Cleansing Fire

Defending Truth and Tradition in the Roman Catholic Church

Ethical issues in the CUA campaign?

November 26th, 2017, Promulgated by Diane Harris

A number of parishes announced in their bulletins today (Nov. 26th) that next Sunday, Dec. 3rd, the First Sunday of Advent, there will be a Second Collection for the annual fund-raising campaign for The Catholic University of America (CUA). This long-standing collection was established by the U.S. Bishops when the University was founded.

I was shocked in reading through several church bulletins this weekend to find the wording changed regarding next weekend’s collection for The Catholic University of America.  The USCCB on its website makes clear that the collection for Catholic University “provides funding for academic scholarships at The Catholic University of America in Washington, DC in response to the commitment made by the bishops at its foundation in 1887.” It is still represented by the USCCB that “It is the only U.S. university with Pontifical faculties. Students are enrolled from all 50 states and almost 100 countries in 12 schools.”  Further, the USCCB represents that 100%  [of the collection goes] to Catholic University of America. Go here to find the following USCCB text:





Thus, I was surprised in reading several church bulletins to find a description of the collection for Catholic University being “For Catholic University and other American Catholic Higher Education Institutions.”  This information in bulletins is either untrue, or what is posted on the USCCB site is untrue; it can’t be both ways.

Moreover, it isn’t simply a matter of accuracy, misrepresentation or fraud.  What is of far greater concern is that MANY allegedly “Catholic” Universities fund or otherwise facilitate contraception (e.g. waffling 3x by Notre Dame in its coverage), pressure Catholic students to downplay teachings of the Catholic Church (e.g. defunding pro-marriage group at Georgetown) or host gender disordered events (e.g. “Sex Week” at Xavier University). The main sources for such claims are LifeSiteNews and the Cardinal Newman Society.  If indeed, funds collected as donations to The Catholic University of America were to be diverted to other universities, one wonders who would have the discernment and the courage to decide how much would go to which university. The USCCB, is its serious and persistent lack of criticizing or disciplining wayward Catholic universities, seems unable or unwilling to wisely distinguish.

I am not sure at this point how many dioceses in the U.S. are collecting for The Catholic University of America next weekend AND other universities, and I am not sure what the source is for mentioning “other” universities receiving any of the funds raised.  If anyone intends to give to The Catholic University of America, as the founding bishops intended, donations may be sent to the University at the following address (also shown above) to avoid diversion of funds in unknown proportions to undisclosed universities:

c/o Mr. John H. Garvey, President

620 Michigan Ave. NE

Washington DC 20064


The list of collection dates and dioceses permitted to collect may be found here:


The following are examples of what has been appearing in local bulletins:



























The standardization of language seems to imply that there is a single source for addition of “Other American Catholic Higher Education Institutions.”  One wonders from where it came.


7 Responses to “Ethical issues in the CUA campaign?”

  1. christian says:

    One wonders if the addition of “other American Catholic Higher Education Institutions” was added at the local level as an attempt to motivate parishioners in the Diocese to give if they thought some of the money could be imparted to other Catholic Universities and Colleges, particularly those more local, where parishioners’ children are or will be attending, or from where parishioners have attended and graduated themselves.

    It could have also been a misinterpretation of the original appeal or an extended, wishful interpretation by one or more persons.

    There is no way for us to of know definitively with our lack of resources, it can only be speculation as to how the addition of other American Catholic Universities and Colleges were added.

    But what you wrote as a concern is absolutely true. There are Catholic Universities and Colleges who have a liberal agenda and support LBGT rights and lifestyle (rather than counseling, spiritual care, support, guidance and direction), who support sexual relations outside of marriage and birth control, invite Planned Parenthood to come in (not related to rape services and counseling), do not agree or support all of Catholic Churches teachings, or the Christian religion or way of life for that matter, and in some cases, support and advocate abortion. There are even professors from Catholic religious orders who propagate these liberal, anti-Catholic views, and anti-Christian lifestyles.

    More alumni should question their Catholic University or College when they see someone askew, and even make a firmer stance not to donate to the alumni campaign if they continue in their ant-Catholic agenda.

    While some Catholic universities and colleges may employ some observant, orthodox Catholic faculty and staff, and may have some observant, orthodox Catholic students and those who live out a Christian lifestyle, the university or college is still obligated to be open to a liberal and often opposing Catholic doctrine, views, and lifestyle if it receives public funding.

    I think it is important for parishioners to know what they are funding when they are asked to give in a special collection. I think your proposed option is excellent.

  2. raymondfrice says:

    Review canon law # 1300 which will give you insights on the scope and intentions of the law on donations to religious organization. But being both the subject of debate. and hidden as well as overt operations in the financial field, I would not trust the USCCB with a dime of my money!!
    For years the Thanksgiving Appeal monies were banked for a year to get the the interest which was used at their discretion (indescretion) !!! to pay for such things as building the USCCB headquarters!

  3. Diane Harris says:

    The plot thickens. Here’s what I’ve done to try to get an answer. I called the Diocesan Fraud Hotline, the one that asks to speak with someone in the Finance Dept. I called Monday mid-morning, and again on Tuesday near the end of the day. I left my name and phone number both times. It is now Saturday night, and no one returned my call.

    I also sent an email to the person at Catholic University identified as the contact person for the National Collection. I sent that on Wednesday; still no response. I followed up these efforts trying to handle without bothering the Bishop’s office, but I finally had to send a letter.

    After having looked through a dozen or more parish bulletins, it looked to me like (estimate) about one third to half were using the language implying also collecting unidentified portions for unidentified schools. The remainder was split between parishes using only The Catholic University of America as a recipient and those which didn’t even mention the collection. I am of the opinion that anyone wishing to contribute to CUA should do it directly to the University (address is in the post) and not through a local collection, with unanswered loose ends.

    I’ll update if I learn more. Meanwhile, the collection is tomorrow! Follow the money.

  4. Diane Harris says:

    To those with interest in this subject:

    I have received a very kind and gracious and of course prompt reply from our Bishop, affirming that ALL of the second collection on December 3rd will be sent to The Catholic University of America and to no other universities. He also will reinforce that fact through the Finance channels, so this year’s confusion seems unlikely to recur. Let’s all remember our Bishop in our prayers.

  5. christian says:

    It is both encouraging and refreshing that the Bishop gave you a kind, gracious, prompt reply in clarifying the matter and intends to go further by reinforcing that information through Finance channels.

    Yes, we should remember Bishop Matano in our prayers.

  6. christian says:


    Thank you for all your efforts in following this matter up, Diane.

    We should all keep you in our prayers as well.

  7. Diane Harris says:

    Thank you, Christian. I need, and gratefully accept, any and all prayers for me!

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