Catholic Bishops Urged to Take Collection for Pro-Life Work After Abortion Dustup
by Steven Ertelt
March 1, 2010
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — After a months-long dustup involving Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD) grants to pro-abortion organizations, a pro-life group is urging the nations Catholic bishops to consider putting together a national day in January to take a collection at churches for pro-life activities.
Several pro-life groups in a coalition have been monitoring CCHD grants and have caused some organizations to be de-funded as a result of their exposing their pro-abortion positions.
Now, Catholic Advocate is calling on the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) to launch a National Collection for Life on the weekend prior to the national March for Life.
"Creating a National Collection for Life will allow American Catholics to tangibly demonstrate the importance of building a culture of life in our society," Catholic Advocate vice president Matt Smith told LifeNews.com. "A consistent source of funds to national pro-life activities will open opportunities to promote the sanctity of life at all stages."
Catholic Advocate recommends proceeds from the collection be used to support the programs of the USCCB Secretariat of Pro-Life Activities. The group says it will put together more specific proposals for the collections for the bishops as January 2011 approaches.
Catholic Advocate president Deal Hudson says the money would be spent well if it goes to support local pro-life efforts in communities across the country.
"There are many positive pro-life activities occurring at the local level," he said. "Catholic Advocate believes a National Collection for Life would enhance the programs and goals of the Committee on Pro-Life Activities at a time when they are needed more than ever."
Catholic Advocate made the request in writing to Cardinal Daniel DiNardo (Galveston-Houston), Chairman of the Committee on Pro-Life Activities and Bishop Kevin Farrell (Dallas), Chairman of the Committee on National Collections.
In the letter, Catholic Advocate says a pro-life day would be an important addition to the special collections the Catholic Church already tales up to support activities like the missions work in other nations and the retirement of Catholic officials.
"National Collections supporting the poor and mission programs are important and effective when the funds are distributed appropriately to entities in agreement with the teachings of the Church. However, first among equals must be advancing the culture of life for without that gift there are no other issues to address," the letter says.
"What better way to tangibly show the priority the Church places on advocating for life than with a collection to match the importance of the issue in our society?" the group wrote.
Text of letter to Cardinal Daniel DiNardo and Bishop Kevin Farrell:
His Eminence Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo
Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston
Chairman, Committee on Pro-Life Activities
P.O. Box 907
Houston, TX 77001-0907
Most Reverend Kevin J. Farrell
Diocese of Dallas
Chairman, Committee on National Collections
P.O. Box 190507
Dallas, TX 75219
March 1, 2010
Your Eminence and Your Excellency,
We know you agree one of the most important areas of focus for our Catholic Church in America is working to advance a culture of life. We write to encourage the initiation of a National Collection for Life to be held in January the Sunday before the annual March for Life.
According to the Office of National Collections, "The bishops of the United States created the national collections so that, by combining resources, we can more effectively carry out our mission as Catholics. Each of these important collections is worthy of your support. Each collection represents our community of faith at work in the world, saving souls and improving lives."
National Collections supporting the poor and mission programs are important and effective when the funds are distributed appropriately to entities in agreement with the teachings of the Church. However, first among equals must be advancing the culture of life for without that gift there are no other issues to address.
While there are many positive, local pro-life programs funded through annual Bishops’ Lenten Appeals, we believe a National Collection for Life would enhance the national programs and goals of the Committee on Pro- Life Activities at a time when they are needed more than ever. As Pope John Paul II wrote in The Gospel for Life, "for human life is sacred and inviolable at every stage and in every situation." What better way to tangibly show the priority the Church places on advocating for life than with a collection to match the importance of the issue in our society?
We welcome the opportunity to discuss our idea further and sincerely anticipate your response.
With appreciation for your service,
Deal Hudson, President
Matt Smith, Vice President
CC: Patrick Markey, Executive Director of National Collections, U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops; Tom Grenchik, Executive Director, Secretariat of Pro-Life Activities, U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops
Related web sites:
Catholic Advocate – https://www.catholicadvocate.com
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