Gee, wonder who he’s talking about

Pope issues new rules governing Church charitable agencies

From CatholicCartoonBlog

The following December 3 posting came out on the Catholic World News website.

Pope Benedict XVI has issued a motu proprio governing Catholic charities, emphasizing that charitable agencies should operate in conformity with the teachings of the Church.

The motu proprio De Caritate Ministranda (“The Service of Charity”), formally dated November 11, provides guidance for diocesan bishops in supervising the charitable activities of the Church. The Pope describes the document as “an organic legislative framework for the better overall ordering of the various organized ecclesial forms of the service of charity, which are closely related to the diaconal nature of the Church and the episcopal ministry.”

“The Church’s charitable activity at all levels must avoid the risk of becoming just another form of organized social assistance,” the Pope writes. He stresses that “practical activity will always be insufficient,” and insists that Church charities should be “helping people to appreciate the importance of sharing, respect and love in the spirit of the Gospel of Christ.”

In his introduction to the document, Pope Benedict notes although the Code of Canon Law clearly establishes the duties of bishops in teaching the faith and celebrating the sacraments, the Code “does not expressly mention charity as a specific sector of episcopal activity.” Because charitable action is an essential part of the Church’s ministry, the Pope explains, he has issued the motu proprio to address this gap in the Church’s law.

De Caritate Ministranda contains 15 articles governing the diocesan bishop’s duties regarding Catholic charitable agencies. The document instructs bishops to encourage private charitable ventures as well as official Church-sponsored efforts. But the motu proprio cautions that “to the extent that such activities are promoted by the Hierarchy itself, or are explicitly supported by the authority of the Church’s Pastors, there is a need to ensure that they are managed in conformity with the demands of the Church’s teaching and the intentions of the faithful.”

A charitable agency may use the name “Catholic” only with the written consent of the competent ecclesiastical authority, the Pope writes. The bishop, for his part, “ must take care that those who work in the Church’s charitable apostolate, along with due professional competence, give an example of Christian life and witness to a formation of heart which testifies to a faith working through charity.”

The motu proprio expressly states that the bishops should not allow “publicity being given through parish or diocesan structures to initiatives which, while presenting themselves as charitable, propose choices or methods at odds with the Church’s teaching.” Article 10(3) of the document stipulates:

In particular, the diocesan Bishop is to ensure that charitable agencies dependent upon him do not receive financial support from groups or institutions that pursue ends contrary to Church’s teaching. Similarly, lest scandal be given to the faithful, the diocesan Bishop is to ensure that these charitable agencies do not accept contributions for initiatives whose ends, or the means used to pursue them, are not in conformity with the Church’s teaching.

To read original story, click here.


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  1. Clinton R. says:

    May through the actions of His Holiness, the word “Catholic” by the use of charities actually mean they will adhere to Catholic teaching. Otherwise, no money should be given to organizations that promote abortion, contraception, homosexuality and the like.

  2. Father Karl says:

    God bless and protect Pope Benedict XVI. He KNOWS that Catholic charities are neither Catholic, nor are they charities. I trust in God that this will soon change, so these groups will once again be Catholic, as well as true charities.

    • Anonymous says:

      Yes, we must listen to the Holy Father, you are quite correct.

      VATICAN RADIO, Nov. 30, 2011: Pope Benedict XVI on Wednesday offered his support to a major international meeting underway this week through the sponsorship of the Sant’Egidio Community aimed at eliminating capital punishment:

      “I greet the distinguished delegations from various countries taking part in the meeting promoted by the Community of Sant’Egidio on the theme: No Justice without Life. I express my hope that your deliberations will encourage the political and legislative initiatives being promoted in a growing number of countries to ELIMINATE THE DEATH PENALTY and to continue the substantive progress made in conforming penal law both to the human dignity of prisoners and the effective maintenance of public order.”

      • This is not a Motu Proprio like the one in the article above. This Motu Proprio as written is legislation and a requirement, and even has a Council in the Vatican on who to report abuses to.

        The quote ,Anon, that you provided is merely a “hope”. Please read prior to contaminating with your propoganda. You are getting annoying.
        I will follow the teaching in the CCC, not you or any other blogger. When you don’t jive with the CCC, you will merely be ignored.

    • Kenneth M. Fisher says:


      “Pope Benedict XVI has issued a motu proprio governing Catholic charities, emphasizing that charitable agencies should operate in conformity with the teachings of the Church.” What is wrong with this statement? Shouldn’t the word “should” be replaced with “must”?

