CORNWALL, October 21, 2009 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Gerald Baril, outgoing Communications Director for the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) has informed LifeSiteNews.com (LSN) that the deliberations and conclusions of the Canadian Bishops regarding Development and Peace (D&P) are to be kept confidential till after the meeting of the Permanent Council of the CCCB. That meeting is currently set for December 2, 2009. The confidential deliberations over D&P, the international development arm of the CCCB, are taking place this week and will in part address the contents of an LSN exposé on groups funded by D&P. LSN presented verifiable evidence in a series of reports that numerous groups in receipt of D&P funding advocate for abortion, or are otherwise involved in activities deeply contrary to Catholic moral teaching. Several Canadian Bishops, led by the Archbishop of Toronto, Thomas Collins, initially decided to withhold funding from D&P, and then decided to allow funding only for groups approved by the local bishop in the foreign country where the group operates. The latter measure was welcomed by the pro-life movement internationally as a wise solution to the situation. The annual bishops Plenary Session, which is currently underway, marks the first time that the bishops have had the opportunity to discuss the matter as a body. For the most part deliberations on the D&P question have occurred and will continue to occur this week in private discussion among the bishops. However, during the public session Monday, the Archbishops of Ottawa and Toronto spoke publicly on the matter. Archbishop Terrence Prendergast of Ottawa objected to continuing with “business as usual” with D&P, while Archbishop Thomas Collins criticized the bishops’ report on D&P for having misstated the nature of the allegations leveled against the organization by LSN and others.
While I hesitate to say it is certain, such a communication is normally associated with serious division. If the allegations levied against Development & Peace were baseless, then the CCCB would have issued a statement immediately to dispel any lingering doubts in the minds of the faithful.
From the point of view of faithful pro-life Catholics, this is probably the best to be expected, as far as the bishops confronting the problems with Development & Peace are concerned. But really, there’s not much to discuss. The evidence is the evidence. It’s irrefutable, comprehensive, and unassailable. What the real question is – the dirty little question that no one wants to debate – is that some bishops might think it’s OK to fund pro-abortion groups and enable them, even though technically they are not funding abortion. In fact, that’s what the CCCB is doing now with UNICEF. Once everyone gets past “discovery” in the D&P “case”, we’re going to be moving into the real debate. And that’s going to be very scary for all of us because that deals with how the principles of moral theology are applied. If the bishops can’t agree on that, then it’s going to be a very rough ride for the Church in Canada.
Very rough indeed.
The Bishops’ unity and trust among one another is being severely tested. We must pray for them. For the ones who ‘get it’, that they have the holy courage to persevere in insisting that Development & Peace’s mandate and principles be completely overhauled. We must also pray for those who are still stuck in denial, or even worse, attempting to obfuscate the real issue – that they become convicted of their tragic leadership and repent.
I’m not sure how the ultimate decision is going to go. I’m not even so sure that it will be given by Dec. 2. Somehow I doubt it.
But I do know this: the ball is in the court of the ‘social justice’ wing of the Church. If they don’t torque their position in ensuring that our money doesn’t go to enabling pro-abortion and anti-Catholic groups, the jig is up for Development & Peace as representing ALL of the bishops of Canada. As Archbishop Prendergast said in his remarks on Tuesday, we are not to suppose that it will be “business as usual” for Development & Peace. And he was not speaking just for himself, but as he said, “the bishops of Ontario were very concerned with the situation.”
This is tragic since there could conceivably be two development and aid agencies representing the Catholic bishops of this country in the near future: one that refuses to co-operate with pro-abort-pushing groups and one that has no problem with it.
It may be tragic, but the stakes involved demand no less than a division, if it comes to it. Millions of unborn children’s lives are on the line. If it’s a choice between standing firm with human life vs. keeping up a false unity for the sake of a corrupt organization, which one would you choose?
And speaking of choices, Archbishop Prendergast has posted an interesting entry on his blog yesterday about an organization called CNEWA Canada, a papal charity that serves Christians in the Middle East, India, and Eastern Europe. Apparently, His Grace serves as chairman of the board. You can learn more about this real development and aid organization here:
Since we are not going to come to any meaningful turn-around to Development & Peace before the next Lenten Campaign (if ever), Socon or Bust is endorsing CNEWA Canada as the official Canadian Catholic development, aid, and pro-life alternative to Development & Peace. It is a registered charity under the laws of Canada.
Does this picture not say it all?…
I hope that all of Socon or Bust’s supporters and all pro-life Canadian Catholics will consider joining together in this wonderful venture to strongly affirm that development and aid is supposed to build up a culture of life, and not enable those groups who wish to tear it down.
We are tired of being the useful idiots of the pro-abort lobby, Development & Peace, and unrepentant and reckless bishops.
Enough is enough. We’re bolting.