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Is the Archdiocese of Cincinnati Experiencing a ‘Schism’ Over CCHD?

Posted on November 20 2010 1:00 pm
Lisa Graas has covered politics and religion at her blog since 2008. She has served as a crisis pregnancy counselor, youth speaker, mental health advocate and legislative consultant.

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For Catholics in America, the annual Catholic Campaign for Human Development [CCHD] collection for “the poor” will occur this weekend despite complaints by pro-life Catholics that the funding often goes to groups that promote a leftist agenda. Defenders of CCHD are fighting back with denials and with claims that their detractors “lack charity.” Now in Cincinnati, an official of the archdiocese has given quotes to the press indicating that if you oppose this funding, you might be deemed a heretic. Charges of heresy against those who oppose the leftist agenda?

How far are some bishops willing to go?

A troubling headline at the Cincinnati Enquirer: Schism develops over Catholic campaign

A ‘schism’ is a clear break in the Church as a response to heresy. ‘Heresy’ is a clear rejection of a dogma of the Church.

Rich Leonardi, of Ten Reasons, is quoted:

The groups funded are consistently highly political and always political in one direction.


You end up with these very hard left groups with a very partisan agenda.

Does that indicate a charge of ‘heresy’? It’s debatable.

Tony Stieritz, director of social action at the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, whose office Mr. Leonardi claims “sponsored a talk by a pro-abortion ‘loud and proud’ lesbian” (thereby suggesting Mr. Stieretz has been flirting with heresy?), is quoted:

They are very selective about what parts of church teaching are important.


We see them give one unfounded allegation after another unfounded allegation. It suggests they have another agenda: They oppose the bishops’ support for social justice.

Does that indicate a charge of ‘heresy’? Well, if it’s not, it’s pretty close.

Stieretz also said:

These kinds of polarizations can be magnified in the church. We’re talking about people’s belief in God.

Does that indicate a charge of ‘heresy’? Maybe. Certainly, they’re very strong words. Opposing CCHD funding of a troubling organization (one you’ll read about below) is, according to Stieretz, a threat to “people’s belief in God”. I don’t think it could be called a charge of ‘heresy’. It seems too ludicrous to fall into the category of being a clear charge of ‘heresy’.

Michael Hichborn of American Life League is quoted:

They are funding political action committees instead of actually helping the poor. When you get into these coalitions, you end up making bedfellows with groups with ideologies that are in opposition to the church.

Does that indicate a charge of ‘heresy’? No, it’s a warning that CCHD is engaging in behavior that could lead to the loss of souls…or perhaps to heresy.

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