“No, Thank You—Clean Up Your Act First.”
Next Sunday at all the masses, they’ll be passing the basket for the Chicago Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD)… notwithstanding that the archdiocese has peremptorily fired the courageous executive who changed the direction of grants from support of the Left to bona fide non-political anti-poverty groups. Moreover a group that acts as a conduit to abortion clinic referrals and contraceptive pills—opposed by the Chicago branch--was given an extension of a $45,000 grant by the national CCHD, overruling the Chicago office’s objections.
In addition, a grant approved by the fired Ray Flores and the local office—to the Pro-Life Action League, run by nationally famed Joseph Scheidler—was overruled by the national office. Thus reforms charted by Flores, have ended—presumably due to pressure exerted by a cadre of liberal priests on the archdiocese.
The firing of Chicagoan Flores, some months old, was unannounced—in keeping with the archdiocese’s tight lid on news flow that may stir controversy. The news seeped out via word of mouth which led to a story in Lifesitenews.com and a number of authenticist Catholic blogs. Finally in this week’s Catholic New World there’s an ad soliciting applicants for Flores’ job.
Flores challenged and was successful for a time in changing the local CCHD’s policy of using contributed dollars given from well-meaning people in the pews to organizations, many of which affiliate with the Left—disseminating funds both directly and indirectly to a number of abortion providers and pro-gay groups. He made an honest effort to change the giving process. Flores even sanctioned a CCHD grant to the Pro-Life Action League as a starter.
But a coterie of liberal priests including Fr. Lawrence (“just call me Larry”) Dowling, pastor of St. Agatha’s on Chicago’s South Side and Fr. William (“just call me Bill”) Tkachuk pastor of St. Nicholas of Evanston started counter-advocacy from the Left. And you know how this archdiocese is run—with all the constancy and resoluteness of a windsock if the winds of pressure come from the Left.
The archdiocese is terrified…I mean tremblingly so…of the ire from liberal priests and so at the command of Fr. Dowling….who aspires to the media fame as a junior league Fr. Michael Pfleger (getting arrested last Spring in protest of the Arizona immigration law)…and Fr. Tkachuk…who’s leading a drive for female deacons, unrecognized by the Vatican.
Thus notwithstanding the good reforms at Chicago CCHD, at the first whiff of leftward breeze, the archdiocesan windsock fluttered Left and Reyes was fired.
The import of Flores’ firing is clear.
He was canned because he carried out what he was told would be his mandate—nixing for funding by the national CCHD any group that opposes or works against Catholic teaching principally on life and family issues. One 3-year recipient of national CCHD funds was something called the Southwest Organizing Project [SWOP], supposedly opposing violence, supporting housing for the poor et al receiving $45,000 a year for capital needs.
An invaluable organization formed to watchdog CCHD recipients, “Reform CCHD Now Coalition” and Flores as head of the local CCHD have repeatedly warned against SWOP. Flores checked it out personally. One program of SWOP is called “Elev8” at Marquette grade school. “Elev8” looked and acted suspect. So Flores called the school, maintaining his 7th grade daughter, a student, was pregnant. Referred to the school’s health clinic supported by “Elev8” he was told soothingly that they could refer his “daughter” to a good abortion provider and after that could put her on “the pill” if necessary.
Fr. Dowling wrote a letter of complaint to Francis Cardinal George that maintained “it has been an insult to many [grantees] to be asked `Does your organization support abortion or same-sex marriage?’”
Is he serious? An insult for an organization to be asked by the Catholic Church before it grants its funds whether or not the potential recipient supports or opposes two moral doctrines which are central to the Church’s theology?
Last week the archdiocese’s official newspaper The Catholic New World carried an ad for Flores’ job saying that applications should be sent to Nicholas Lund-Molfese, the head of the Peace and Justice Office, to which Flores reported. But how long Lund-Molfese will be around is an open question as the fearsome Fr. Dowling has criticized him as well—and the archdiocesan wind-sock flutters to his every intonation.
Predictably a gag has been put on Lund-Molfese by the chancery’s autocratic press office which restricted itself to a terse comment by Susan Burrit, the media relations director who could well be working for said: “There has been no change in the policy of the Archdiocese of Chicago regarding groups eligible for CCHD funding. Reports to the contrary are mistaken.” Uh-huh. No change: that’s why Flores was fired, huh? I’m sure you can take that one to the bank.
