what gives?

By Diogenes (articles) | Jul 04, 2005

The function of the National Catholic AIDS Network (NCAN) is pretty much as vague you'd expect it be with Howard Hubbard as Bishop Moderator. "We work for global access to drugs and health care," says Coordinator Amy Florian, "for community-based systems of support, and for meaningful and lasting change." It's not clear to me what or who is supposed to change and in what direction, and the roster of NCAN donors is neither enlightening nor reassuring. Listed contributors include Fr. Tim Radcliffe, O.P., former Master General of the Domincans, as well as the Levi Strauss Foundation of Princeton, New Jersey -- no ally of the Catholic Church in other circumstances.

More puzzling to me are the donations made to NCAN by Catholic Charities of the Archdioceses of Chicago, Hartford, and Portland, and of the Diocese of Springfield, MA. My hunch is that most layfolk who give to Catholic Charities are under the impression that they're supporting an agency that actually delivers charitable services. Instead, it looks like we have advocacy groups taking infield practice by tossing tax-exempt grants back and forth to one another. "Global access to drugs and health care" sounds like a great idea, but just how far down the chain does one's donation to Catholic Charities translate into a real sponge used to cool a real person's brow?

Richard Cross holds a doctorate in psychology, who has taught at the university level, including at Franciscan University. He is currently an educational researcher and consultant in the field of psychology and related disciplines.
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