WHY WAIT UNTIL NOVEMBER? – DONATE TODAY!
Your tax-deductible contributions can always be mailed directly to our office at anytime. This method guarantees that you will receive a tax-deduction letter mailed directly to you right away.
Make checks payable to “The Chicago CCHD” and mail them to:
Chicago CCHD – Attn: Rey Flores . . . . .
But what’s above has been scrubbed. Rey Flores doesn’t work there any more, having been fired a few weeks ago as the Chicago campaign’s director and replaced by an aide, Interim Program Director Tamara Fedoryshyn. Flores had worked out a compromise with pro-lifers who protested grants to anti-life-connected groups. His guidelines for 2011 grants remain on site —
. . . . Projects must address poverty with respect to Catholic values and must conform to the moral teachings of the Catholic Church.
Organizations must use Chicago CCHD funding solely for the purpose stated in their application and cannot participate in any activity contrary to Catholic teaching (i.e. abortion, non-traditional marriage, euthanasia, racism, support for the death penalty, etc.). . . . .
— with Flores as contact person, but Fedoryshyn is the new contact person everywhere else, and archdiocesan blog items by Floressay he was the program director.
The removal happened some time after Oct. 2, when he led the annual Justice Day at Our Lady of Sorrows Basilica. No hint was given by anyone on that occasion that Flores was tagged for demolition. He was apparently sandbagged.
Also present and prominent in the day’s activities, celebrating and preaching at the mid-day mass, was Fr. Larry Dowling, pastor of St. Agatha parish in Lawndale, whose Nov. 2 letter to Cardinal George referred to Flores in the past tense as Chicago CCHD’s “former director.”
The letter was a statement of counter-protest, Dowling (a dean and consultor to the cardinal) speaking for a number of priests who found the changes on Flores’s watch grossly incompatible with CCHD tradition and principles. He accused Flores of inflicting “great damage” that included
false information about CCHD . . . disseminated by those who oppose the Church’s promotion of empowering the poor. . . . . a lack of proper vetting and formation of new members of the CCHD selection team. . . . an attempt to limit the funding of community organizing in general. . . .
The letter is a plea for community organizing rather than direct service to the poor, quoting Flores, “Community organizing takes too long. We’re going to concentrate on direct service.”
The letter complains about
lay people [on a newly constituted selection committee] who openly described CCHD as defective and ‘needing fixing.’ One member was quoted as saying, “The Church really needs to drop the term ‘social justice’ and concentrate on direct service”
but calls for “a selection process that engages lay people,” apparently meaning lay people who agree with these priests about what’s to be done.
Flores got the ax at some point between Justice Day and Dowling-letter day, making October a bad month for him — and it seems for pro-lifers’ efforts to change how money is distributed.
The letter is a case apparently of striking while the iron is hot — moving to reverse immediately the changes of 2010. If it’s a sign of how the wind is blowing in the organizing-vs.-service controversy — we might say Alinsky vs. Dorothy Day — the future looks bleak for the “real reform” of CCHD practices brokered by Flores in response to objections by Catholic Citizens of Illinois and other groups.
Do non-profits usually operate this way? Bounce a program director without a by-your-leave to their donating publics?
Is this non-profit (the archdiocese) slipping something past its public only weeks before the big giving day — the Nov. 20–21 weekend in the Catholic churches of two counties?
It’s something of more than passing interest to the inquiring pew-sitter.