Jim Stipe of CRS did "take that shot". First, I want to thank Jim for not only responding, but for doing so in a charitable manner. I still had to read his comments several times along with all of the other material I had already read and re-read and re-read ... again. Told you I might be kind of dumb sometimes.
Next, I do want to address something Jim says in his comments:
"On a personal note, I wouldn't want to work for an organization who had an opportunity to save people’s lives and do no other harm but decided not to simply because they were worried that some people might misunderstand and object."
I admire Jim for his conviction. While I cannot speak for the motivations of others, I do want to clarify that the prime mover for my reaction(s) was not just the possible misunderstanding of people. A good priest told me "the heart of true Christian ministry must always be the salvation of souls". (I do believe that the work of CRS fulfills this obligation.) I will resist the urge to carry on about spiritual and material needs and their shared connection. Lucky you.
I admit my own concern that the faithful are tired of feeling "duped" whether warranted or not. I admit my concern with the "appearance" of an opportunity for the Obama Administration to conclude that the Catholic Bishops are not serious about their opposition to the HHS mandate and its implications with regards to religious freedom.
One must also take into consideration though that we live in a "headline" world where many form opinions quickly and most are too stubborn to change their minds. Yes, mia culpa many times over. "The faithful", while collective are also individuals. Each is at a particular point in his or her spiritual life. Some are more susceptible to being scandalized than others. I remain most concerned about the appearance of the donation to CARE for those who may be easily misled (yes, scandalized) and for those who will refrain from charitable giving in the future.
Now, for that moment my wife has been waiting for:
I admit that I was wrong. Furthermore, I apologize to CRS and to the USCCB for the tone of my original response to this particular issue. I also want to point out that it is commendable of CRS to use a third party to perform ethical reviews of its activities.
I do urge CRS to consider more carefully the effects that such "appearances" might have and to possibly be a little more proactive in addressing possible concerns of the faithful in the future.
I'll conclude by joining Brandon Vogt in his resolve:
"Despite their imprudence, though, I still support CRS and their otherwise life-changing work. I’ll continue donating every month, our kids will fill up their Rice Bowls with coins next Lent, and I’ll support their projects near and far. I hope you will to. Few charities do better work in the name of Christ and his Church. And almost none do it as efficiently or faithfully as CRS. So together let’s help steer this ship forward in the right direction. And let’s do all we can to strengthen its Catholic identity, not rip the name-tag off its chest."