Thursday, November 27, 2008



Try this unhealthy recipe: USCCB+CCHD+ACORN+FOCA

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) recently released a Statement promising all-out war against the adoption of the Freedom of Choice Act (FOCA) which Barack Hussein Obama promised Planned Parenthood International he would sign as soon as Congress would send the bill to him.

If the Statement of the USCCB was not greeted with much enthusiasm by Catholics active in the pro-life movement it was because the Statement was preceded shortly before by another announcement from the USCCB that its Catholic Campaign For Human Development would NO LONGER fund the Association of Community Organizations for Reform (ACORN).

The Catholic Campaign for Human Development suspended funding ACORN, a nationwide community organizing group, after it was disclosed June 2 that nearly $1 million had been embezzled.

Funding was suspended for the Association because of the financial irregularities, said Ralph McCloud, executive director of CCHD, the U.S. bishops' domestic anti-poverty and social justice program.

"We're not funding them at any level," McCloud told Catholic News Service Oct. 15.

The suspension covers all 40 ACORN affiliates nationwide that had been approved for $1.13 million in grants for the funding cycle that started July 1, 2008.

McCloud said the suspension came soon after his office learned that ACORN disclosed that Dale Rathke, the brother of ACORN founder Wade Rathke, had embezzled nearly $1 million from the organization and its affiliates in 1999 and 2000. Dale Rathke stepped down from his position with the organization in June when the matter became public; no charges were filed against him. Wade Rathke stepped down as the group's lead organizer at the same time but remains chief organizer for ACORN International LLC.

CCHD has hired specialists in forensic accounting to investigate whether any of its grant funding has been misappropriated, McCloud added.

Since revealing its financial troubles, the organization has come under intense scrutiny because of its voter registration practices. In several states voter registration forms have been found to include nonexistent or dead people. Some registrants have told elections officials they completed multiple cards at the urging of ACORN canvassers who claimed they would be fired if they did not meet a daily quota for signing up new voters.

McCloud released information showing that CCHD funded more than 320 ACORN projects with grants totaling more than $7.3 million during the last 10 years. He said the community organization also had received funds since early in CCHD's history.

CCHD's Web site reveals the campaign gave about $1.11 million to 40 ACORN affiliates in 2007 and $1.17 million to 45 affiliates in 2006.

Over the years, some of the funds undoubtedly were used for voter registration drives, McCloud said.

While McCloud is concerned about the possibility of embezzlement within ACORN, Catholics generally are shocked and concerned to discover that their contributions to CCHD were used by ACORN to help elect the Barack Hussein Obama administration that is pledged to pass FOCA and thereby remove all restraints from abortion-on-demand in the states. Restraints which Catholics have been in the forefront of the movement to put those restraints in place over the past thirty-five years.

This situation is analogous to the help with the Benedictine monastery of Maria Laach in Germany gave to the Nazis between 1933 and 1945.

The Maria Laach Abbey has been at the center of a controversy over its relations with the Nazi regime. In particular Heinrich Böll, depicting in Billiards at Half-past Nine a Benedictine monastery whose monks actively and voluntarily collaborated with the Nazis, is generally considered to have had Maria Laach in mind.

In 2004 researcher Marcel Albert published Die Benediktinerabtei Maria Laach und der Nationalsozialismus ("The Maria Laach Bendicitine Abbey and National Socialism") In reviewing the book, Dr. Mark Edward Ruff of Saint Louis University wrote: [2]

“The Benedictine abbey, Maria Laach, poses a number of interpretative challenges for historians writing on Roman Catholicism during the Third Reich. This influential monastery in the Eifel became known as a center for right-wing Catholicism already during the Weimar Republic. Its leaders enthusiastically greeted the Nazi seizure of power in 1933.

It was the ONLY Benedictine monastery in the Rhineland not to be confiscated by the Nazi regime.”

Marcel Albert's book (...) relies heavily on the unpublished memoirs of Ildefons Herwegen, a conservative monarchist who served as abbot of Maria Laach until his death in 1946. At times self-serving, these memoirs provide the narrative thread for this book.

Albert quotes extensively from these, all the while commenting on the accuracy and reliability of Herwegen's account. He also makes extensive use of the archival holdings of the monastery itself, supplementing these with official state and police reports (...).

Maria Laach became a focal point in the Weimar Republic for those right-wing Catholics disillusioned by the collapse of the Hohenzollern monarchy and outraged at the Catholic Centre Party's coalitions with the Social Democrats (SPD). The monks, politicians, businessmen, theologians and students who gathered there were strongly influenced by the idea of a coming "Reich," hoping to build a third Holy Roman Empire.

Not surprisingly, both Herwegen and many others at Maria Laach embraced Hitler's regime and even chided other Catholics for failing to work with the new state. "Blood, soil and fate are the appropriate expressions for the fundamental powers of the time," Herwegen avowed. The rise of the Third Reich was part of the workings and designs of God. Hitler's promise to build Germany on a Christian foundation on March 21, 1933 led several monks to hang a picture of Hitler in the abbey and to unfurl the black white red flag of the bygone Kaiserreich.

This openness to National Socialism by many at Maria Laach did not go unnoticed by the Nazi press. Robert Ley's Westdeutsche Beobachter reported that "one knows that the spirititual-religious educational work of the Benedictines of Maria-Laach for years has increasingly viewed itself responsible for all of the duties to renew the national conscience."

Although the monastery was not closed down, as were all other Benedictine abbeys in the area, its members had become a regular target of state attacks. Albert makes it clear, however, that it was only the Nazi persecution of the churches, and not the attacks on the Jews or Nazi military aggression, that forced Herwegen to see the regime in a new light. [Wikipedia}

Historians have yet to fully explore the extent to which the monks of Maria Laach Abbey both directly contributed to the rise of the National Socialist Party (NAZI) in Germany and indirectly contributed to the persecution of the Church during the Nazi years.

One can only wonder if historians in the future will be able to assess the full extent to which the support of USCCB/CCHD for ACORN will produce a socialist regime in the United States for the next 12+ years which results not only in regression in the area of the protection of innocent human life, but repression of basic human rights currently protected by the United States Constitution.

It seems clear that mixing USCCB with CCHD with ACORN with FOCA is a recipe for indigestion on a national (and perhaps international) scale.



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