HAITI, August 18, 2010 (LifeSiteNews.com) – The Canadian Catholic Organization for Development & Peace (D&P) is using funds collected for Haiti’s post-earthquake emergency relief effort to give an extra boost to at least one of their pro-abortion partners in the country.
D&P programs officer Debra Bucher told Swan that D&P is using their current partnerships in Haiti to take a long-term approach in rebuilding the country. “Our specialty is not emergency relief where we go and buy 20,000 tents and feed 500,000 people for three months,” she said. “Our forte is in the partnerships we have with local organizations. Our forte is much more in the area of reconstruction.”
D&P collected $20 million from Catholics in the months after the earthquake. Much of the funds have been given to Caritas Haiti for much-needed emergency relief, providing things like food, health care, shelter, and clean water. D&P is also supporting agriculture programs, and helping religious groups set up schools and orphanages.
But Swan also reported that D&P has allocated some of the funds to a partner called Femme Desidé, which is a women’s “rights” group that has advocated the depenalization of abortion. Swan’s article indicates D&P is specifically supporting the group’s effort to employ women in planting saplings.
Last March LSN reported that on its website, Femme Deside offers a PowerPoint presentation explaining the activities of the group, which include “organizing days of reflection and sensitization on the advancement of the state of women,” including one scheduled for September 17 on the “depenalization of abortion”
It is unclear whether Kay Fanm, another pro-abortion D&P partner in Haiti, is also receiving extra funding.
Controversy has swirled around the Canadian bishops’ development arm since at least the spring of 2009, when LifeSiteNews began reporting on D&P’s support for projects undertaken by groups that advocate abortion and other causes contrary to Church teaching. The Canadian bishops are currently reviewing the organization and are expected to discuss its future at their upcoming plenary assembly in October.
D&P’s support for pro-abortion organizations does not appear to be explained by a lack of groups aligned with Church teaching in the Third World. A representative of the much larger Catholic Relief Services, D&P’s American counterpart, told LifeSiteNews in April 2009 that CRS has no problem finding good Catholic groups to support.
“I can’t stress how large and how valuable the work that the Catholic Church, and the Christian churches do in the developing world. It’s huge,” said Tom Price, CRS’s senior communications manager. Price noted, for example, that the Catholic Church cares for a quarter of the world’s AIDS victims.
LifeSiteNews did not hear back from Development and Peace by press time.