Liberals HOWL as USCCB Cuts Staff of Scandal-Plagued Social Justice Operation

Catholic News Agency reported this week that the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) has laid-off staff members from its social justice department that has been at the center of controversy over the years.  Chieko Noguchi, a spokesperson for the USCCB, said that “several” staff members serving in the Department of Justice, Peace, and Human Development were let go on Monday. She noted that among those laid off were staff members at the Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD), the national anti-poverty program of the U.S. Catholic bishops.

Predictably, the layoffs were met with complaints from liberals.

Michael Sean Winters at the National Catholic Reporter writes:

The decision to cripple the Office of Justice, Peace and Human Development at the U.S. bishops’ conference by cutting its staff in half raises profound questions of governance and mission for bishops. The fact that this move comes two weeks after the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops held its spring meeting at which no one mentioned such a drastic restructuring of the conference adds issues of trust and integrity to the issues of governance and mission.

John Carr, former director of the USCCB’s department for  Justice, Peace & Human Development asked of Religion News Service:

“Why in a world at war, a nation with pervasive poverty, are the leaders of the conference minimizing the Conference’ commitments to overcome poverty, work for justice and pursue peace?”

“Who decided this, who was consulted, why were bishops unaware of this massive disinvestment in its social mission?”

Bishop Joseph Tyson of Yakima responded by stating:

“Selective staff reductions in CCHD may leave the incorrect impression that CCHD staff is at fault. But the CCHD staff is not at fault. And after our strong backing of CCHD, the optics of a staff reduction seem to contradict our message of strong support.”

Over the years, the Lepanto Institute has worked diligently to expose the fact that the USCCB has been funding organizations taking positions contrary to Church teaching, such as on abortion and same-sex marriage.  Let’s hope and pray that this reorganization will help to better align the bishops’ social justice efforts with Catholic teaching.