The Development and Peace scandal has escalated into a full blown crisis. Ever since Archbishop Terrence Prendergast cancelled the speaking engagements of a D&P partner in April, a tidal wave of outrage has emerged among D&P members and donors who are categorically opposed to any reforms at D&P. Most of the noise has come from Québec, where D&P’s membership has many allies in secular society.
Those of you who don’t read French or follow the Québec media are unlikely to be fully aware of the magnitude of the upheaval that has occurred. Let me offer some highlights for you.
It started slowly, with a few dissenting Catholics, including Fr. Claude Lacaille, of which we have reported here. The Canadian bishops issued a public statement correcting Fr. Lacaille’s lies, but that didn’t stop the uprising from spreading rapidly to D&P rank and file.
Various articles have been published in some of Québec’s largest secular newspapers, including Le Devoir and La Presse, who reach hundreds of thousands of readers each day. Radio Ville-Marie, a Catholic radio station in Montréal, has also run several stories. All of these reports have been very supportive of D&P and have portrayed the push for reforms as being driven by fundamentalists and extremists. Clearly, the opposition to reforms at D&P has the mass media on their side.
Four eminent members of D&P also wrote an open letter to the bishops, published in Le Devoir, that essentially warns the bishops to tread carefully because they only play an advisory role at D&P and do not have the authority to “intrude” on internal management. You can almost sense an imminent legal threat coming.
The membership of D&P also created a blog in which they publish numerous letters of support, videos, a petition and abhorrent lies about the evidence against D&P’s partners. Worse, an assembly of the D&P members of Québec and New Brunswick has demanded that the Centre PRODH be reinstated as a funding partner.
A couple of weeks ago, the anti-reformists obtained the support of the Superiors of the Jesuit provinces of English and French Canada, as well as Mexico. We reported on that letter here.
Then last week, the Montréal branch of a major labour union in Québec, called the Confédération des syndicats nationaux (CSN), which represents close to 100,000 workers, issued a press release in support of D&P and against the reforms.
A big splash
The opposition to pro-life reforms has put on a fierce display. Scarcely a day goes by without another media coup on their side. As Socon or Bust has been warning our readers, the war over the soul of D&P is far from over. If any of you thought that the battle was won, think again.
You need to understand how a registered charity works. Legally, it’s organized much like a corporation. The members of D&P elect the Board of Directors, who then choose the management of D&P. The members are the ultimate bosses, just like the shareholders in a corporation. And the members are opposing pro-life reforms.
The good news for us is that God loves to work through the small and the weak. Consequently, the outcome is not dependent solely on access to mass media tools. Prayer is a powerful weapon and we need to keep praying very hard.
We also have the truth and the facts on our side. We need to use them. Keep pressuring the clergy, especially the bishops, to proceed with reforms at D&P and to not look back.
Don’t get complacent. This is a time to ramp up our pressure and keep our foot on the accelerator.