Must read column today from Jack Smith at "The Catholic Key", addressing one fundamental problem with the CCHD/USCCB's embrace of the "community organizing" model.
UPDATE: In his post, Jack tells about his experience with the Bay Area Organizing Committee. Fr. Malloy and I both have had experience with the BAOC, too, which we shared in a long post called "Shadow 'Churches'" on June 8, 2009. This excerpt from our post is relevant:
"But let’s suppose that in Connecticut, Bill #1098 had passed, and that the activists had succeeded in restructuring the administration of parishes in that state. Who would have taken over? Are there any power structures being developed in or around the Church who could have stepped in? A power structure is simply a group of persons organized for common action...
One of the recent developments in church life is the appearance of local “organizing committees” who work with groups of parishes. In the San Francisco Bay Area there are three: the “Bay Area Organizing Committee,” the “Marin Organizing Committee” and the “North Bay Sponsoring Committee.” In Los Angeles the organization is called “One LA.” They exist all over the country, including Connecticut.
They charge a fee, not small, for a parish to join. As it happens, I have some experience with one such group. In 2000, my parish signed up with the Bay Area Organizing Committee. We held some meetings. I, and a lot of the more active parishioners, were invited. I asked the leader of the BAOC what we were going to try and accomplish. The answer was that we were going to join together for common action. But for what aim? I asked. He responded that we were going to try and build an organization that would work on issues affecting the community. In other words, I got no answer. (Read this page from the “One LA” website to see what I mean.) This left me suspicious. Anyway, our relationship with the BAOC soon ended, because Fr. Malloy came in as Pastor the next year, and his idea was that the Catholic Church is all the organization you need.
What I did not know back in 2000, but I know now, is that every one of these "organizating committees" are all part of the Industrial Areas Foundation, an umbrella organization founded by the famous community organizer Saul Alinsky.
Certainly, some of the things the IAF pushes may be good, but so what? Remember that homosexual activism at Catholic Charities was a result of the organization’s admirable response to the AIDS epidemic. That response was a good thing too, but it also resulted in the development of an alternative power structure within the Archdiocese that has been a disaster.
Those activists did not want the Church to go away--they wanted to use it for their own ends. They had allies in government who could pressure the Archdiocese in such a way so that the activists seemed to be the ones able to offer a way out--thus strengthening their position. They were working together. The IAF affiliates are even more dangerous, because they are about developing power structures pure and simple. And nobody has any idea what they will use their power for."
Posted by Gibbons J. Cooney