On October 7th I was invited to join a group of parishioners who would become the core team for a new ministry forming in Oklahoma City. The group was to be an interfaith committee to make substantial changes in the lives of the poor. I agreed to at least attend the meeting and see what kind of time commitments it required. Kris Ausdenmoore, the organizer for the group, introduced herself and explained the process of forming a core team for Oklahoma City. She asked if I had ever participated in community organizing. I told her until the news headlines about ACORN I‘d never heard the term. She cringed a little, but said her organization was not ACORN—it was IAF—Industrial Areas Foundation. Until that point, I‘d never heard of IAF. St. John‘s already has many ministries to help the poor, so I was not convinced it was a necessary ministry. I went home to research IAF on the internet, and got quite a shock. Much of what I found was tied into USCCB/CCHD, voter fraud, politics, the election, liberals, progressives, conspiracy theories, socialist-New World Orders, and many other things I‘d never heard of or cared to know about. I researched more, to find the truth among the politicized, opinionated, and technical articles, blogs and conspiracy theories.
I have a strong determination and desire to know and show others the truth. After printing off a dozen or more articles and highlighting the critical/negative parts, I attempted to bring convincing evidence to the deacon who attended the meeting (Gary Peterson). He was not in the office, and I tried every deacon and every priest (who were all at a retreat) and even our pastoral minister, Dr. Harry. No one was around that day. I met with a friend who understands Church doctrine and apologetics much better than I do, and showed her what I discovered. She was also concerned. I sent an email to Father John, our pastor, and told him I needed to see him as soon as he returned. He seemed very surprised when I showed him the negative information about the IAF and Alinsky (the founder of the IAF who dedicated one of his books to Lucifer).
Although Father John seemed concerned, he passed on my concerns to Gary Peterson (the deacon in charge of the social ministries board). When I met with Gary about my concerns, he told me it was approved by the diocese and would continue despite my objections. I called the Archbishop‘s office, hoping to get an appointment to see him and show him my papers. His secretary promised to convey my message to someone who would listen. Tish Eason, the general counsel for the diocese, called me and said she would look into it. I never heard back, but I delivered a package of papers to her office. I then went to Catholic Charities and said I wanted to know more, and the gal I talked to was very helpful—telling me how it all got started (from a nun at St. Charles Borromeo—who has been involved in JustFaith). I continued to research. Becky VanPool eventually called me (at Tish Eason’s request) but I had nothing to say to her, knowing her politics.
Why was I the only one out of the approximately 15 people in that first meeting who chose to research the IAF? My humble thought is God put me there for a reason—and that reason must be to fight this. I was there for the same reason as all the other people—to serve God by helping the poor in our community. I do believe all those people are good, caring people who have the right attitude about helping—but are either blindly following others, or are grossly misinformed about the IAF.
Father John knew I was still concerned, so he asked Ray Haefele to address my concerns (as liason from Father John) to Richard Klinge of Catholic Charities. Richard addressed the original concerns I had presented to Gary Peterson and sent a reply to Father John, via Ray Haefele.
In early December, I received a copy of this letter from Father John. He told me that it should satisfy my concerns, and that I was free to give copies to anyone else who might be concerned.
I met with Ray Haefele to discuss this with him, since he had become involved. He agreed to continue as liason to Catholic Charities, and to bring any concerns I had to Richard Klinge.
I continued to research, and started a very long letter to address the point by point statements of Richard Klinge’s letter, including a quote from Deus Caritas Est that he quoted completely out of context, changing the meaning of the statement.
During this time I attempted to bring my information to a few trusted people, as I wanted support in this matter, but I also felt it important to keep it somewhat quiet to avoid scandal.
At the Men’s Conference in February a priest (Father Neely) spoke about Saul Alinsky in a positive light, and my husband who was attending the conference, called me to tell me. I was furious. After researching for months, I knew that Saul Alinsky deserved no praise from the Catholic Church. I quickly revised and reprinted a letter I had already written to the Archbishop, and hand-delivered it to him. A week later I received a phone call from him. He was surprised at my letter, and very concerned. He promised to look into it further. During my conversation with Archbishop, I told him I was working on a letter to Richard Klinge. He said to please hand deliver a copy to him. I finished the letter the next week, and delivered a copy to the Archbishop, to Father John, and to Ray Haefele.
The next month in his column The Good News (Sooner Catholic, March 22, 2009) the Archbishop, discussed community organizing in the diocese, and said that more information would be coming. (So far we have not had any further information from him.)
Eventually this letter was given to all the priests on Archbishop’s Priests Council and studied to decide if the organizing was to continue in the diocese. Archbishop did decide that Catholic Charities would no longer be a part of the OSC. He gave the final decision for each parish to his pastors.
On May 20, 2009, Father John brought this subject to his Parish Council Meeting, where he allowed pro-IAF and anti-IAF speakers to state their opinions and facts. He concluded that although he was not entirely convinced OSC was bad, he felt St. John’s contributed a lot of funds to good charities, and that being so divisive, he would not allow the parish to be further involved with the IAF/OSC.
As of publishing of this website, St. John the Baptist, St. James, and Epiphany have decided NOT to be members of the OSC.
Please pray that the rest of the six Catholic churches will see the evil of this organization, its political ties to an administration that promotes unlimited abortion—paid for by tax payers—and which advocates eliminating the conscience clause for doctors and hospitals.
During this time we have been accused of being right-wing radicals, being un-Christian, verbally attacking the Archbishop and our Priests, and personally attacking Kris Ausdenmoore. None of these things are true, and we have tried to conduct ourselves in a Christian manner and influence others to do the same. We have never been "activists" of any sort nor heavily involved with any controversy, political or otherwise, prior to this.
Community Organizing groups such as the Industrial Areas Foundation (IAF) or the Oklahoma Sponsoring Committee (OSC) are ostensibly to help the poor. Social Justice and acts of charity are central to Catholicism, so many of us have supported these community organizers out of charitable hopes. After many months of research we have come to the conclusion that their real purpose is "power before program". Power that will eventually be used to promote "progressive" political causes. We hope you will do your own research.
Last Updated: Monday, May 14, 2012 06:14 PM -0500