Priests for Life asks for ‘lay Catholic inquiry’ into CCODP
CANADIAN CATHOLIC NEWS
OTTAWA — Priests for Life Canada is calling for an independent “lay Catholic” investigation of the Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace.
“Recently it has been revealed that Development and Peace, the social justice and development arm of the Conference of Canadian Catholic Bishops, has been partnering with a number of development and social action groups in foreign countries that have taken public stances and actions contrary to Catholic moral teaching,” said a March 31 open letter by Priests for Life National Director Father Thomas Lynch.
In an interview April 5, Lynch said he has followed various links provided in online reports that began appearing on LifeSiteNews during CCODP’s Share Lent fundraising drive in March.
From this preliminary investigation, he said some of the groups receiving funding from CCODP are publicly advocating “reproductive rights” which is “code for abortion”.
“This is bad news,” he said. He asked if CCODP was exercising “due diligence” in making sure its partners weren’t advocating changes in abortion laws.
CCODP’s annual Share Lent collection taken on the fifth Sunday in Lent raises about $10 million across Canada for the Catholic bishops’ overseas development agency, or about one third of its funding.
“The funds gathered are assumed to be used for development purposes which are fully in line with Church teaching,” said Lynch’s statement.
“If they are used for immoral radical legal and social goals and by lobbying groups which are directly opposed to Church teaching, no Catholic can in good conscience support such an organization.”
The collection took place March 29, but several bishops, among them Toronto Archbishop Thomas Collins, Vancouver Archbishop Michael Miller, Kingston Archbishop Brendan O’Brien and Peterborough Bishop Nicolas De Angelis, have said they will withhold the monies until they are satisfied they go to projects in line with Catholic teaching.
CCODP executive director Michael Casey said he preferred not to comment on individual reports while the agency undergoes an investigation and conducts a policy review in conjunction with the CCCB.