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The annual national collection for the Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD) is this weekend. What many Catholics do not realize is that at the very core of the CCHD is a philosophy of revolutionary leftist ideologies. Over the years, the CCHD has been rightly criticized for funding organizations that are themselves promoting contraception, homosexuality, abortion, prostitution, and socialism. But these issues are only symptoms of an overall thrust that is aimed directly at convincing Catholics to fund Marxist revolution in the United States. The intent of this article, while certainly not exhaustive, is to help Catholics understand how the Catholic Campaign for Human Development is simply the Catholic version of what Josef Stalin called "Front Organizations" for the Communist Party.
In 1953, the House Committee on UnAmerican Activities received the testimony of a man named Manning Johnson. Mr. Johnson joined the Communist party in America in 1930, and remained in the party until 1940. While a member of the Communist Party, Mr. Johnson In held various positions, such as district agitation and propaganda director, district organizer of the Communist Party in Buffalo, N. Y. he was a member of the trade union commission of the Communist Party, member of the national Negro commission of the Communist Party, and ultimately was also a member of the national committee of the Communist Party itself. Mr. Johnson became disillusioned with communism and left the Communist party in 1940. In his own words, he had decided in 1939 that he was through with communism and that forever after he would conscientiously and vigorously oppose it, vocally and spiritually.
In his testimony to the Committee on UnAmerican Activities, he identified the work of Communism to infiltrate religious institutions. Here are some excerpts from the testimony he gave while under oath:
Once the tactic of infiltrating religious organizations was set by the Kremlin, the actual mechanics of implementing the "new line" was a question of following the general experiences of the living church movement in Russia where the Communists discovered that the destruction of religion could proceed much faster through infiltration of the church by Communist agents operating within the church itself.
The Communist leadership in the United States realized that the infiltration tactic in this country would have to adapt itself to American conditions and the religious makeup peculiar to this country. In the earliest stages it was determined that with only small forces available it would be necessary to concentrate Communist agents in the seminaries and divinity schools. The practical conclusion, drawn by the Red leaders was that these institutions would make it possible for a small Communist minority to influence the ideology of future clergymen in the paths most conducive to Communist purposes.
In general, the idea was to divert the emphasis of clerical thinking from the spiritual to the material and political — by political, of course, is meant politics based on the Communist doctrine of conquest of power. Instead of emphasis towards the spiritual and matters of the soul, the new and heavy emphasis was to deal with those matters which, in the main, led toward the Communist program of "immediate demands."
The plan was to make the seminaries the neck of a funnel through which thousands of potential clergymen would issue forth, carrying with them, in varying degrees, an ideology and slant which would aid in neutralizing the anti-Communist character of the church and also to use the clergy to spearhead important Communist projects.
This policy was successful beyond even Communist expectations. The combination of Communist clergymen, clergymen with a pro-Communist ideology, plus thousands of clergymen who were sold the principle of considering Communist causes as progressive, within 20 years, furnished the Soviet apparatus with a machine which was used as a religious cover for the overall Communist operation ranging from immediate demands to actually furnishing aid in espionage and outright treason.
In the early 1930s the Communists instructed thousands of their members to rejoin their ancestral religious groups and to operate in cells designed to take control of churches for Communist purposes.This method was not only propounded, but was executed with great success among large elements of American church life. Communists operating a double-pronged infiltration, both through elements of Communist-controlled clergy, and Communist-controlled laymen, managed to pervert and weaken entire stratas of religious life in the United States.
Communists in churches and other religious organizations were instructed to utilize the age-old tradition of the sanctity of the church as a cover for their own dastardly deeds. Through Reds in religion, we have a true living example of the old saying: "The Devil doth quote the Scripture."
The Communists learned that the clergyman under their control served as a useful "respectable face" for most of their front activities. In this way the name of religion was used to spearhead the odious plots hatched by the agents of anti-religious Soviet communism.
Read the rest at the Lepanto Institute.