By Patrick B. Craine
CALGARY, Alberta, July 8, 2009 (LifeSiteNews.com) – The Roman Catholic Diocese of Calgary, under the leadership of Bishop Fred Henry, is forcing parishes this year to contribute to the Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace (D&P), the official development arm of the Canadian Catholic Bishops, through the Annual Bishop’s Appeal, a source has informed LifeSiteNews.com (LSN).
This March LSN broke the news of the D&P scandal, in which D&P has been found to be funding numerous organizations around the world that are involved in pro-abortion and pro-contraception advocacy.
Now the Calgary diocese has implemented a new policy for 2009 regarding parish contributions to their Annual Bishop’s Appeal. According to LSN’s source, the usual practice in the diocese has been that the diocese establishes targets for each parish to meet. In the past, there was no consequence if a parish did not meet its goal. The new policy dictates, however, that if a parish does not meet its target, the diocese will bill that parish for the remainder. So, if a parish is expected to raise $20,000, and it only raises $10,000, it will be billed $10,000, which it must pay out of its general revenue.
The Annual Bishop’s Appeal supports numerous ministries and initiatives, but according to the diocesan website, 17 percent, or $360,670, was allocated in 2008 to the category ‘National and International Outreach’, with D&P being the highlighted recipient of the two organizations mentioned for this category.
The problem for pro-life Catholics, however, is that with parishes being forced to contribute to the Appeal, they also are forced to contribute to D&P. In other words, if the Calgary faithful contribute to the needs of their parish, along with it they may be forced to contribute to D&P, which is funneling hundreds of thousands of dollars to anti-life organizations across the globe.
LSN spoke with a spokeswoman for the Annual Bishop’s Appeal at the Calgary diocese three times in a two-week period to request confirmation of this policy, but the diocese has not yet responded.