UPDATE: The Catholic Campaign’s New Problem with Coalitions

Deal W. Hudson
November 9, 2010

From the editor: On November 10, 2010, we received the following response to this column from the USCCB’s Department of Justice, Peace and Human Development. We print it in its entirety:

Responses to the CCHD Review and Renewal

The report on the Review and Renewal of CCHD has generally been very well received. It has been reported as a reaffirmation of CCHD’s Catholic foundations and priority for the poor, a genuine response to concerns about CCHD funding policies and a detailed roadmap for CCHD’s future with 10 commitments to strengthen CCHD as a faithful and effective expression of Catholic teaching and the Gospel.

The Reform CCHD Now Coalition said, “the renewal document is a positive step forward for the CCHD and if vigorously implemented, we hope to see an overall improvement in their funding practices. ” However, they did not endorse CCHD and they and others have raised three additional concerns that merit a response:

1. “However, that being said, the CCHD will most likely not release the 2010 grantee list in time for this year’s collection.” The CCHD Review and Renewal call for the development of a substantially revised CCHD Grant Agreement “to be used for all pending and future funding allocations and grants.” This new contract will “be more explicit about the positions, activities, and relationships not permitted by CCHD” and “strengthen prohibitions on partisan politics.” After the Bishops’ CCHD Subcommittee reviews and approves the revised Grant Agreement and the bishops discuss the CCHD Report at their General Meeting in Baltimore, this stronger contract will be finalized and sent to all potential 2010 grantees. While these groups were selected under earlier CCHD guidelines, only groups which sign the new Grant Agreement will receive CCHD funds. Therefore, the list cannot be published now since some groups may be unwilling to sign or abide by the conditions of the new Grant Agreement.

2. “CCHD repeatedly mentions that 5 out of 270 grantees were defunded last year. What is odd is the CCHD lists 6 grantees which were defunded.” One of the six listed groups (the Rebecca Project) was denied re-funding when CCHD in reviewing their application learned they had recently violated CCHD requirements. Because they had recently acted in conflict with Catholic moral and social teaching their application was rejected, as are many others who fail to meet CCHD requirements. The bishops’ Report says: CCHD takes any alleged violation of Catholic principles and CCHD policies very seriously…. We apologize for the violations of CCHD policies by these groups and for the damage and confusion they have caused.”

3. Another criticism focuses on the reference in the Report to the Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW) because they offered workshops at the US Social Forum in Detroit which had other workshops in conflict with Catholic social and moral teaching. Here is what the CCHD Report said: The Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW) is an organization of Latino, and Haitian migrant farm workers in Florida. Working with the local diocese, the Florida Catholic Conference and many other groups, CIW has won groundbreaking agreements with major fast food chains to increase wages and improve better working conditions for their members who pick tomatoes.”

In rejecting this guilt by association, CIW expressed regret that they were not contacted before these unfair charges were published and explained that the Immokalee Workers attended the Forum to draw support for their effort to get decent wages and working conditions for migrant workers, not to advance any other cause. The meeting drew a reported 15,000 people from many organizations and approximately 1000 different workshops led by a wide variety of groups. The CIW shared their efforts to improve conditions for farm workers and their Campaign for Fair Food aimed at ending poverty and modern-day slavery in the fields. They were a part of several related workshops which had nothing to do with abortion, homosexuality or related issues. CIW emphatically denies that it is implicated in the pro-abortion or homosexual rights activities of other organizations. The Immokalee Workers have joined with other groups to share conditions in the fields and seek assistance for their efforts to improve wages and working conditions for tomato pickers, not to advance positions contrary to Catholic teaching. They have never supported abortion or same sex marriage. Their impressive efforts have had the active support of the USCCB Domestic Policy Committee, the Florida State Catholic Conference and their home diocese of Venice, Florida and many other Catholic institutions. CIW is a member of the Florida State Catholic Conference’s Committee on Farm worker Justice. CIW is not currently a CCHD grantee, but has earned wide respect in the Catholic community for their much needed work to protect the lives and dignity of the people who pick our food.

3. Another criticism focuses on the reference in the Report to the Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW) because they offered workshops at the US Social Forum in Detroit which had other workshops in conflict with Catholic social and moral teaching. Here is what the CCHD Report said: The Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW) is an organization of Latino, and Haitian migrant farm workers in Florida. Working with the local diocese, the Florida Catholic Conference and many other groups, CIW has won groundbreaking agreements with major fast food chains to increase wages and improve better working conditions for their members who pick tomatoes.”

