Monday, June 20, 2011

Catholic Charities

Most are, unfortunately, really more secularly-informed than Catholic-informed.

Though still using the name Catholic, their agendas and missions more clearly reflect the substantial donations and secular priorities they get from government rather than those established by the Church, as this article from The Catholic Thing notes, with links at the jump.

An excerpt.

“Real estate agents unable to grasp the paramount importance of “location, location, location” would not last very long. Reminders about something so elementary are not needed. Keeping “identity, identity, identity” front and center within Catholic charitable organizations, as I have written previously (here and here), seems to require more vigilance, though why that is so is a long tale.

“Identity was the recurring theme of a momentous Caritas Internationalis gathering in late May, following news that its executive director would not be permitted another term. The prominent French commentator Jean-Marie GuĂ©nois described Pope Benedict XVI’s attempts to reform the Caritas network as revolutionary – not in terms of new doctrine, but in the sense that he is reasserting control over an entire area of the Church’s vital activity in agencies that have veered far off course.

“In a remarkable address to the Caritas Assembly, Guinean Cardinal Robert Sarah (president of the Pontifical Council Cor Unum) stressed that expressions of authentic Catholic charity are especially needed today, not least because the number of other actors on the scene is mushrooming. Most NGO activities, he reminded them, are expressions of prevailing western culture, now characterized by widespread religious indifference and secularization – “a humanism without God.” For all its tremendous material, scientific, and technological progress, the West, he maintained, is also suffering from “serious moral regression.”

“Western Catholics agencies should be all the more eager to stand in solidarity with the Church in other parts of the world precisely against just such moral regression – a considerable obstacle to human development everywhere, perhaps especially in the “developed,” but bleaker, swaths of the modern West.

“Yet on my own many trips to Africa with Catholic Relief Services, for example, it was not uncommon to hear locals refer to them as the “non-Catholic Catholic agency.” (Imagine what they say about CAFOD – the Catholic Agency for Overseas Development).”