The Archbishop of Piura and Tumbes, José Antonio Eguren, has written a letter formally asking his Canadian counterparts to stop the funding, through the Canadian Catholic Organization of Development & Peace, D&P, to alleged pro-abortion groups in Peru.
According to Eguren, President of the Peruvian Conference of Bishops’ Commission on Family, Childhood and Life, “a staff of professionals” affiliated to the Commission recently led an in-depth investigation of the Canadian-supported groups in Peru and determined that three organizations – including Peru’s Economic Solidarity Network, or GRESP and the Coordinadora Nacional de Radio, or CNR – were “pro-abortion.”
Eguren, a member of the conservative Sodalitium Vitae order, was named Archbishop of Piura and Tumbes by Pope Benedict XVI in 2006. The Peru-based order works closely with the conservative Opus Dei, of which Cardinal Luis Cirpiani, Archbishop of Lima, is a member.
The Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops, or CCCB, has yet to comment on Eguren’s letter, or the accusations voiced by LifeSiteNews.com – an online internet service funded by the Campaign Life Coalition, or CLC, a Canadian pro-life organization headquartered in Toronto. LifeSiteNews.com published Eguren’s letter – dated May 28, 2009 – on its website on June 10, 2009.
“The CCCB cannot comment on the letter a Peruvian Archbishop sent last month to CCCB president, Archbishop James Weisberger,” Gérald Baril, a CCCB spokesperson, told the Peruvian Times. “The CCCB and Peru’s Conference of Bishops are currently discussing the matter, to clarify the situation. Bishops from across Canada will convene and discuss the matter during the upcoming plenary session, in mid-October.”
Though some pro-life leaders, such as Carlos Polo – a member of the Peruvian Conference of Bishops’ Family Commission and the Latin American Director of the Population Research Institute – claim that investigations have left “no doubt” such funding has taken place, critics say the pro-abortion accusations “are irresponsible, slanderous, and part of an ongoing defamation campaign against groups that promote women’s sexual and reproductive rights.”
“Pro-life groups and the Church, for the past seven years, have been carrying out a forceful campaign to prevent any normative or legal advancement in terms of women’s sexual and reproductive rights in Peru,” said Rocio Gutiérrez, the sexual and reproductive rights focus area coordinator of the Lima-based Peruvian nonprofit organization Manuela Ramos.
Though Manuela Ramos is not funded by D&P, said Gutiérrez, all human and women’s rights groups –many of which are in great need of foreign aid – could potentially be affected by Eguren’s letter and “irresponsible” accusations.
“These strong lobbies, with close and strong ties to the government, constantly misinform and defame civil society and human rights organizations struggling to stand up for women’s sexual and reproductive rights,” added Gutiérrez.
“They have put spokes in our wheels many times before, and this letter does not come as a surprise to me. No, it doesn’t really. These groups have done much more audacious things in the past,” she added, referring to a letter Peru’s Health Ministry sent in 2003 to then Secretary of the U.S. Congress, Thomas Thompson. The letter expressed the Ministry’s “preoccupation” about a “disinformation campaign” launched by the Manuela Ramos organization with funds provided by USAID.
On a television show called “Barra de Mujeres,” members of Manuela discussed women’s sexual and reproductive rights and, among other things, the “morning after pill,” or post-coital pill. Then Health minister, Dr. Fernando Carbonne, claimed the pill had “abortive properties” – setting off a scandal that ultimately led USAID to request that Manuela refund the money it had pledged to help finance the TV program….(Source)
It’s “audacious” to ask a Canadian Catholic Charity, under the auspices of the bishops of this country, to stop funding pro-abortion groups? Has this woman lost all coherency? Lady, pay attention: it is hardly audacious for me as a Catholic to demand that Catholic monies not be used to enable pro-abortion and feminist groups.
Or maybe….she’s right. Maybe things have gotten so bad and so corrupt in the Catholic Church that our enemies simply expect the Catholic gravy train to keep rolling for them. After all, it’s been happening for 40 years. Why stop now? What has happened to change the working arrangement?
To date, the Bishops of Canada have not released their official response to the Bishops of Peru. I hope no one out there is holding their breath, waiting to read their response, either. We’ll never see it. Too many big, fat egos in play here.
The bishops of Canada had enough information back in April to pull the plug on D&P. We’re into the fourth month where the blood money has continued to flow since then. And it will be many more months (perhaps years) before things are cleaned up in a satisfactory fashion. By then, however, much damage will have already been done to the Global South and its pro-life laws because of the inaction, intransigence, and pride of this country’s bishops who will one day have to render an account of why they delayed after D&P was exposed.
As I have said in the past, I encourage all Catholics to boycott D&P until the organization is gutted and completely cleaned out.
But, in the meantime, all faithful Canadian Catholics and LifeSiteNews can take great pride in knowing that we have really thrown a wrench in the abortion machine, or as the lady says above, “put spokes in our wheels“.
In due time, God willing, the wheels will be blown out and the abortion bike will have to be ditched.