…That’s the doubt angry conservatives are trying to sow as a way to undermine the CCHD, the principal anti-poverty program of the U.S. bishops conference, and the Roman Catholic Church in America. Among the harshest critics are some bishops themselves, though a group oddly named “Laity for Life” (they apparently find poverty pro-life, at least for others) is leading one charge against the CCHD.
It is an ugly political fight led by the likes of Father Richard John Neuhaus at “First Things,” and it derives from the ongoing internal church warfare over secular politics. The opening for conservatives was of course the revelations that the CCHD had funded ACORN, the anti-poverty community organizing group that Republicans sought to tie around Obama’s neck, as they tried to disparage “community organizing” and other forms of Christian witness as somehow un-American. God help us if that’s the case.
God help the poor too–this ugly campaign comes just ahead of the CCHD’s annual collection this Sunday, the chief source of its income. Read my take on the controversy over at “America Connects,” the web-only portion of America magazine. And don’t let false accusations and innuendo be an excuse for not donating.

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