Monday, February 12, 2007


A number of priests in the Akron area were dues paying members of an organization called the Gamaliel Foundation in 2004. Specifically, those priests are:

Fr. Mike Matutz, St. Martha Catholic Church
Fr. Paul Rosing, Annunciation Catholic Church
Fr. Pete Coletti, St. Martha Catholic Church
Fr. Ralph Colleta, St. John Catholic Church
Rev. Joseph Kraker, St. Vincent Catholic Church
Fr. William Karg, St. Sebastian Catholic Church
Fr. Paul Schindler, St. Bernard Catholic Church
Fr. Jim Ragnoni, St. Anthony Catholic Church
Fr. Thomas McGovern, St. Matthew Catholic Church
*Fr. Richard Arko, St. Mary Catholic Church, Barberton
Fr. Richard Burchell, St. Augustine Catholic Church

*Fr. Richard Arko was put on administrative leave in 2004 after it was discovered that he and his housemate were growing marijuana in the rectory.

Mr. Tom Allio, of the Akron Catholic Commission is also a member.

The names can be seen on the list here.

Gamaliel Foundation's history is described briefly here, including a reference to Saul Alinsky:

This type of community organizing began in Chicago in 1938. Saul Alinsky created the "Back of the Yards Community Council". The organization operated in the shadow of Chicago’s stock yards. The community was beset with poverty, political corruption, gangs, disease, deteriorating housing and inadequate schools; but most of all it was beset with a sense of powerlessness. The organization successfully engaged people to change the conditions of the community. Its motto was, "We shall decide our own destiny." And to a large extent and for some time, they did just that.

The Gamaliel Foundation First Year Reading List for New Organizers, 2002, includes books by Saul Alinsky, RULES FOR RADICALS, and REVEILLE FOR RADICALS. Note that "Titles in bold print are required reading for first year organizers in the Gamaliel Foundation." (I wonder what's on the second year reading list?)

"Playboy" magazine interviewed Alinsky in 1972. The interview is online. The second question asked in the interview is noteworthy:

PLAYBOY: What was your own relationship with the Communist Party?

ALINSKY: I knew plenty of Communists in those days, and I worked with them on a number of projects. Back in the Thirties, the Communists did a hell of a lot of good work; they were in the vanguard of the labor movement and they played an important role in aiding blacks and Okies and Southern sharecroppers. Anybody who tells you he was active in progressive causes in those days and never worked with the Reds is a goddamn liar. Their platform stood for all the right things, and unlike many liberals, they were willing to put their bodies on the line. Without the Communists, for example, I doubt the C.I.O. could have won all the battles it did. I was also sympathetic to Russia in those days, not because I admired Stalin or the Soviet system but because it seemed to be the only country willing to stand up to Hitler. I was in charge of a big part of fund raising for the International Brigade and in that capacity I worked in close alliance with the Communist Party.

When the Nazi-Soviet Pact came, though, and I refused to toe the party line and urged support for England and for American intervention in the war, the party turned on me tooth and nail. Chicago Reds plastered the Back of the Yards with big posters featuring a caricature of me with a snarling, slavering fanged mouth and wild eyes, labeled, "This is the face of a warmonger." But there were too many Poles, Czechs, Lithuanians and Latvians in the area for that tactic to go over very well. Actually, the greatest weakness of the party was its slavish parroting of the Moscow line. It could have been much more effective if it had adopted a relatively independent stance, like the western European parties do today. But all in all, and despite my own fights with them, I think the Communists of the Thirties deserve a lot of credit for the struggles they led or participated in. Today the party is just a shadow of the past, but in the Depiession it was a positive force for social change. A lot of its leaders and organizers were jerks, of course, but objectively the party in those days was on the right side and did considerable good.

All of the priests listed above together with all of the non-Catholic members of the Gamaliel Foundation that are active in Akron, Ohio, belong to SCCOPE (Summit County Organizations Organized for Progress and Empowerment).

Once we called the followers of Saul Alinsky Communists. Now we call them Catholic priests. One of the priests listed wore the chasuble with a triangle on it that I blogged on last Sunday.

The Cleveland Diocese is sick. Being a member of it makes me feel dirty.


discoverthenetworks.org, "A Guide to the Political Left" reports on the Gamaliel Foundation saying:

The Gamaliel Network receives much of its funding from the leftist group Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD). Yet according to the Roman Catholic Faithful website, GF's "goals and p[hilosophies are at fundamental odds with Church teaching." GF endorses "scriptural relativism" and "encourage[s] a wide range of scriptural interpretations."...

The Gamaliel Foundation receives grants from the Bauman Family Foundation, the Public Welfare Foundation, the Carnegie Corporation of New York, the W. K. Kellogg Foundation, the Ford Foundation, and others.

Lord have mercy!

Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us!

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