Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Candian Catholic Relief Service and Abortion: "Secular Messianism"

There's a battle going on in Canada over the Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace (CCODP or D&P). Development and Peace is the Canadian counterpart to the Unites States' Catholic Relief Services. Development and Peace has a long history of anti-Catholic activities.

Throughout 2009, LifeSiteNews has documented "that over 20 of Development & Peace’s partners around the world are involved in abortion and/or contraception advocacy." On April 17, 2009 LifeSiteNews published a list of some of the organizations that are funded by, or partners with, Development and Peace, along with their objectionable activities. The list can be found

On May 28, 2009, the Peruvian bishops sent a
letter to the Canadian Bishops, objecting to Development and Peace's funding of pro-abortion groups in Peru, and they asked that such funding be stopped. From the letter:

"It is very disturbing to have groups which work against the Bishops of Peru by attempting to undermine legal protection for the right to life of unborn children, be funded by our brother bishops in Canada."
Yesterday, the Vatican News Service radio reported the story, under the headline “Aid for Food and Medicines, Not for Birth Control, Needed in Latin America.” The broadcast can be heard by following the link..

The response of the Candian bishops has been decidely mixed. From yesterday's LifeSiteNews article:

"Archbishop James Weisgerber, the President of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB), has claimed that there is “no evidence” of abortion involvement on the part of groups funded by the bishops’ official development arm, the Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace (D&P). The remarks were made in response to questions about the results of a recent investigation into five of D&P’s Mexican partners, which LifeSiteNews.com (LSN) had reported in early March were involved in abortion advocacy." ...

"The archbishop made his statements in support of D&P despite a recent letter from the family commission of the Peruvian Bishops Conference, in which the Peruvian bishops formally requested the Canadian Bishops to stop funding three pro-abortion groups in their country. LSN has also documented evidence – including interviews and photographs - that over 20 of D&P’s partners around the world are involved in abortion and/or contraception advocacy (read all the evidence here)."...

Despite Archbishop Weisgerber’s assertions, the bishops of Canada do not appear to all be on the same page when it comes to the question of D&P. Insiders have
informed LSN that most of the bishops of Quebec are onside with the organization, with a few notable exceptions. However, most Ontario bishops have taken the allegations seriously enough to withhold funding until the results of the investigation have been considered."....
His Excellency then made this strange argument:

“It seems that there is a tendency on the part of some people to trust allegations on websites more than they trust the bishops,” he said. “That’s the role of the bishops in the Church and when the bishops investigate something, when the bishops look at things and when the bishops teach, according to our theology, we should have confidence in that.”
But that "argument" is not in any way responsive to the evidence presented by LifeSiteNews (and others) at all.

In the article cited in our first paragraph Fr. Alphonse de Valk, editor of Catholic Insight magazine, explored the roots of the scandal:

"In September 1968, the majority of the bishops had deleted Pope Paul's encyclical Humanae Vitae as unsuited for Canadians. That ended all teaching and all preaching against contraceptives; indeed, it ended the bishops' interest in family morality. They closed the conference's Bureau of Family Life in 1973 . . .

"The Church, as many thought, having emancipated itself from narrow-mindedness in family morality, presently offered a secular messianism through economic and political activism."

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for following up on this, and thank you for all your great commentary on the issues of importance.

I hadn't realized about the abolition of the Bureau of Family Life in 1973. But as I reflect back on the last 40 years it makes sense with everything else that has been going on.

Thanks again for all you do.