This is the second part of a four part series on the D&P Abortion Scandal report issued by the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops.
The Permanent Council of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops, during its meeting of 17-18 June 2009, received the report of the Committee of Inquiry and accepted its seven recommendations. I wish to point out several of these and to confirm that work is already underway on their implementation. First, the Committee of Inquiry has determined that the projects funded by Development and Peace did not promote abortion…
This has never been the allegation. The allegation has been that D&P has been funding pro-abortion groups who in turn advocate for abortion. The problem with funding pro-abortion groups is that money is, by nature, fungible as I pointed out in a previous post:
3. Fungibility – For those of you who don’t know what this word means, it simply means something that is interchangeable. One of the obvious problems with funding pro-abortion groups who may do other work is that the money you give them ultimately gets used to leverage and enable their “reproductive rights” romps. For instance, let’s say you’re a pro-abortion group in the Global South somewhere. You need money. You hear about D&P from your friends in another country whose pro-abortion lobby is being financed by D&P. So to get the money, you set up a little organization to promote “social justice”, oppose “violence against women”, and promote “gender education”. Then you apply for the money and you get it. All of a sudden you’ve got an office, phones, computers, etc. etc. In other words, the money that D&P gives you (or a good part of it) pays for the overhead, and from there you can launch your pro-abortion advocacy campaign in addition to doing the token social justice work for D&P. And that’s only one way of scamming D&P. There are plenty of other ways too. I mentioned the semantic fraud above. Then there are the various ways of misrepresenting the financial records. Indeed, the sky is limitless. But this, of course, assumes that D&P has strong internal controls to prevent abuse – which they don’t. And that is why this whole question comes down to trusting the organization itself. Relying on ineffective and weak controls, as D&P does, is completely useless and futile. D&P chooses to trust its pro-abortion partners. And that’s what makes us the useful idiots for the pro-abortion lobby.
Furthermore, why do the bishops and D&P consistently refuse to accept NOT ONLY the personal testimony and eye-witness account of the pro-life community in Canada but also the witness of the ones in Mexico? What is it precisely that would cause the Canadian Bishops and D&P to trust the word of pro-abortion groups who virulently advocate for abortion over and above the word of faithful Catholics who work against this heinous crime? Step back for a moment and think about that. It’s absolutely sick.
and that the five Mexican organizations do not support abortion. Consequently, the Committee of Inquiry has found that the allegations by LifeSiteNews.com against Development and Peace are unfounded.
This declaration is patently false. Let’s review only one piece of the evidence to make our point. The “All Rights for Everyone Network” (Red Todos los Derechos para Todos – TDT) was one of the first five groups identified by LifeSiteNews as being a D&P pro-abortion partner. (Since then, of course, there have been three other D&P partners [bringing the total to 8 that we know of in Mexico alone] that have been found to be abortion-pushers). Now this group, “All Rights for Everyone Network” , before they yanked their pro-abortion-pushing messages off of their website, had published the following statement on their site:
“The law that permits the legal interruption of pregnancy in the Federal District [Mexico City] represents an advance for the human rights of women,” declared the group. … “The law that permits the legal interruption of pregnancy up to twelve weeks of gestation, which establishes preventative measures in the area of sexual and reproductive health, approved by the Legislative Assembly of the Federal District on the 24th of April, 2007, is a moderate and integral law that has contributed significantly to the exercise of human rights in women, both in the City of Mexico and in some other states,” TDT adds…”We exhort the organs of government, particularly the Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation, to consolidate the advancement that this law represents and avoid retrogressive actions in prejudice of the human rights of women.” (Source)
In light of this blatant and obvious advocacy, how can the CCCB make such a false and pathetic claim that none of these five Mexican organizations support abortion? In fact, ALL OF THEM DO ADVOCATE FOR ABORTION as the overwhelming evidence clearly attests to.
Has the CCCB lost all sense of coherence? Even when people who are trying to cover up a scandal usually stop when they’ve been exposed and the jig is up. But in the case of Msgr. Weisgerber and the CCCB, even pictures won’t do it for them. It reminds me of that Iraqi Information Minister during the Iraq war. He just kept telling the viewing public that Saddam was in total control and winning the war, even though you could see the American advances right over his shoulder on the TV screen. Msgr. Weisgerber is under the impression that if you keep repeating the same false statements over and over again, people will believe them. Unfortunately, that’s not how it works. In fact, the only thing that Msgr. Weisgerber is doing is undermining the trust and fidelity that we owe to him and to all of the bishops. But, if we cannot trust him or the other bishops on something so basic as not only preserving human life but admitting what’s right before their eyes and ears, then how can we trust them on ANYTHING at all?
Secondly, the Committee of Inquiry recommends that the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops continue to support Development and Peace. At the same time, given the seriousness of the questions raised, the Bishops of Canada will have a full discussion on Development and Peace at their October 2009 Plenary Assembly.
No. The bishops of Canada have a moral obligation to stop funding Development & Peace RIGHT NOW. As I said previously, I will hold every single bishop who continues to support D&P personally responsible for the overturning of pro-life laws in the Global South. When it happens, they will hear from me, and I won’t stop reminding them of what led to the trashing of pro-life laws, either. D&P is turning out to be a comparable scandal to the Winnipeg Statement, as hard as that is to believe.
In addition, deeply concerned about the series of public allegations, accusations and denunciations that were the reason for the Committee of Inquiry to be established this past March, the Committee and the Permanent Council are appealing to LifeSiteNews.com to be in dialogue with Catholic groups and with the Bishops of Canada.
I’ve got a better idea: why not conform your pastoral directives to what the Church teaches about human life? Talk is fine. Action is better.
The Committee of Inquiry also noted the need for Development and Peace to make clearer and better known its principles and criteria that it uses when deciding on proposals for project funding. The Permanent Council has in turn requested, and Development and Peace already agreed, that mechanisms be put into place so these clarifications can be implemented after first being reviewed by the Plenary Assembly.
But if D&P simply funds “projects” and not “organizations”, why is there a need to make these principles and criteria “better known”? The principles and criteria, as they are stipulated, don’t include a prohibition on funding pro-abortion groups. The problem is not making those principles and criteria “better known”. The problem is that D&P does not have pro-life criteria at all.
Not only should groups who receive funding from D&P be prohibited from advocating for abortion, but these groups MUST HAVE, as part of their statement of principles and beliefs, a pro-life ethic. In other words, while they are not engaged in the abortion question per se as part of their central mandate, their position must be on side with what the Church teaches. Anything less is simply not acceptable and invites problems down the road.
This is an important moment in the life of the Church in Canada. On behalf of my brother Bishops, I urge all Catholics, in the words of Saint Paul, not to “bite and devour one another”, but “to restore one another in a spirit of gentleness”, and so “to work for the good of all, and especially of the family of faith” (Galatians, 5.15; 6.1, 10).
When the good bishop puts an end to D&P’s indirect involvement in the devouring of unborn flesh, we will ponder his words with more seriousness and reflection. Until then, his admonitions don’t seem to amount to much.
It is also a critical moment in the life of the world. As a result of the terrible difficulties with the world economy, poverty is worsening. The mission and work of Development and Peace are more important than ever before. As the Committee of Inquiry has noted, “there is a continuum and integrity to all human life issues” and “an urgency to all that threatens the dignity and sacredness of human life, including violence, hunger, poverty and oppression”.
If D&P was involved in legitimate poverty relief and authentic development, there would be no problem. However, their activity goes even well beyond abortion and contraception to other very dubious anti-family and anti-Catholic ventures. The whole organization needs a shakedown and a clean out.