By Bill Donohue
This article was originally published by CNSNews.com July 19, 2016.
Catholics are as divided as the rest of the nation when it comes to voting, and many look to activist Catholic groups for guidance. While there are good people on both sides, not every organization that adopts the Catholic label is to be trusted.
For the record, I am not talking about entities that lean left or lean right—the Church itself is not one-dimensional. I am speaking about activist groups that claim to be Catholic yet receive a large share of their funding from forces that are manifestly hostile to Catholicism. This is certainly the case with Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good.
Catholics in Alliance is a front for George Soros, the billionaire who supports abortion-on-demand and other public policy initiatives that are anathema to the Catholic Church.
It is run by Christopher Hale, a left-wing activist who works with Catholic dissidents and ex-Catholics to oppose the Church. He has an article posted on the website of Time that explains why Soros greases him: It is titled, “Trump-Pence is the Most Anti-Catholic Republican Ticket in Modern History.”
Hale is entitled to his pro-Clinton position, but it is dishonest to pretend that he is not pushing the Soros agenda. Unlike the Catholic League, which never writes grants seeking funding from a foundation, and is wholly dependent on rank-and-file Catholics for donations, Catholics in Alliance is not a true membership organization.
Over the years, Soros has funneled hundreds of thousands of dollars to Catholics in Alliance through his Foundation to Promote Open Society and his Open Society Institute. In addition to these Soros outlets, Hale is funded by the Tides Foundation and the Arca Foundation, both of which are major contributors to far-left causes.
Two years ago, Catholics in Alliance showed its true colors by co-sponsoring dissident priests who are not in good standing with the Catholic Church, Father Helmut Schüller and Father Tony Flannery.
Father Schüller, an Austrian priest, is the activist behind “Call to Disobedience,” a reform initiative that seeks to pressure the Church to change its teachings on issues ranging from the liturgy to ordination. For example, he wants teachers of religious education to be allowed to give sermons and communion.
Archbishop Christoph Schönborn, who presides over the Austrian Bishops’ Conference, strongly rejected Schüller’s campaign saying that communion services held by the laity constituted “an open break with a central truth of our Catholic faith.”
Pope Benedict XVI denounced “Call to Disobedience” in 2012. “Recently, a group of priests from a European country issued a summons to disobedience,” he said, “and at the same time gave concrete examples of the forms this disobedience might take, even to the point of disregarding definitive decisions of the Church’s Magisterium, such as the question of women’s ordination.”
Boston Archbishop Cardinal Sean O’Malley and New York Archbishop Cardinal Timothy Dolan both contacted Cardinal Schönborn attempting to ban Schüller from speaking in the United States. He was formally banned from dioceses in Boston, Detroit, Chicago, and Philadelphia. None of the bishops wanted him to sow the seeds of confusion among the laity.
Father Flannery rejects several teachings from the New Testament, going so far as to question whether Jesus intended to found the Church. He also questions the virgin birth. Not surprisingly, he rejects the Church’s teachings on sexuality. He was suspended by the Vatican in 2012.
So these are the kinds of priests that Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good likes to sponsor — the ones that divide Catholics. That’s Hale’s idea of the “common good.”
It’s actually worse than this. Unlike the Catholic League, which works to defend the bishops, Catholics in Alliance partners with the professed enemies of the Church.
To be specific, the following organizations were also co-sponsors of “Call to Disobedience”: Call to Action, Catholics for Choice, CORPUS, DignityUSA, FutureChurch, National Coalition of American Nuns, New Ways Ministry, Quixote Center, Women’s Ordination Conference, and Voice of the Faithful.
Most of these groups are openly opposed to the Church’s teachings on abortion, gay marriage, and women’s ordination, and some are so extreme that their members have been excommunicated by bishops; those decisions have been upheld by the Vatican.
The leaders of Catholics in Alliance play musical chairs with Faith in Public Life, another Soros letterhead that was founded by former Marxist radical Jim Wallis. John Gehring carries the water for these men at Faith in Public Life these days.
Not all the major players are still operative: Eric McFadden, founder of Catholic Democrats, got sent up the river in 2009 for promoting an underage prostitution ring in Ohio.
The media cover up for these groups because many reporters and pundits are against the Church’s teachings on sexuality; they will do whatever they can to advance the rogue Catholic agenda. They are intentionally dishonest. This is a stealth campaign, staffed and funded by hard-core leftists, and given cover by the media.
It is not just Catholics who are ill-served when dummy groups are propped up to represent them — the public is misled as well.