Development and Peace Supporting Peru-Based Organization that Endorses Legalization of Abortion

Denounces the “permanent intervention of the hierarchy of the Catholic Church in government affairs”

PERU, April 15, 2009 (LifeSiteNews.com) – The Canadian Catholic bishops’ international aid organization, the Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace (CCODP), is funding an international organization in Peru that includes pro-abortion groups, and that republishes their pro-abortion statements in its website, LifeSiteNews has learned.

In addition, the group denounces the Catholic bishops of the Dominican Republic for their “intervention” in “government affairs”.

The group, which is called the Latin American Coordinator of Rural Organizations (Coordinadora Latinoamericana de Organizaciones del Campo – CLOC) displays a “Manifesto of Women’s Organizations for the Eighth of March,” which was signed by CLOC itself, on its website.

The statement claims that the “high rate of abortions done under clandestine, unhealthy, and risky conditions, constitutes a public health problem that is being treated with insensitivity by not adopting current legislation to depenalize abortion at least in cases of incest, rape, and the life of women.”

It then “demands” that governments carry out “the urgent depenalization of abortion in the penal code, at least in the exceptional circumstances put forth in the proposal of the women’s movement: abortion in cases of rape, incest, and risk to the life of the woman” (see original text in Spanish at http://www.movimientos.org/cloc/show_text.php3?key=11982).

The statement also denounces the “permanent intervention of the hierarchy of the Catholic Church in government affairs,” which it says “influences and pressures in a pernicious manner the acts of formulation of public policies and laws that affect the life of women in the country, the equality, and empowerment of the same.”  It then “demands” the “separation of public management from the influence of church power.”

The Catholic bishops of the Dominican Republic have led several national campaigns to prevent the legalization of abortion in the country (see LifeSiteNews coverage at http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2007/oct/07103002.html).

In another statement displayed by CLOC and attributed to the “Via Campesina” (a group associated with CLOC in the previously quoted statement), the organization claims that “patriarchal capitalism” causes “violence resulting from the fact that women cannot make decisions about their own bodies.  Men, the government, religion, the family, and many social attitudes impose guidelines of obedience and behavior in women, preventing them from making their own decisions.  For example, the right to an abortion is not guaranteed in many countries…” (see original text in Spanish at http://www.movimientos.org/cloc/5cviacampesina/show_text.php…).

Carlos Polo, Director of the Latin American office of the Population Research Institute and based in Peru, told LifeSiteNews that groups such as CLOC seem to suffer from “a species of schizophrenia.”

“On the one hand they ask for money from the wealthy Canadian bishops to intervene in the issues of poverty that our governments don’t resolve, and on the other hand, denounce other poor bishops such as those of Peru or the Dominican Republic when they explain the doctrine of the Church on abortion, and accuse them of intervening in government affairs,” commented Polo.

CLOC’s focus is not on social issues like abortion, but rather social justice issues for rural workers. Pro-abortion affirmations on their site seem rare in proportion to the total volume of material.

CLOC does not supply a telephone number on its website.  LifeSiteNews has been unable to obtain adequate contact information for the group thus far

As LifeSiteNews has reported in recent weeks, the CCODP is funding organizations that support the legalization or depenalization of abortion and the distribution of contraceptives, in various countries in North and South America, Africa, and Asia (see links below for details). 

A substantial percentage of CCODP’s funds come from donation campaigns carried out in Canadian dioceses during the penitential season of Lent.

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