In rejecting this guilt by association, CIW expressed regret that they were not contacted before these unfair charges were published and explained that the Immokalee Workers attended the Forum to draw support for their effort to get decent wages and working conditions for migrant workers, not to advance any other cause. The meeting drew a reported 15,000 members of numerous organizations and approximately 1000 different workshops led by a wide variety of groups. The CIW shared their efforts to improve conditions for farm workers and their Campaign for Fair Food aimed at ending poverty and modern-day slavery in the fields. They were a part of several related workshops which had nothing to do with abortion, homosexuality or related issues. CIW emphatically denies that it is implicated in the pro-abortion or homosexual rights activities of other organizations. The Immokalee Workers have joined with other groups to share conditions in the fields and seek assistance for their efforts to improve wages and working conditions for tomato pickers, not to advance positions contrary to Catholic teaching. They have never supported abortion or same sex marriage. Their impressive efforts have had the active support of the USCCB Domestic Policy Committee, the Florida State Catholic Conference and their home diocese of Venice, Florida and many other Catholic institutions. CIW is a member of the Florida State Catholic Conference’s Committee on Farm worker Justice. CIW is not currently a CCHD grantee, but has earned wide respect in the Catholic community for their much needed work to protect the lives and dignity of the people who pick our food.

By Deal Hudson

Deal W. Hudson was born November 20, 1949 in Denver, CO, to Emmie and Jack Hudson, both native Texans. Dr. Hudson had an older sister Ruth, and eventually, a younger sister, Elizabeth. Emmie Hudson, Ruth Hudson and Elizabeth Hudson now live in Houston, TX; Jack Hudson passed away some years ago. The late Jack Hudson was a captain for Braniff Airlines in Denver at the time of Dr. Hudson’s birth. Later the family moved to Kansas City when his father joined the Federal Aviation Agency. From Kansas City, the Hudson family moved to Minneapolis, then to Massapequa, NY, and finally to Alexandria, VA, where they first occupied a home overlooking the Potomac River adjacent to the Mount Vernon estate. After a year, the family moved to a home on Tarpon Lane a few houses up the street from the Yacht Haven boat docks. Dr. Hudson attended Mt. Vernon Elementary School from grades 4 to 6 and has a special gratitude for the teaching of Mr. Hoppe who first told him was a ‘smart lad.’ Having moved with his family to Fort Worth, TX in 1960, Dr. Hudson attended William Monnig Junior High and Arlington Heights HS. In high school, Dr. Hudson was captain of the golf team, editor of the literary magazine (Guerdon), and performed the role of Peter in the ‘The Diary of Anne Frank’ during his senior year. Dr. Hudson graduated cum laude with a major in philosophy from the University of Texas-Austin in 1971 where his undergraduate advisor was Prof. John Silber. His teachers at the University of Texas included Prof. Louis Mackey and Prof. Larry Caroline. Dr. Hudson minored in both classics and English literature. Dr. Hudson lived in Atlanta from 1974-1989, where he attended Emory University, receiving a Phd from the Graduate Institute for the LIberal Arts. He also taught philosophy at Mercer University in Atlanta from 1980-89. In 1989 Dr. Hudson and his family left Atlanta when he was hired to teach philosophy at Fordham University in the Bronx. Dr. Hudson taught at Fordham, and also part-time at New York University, from 1989 to 1994. Dr. Hudson first came to Atlanta in after graduation from Princeton Theological Seminary (PTS) with an M.Div. While at PTS, Dr. Hudson managed the Baptist Student Union at Princeton University and became its first director. Dr. Hudson also was licensed at a minister in the Southern Baptist Convention at Madison Baptist Church in Madison, NJ. Dr. Hudson’s primary area of study at PTS was the history of Christian doctrine which he pursued with Dr. Karlfried Froelich. In 1984 Dr. Hudson was received in the Catholic Church by Msgr. Richard Lopez, with the special permission of Archbishop Thomas A. Donnellan, at the chapel of Our Lady of Perpetual Help Cancer Home in Atlanta. Dr. Hudson has been married twenty-five years to Theresa Carver Hudson and they have two children, Hannah Clare, 23, and Cyprian Joseph (Chip), 15, adopted from Romania when he was three years old. The Hudson family has lived in Fairfax, VA for more than fifteen years, after having lived five years in Bronxville, NY and a year in Atlanta, GA, where Theresa and Deal were married.

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