Bishops at the Trough
Time was when the poor widow in the pew gave her mite, assured that she was helping someone even more vulnerable than she was.  That is no longer true, as the money being given may or may not end up feeding the poor, clothing the naked, etc.  Two of the "Catholic" charities sanctioned by the bishops have become circuitous routes leading to unexpected ends.
 The Catholic Campaign for Human Development, as tracked by Stephanie Block in her scholarly article, "Shooting Ourselves in the Feet: How One of the Most Potent Weapons Serving the 'Culture of Death' Lies in the Pockets of Catholic Donors" (Catholic Citizens.Org 9/15/2003) exposed the labyrinth of entities used to divert money to causes most Catholics would not support.  CCHD is not a Catholic charity, strictly speaking, as its literature casually points out.  From money given by Catholics, grants are made mainly to groups who agitate, politically or otherwise, for causes many Catholics know nothing about, and would not give their money to, if they knew. A current prominent cause is the promotion of illegal immigration.  This takes the shape of supporting groups who are formed to lobby politically for illegal immigration. It is one example of how money is spent, mostly without the knowledge or acquiesence of Catholics who do not want to aid and abet lawbreakers (illegal aliens). Catholics have always been taught to obey the laws of their countries, and that the end does not justify the means.
Catholic Charities USA lays out on its website the amount of lobbying being done to influence lawmakers to effect its "social justice" programs.  CCUSA also mentions that it helps all people, regardless of race, religion, etc. It, too, advocates aggressively for illegal immigration.  Most of its advocacy could have been lifted from the Democrat platform.  For example, CCUSA lobbies for the DREAM Act, which would allow children of illegal aliens to take advantage of in-state tuition.  Since most colleges have tight enrollment capacity, this would mean that some citizens would be passed over in favor of children of illegals.  Even the term "illegal" is anathema to CCUSA and like-minded supporters, who say that nobody should be classified as illegal.  Of course, that is the term the U.S. government gives to those who come into this country without permission.  CCUSA has been successful in blurring the line between legal and illegal. Most people would support legal immigration, with its checks and balances, but more than seventy percent of Americans polled say they want illegal immigration stopped.  Apparently, the bishops have determined that this country doesn't have enough poor people, so we must import poverty.
From birth (free for anyone who goes into a hospital in America) through Head Start and higher education, through all the welfare systems, CCUSA is there to lobby our lawmakers.  It seems that the bishops have given up on pure charities, such as St. Vincent de Paul, in favor of putting their considerable clout behind lobbying government for their social justice programs.  In some dioceses St. Vincent de Paul is treated like the proverbial stepchild and receives little or no support from the Catholic charities.  Pro-life groups are given lip service, but not the power of the bishops in personnel, publicity or funds.  The U. S. Conference of Catholic Bishops did not agree with the Vatican when it indicated that politicians who publicly support pro-abortion groups and positions should not be given communion.  Dare we ask if it was because to do so would have weakened its traditional allies, the Democrats, at election time?
Many Cathlolics have remarked on the seeming enigma of their bishops' lukewarm support of pro-life groups, in contradiction to Pope John Paul's strong advocacy of the same groups.  Have the bishops agreed to emphasize only the social gospel and ignore the most vulnerable of their flocks, the babies in the womb?  A search of CCUSA's website yields no apparent advocacy of pro-life efforts.  Where were the bishops when Terri Schiavo was being deprived of food and water?  In fact, where was her own shepherd in Florida while she was left to die?  Some bishops have spoken out for pro-life causes, but they receive little publicity.
Is pure charity and advocacy for life of no value to CCUSA?  Is no tax too great, no government program too expensive and expansive, for support from CCUSA?  It is fair to ask if the bishops have lined up at the government trough.