Readers of Socon or Bust know that there is no love lost between me and Development & Peace and the rest “social justice” clique in the Church. It’s not that I have anything against poverty alleviation or authentic development of the Third World, obviously. On the contrary, it has been my experience that, in general, we pro-lifers are the most generous people in this field because, quite simply, we have a consistent life ethic which encompasses the whole spectrum of human life – from its generation to its final completion. Anything which attempts to subvert the sanctity of human life – from contraception to embryonic stem cell research to human trafficking to imposed poverty to abortion to euthanasia is an abomination to God and to Man.
While poverty relief and development of under developed societies remains pressing mission for the Church in the face of an unbridled capitalism which has lost its sense of balance and ethics, the Development & Peace abortion fiasco is showing us that those involved in this mission have lost sight of the reason why social justice is so important for the Church. Instead of the dignity of the human person FROM CONCEPTION TO NATURAL DEATH being the focus to social justice, liberation theology’s focus on a marxist world-view of the human person has warped and stunted this focus to seek a facile, political (and largely illusionary) utopia of equality. Truth be told, there is little to distinguish Development & Peace from the charity division of the New Democratic Party.
Let me focus on one example of how Development & Peace is essentially a political organization.
KAIROS Canada is a religious ecumenical group which pushes for the typical modern “social justice” issues like “ecological justice”, “poverty elimination”, and “human rights”. Nothing wrong with these things in themselves, but it’s the angle and emphasis on certain aspects of them which become problematic. For such an organization to espouse such things is not that earth-shattering, of course. Nor is it really that surprising to learn that Development & Peace is listed as a member and so, by the way, is the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops.
But that’s not the only leftist cause KAIROS propagates for.
On November 30, 2009, the federal government announced that it was cutting KAIROS’s funding for, among other things, advocating against the State of Israel. Speaking at a forum in Israel, Immigration Minister Jason Kenney, stated that the ecumencial church-based group lost its federal funding because of its position on the Middle East, and more particularly because of its anti-Israel stand. You can learn more about this political organization from Ezra Levant’s exposition here, here, and here.
You can also read this eye opening exposé of the organization written by Fr. Alphose De Valk and LifeSiteNews, covering the issues noted above. In fact, in an earlier article, Fr. De Valk shared some very interesting things about KAIROS…
It is not only the CCCB’s funding of D&P that needs critical review. Now may be the time for the bishops to undertake a comprehensive review of other groups that are beneficiaries of Catholic funds; looking at their core ideologies, activities, and overseas “partners.” One such group that springs to mind is KAIROS: Canadian Ecumenical Justice Initiatives, which has over the years been the recipient of the generosity of the CCCB and other Catholic religious organizations. Catholics should not have to wonder about the meaning of their bishops’ indirect support via KAIROS for “minority rights and gender justice” given that the group’s Education and Communication department is staffed by lesbians who openly flaunt the homosexual lifestyle. The Catholic laity should be given full information about funding sources for such groups to decide how much they want to pay to undermine Catholic teaching (Source).
When CIDA cut KAIROS’s funding, Development & Peace Executive Director, Michael Casey, sprung into action, writing:
As a founding member and active partner of the ecumenical group KAIROS, the Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace is deeply concerned by the recent announcement that CIDA has rejected the organization’s proposal for funding. This threatens the important work being carried out by the 21 partners whom KAIROS supports in Africa, Latin America, Asia-Pacific and the Middle East. As a consequence, the health, security and rights of thousands of people risk being compromised. For 35 years, CIDA has supported KAIROS and its precursors, endorsing the organization’s actions for bringing greater social justice to the Global South. CIDA has consistently given KAIROS positive evaluations of its work to protect human rights and reduce poverty worldwide – both of which are chief goals of CIDA and in line with Canadian values. The work of KAIROS abroad has always been respectful of the needs expressed by local communities. This has allowed KAIROS to address the root causes of poverty and injustice in ways that empower citizens and promote human dignity. It has strengthened the local capacities of those living in the Global South and fostered sustainable development, while simultaneously educating Canadians on their global citizenship. Furthermore, KAIROS enhances the reputation of Canadians as fair-minded, globally aware, and compassionate people. For these reasons, on behalf of our national membership and active grassroots supporters of the important work of KAIROS in hundreds of Catholic parishes and schools across Canada, we strongly urge you to reconsider this decision so that KAIROS can continue its valuable and important work serving those caught in humanitarian crises, those vulnerable to repression and those living in poverty. (Source)
Now, folks, there are a few things to appreciate in the above facts.
First of all, KAIROS’s website does not only list Development & Peace as one of its “Church Members”, it also explicitly mentions the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops. In other words, KAIROS is not merely endorsed indirectly by the Canadian Bishops by virtue of Development & Peace, the CCCB is also explicitly listed which means KAIROS has the CCCB’s direct support!
Secondly, there are lot of problematic moral and social positions which KAIROS takes which are at variance with authentic Catholic teaching. To point this out these days is, of course, not that remarkable. What flies as “social justice” today in the secular world and in the halls of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops is essentially the same thing. It would have been a scandal decades ago. But it’s par for the course today. I only point it this out, dear friends, as a mere technical point for your benefit. I do not seek to shock or jolt any bishop into action, since quite obviously, as they have shown in the Development & Peace Abortion Scandal, they seem to be quite comfortable with the status quo.
But there is one last question that deserves special attention and it’s this:
Is it appropriate for the Catholic Bishops of this Country to be part of an organization which advocates for the political dismemberment of the State of Israel?
Is it appropriate for the Bishops of Canada to be engaging in such a political question of territorial rights?
Do they not know that the Vatican has already acknowledged that the State of Israel has a right to exist?
Is it not the Catholic position to seek a peaceful solution in the Middle East without denying the right of the Jewish people to their own homeland?
Why is the CCCB and Development & Peace (a founding member of KAIROS no less) supporting an organization with an obvious political agenda?