LIMA, June 9, 2009 (LifeSiteNews.com) – In a May 28 letter, the Bishops Conference of Peru has “formally” requested that the bishops of Canada cease funding pro-abortion groups in Peru via the Canadian Catholic Organization of Development & Peace (D&P). “It is very disturbing to have groups which work against the Bishops of Peru by attempting to undermine legal protection for the right to life of unborn children, be funded by our brother bishops in Canada,” says the letter.The letter marks a major breakthrough in the D&P scandal that was first exposed by LifeSiteNews.com (LSN) in March with revelations of $140,000 in D&P funding for five Mexican groups that promote abortion. The Peruvian Bishops’ letter is addressed to the President of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB), and signed by Archbishop Jose Eguren, the President of the Family, Childhood and Life Commission (Family Commission) of the Peruvian Bishops Conference. Archbishop Eguren says that the Family Commission undertook an investigation of D&P-supported groups in Peru, and found three of them to be pro-abortion. “Each group either explicitly endorses abortion, and/or contraception, either by name or by its various euphemisms like ‘sexual and reproductive rights’ or some derivation thereof,” says the letter. “In that sense, we respectfully would like to formally request that the funding for the pro-abortion groups in Peru by the Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace be halted.”D&P’s response to the LSN revelations about its funding of numerous pro-abortion groups around the world has been to deny the allegations and accuse the news service of “dangerously irresponsible and slanderous” attacks. Even after an investigation led by two bishops and numerous journalistic investigations containing incontrovertible evidence of D&P funding for pro-abortion groups throughout Latin America, Africa and Asia, D&P has maintained its denials.The Peruvian Bishops conference concluded their letter offering to assist the Bishops of Canada to find “worthy Catholic organizations involved in authentic development projects in Peru, as our nation could benefit greatly from the generosity of Canadian Catholics.”Carlos Polo, a Member of the Family Commission of the Peruvian Bishops Conference told LifeSiteNews.com, “As soon as the investigation of possible financing of pro-abortion NGOs with Canadian Catholic money was announced, we began deep investigation. This doesn’t only have to do with the Church in Canada but concerns all of us in the Church,” he said.Polo, also the Latin American Director of the Population Research Institute, added: “Unfortunately, in the case of Peru there is no doubt. We see with much sadness how the money of Catholic Canadians goes to organizations that explicitly fight against what the Church teaches. The same people are usually our adversaries in debates and public discussions.”
James Weisgerber, Archbishop of Winnipeg and the current President of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops was not immediately available for comment on this story. Taking the D&P denials at face value, Archbishop Weisgerber issued a March 23rd letter to his Archdiocese saying the allegations against D&P were “untrue”.
Polo, speaking to LSN from Peru, concluded saying: “Perhaps the abortion and birth control industries will be the forces that do the most damage to Christian values in Latin America. There isn’t a single Episcopal Conference in Latin America that is not suffering permanent attacks for defending life and family.”
Folks, I was beginning to lose hope that the Canadian Bishops would actually move on the scandalous support that Development & Peace offers to pro-abortion groups in the developing world. But now that the Peruvian bishops have actually publicly challenged the Canadian bishops on this, and requested the flow of this blood money to stop, things are going to get much more interesting in the coming months.
One of the groups discovered by Socon or Bust, FEMOCCPALC, was specifically mentioned in the letter by the Peruvian bishops, along with two new groups which had previously not been reported. Here was our original finding on this group:
FEMOCCPALC (Federación de las mujeres organizadas en centrales de cocinas populares)
Listed as a Partner of CCODP’s 2006-2011 Latin America Program, page 142 “Finalmente, sumándose a las jornadas de trabajo efectuadas por mujeres de organizaciones de base en la ciudades de La Libertad, Arequipa y Lima, se realizaron los talleres Mejorando el acceso de las mujeres al aborto terapéutico en el Perú, con integrantes de OSB de Piura y de Lima (Federación de Mujeres Organizadas en Comedores Populares Autogestionarios de Lima y Callao– FEMOCCPALC), lográndose capacitar a un total de 178 mujeres se pronunciaron a favor de que el Estado garantice el derecho al aborto terapéutico y genere las condiciones para que éste sea accesible para aquellas mujeres que lo necesite.” (Source: el vocero, de los DERECHOS SEXUALES y REPRODUCTIVOS, NUM. 4 / AÑO 2 FEBRERO 2008, p.8, www.aoe.org.pe),
Translation: “Finally, adding to the sessions worked by women in organizations base in the towns of La Libertad, Lima and Arequipa, the workshops were conducted improving women’s access to therapeutic abortion in Peru, with members of OSB Piura and Lima (Federation of Women Organizing Dining in kitchens Lima-Callao and FEMOCCPALC) trained a total of 178 women spoke in favor of the State to ensure the right to therapeutic abortion and generate conditions to make it accessible to women who need it.
This will help us show other bishops’ conferences that, indeed, their Canadian brother bishops need to pull the plug on Development & Peace. It’s one thing for the media and lay Catholics to report on something. It’s something quite different for another national conference of bishops to confirm the findings. This gives us an “in” with ALL bishops now. That is as good as the kiss of death for what Development & Peace has been doing. If other national episcopal conferences come to the same conclusion and demand that the Canadian bishops stop what they are doing, then the jig really is up.
Why is it, I wonder, that everyone can identify the big, fat elephant in the room except for our bishops and the management of Development & Peace? The answer, of course, is the fiasco surrounding D&P is only a symptom of a much larger problem of dissent, betrayal, and arrogance in the Canadian episcopacy which started with the Winnipeg Statement and has continued ever since. This is not simply an oversight or an honest mistake. This situation exists because of malevolent forces within the Canadian Church plowing over weak and indecisive bishops who are afraid to disrupt a false unity amongst themselves. But as we all know, unity without truth is a big fraud.
Don’t expect the Canadian bishops to act quickly on making any meaningful reforms yet, however. I am sure they will write back to the Peruvian bishops and tell them that there is an “ongoing investigation” into D&P’s practice…or some bullkaka like that. The bishops of Peru were able to make their judgement based on the same evidence that we have, but for some reason, it’s going to take many more months or perhaps years before the Canadian bishops finally get around to cleaning up this scandal which is undermining the little moral authority they have left.
The official report from the D&P “investigation” into their own massive fraud was supposed to come out this month. I doubt we will see it now. Nobody believes them anymore. And if the bishops don’t wake up and move very soon, we won’t believe them anymore either.
The Canadian bishops need to come clean. They need to repent, starting with what started it all: The Winnipeg Statement.