March 17, 2009
Archbishop Terrence Prendergast,
Archbishop of Ottawa
Last week I read a disturbing report about the Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace’s scandalous activities in funding pro-abortion groups in Mexico. The report claims that hundreds of thousands of dollars are being donated to anti-life, pro-abortion organizations. I have included the full news report here with my correspondence.
As you know, each diocese in Canada collects money on behalf of the CCODP every year. There is a collection envelope during Lent to help fund their activities. This year it is scheduled for this coming Sunday March 29.
For many years, the CCODP has long supported questionable causes, many of which are diametrically opposed to Catholic teaching and the traditional family. Over the years the CCODP has been more interested in promoting social Marxism and social engineering than fulfilling its original mandate of seeking authentic social justice. Personally, I have long since stopped supporting this organization since it is neither Catholic, nor does it seek to foster development or peace. In truth, it sponsors activities and groups which do the exact opposite. I have strongly encouraged family and friends to eschew donations to this group, and I will continue to do so in the future unless some major changes happen within this organization.
This latest revelation, however – while not surprising – represents yet another outrage against the sanctity of human life. What makes this scandal particularly offensive is that the CCODP is taking the sacrificial offerings of unknowing Catholics, who would otherwise be appalled at these revelations, and directing their donations to groups who support the killing of unborn children.
This situation is even more disgraceful considering Ottawa Catholics are heavily involved in the 40 Days for Life Campaign to end the scourge of abortion in Canada. While we are praying, fasting, witnessing and sacrificing here in Ottawa, our money is going to Mexico to kill our brothers and sisters there.
I do not understand why the Catholic bishops continue to support such an organization when it has shown us time and time again that it is more interested in furthering the agenda of the Culture of Death than it is in advancing the Gospel of Life.
This is not merely an isolated event. This theft has been happening for years, and it has not come without a serious cost of credibility to the bishops of Canada. You must understand, your Grace, that this kind of blind support and perhaps even negligent oversight over the initiatives of the CCODP does not enhance the trust or the fidelity a bishop’s office deserves.
I can scarcely imagine a more obscene practice which cries out for immediate intervention and correction by the country’s Catholic bishops.
I am therefore asking you to withhold any contributions collected on behalf of the CCODP by the Archdiocese until a full and thorough review is conducted into the beneficiaries of CCODP funding.
If the Archdiocese is seeking a legitimate way to alleviate poverty in the world while still remaining faithful to the Gospel, may I respectfully suggest a Catholic organization like Chalice (chalice.ca) which does the real work of social justice among the less fortunate.
As for the proper disposition on how to clean up the CCODP, I can think of no better illustration than this past Sunday’s Gospel reading.
Sincerely yours in Christ,
This past Sunday’s Gospel, in case anyone is wondering is Jesus cleansing the Temple:
Jesus entered the temple area and drove out all who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves. It is written,” he said to them, ” ‘My house will be called a house of prayer,’ but you are making it a ‘den of robbers.'”
– Matt 21:12-13