5 minutes bags you the 57th dissenting partner of Development and Peace

The Development and Peace website shows less and less information on their partners, as they’ve removed those that have been outed for their anti-life, anti-Catholic positions. For the Philippines, they only show one partner called Urban Poor Associates. In light of what we describe below, you can expect this group to be scrubbed from D&P’s website shortly. This is the 57th partner found to be engaging in activities contrary to Church teaching.

A couple of years ago, Urban Poor Associates partnered with another organization in the Philippines to bring together the views of more than 100 Filipino NGOs on the state of human rights in that country. These views were synthesized in a report called Philippine NGO Network Report on the Implementation of the International Covenant on Economic, Social,and Cultural Rights (back up link here). You can see the name of Urban Poor Associates figuring prominently on the cover page of the report.

The report addresses many issues, like housing, food, water, social security and health care. The report also discusses contraception in a few places:

  • On pages 106-107, it decries the fact that the Mayor of Manila took a pro-life stance in 2000 whereby contraceptives are no longer being distributed freely to the population and that individuals are instead being encouraged to use natural family planning.
  • On page 108, it speaks positively of the government’s “Reproductive Rights” bill, including its provisions to provide access to contraception. (This bill is being vigorously opposed by the Catholic Church because of its anti-life policy thrust, a position that the report derogatorily qualifies as a “crusade.”)
  • To further emphasize its contraceptive stance, the report cites, on page xxi, another report submitted to the infamously anti-life group called Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) :

“According to the alternative report to CEDAW, the government is clearly compromising, or worse, surrendering women’s enjoyment of their rights by virtue of accomodating the Catholic church and other conservative allies given the absence of a national legislation on reproductive rights. The report further assessed that the government is over-privileging natural family planning by failing to support modern contraceptives as a violation of Article 16 of CEDAW.”

You get the idea. Not only does this group oppose Catholic teaching, but it openly criticizes the exemplary pro-life work of bishops in the Philippines.

More recently, one of the employees at Urban Poor Associates named Denis Murphy, wrote an article on the organization’s blog (backup link here) regarding the Vatican’s denouncing of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious in the United States. Mr. Murphy sides with the dissenting nuns, painting them as pious and prayerful women who are dedicated to serving the poor but are victims of uninformed, overzealous and authoritative bishops. Once again, we see Urban Poor Associates expressing an open contempt for the Church’s teaching authority.

Equivocal effort from the Canadian bishops

What I find most disturbing about partner #57 is that the information above is soooo  easy to find. If you Google the search terms “Urban Poor Associates” contraception, the two sources cited above are the top two search results on the first page. This was a 5-minute job.

The Canadian bishops have certainly made some progress in slowly cleaning up D&P. But after everything we’ve learned about D&P over the last 4 years, you’d think that the bishops would have undertaken a systematic review of every single partner on the roster. They could have hired a summer student at minimum wage to sit at a computer and just Google each partner, one by one. In the case of  Urban Poor Associates, it would have taken 5 minutes to find the truth. But it seems that nobody could be bothered. This lack of due diligence raises questions about the ultimate effectiveness of efforts to clean up D&P.

What is worse is that the Philippines is undergoing a massive assault by Obama and the Catholic Bishops of that Country are putting up one helluva valliant effort to stop it.  They’re even showing up to the vote

The Canadian Catholic bishops will be held at least indirectly responsible for the passage of this Bill.  There have been now at least three D&P partners who have involved in pushing for this Bill in various capacities. The other two are Freedom from Debt Coalition and PETA.

Apparently, there is not one square inch of the Lord’s green earth that the tentacles of the Canadian Social Justice Industry and the National Borg is not responsible for desecrating in some fashion or another.


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