The theme of the Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD) is “breaking the cycle of poverty.” Unfortunately, its financial grants in the past have been directed almost exclusively towards those who are seeking to help the already poor, frequently by making them more politically active. That doesn’t break the cycle.
There is a familiar saying about taxes and subsidies: what you tax you will get less of, and what you subsidize you will get more of. I suspect that the latter applies also to the various ways to fight poverty. For example, Aid to Dependent Children was and is envisioned as way to help needy children whose poverty is no fault of their own. However, when a single mother has one surprise-pregnancy child and then another and then another…, the program becomes for some a subsidy for having children out-of-wedlock.
Judie Brown of the American Life League has recently written that in 2013 the CCHD made grants to “over 20 problematic grantees,” that is, organizations to which Catholic money should not be given. On the good side, some previous grantees are no longer on the list, and the CCHD made one helpful step in the right direction—a $500,000 grant to the Birth Choice Health Clinic Network in California. This is an anti-abortion association and, to its credit, it has a program on parenting. However, even the grant to Birth Choice is still part of the overall problem of little or nothing being done to reduce the rate of new fornication-caused families.
The bottom line is that if the leadership of the Catholic Church in the USA wants to break the cycle of poverty in this country, it needs to focus on ways to stop the start of fornication-caused families. Planned Parenthood and others have been trying for many years to address this issue with contraception and abortion, but that failed approach has served chiefly to increase the rate of fornication, out-of-wedlock pregnancies (OWP), abortions and out-of-wedlock births. In 1965 the white OWP rate was 3% and the black OWP rate was 24%. Enter government funded birth control. Currently the white OWP rate is 24% and the black OWP rate is 70%.
The Catholic Church needs to use the CCHD and other vehicles to get across somehow or other the biblical idea that sexual intercourse is intended by God to be exclusively a marriage act, and that it should be a renewal of the love and commitment the marriage covenant. Then the Church will truly lead the way in breaking the cycle of poverty.
John Kippley, www.nfpandmore.org
P. S. Allow me to share the following letter that brightened my day. I have been giving free rosary booklets to prisoners, and some of them really appreciate it.
“I have been saying the Rosary every day since I was incarcerated in May of 2012. It was the traditional [way] until September of this year when Ernie Pavlock had you send me the “Seven Day Bible Rosary.” Now I pray it every day.
It has brought such freshness and insight to my life I would like to share it with my parents. They are both 86 years old, and faithfully drive 130 miles every week to come visit me in prison, and while they drive over they always say the Rosary.
I would love to share the Seven Day Bible Rosary with them. If you would please send a copy to them, I would be so appreciative and grateful.
Thanks very much. Stan H.” 11/16/2013
The rosary will be sent. For more information, click on Rosary at the top of the page. If you know a prisoner who might like this, just send me his name, number, and address. Bur first check with her or him; I don’t want to be accused of sending unsolicited religious materials and thus be banned from any particular prison.