As earlier stated, Chicago’s two major newspapers have no religion reporters worthy of the name. The Tribune employs one Manya Brachear whose column goes by the nihilistic label “The Seeker”…who seeks but doesn’t ferret out the news except what is given in publicity handouts. She finally came out with a story yesterday saying what everybody clued in already knows--that Cardinal George’s term is up and that his successor Bishop Gerald Kicanas is almost a sure bet as successor. She went into sparse details about Kicanas’ tenure at Mundelein, relating tersely the Dan McCormack scandal…adding for sweetners that George has been a great leader for pro-life at the USCCB.
The Sun-Times relies on an out-source agency which 90% of the time uncritically relays the official archdiocesan line peppering its news output with hard-left commentary by Margery Frisbee, who still keeps a candle burning in memory of the late radical Msgr. Jack Egan, the devotee to the late Saul Alinsky. Therefore, rely on this website and other Catholic ones to ascertain the news, the archdiocesan press office…including Ms. Burrit and her superior having all the reliability of Russia’s Foreign Intelligence Service formerly known as Tass.
Anybody who read the amusing book Game Change by John Heilemann and Mark Halprin [HarperCollins: 2009] …probably the best book about modern presidential campaigning ever written…has a pretty good hint on what’s behind the John McCain vs. his wife and daughter…Cindy and Meghan.. split on the issue of “don’t ask, don’t tell.” McCain is for keeping it the way it is. Cindy and Meghan are for repealing it. Cindy (aka Mrs. McCain) is particularly tough and their daughter, Meghan, is militant on accepting gays in contradiction to their husband and father.
Why are these two women—wife and daughter—determined to embarrass him so? Well, if you had to live with him, you’d understand. And while I agree with John, I don’t blame the two women for a minute.
In all likelihood it has very little to do with the issue itself and almost totally with McCain’s selfish preoccupation with his own destiny, his raging temper tantrums and berating of his wife in full view and overhearing of the press (whose marriage to whom made him a multi-millionaire which he accepts as if he earned it rather than married it). The book gives chapter and verse about what the authors call “the battling McCains.”
Thus I’m all for the McCain women getting back at the old tyrant even though I don’t agree with them on the issue they picked. But no matter.
If you read the book you’ll find that he was—and probably still is-- an insufferable beast to his wife with a legendary temper that often gets the better of him. If I had his record I’d be very nicey-nice. This is a guy who ditched his first wife when, coming home as an ex-POW he noticed the effects on her looks of a terrible automobile accident she suffered which changed her looks and physical stature drastically.
After meeting Cindy and hooking up with her out of town off and on for about a year he decided to ditch No. 1 , he up’d and told her…this woman who selflessly waited for him for five years…that he decided he didn’t love her anymore and wanted a divorce. Just like that. And after marrying into big bucks, he calculated how he would run for office in the future.
Everything fit together perfectly. He married into one of the richest families in Arizona where a veteran congressman, John Rhoads, was retiring. Money was no problem so he cruised into office—first the House and then the Senate. And he was no sweetie pie as a husband, making her and his family pay for his consummate ego-trip.
Now you may say you forgive all of this because after all he is emotionally wounded and was turned into a self-serving egotist because he had been held in captivity and squalor in the Hanoi Hilton.
To which I say baloney.
After years of accepting Cindy’s largesse…getting on her company’s board…acting like the spoiled child he is, this ingrate reverted to true coloration… of a totally unlovable, unsympathetic and boorish guy known for uncontrolled explosions including being the first in history to shout the “f” word at a colleague on the Senate floor—Sen. John Cornyn of Texas.
Except that his opponent was Barack Obama McCain would never get my vote. So I did vote for McCain-- not because he is a hero—but because unlike Obama, he is a patriot: a fervent one. That means I would vote for him again if there’s no one else…but that I hold McCain in minimum high regard.
Yet undeniably he loves this country and it does not take a degree in psychology to see that the detached, cold and elitist Obama does not particularly. After all, we have Obama’s word for it. When asked if America is exceptional, this throwback to his raging anti-colonialist father said: er, yeah but then Britain is exceptional to the English and Greece is to the Greeks.
That’s all I needed. And everything that transpired with Obama since….his running around the world apologizing for his presidential predecessors…ratified my decision. So it wasn’t difficult at all to vote for McCain and pray for his victory which I did.
Nevertheless I accept, understand and even enjoy the woman whose wealth he used to power and riches finally getting fed up and their daughter having spent so many years serving his egotism contradicting him in public. Next I’d like to see Cindy give him his walking papers.
`Way to go, ladies!
A Favor of You, Please.
If you like and enjoy this website…as a number of you say you do…I’d appreciate it if you’d help me build up its circulation by serving as a volunteer “salesman” for your friends and people who think like us. As you know, they can receive it free on email or just tune in to the website. I’d really like to build up its circulation which is a couple thousand. Let me know if you want to do this…and thanks in advance for anything you can do!