A spokeswoman for the Ottawa Catholic School Board says they are not changing their partnership with Free the Children, despite a vibrant plea from the bishops of Kenya asking Canadian Catholics to stop funding Free the Children’s “contraception-distributing” clinic in Kenya.
Presented with the letter on Friday, the OCSB again defended its partnership with the organization. Mardi de Kemp, OCSB’s manager of communications, told LifeSiteNews by e-mail, “Our position has not changed on our Board’s association with Free the Children.” (Source)
This is astonishing. They are choosing to ignore a direct request from the local bishops!
Call me naive, but I thought that the social justice work done in the schools was intended to help countries in the Global South. So when people on the ground, namely the Kenyan bishops, tell you to please stop because you’re inflicting evil on their families and their society, I would have expected a more compassionate and considered response.
I had read that the relationship between parents and the school board had improved recently. Being a realist, I wasn’t expecting the school board to immediately drop all ties with Free the Children. But it strikes me that the charitable thing to do would have been for the school board to say something like “we’re re-evaluating the situation in light of the new information.” But no. Mardi de Kemp says the board is not budging.
How Catholic can this board be if it doesn’t heed the passionate plea of bishops? These aren’t small time bloggers like me. They’re the successors of the Apostles. Perhaps a little refresher is in order to summarize what this all means:
“Whoever listens to you listens to me, and whoever rejects you rejects me, and whoever rejects me rejects the one who sent me.” (Luke 10:16)