The Gamaliel Foundation

MS asks: “Could you do a blog exposing the Gamaliel Foundation? I’m concerned how it has infiltrated the Catholic Church–see Voice Buffalo. We are cooperating with churches that support abortion, gay marriage and worship of false gods!”


MS, your concerns are justified, but it’s far too late to stop Gamaliel’s infiltration into the Catholic Church. It is already rampant!

First of all, the Gamaliel Foundation is more about the “Christianization” of socialism than the New Age, although many of its social ideas dovetail with New Age ideology.

For those who don’t know, the Gamaliel Foundation is a community organizing group similar to ACORN with the same ties to the neo-Marxist Saul Alinsky.  Its roots are in the “Back of the Yards Community Council” started by Alinsky in 1938 which operated in Chicago’s stock yards for the purpose of combating poverty, political corruption, gang warfare, etc. Many community organizing groups were born out the Back of the Yards Council over the years, but most of them dissolved. In an effort to keep the spirit of community organizing alive, the Gamaliel Foundation was established in 1968 to support the Contract Buyers League, an African American organization fighting to protect Chicago homeowners who had been discriminated against by banks.

The name “Gamaliel” refers to a wise man who taught St. Paul (see Acts 5:38-39; and Acts 22:3), whom Saul Alinsky considered to be the first great congregation-based organizer.

Since that time, Gamaliel has been reorganized into a community group that funds local leaders in an effort to build and maintain powerful organizations in low income communities. The Foundation has grown to more than 45 affiliates in 17 states and three provinces in South Africa.

The way these groups get into the Church is simple. The Gamaliel Foundation gets money from an umbrella group named WISDOM, which has many small affiliates throughout the country, many going by biblical names such as JOSHUA, ESTHER, etc. These groups convince local parishes to sign on to their membership by promising to do many of the good works that have traditionally been done by the Church in the community. The groups then use a portion of the money donated by these churches to hire a lobbyist who goes to the seat of government and tells legislators that the congregations of all these churches support their legislative agenda.

A typical legislative agenda for a Gamaliel group includes, but is not limited to, promoting abortion, same-sex marriage, driver’s licenses for illegal aliens, promoting ObamaCare (President Obama was a former Gamaliel Foundation organizer), etc.

Stephanie Block of CatholicCitizens.org explains what happens once Catholics become involved: “Gamaliel and the Industrial Areas Foundation teach liberationism, a form of ‘Christianized’ socialism, among their members. This has serious ramifications for Catholics. The Alinskyian networks operate ecumenically and include numerous Catholic parishes. The Catholics involved in the extensive trainings these networks offer are not catechized in Catholic principles of social activism or political analysis but in Marxist analysis and praxis. Their worldview is marred by visions of class struggle and perpetual revolution. They are systematically trained to renounce moral truth in favor of consensus-based ‘values.’”

She continues: “Catholics trained in Alinskyian thought become confused about the comparative moral weight of the issues they encounter in the public arena. They also become confused about the legitimate authority of the Church, frequently imagining they can apply consensus-building strategies to doctrines and moral truth. They are the same Catholics who people the dissident Call to Action chapters around the country.”

This could explain the involvement of Catholics in a Gamaliel splinter group known as Voice Buffalo, which MS mentions in her e-mail.

Unfortunately, the infiltration goes much higher. The Rev. Robert J. Vitillo, Executive Director of the embattled Catholic Campaign for Human Development spoke at a Leadership Assembly of the Gamaliel Foundation in 2002. He accepted an award from the group on behalf of the U.S. bishops and gave high praise to the Foundation: “The true “heroes” in the struggle against poverty and other forms of discrimination and injustice are you – the leaders of community-based, self-help organizations with whom CCHD works as a partner to bring about an end to poverty in the United States, not just for a day, but for a lifetime.” (See http://www.gamaliel.org/Library/vittilloNLA02.htm)

Particularly in the last year, the CCHD has come under fire from within the Church for its affiliation with community organizing groups such as Gamaliel and ACORN. The outcry eventually resulted in the U.S. bishops cutting off ACORN funding but only after admitting that they had awarded the organization 320 grants totaling $7.3 million in the last 10 years.

Thankfully, Catholics are fighting back. For instance, Bishop David L. Ricken of Green Bay met with about 60 Catholic core team members of JOSHUA and ESTHER in March of this year and expressed concerns he had regarding the umbrella group WISDOM and Gamaliel. He warned that these groups do not clear their political positions with bishops before involving members in these causes, many of which do not correspond with Catholic teaching.

The extent of the connection between the Catholic Campaign for Human Development and groups such as ACORN and Gamaliel was exposed last fall and made headlines throughout the 2009-2010 winter season. A google search of CCHD and Acorn drew 1450 hits so anyone who is interested in reading more about this topic will have plenty of opportunities!

For more informatoin about the Gamaliel Foundation, read this article by Stanley Kurtz.

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