Stephanie Block

Truth in Advertising: Promoting the Catholic Campaign for Human Development in Chicago

By Stephanie Block / November 5, 2014 /

One long-standing complaint about the Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD), an annual Catholic “poverty” appeal, is that it has consistently misrepresented its work to the people from whom it solicits donations. CCHD exists to create progressive social change. An analysis of CCHD’s nation-wide 2013-2014 grants – using the most recent information available 1 –…

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CCHD 2013-2014: Hasn’t the Catholic Campaign for Human Development improved? Not even a little…?

By Stephanie Block / October 14, 2014 /

New year; new grants list…and as has happened several times before, the Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD) has claimed to have undergone a major reform overhaul. CCHD Reform Started Right Here The first CCHD reform was provoked by a 1997 Wanderer Forum Foundation analysis and commentary of the Campaign that demonstrated the CHD was spending…

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Manipulating the Religious Landscape

By Stephanie Block / September 30, 2014 /

Not everyone is happy about a recent Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life study that finds a growing number Americans want religion to play a role in U.S. politics.i  One syndicated columnist rather hysterically likened the trend to the Taliban’s stoning of women for failure to wear “proper” head covering. “What in the world…

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Not So FAST… It really is about politics.

By Stephanie Block / September 3, 2014 /

The website of the Episcopal Church of the Good Samaritan in Clearwater, Florida carries information about Faith and Action for Strength Together (FAST), which is a congregation-based community organization in Pinellas County, Florida, operating within the DART network. The page concerning FAST states: “The organization is not political but rather, it is biblical.”(1) This assertion…

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Did We Turn a Corner? No, no. Not to worry…the Catholic Campaign for Human Development remains true to its founding mission.

By Stephanie Block / August 21, 2014 /

The Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD) is an annual collection that has, for the past 45 years, funded Alinskyian community organizing and other progressive political-advocacy. This has always troubled pro-lifers whose own advocacy to protect the child in utero is systematically undermined by CCHD grants. Although CCHD claims to support a “seamless garment” approach…

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The Life and Mission of a Liberationist Priest: When political activism fails social justice

By Stephanie Block / August 11, 2014 /

A biography about Msgr. Geno Baroni by journalist Lawrence M. O’Rouke, Geno: The Life and Mission of Geno Baroni, begins with a couple of notions that crystallize the great divide over what constitutes social justice. “It was no longer enough…to respond with charity to appeals for a food basket, the month’s rent, or a bag…

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Book Review: Credentialed to Destroy: How and Why Education Became a Weapon by Robin Eubanks

By Stephanie Block / June 13, 2014 /

Over the last three decades, there have been a number of excellent books written to explore the direction education reform has taken. Some look narrowly at specific programs or policies; other take a broader perspective, following the historical trends that bring us to our present moment. Robin Eubanks’ Credentialed to Destroy: How and Why Education…

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Messenger of Truth film reveals Solidarity Movement is not Alinskyian Organizing

By Stephanie Block / June 4, 2014 /

Are the social justice concerns of the Polish Solidanosc movement just another form of Alinsky? Stephanie Block reveals why the film Messenger of Truth, about Blessed Father Jerzy Popieluszko, won’t win any awards from the Industrial Areas Foundation.

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Not in Compliance? Oh…you will be.

By Stephanie Block / May 19, 2014 /

The U.S. Department of Education’s (DOE) has the ability to grant “flexibility waivers” to states that are having difficulty meeting “specific requirements of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB).” However, this flexibility isn’t free. It is offered “in exchange for rigorous and comprehensive State-developed plans designed to improve educational outcomes for all…

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Catholics and the Common Core State Standards: FAQs answered by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops

By Stephanie Block / May 14, 2014 /

The controversy over Common Core State Standards that is raging across the country has not spared Catholic dioceses, which are also wrestling over whether to implement them. When challenged, some dioceses point to the support they have received from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), the bishops’ national bureaucratic arm. (recall our coverage…

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