.- Fr. Daniel Mindling, OFM, Cap., will serve as the new consulting theologian for the Catholic Campaign for Human Development. The move comes in response to a review of the campaign, whose choices of grantees have been criticized.
The priest is an academic dean and professor of moral theology at Mount St. Mary’s Seminary in Emmitsburg, Maryland. He is presently a consultant to the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Pro-Life Activities and the Task Force on Catholic Health Care.
According to the bishops' conference, the priest will provide ongoing consultation on the moral and ethical dimensions of campaign's work.
The Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD) had come under criticism for funding groups and joining associations which promoted abortion and homosexuality. Its new guidelines give priority funding to Catholic groups and screen other recipients with more rigor.
Speaking of his new role, Fr. Mindling said this service “connects greatly with my own interest in the life and justice issues facing the Church.”
“I look forward to working together in this most important ministry,” he continued.
Bishop William Murphy of Rockville Centre, New York said those leading CCHD know “the importance of having a sound theological voice” as an integral part of the campaign. “Father Mindling’s readiness to offer theological advice and counsel is very important for this outreach of helping the poor and the vulnerable in our Church and in our local communities.”
The bishop added that the appointment was an “important step” to deepen the Catholic identity of the campaign’s work without losing its original vision of creating an “essential and unique expression” of Catholic commitment to the poor.
Cardinal-designate Donald Wuerl recommended Fr. Mindling, who served as an advisor to the working group which prepared the review of the campaign.
Bishop of Biloxi, Mississippi Roger Morin, who chairs the bishops’ CCHD subcommittee, said the review report reaffirms CCHD’s priority to serve the poor while also making commitments to strengthening the organization’s faithful expression of Catholic teaching and the Gospel.
On Tuesday CNA spoke with John Carr, executive director of the USCCB Department of Justice, Peace and Human Development
Fr. Mindling’s appointment, he said, was a “big step” but “there are lots of other steps.”
Carr said that the consulting theologian was required to be named this year and the review board will be named next year.
“My hope and expectation is that it will be early in the year,” he commented. At present, Carr said, his department is “redoing all the contracts through CCHD,” including the grant applications and criteria.
He added that the USCCB subcommittee will consider Catholic Campaign for Human Development issues at their meeting Nov. 15-18.