when charity means it's on the House

By Diogenes (articles ) | Jan 10, 2008

Catholic Charities USA (CCUSA) is celebrating the 1st anniversary of its campaign to cut the poverty level in half by 2020, and the the group reports that the early results have been good.

Rev. Larry Snyder, president of Catholic Charities USA, said that the response of the Catholic Charities network to the campaign has been tremendous, as more than 4,500 people and more than 380 organizations have endorsed the campaign, with more than 27,000 letters sent to members of Congress urging them to support legislation to help those living in poverty.

Aha. Then we're asking Congress to address the problem of poverty. That may be a logical option, from a political perspective. But Congress works with taxpayers' money, collected under penalty of law. Where does charity come into the picture?

Father Snyder says:

“This year will present some important opportunities for action, including asking those running for office to explain how they will work to cut poverty in this country.”

Fair enough. Good question to ask. Now, about that charity campaign...

Father Snyder also noted significant progress on a number of other key priorities that will continue to be at the center of legislative fights in 2008.

Legislative fights. I see. I'm just wondering about charitable efforts...

The efforts of Catholic Charities through the Campaign to Reduce Poverty in America were recognized by government leaders. Father Snyder was invited to testify before the House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Income Security and Family Support on proposals for reducing poverty, and congressional anti-hunger leaders praised the work of Catholic Charities in fighting for more funding for food stamp programs. In addition, Catholic Charities was invited to be one of the panelists questioning presidential candidates on the needs of the poor in a CNN forum last June.

Let me rephrase my question.

Sound Off! CatholicCulture.org supporters weigh in.

All comments are moderated. To lighten our editing burden, only current donors are allowed to Sound Off. If you are a donor, log in to see the comment form; otherwise please support our work, and Sound Off!

Show 7 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: - Jan. 12, 2008 3:38 PM ET USA

    Then, for clarity, perhaps they should change their name to "Catholic Charities and Justice"? (Actually, that would be an appropriate, and overdue, change, since many folks I know refuse to have anything to do with any organizations with "justice" in the name . . .)

  • Posted by: - Jan. 11, 2008 3:38 PM ET USA

    Perhaps, if there was an understanding of the difference between charity and justice and that both are equally important, then there would be no need for this criticism of this effort on the part of Catholic Charities.

  • Posted by: - Jan. 10, 2008 11:27 PM ET USA

    Jesus commanded us to "love one another". I can't find anywhere in Scripture where He suggested that we could delegate "loving one another" to the government. I also can't find any love in any government program I have observed, only regulations. If Christ had wanted the government to do the job, he would have commanded us to "regulate one another".

  • Posted by: - Jan. 10, 2008 10:56 PM ET USA

    Yes, maybe they mean "charity" as in "ubi caritas et amor"?

  • Posted by: - Jan. 10, 2008 5:57 PM ET USA

    Forget it! It's not about charity, about our individual responsibility to love and help our less fortunate neighbor. It's about "appearing" to do something to help our neighbor. So, let's send out alot of letters to our legislators and urge them to help our unfortunate neighbor! Let's talk about it in committee! Let's have a mission statement! Anyway, that's why I don't give to Catholic Charities, or Catholic Social Services anymore. I don't want to support letter drives!

  • Posted by: - Jan. 10, 2008 4:21 PM ET USA

    ...wondering if there's a job opening for a congressional anti-hunger leader; wondering what the job pays...

  • Posted by: - Jan. 10, 2008 12:41 PM ET USA

    If 50 letters for each of the 535 members of Congress in 2007 didn't raise taxes, then let there be 100 letters for each of them in 2008. Change "Spes salvi facti sumus" to "Fiscus salvi facti sumus"