Below is a letter that one Canadian Bishop has sent out to one of his flock. My response is in blue.
CCODP is not supporting abortion but a project to help the poor. Their partners also happen to pro-choice. There is an important difference between the two. We are not called to avoid those who are pro-choice but to convert them. You certainly can’t do that if you don’t even talk to them but shun them.
The problem is not talking to them, your Grace. We can talk and talk and talk. No problem with that. Talking is to be encouraged. By all means, we do that all the time with our opponents, as the 40 Days for Life Campaign has been doing the past 30 days. (By the way, do you have the 40 Days Campaign in your diocese?). But talking and giving them the fungible means to leverage our money for their murderous exploits is something quite different. I am truly saddened that you cannot distinguish between talking to our opponents and enabling them in their more unsavory views. I don’t know if I am more scandalized at the revelations themselves or your moral application to them.
Surely, you are not suggesting that before we cooperate with anyone or any organization, our opening question must be: “What is your stance on abortion?” And if they fail, we walk away. Do you really think that would be the starting point of Jesus?
Yes, frankly, I do. Because that indicates where their heart and their allegiances are, your Grace. And it shows where they will put their efforts when they receive assistance from third parties. It indicates where they will allocate the excess sacrifices they receive from you. You provide the leverage that allows them to use the “good works” in their name while the other sacrifices they collect go to the service of the Devil. Maybe the good works is 10% of their budget and the other 90% goes to the service of sexual “reproductive rights”. Can you categorically say otherwise? Of course not because you don’t ask and you don’t care to ask. Neither does D&P. Ignorance is bliss except when you are held to account at the Judgement. Scripture says, “Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them.” (Ephesians 5:11). Nothing means nothing. And exposing them we are.
Besides, remote co-operation with evil has very little application in this case. First of all, there are other Catholic groups which do not put themselves in such a compromising position and actually DO the corporal acts of mercy the Gospel commands without also advancing the culture of death. Secondly, even if these groups did not exist, we have the moral obligation to create them. Unlike an evil state government who has a monopoly on governance, there is no such monopoly with charitable groups. We are free to associate and disassociate. To create and to dissolve.
So, you see, your Grace, you don’t make very good arguments at all. In fact, they are quite poor and disturbing.
I remember the words of Pope John Paul II, in speaking about the Great Jubilee theme – “Jesus Christ, the one Saviour of the world, yesterday, today and for ever” – reminded us that: “Taking its inspiration from the pedagogy of the Incarnation, the Christian community is called to walk with Christ beside men and women of today, supporting them in their difficult search for the Truth and making them in some way feel the presence of the Redeemer in everyday life, which is marked by uncertainty about the future, by injustice, by confusion and at times by despair.” The Pope has emphasized the need for Christians to make themselves the traveling companions of their contemporaries by witnessing to them the Good News, by appreciating their culture and by dialoguing with them – starting with what is positive among them. As we journey with them, we also can tell them who are, what we stand for, i.e. begin to evangelize them.
All this is swell, but it misses the mark and does not provide any substance to your position. John Paul II ordered the German bishops to stop using a pregnancy service that was issuing certificates for government funded abortions. Why did he do that? Weren’t the German bishops applying your principles in their case? Yes, I think they were. Or alternatively, consider the US Bishops’ 2004 document “Catholics in Political Life,” which forbids Catholic institutions from honoring pro-abortion politicians. Again, this prohibition seems to be at odds with what you are advocating. After all, are we not permitted to walk with Ted Kennedy and give him money for his campaigns as long as we don’t specifically approve of abortion? You sound a lot like the University of Notre Dame’s president, your Grace, who yesterday received a very well deserved rebuke by Bishop Olmstead.
By the way, for all the “talk” and “dialogue” you are so in favour of, how can you talk to them when, even after they use you, they won’t even allow you to speak at their functions because you are Catholic? So they end up taking your our money and kick you, the Church, and the unborn in the teeth, isn’t that right?
We may well disagree with some of the aims and goals of agencies from some countries. We are clear in what we stand for. We do not have to fear or shield ourselves against others who have different views and beliefs. As we walk, we have the opportunity to tell who we are, what we support, what we believe in and what we oppose. I have never known of a conversion that happened because we refused to attend to the needs and demands of the poor. In short, given all the nuances mentioned above, we have to come to the aid of our poor brothers and sisters. It would be the height of Pharisaism to refuse to do so because some of our co-workers were in favour of abortion.
You can support the poor without advancing abortion one little jot, contrary to what D&P is doing. Why can you not admit this? It’s a simple fact that you seem to have a hard time admitting. Why is that?
By the way, has anyone asked D&P about their vetting procedures about their partners? No, you say? Well, let me offer some for consideration…
- Do you have any guarantees that they are not using our money as leverage? What mechanisms have you in place to ensure that they are not using our money as leverage for abortion promotion?
- Do you review your partner’s financial statements to see where the money is going? Are their financial statements audited? Do they even have financial statements? Do you even care?
- Do you perform any kind of due diligence before advancing the money to these groups to ensure that Catholic moral principles are not compromised?
- Do you discuss your activity with the local bishop? Do you have any contact with him at all?
- Do you discuss your activity with lay church groups in the area, especially ones dedicated to life and family issues?
- What is D&P’s position on abortion? If it doesn’t have one, why not? If it does have one, how is this position communicated to the groups you are giving money to, given the prevalence of pro-abort, pro-contraception, anti-family positions of political/social actions groups like the ones you fund?
- How do the pro-abortion positions of the groups you fund affect how much funding they receive? Do you ask what proportion of their expenditures are related to pro-abortion causes? If not, why not?
Prayer of Repentance for the Sins of Our Nation
Adapted from Daniel 9:5-19