Canadian Bishops’ Agency Goes to Court to Hide their Machinations

That’s right folks, your “social justice” donations to Development and Peace are not only funding abortion wing-nuts in the Global South, but they’re also funding lawyers so that D&P can hide the truth from you and me.

If you had any lingering illusions that D&P was acting in good faith on this issue, it’s time to bury them.

Canadian Bishops’ Agency Goes to Court to Conceal Info on Groups they Fund

Editorial by John-Henry Westen

MONTREAL, October 4, 2010 ( – LifeSiteNews (LSN) has learned that the Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace (D&P) has applied to the federal court to block an access to information request from LifeSiteNews.

In April, after D&P refused numerous requests for information from LSN, we paid the required $300 government fee and made the formal application. The request was simply for the names of each D&P partner group and how much in funding each was given this year and the past five years. We did not understand why there was still no response from the government agency four months later.

As a charitable organization, which in addition to donations from Catholics, annually receives approximately $10 million in funding from the federal Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), D&P is subject to such requests.

Last week we were informed by the government that D&P has applied to a federal court to block access to the information requested. A judge must determine if D&P’s application to conceal the information should be permitted.

It is ironic that D&P is now spending Catholic funds on this legal action to block LifeSiteNews’ attempt to overcome their lack of transparency, given that in the past D&P has lectured other organizations about the need for transparency. One D&P report notes: “This is an important topic for DEVELOPMENT AND PEACE as its ongoing action campaign focuses on Canadian mining companies and the need for more accountability, transparency and respect human rights (sic) and environmental standards.”

Catholic Register reporter Michael Swan, who was tipped off about the access to information request and the attempt to block it, called LifeSiteNews very shortly after we first learned of the legal action. Swan noted in his September 29 story that D&P claims that they did not know who made the request and were concerned that the information “might lead to kidnappings, assassinations or terrorist attacks.”

Exactly what D&P meant by this bizarre statement is hard to fathom, but it is consistent with some of the other machinations of D&P’s leadership.  A recent D&P ‘internal,’ but actually widely-distributed 10-page document, falsely accused LSN and other pro-life organizations of being “part of the far right wing fringe element of North American society.”  The document also accused LSN of being “associated with groups and individuals who have resorted to violence to publicize their cause and achieve their objective.”

The attempt to put a stop to a perfectly legitimate access to information request raises a serious question about D&P, namely, what do they have to hide? The Catholic Community has a right to this basic information about exactly where their money is being sent and how much these groups receive.



6 thoughts on “Canadian Bishops’ Agency Goes to Court to Hide their Machinations

  1. As far as I am concerned, the Plenary Session between Oct. 25-29 (I just recently found out that that’s when it is), will be the last chance the bishops get from me and my family.

    That includes the Archbishop of Ottawa. I’ll make a determination then about removing myself and my family from their pastoral authority and simply ignoring anything they say on pastoral issues. I’ll listen to Rome and do genuine charitable work.

    I’m also going to see how I can contribute to my parish without financially supporting the Archdiocese of Ottawa in any way. I’ll also encourage others to do the same. As you might know, the Archdiocese gets a 15% cut of all our donations. I’m going to see if that includes our parish’s Building Fund. I think it’s exempt from their tax, and if it is, I’ll dump my money into bricks and mortar rather than have Church bureaucrats send our money to pro-abort activists in the Global South.

    We did not ask for this, but no thinking Catholic has any other choice, in my opinion. We can’t be Pollyannas and pretend that their actions or non-actions don’t have consequences to the trust we place in them. I’m a coherent human being, and I can’t support a body which proclaims one thing from its mouth and does another with our cash.

    Every Bishop needs to decide if they are for Life or for their phoney club that they prop up and support, even at the expense of basic morality and human life itself.

    I can hardly stand to look at them anymore without burning with rage, and when it comes to that point, just what is left?

    For my sake and for their sake, I hope they put D&P on a short leash because if they don’t, they’ll have made their decision and I will make mine.

    For me, judgment day is October 30, the day after their Assembly. And I won’t accept another delay, another committee, another load of bullshit, or another two years.

  2. I’m not holding my breath. The bishops haven’t done anything so far…

    My Archdiocese still has fundraisers for D&P. I wonder if it’s protected under the bubble zone law? 😉

  3. Hey Susan,
    If we held a protest outside the CCCB do you think we’d get arrested like those pro-life students? 🙂

    That may sound far-fetched, but it’s not. You may recall that in 1996, when Fr. Thomas Rosica (Salt and Light) was the head of the Newman Centre at the University of Toronto, he called the cops to disperse some Catholics who were demonstrating peacefully outside because the Centre was hosting a talk by noted dissenter and defrocked theologian Gregory Baum. Read it here:

    It’s a sad state of affairs when both priests and atheists are calling the policy to have the faithful Catholic arrested.

  4. Yeah, I think the CCCB would sic the cops on protesters in a heartbeat. But, Archbishop Prendergast isn’t anything like Rosica. He would be so embarressed he would climb under a rock. And the press …wow… imagine the press.

    Golly, I need to get out more. I’ve got to stay away from these hypotheticals.

  5. This is outrageous, even by D&P’s standards. The good thing about it is that it will help people on the fence see how bad they are.

    A respectful protest at the CCCB meeting sounds like a good idea to me. Nothing wrong with holding up signs presenting our petitions to them, is there? Well actually maybe it would cause scandal? I’m not sure.

    But we need to remember that the bishops are divided, and its just a matter of time before the hippies retire. The good bishops in the CCCB are trying their best but without provoking an open schism. In theory a bishop may be able to go solo but it could have all sorts of negative repurcussions that we can’t understand. I think we need to keep supporting the good bishops until they reach critical mass in the CCCB.

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