Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good

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According to their Facebook page,[1] Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good "promotes the social justice mission of Pope Francis and the Catholic Church in US politics, media, and culture." The group was founded in 2005 but quietly disbanded in 2010, shortly after spokesman Robert Eric McFadden was found guilty of seven prostitution-related counts, including intent of prostituting a 17-year-old girl.

The Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good website is no longer active, but an archived version[2] states that "Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good is a non-partisan non-profit organization dedicated to promoting the fullness of the Catholic social tradition in the public square."

According to an email published by Wikileaks,[3] John Podesta was involved in the founding of the Soros-funded[4] Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good.

Publicly, the group was founded in 2005 by Alexia Kelley and Tom Perriello. The Chairman of "Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good" was Fred Rotondaro, who also served as the "Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress in Washington, DC.".[5]

Disputed Report: More Welfare Stops Abortion

Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good released a disputed[6],[7] study by Joseph Wright, assistant professor of political science at Penn State University and Michael Bailey, associate professor at Georgetown University[8] in 2008 that "claimed additional welfare spending, particularly boosting the WIC program, reduced abortion rates."

Robert Eric McFadden

Robert Eric McFadden

In January 2009, The Columbus Dispatch reported[9] "McFadden, 46...was taken into custody on seven prostitution-related counts, including charges that he promoted a 17-year-old prostitute online." He was sentenced to a year in prison and was sent back to prison in 2013 for violating his parole by using the internet.[10] According to the Dispatch, "He was terminated from a sex-offender treatment program last fall, having made 'zero progress in his rehabilitation' and having a 'poor attitude,' according to court records."

Robert Eric McFadden served as a spokesman for Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good in 2006.[11]

"McFadden, 46, was former director of Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland’s Office of Faith-Based Initiatives. He worked for John Kerry's Catholics for Kerry in 2004 and served as the president of Catholics for Faithful Citizenship in 2005. In 2006 he served as a spokesman for Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good and was an outreach organizer for Hillary Clinton’s campaign for the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination.

LifeSite News reported[12] that Robert Eric McFadden was "charged with two counts of promoting prostitution, two counts of pandering obscenity involving a minor, two counts of pandering obscenity involving a nude minor and one count of compelling prostitution."

Defunct

It was reported in Sept 2010[13] "the organization had closed its offices, ceased the majority of its activities and that staff members had moved on to other jobs."

From the article:

"Catholics in Alliance was accused by bishops and laity of identifying Catholic social teaching with the concerns and agenda of a single political party, and criticized for neglecting the importance of issues such as abortion.
Dr. Liza Cahill of Boston University, a member of CACG's advisory board, explained to CNA in a e-mail that the group "did not cease to exist but did close its offices and most operations. It is in a holding pattern and staff have gone into positions at similar organizations."
CNA confirmed that the group's phone number has been disconnected, with “no further information” provided by the phone company. CACG's former executive director, Alexia Kelley, was named to a position at the Department of Health and Human Services in June 2009. The group's spokesman John Gehring also recently left CACG, according to his current employer Faith in Public Life.
Attempts by CNA to contact CACG's interim executive director, Vicky Kovari, did not result in any response. Although Catholics in Alliance's website remains online, it lists no current staff, and its last blog entry is from June.
CACG became embroiled in a number of controversies that surrounded the 2008 election of Barack Obama and his subsequent presidency. The group strongly supported the passage of national health care legislation that was criticized by the nation's Catholic bishops for lacking conscience provisions and possibly opening the door to federal funding of abortion.
Archbishop Charles Chaput criticized CACG and similar groups in a 2008 speech, saying that in spite of their concerns for social justice, these groups had ultimately harmed both society and the Church.
Such groups, the archbishop explained, typically “seek to 'get beyond' abortion” as a politically divisive issue, “or economically reduce the number of abortions, or create a better society where abortion won’t be necessary.” But these strategies, the archbishop charged, “involve a misuse of the seamless garment imagery in Catholic social teaching,” demoting the issue of an individual's right to life in favor of “other important but less foundational social issues.”
CNA [Catholic News Agency] encountered some difficulties in attempting to ascertain the present status of CACG, particularly in seeking clarification from Chris Korzen, Executive Director of Catholics United.
CNA approached Korzen because he not only co-authored a book with the founder of Catholics in Alliance, but was on the group's payroll as a full-time employee in 2007.
Korzen, however, would not answer questions about the status of Catholics in Alliance, and instead chose to respond to inquiries by asking CNA a series of unrelated questions.
“Can you tell me what the relationship is between CNA and EWTN [Eternal Word Television Network]?” he asked, ignoring a direct question as to whether Catholics in Alliance was now defunct. “What is the relationship between CNA and the Archdiocese of Denver?”
Eventually, Korzen explained his refusal to answer questions about Catholics in Alliance by saying: "It occurs to me that we've never exactly been clear on who you guys are and what your real motivations are. So we're not going to be able to answer any questions until we get some more clarity.”
The director of Catholics United also insisted he was “separate from Catholics in Alliance, so I really can't speak for them anyway.” Korzen received $84,821 in compensation for full-time work for CACG in 2007. In 2008, he explained to Anne Hendershott in a piece for the Catholic Advocate that Catholics United does the “edgier” work.
Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good's current president, Morna Murray, will make an appearance this Sunday on "This Is America With Dennis Wholey." The program runs on WHUT, a Washington D.C. public television station, and will air at 6 p.m. Eastern. Murray will be accompanied by the National Education Association's Dennis Van Roekel and American Federation of Teachers' Randi Weingarten.

Redefining 'Pro-Life'

An article[14] dated February 29 2012 by David Gibson, of the Religion News Service indicated that Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good published a "nine-page [voter] guide...[which] highlights economic issues as top concerns Catholics should weigh as they consider their vote." According to the article, the Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good "...seeks to expand the concept of "pro-life issues" beyond abortion to also include war, euthanasia and poverty."

Excerpt:

"The guide from Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good takes the words of Pope Benedict XVI's teachings on social justice as its starting point, and from there contrasts the church's social teaching on the common good with the "explicitly anti-Christian teachings" of the Tea Party and like-minded movements.
"In unusually strong, populist tones, the guide's authors decry efforts to cut government programs for the poor and middle class while protecting tax rates for the "super-rich." They "denounce this new ideology as un-Christian, un-Catholic, and, indeed, as a perversion of America's own best traditions."
"Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good was founded in 2005 by Tom Perriello, who went on to serve a single term as a Democratic congressman from Virginia. The group is led by Obama supporters like Stephen Schneck, head of the Institute for Policy Research & Catholic Studies at The Catholic University of America, and liberal Catholics like Alfred Rotondaro of the Center for American Progress in Washington.

Immigration

July 11, 2007, Volume 20, Number 19, HISPANIC NEWS

Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good has been active in promoting illegal immigration to the United States. On July 11, 2007, the "Inland Empire's only Hispanic-owned English language newspaper" "HISPANIC NEWS" ran an article calling for "comprehensive immigration reform" as promoted by the Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good.[15]

Here is an excerpt:

"The defeat of this legislation will only mean more immigrants dying in the desert, families being torn apart, and workers left without basic protections on the job. Our nation's broken immigration policies continue to abandon millions of hard working immigrants who make vital contributions to our society stranded in the shadows. We call on Congress to renew efforts to pass comprehensive immigration reform and not to drop this critical issue until after the presidential elections."

Candidate Forum

External links

References