      God bless, yours in Their Hearts,
      Kenneth M. Fisher

  3. Peter Ignatius says:

    Wait: if charitable agencies are not supposed to receive financial support from groups or institutions that pursue ends contrary to Church’s teaching, and the Catholic Church itself receives financial support from the United States government through various grants and contracts for charitable and relief work, and the United States government itself often pursues ends contrary to the Church’s teaching, then the motu proprio calls into question the legitimacy of the Catholic Church! OMG! NOW what are we going to do?

    • No, Peter Ig., the legitimacy of the Church is not in question, but the legitimacy of bishops accepting money from those who oppose Church doctrine. The US and the various State governments are among those who oppose Church doctrine. Any bishop who does not divest from such as the govt are also counted opposed to the Church, for you cannot be with Christ if you are against Christ.

  4. Like all liberal dissenter the CCHD and “catholics united” will simply ignore the Holy Father, if we had a truly functioning hierarchy these groups would be broken up and its leaders excommunicated….

  5. The Apostolic Letter issued Motu Proprio “On the Service of Charity” is already posted on the Vatican web site.
    It would serve everyone well to read in entirety, to bookmark the Motu Proprio, and to share it with your Parish Priests, Nuns, and Catholic family and friends.
    It was ordered by the Pope to go into effect on Dec 12, 2012.

    The Pope puts the responsibility directly on Diocese Bishops – where it belongs since according to Church teaching included in the CCC and Code of Canon Law, the Bishop is the head of his particular “Church” (Diocese).
    He also includes the Parish Priest as having some responsibility.

    “…..In carrying out their charitable activity, therefore, the various Catholic organizations should not limit themselves merely to collecting and distributing funds, but should show special concern for individuals in need and exercise a valuable educational function within the Christian community, helping people to appreciate the importance of sharing, respect and love in the spirit of the Gospel of Christ.
    The Church’s charitable activity at all levels must avoid the risk of becoming just another form of organized social assistance. ”

    ” Art. 11. – The diocesan Bishop is obliged, if necessary, to make known to the faithful the fact that the activity of a particular charitable agency is no longer being carried out in conformity with the Church’s teaching, and then to prohibit that agency from using the name “Catholic” and to take the necessary measures should personal responsibilities emerge. ”

    ” Art. 13. – The local ecclesiastical authority retains the full right to give permission for initiatives undertaken by Catholic agencies in areas of his jurisdiction, with due respect for canonical norms and the specific identity of the individual agencies. It is also the duty of the Bishop to ensure that the activities carried out in his Diocese are conducted in conformity with ecclesiastical discipline, either prohibiting them or adopting any measures needed in cases where that discipline is not respected. ”

    If you know of any abuse of “On the Service of Charity” happening within your Diocese, send documentation to your Bishop and the US Papal Nuncio.

    If the abuse continues, send copies of everything you sent to your Bishop to the: “Pontifical Council Cor Unum”.
    This includes charitable abuses from the national level at the USCCB.
    This is per the direction of Pope Benedict in his Motu Proprio.
    He has linked the exact contact information to the “Pontifical Council Cor Unum” in his Motu Proprio.

    • “Given in Rome, at Saint Peter’s, on 11 November, in the year 2012″

      “enter into force on 10 December 2012.”

      Even the Holy Father has to give thirty days notice?

  6. St. Christopher says:

    This is a real knee-slapper over at the USCCB. No one listens to the wishes, or commands, of the Pope anymore! Just look at the inattention, which rises to the level of overt disobedience, by the “Order of Bishops” refusal to give any credibility to Summorum Pontificum. (In VA, for example, the rumor is that the bishop there has directed that no new altar rails be erected, even though there are many new churches being built, and the TLM is said only through the gritty determination of a small number of priests.) The bishops will say, “of course, of course” and, “we already do this,” while piling money into the arms of groups lie the CCHD and others that funnel Catholic donations to pro-abort and pro-homosexual sex groups. The Holy Father is well intentioned but naive. The USCCB will simply not tell the truth as it continues to do whatever it wants with the money it gets. The Church needs rebels that demand accountability for the actions of its “leaders”. As has been said before: audit all American bishops and fire a good number of them. This Motu Proprio is worthless here, notwithstanding its moral value.

    • Send the errant bishops to replace the faithful priests that those bishops have stationed in remote areas of northern Canada and Siberia.

    • And when was the last time you sent a documented complaint to the USCCB, appropriate Diocese Bishop, the US Papal Nuncio AND the appropriate Council at the Vatican ? ? ? ?

      For someone who likes to complain, when was the last time you did your duty to document and report abuses ?

  7. On the net you may also want to view: “Papal Frontal Assault 12-04″ by ChurchMilitantTV (Michael Voris).

  8. Mbuku Kanyau Mbithuka says:

    The Holy Father is just going to get ignored. Those running these houses are not interested in Church teaching.

    • Only if people like you do not document and report abuses as appropriate.
      This is the first Motu Proprio with enforcement teeth.

