PEMBROKE, February 22, 2010 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Bishop Michael Mulhall of the Diocese of Pembroke has announced that he is following the lead of Archbishop Thomas Collins of the Archdiocese of Toronto in placing restrictions on the disbursement of diocesan funds to the development arm of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops – the Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace (D&P).
In a letter to his diocese Bishop Mulhall identifies the reason for his action as “information … which raised questions regarding the work of certain partners of (D&P) in the area of abortion advocacy.”
That information, the result of a series of investigations into D&P partners by LifeSiteNews.com (LSN) last year, showed that D&P was funding numerous groups which advocate for abortion. While the D&P funding ostensibly was intended for projects not associated with abortion, bishops and pro-life groups in those nations where the groups were active expressed serious concern that the Catholic Church of Canada would fund groups that actively oppose them on the issue of the right to life of unborn children.
Bishop Mulhall’s letter notes that he restricted last year’s contribution to D&P and also intends to restrict the 2010 collection currently underway. The diocese is stipulating that its funding is to be used only for D&P’s emergency relief work. According to a 2009 ShareLife brochure from the Archdiocese of Toronto, emergency assistance makes up only 6% of D&P’s allotments. The lion’s share (71%) of D&P funding goes towards “strengthening social movements,” “democracy and participation,” and “women’s empowerment.”
The Diocese of Pembroke had previously given 75% of its Lenten collections directly to D&P to be used as D&P saw fit.
Bishop Mulhall’s letter notes that in 2009 the 75% allotment, totaling $114,960.00, “was sent to Development and Peace to be forwarded to Caritas Haiti for immediate earthquake relief.”
The 2010 Lenten collection will be restricted even further, with an undetermined portion of the collection going to D&P and only for emergency relief work.
The bishop notes that the bishops of Canada are engaging in a ”broad study of the status and goals of Development and Peace” and he is awaiting the completion of the evaluation.
See Bishop Mulhall’s full letter here.