the concerns that have been raised;
  • Are strengthening CCHD policies, practices and tools; and
  • Are building on Catholic principles to ensure that CCHD is an ever more faithful, effective work of the church, carrying out its mission in full conformity with Catholic teaching.

In closing,

  • I wish to thank the Bishop Members of the CCHD Workgroup who so ably carried out this review, Bishop David Zubik, Bishop Frank Kane and Bishop Terry Steib, and the consultants and staff who assisted them.
  • I also wish to thank members of the Bishops’ CCHD Subcommittee, and Bishop William Murphy and the Domestic Committee for their guidance.
  • We are also grateful to the Administrative Committee for its timely and positive action that allowed us to move forward to assure our pastors and people that they can continue to support the unique work of CCHD with confidence and generosity.
  • Most of all, I wish to thank you, my brother bishops, for your patience and persistence, your strength and steadfast support, of this much-needed application of Catholic social teaching and the Gospel at work in our local communities.

At this time of growing poverty, we need a renewed, strengthened, faithful CCHD more than ever. In the midst of economic crisis, this Review and Renewal commits us once again not only to CCHD, but also to Jesus’ mission, and ours, “to bring good news to the poor, liberty to captives, new sight to the blind and to set the downtrodden free.” (Luke 4:18)
Keywords: Catholic Campaign for Human Development, CCHD, U.S. bishops, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Bishop Roger Morin, Fall General Assembly, Baltimore, Review and Renewal of Catholic Campaign for Human Development