  9. Maybe now we will finally learn whether Catholic Charities really is a Catholic org. or not. If the Bishops won’t supervise or Charities won’t accept supervision we’ll really know. Will Catholic Charities be required to get out of the government workforce Development activities? Will they be required to step aside from groups like Contra Costa for Every Generation, a coalition of NGO’s, government agencies and religious groups. this partnership spends its time trying to figure out how to divvy up the various roles in controlling the local populace.

    • Camille, you make very strong accusations in your comment above. I went to the web site for Contra Costa for Every Generation. I could not see anything there that didn’t mesh with the teachings on social justice. It’s programs are very much needed in the community. What do you find wrong with the organization. You obviously know something that is not on the web site. If Catholic Charities is working to help develop the workforce so that people can qualify for jobs, get ahead in society, and provide better for themselves and their families, what is wrong with that? What do you know that the rest of us don’t know? Back to CCfor Every generation, what do you mean that it is trying to divvy up the various roles in controlling the local populace? What are they doing that is bad? We can’t learn from accusations, we need examples. Maybe then I could agree with you. Thanks.

  10. We can only hope and pray that some of the pastors/churches on the peninsula south of San Francisco will now stop contributing to PICO.
    There are several churches who donate to PICO which in turn gives money to abortion clinics. I could never understand why the former Archbishop did not put a stop to this. Now AB Salvatore has an opportunity and the backing to step up to the plate and shut this type of behavior down.

    • The SF Archdiocese is not the only one to consort with PICO and its parallel organizations. The Oakland Diocese is full of these groups which prosper on CCHD funding and grants.
      Is there a source through which to obtain newspaper articles or other confirmation about a PICO/SF Archdiocese partnership?

  11. I wonder whether this will be read by Catholic Charities East Bay, a charity that is already in full compliance with the HHS mandate on contraception coverage.

    • I have heard that the Diocese of Oakland has a new health plan that does not provide reimbursement for contraceptives that will be implemented with annual enrollment. Keep in mind, however, that the California Supreme Court has ruled that Catholic Charities does not meet the Californian definition of a religious organization that can be exempted from providing full coverage. This is a real instance of church vs. government rules.

  12. Catholic Relief Services, the foreign relief arm of the US Confernce of Catholic Services, is a solid pro-Catholic charity that I support monthly. CRS is the image of Christ to the world’s poor, and those displaced by disaster and war. Some Catholic nonprofits have differnet agendas, but CRS puts the “Christ” in Christmas. God bless them and those they serve….

    • Peter Ignatius says:

      Hey, I’m on your side. But you must know that Caritas Internationalis, the global federation under which CRS operates, was the main target of the moto proprio, and not the CCHD that seems to be the burr in the saddle of the precisians above. B-16 wants CRS to be more missionary minded.

    • CRS was exposed to daylight in Aug 2012. Also a portion of their annual parish collection gets shared various ways as does rice bowl; not saying it is necessarily bad, just that slick brochures cannot tell you everything. Dig dig dig so you know as much as you can before giving your money to any organisation. Probably the only safe donation to them is for a specific disaster for specific need.

  13. I think your heading should read:

    Gee, I wonder WHOM he’s talking about

    (doesn’t hurt to remember good grammar)

  14. Everyone needs to stop “wondering” and stop “complaining” and act, or you will have no one to blame but yourselves.

    Please re-read Anna’s post of December 5, 2012 at 5:51 am, then read the Motu Proprio itself on the Vatican web site.

    The Pope is actually telling you where to send complaints if the local Diocese Bishop or the Bishop’s conference does not fix things.

    So are you going to sit on your hands and just whine, or do your own job to correct abuses ?

  15. Life Lady says:

    I appreciate the Holy Father’s efforts on ensuring that monies collected for charitable work be used properly by organizations who are faithful to Church teaching. Though none of us can know absolutely that our dollars are truly going to work supported and not in opposition to the Church, as another person in the pew, I propose that none of us contribute any funds. Where and when the loudest screeching begins, we ourselves can then ask the important questions, and until I get answers that satisfy my giving, they will get nothing. Just because they ask for money doesn’t mean that I HAVE to give it to them. Until the waters are cleared of all the muck, that will be MY policy and God Bless the Holy Father. He can’t keep track of this all by himself, and if a bishop won’t do that for him, then we can help on our end of being the source of the money.

  16. Anton L. Seidl says:

    This will be just another Motu Propio stonewalled by our bishops. They are far too deeply compromised, having taken federal lucre all these many years. Whose bread you eat, whose song you sing. Welfare goodies trump all else. Only a week ago I burned my annual donation envelope intended for the CCHD. I thought after the ACORN fiasco these solicitations would cease.
    I was wrong.

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