What Is Catholic about Catholic Charities?

By Degeneffe, Charles Edmund | Social Work, July 2003 | Go to article overview

What Is Catholic about Catholic Charities?


Degeneffe, Charles Edmund, Social Work


Religious belief and expression are common and important components in most cultures and nations in the world, In the United States religious identification and affiliation have been traditional staples of society, and there has been an increase in the importance of spirituality and religious participation in Americans' lives (Bullis, 1996). Statistics indicate that most U.S. citizens believe in a God, or higher power, and the majority find that religious involvement improves the quality of their lives (Sheridan, Bulls, Adcock, Berlin, & Miller, 1992). According to the 1998 Yearbook of American and Canadian Churches, 55 U.S. church denominations reported a total membership of 50,047,599 people and total contributions of $24,170,133,464 (Lindner, 1998). These statistics indicate increases over earlier years.

Given the importance that religious institutions and beliefs have in U.S. society, it could be assumed that it has been a much-focused-on area for social work education and research. Moreover, the initial forms of organized social work in the United States had their beginnings in churches and religious institutions (Ehrenreich, 1985; Leiby, 1978; Popple & Leighninger, 1996; Scheurell, 1987), and expression of religious belief is an often-cited reason that many social workers choose to enter the field (DuBois & Miley, 1996; Popple & Leighninger). Until recently, however, the social work profession gave surprisingly little to no attention to the effect of religion and spirituality on clients and professional practice (Joseph, 1988; Loewenberg, 1988).

New interest in religion and social work practice is emerging. Recently, there have been establishments of religiously based social work organizations, a higher publication rate of religiously focused articles, an emergence of sectarian academic social work journals, the inclusion of religious issues in social work education, and the founding of sectarian undergraduate and graduate social work programs (Popple & Leighninger, 1996).

The social work profession's recent interest in religious issues is understandable given the renewed importance that religion has had in U.S. society and its enhanced role in social work education and professional development. However, an even more important reason for the profession s interest in examining the relationship between religion and social work may be related to the large and increasing role of sectarian organizations in providing social welfare services.

In one of the few empirical studies of sectarian social service agencies, Netting (1986) found in a 1985 survey that approximately 14,000 agencies had affiliations with religious organizations in the United States. Comparatively, a 1955 National Council of Churches study concluded that only 2,783 agencies were religiously affiliated (cited in Ellor, Netting, & Thibault, 1999). The trend for these agencies is greater reliance on government funds and less on voluntary contributions and church monies (Netting, 1982). Moreover, government has given up incrementally larger shares of responsibility for social services provision. Churches are increasingly assigned that responsibility (Popple & Leighninger, 1996). Indicative of this trend, Indianapolis Mayor Stephen Goldsmith, chief domestic policy coordinator for the George W. Bush presidential campaign, suggested that many types of social welfare services provided by the government should be opened to competitive bidding from private charities and religious organiz ations (Elsner, 1999).

Given this substantial and changing role that sectarian agencies now have in providing social welfare services, it behooves the social work profession to have a better understanding of the historical, structural, philosophical, and value bases of these organizations. The social work profession needs to explore issues related to how services and clinical practices are approached and affected (for example, are sectarian agencies more accountable for services to churches or to government entities?

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

What Is Catholic about Catholic Charities?
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.