Two years ago, when Socon or Bust was doing its intensive investigation into the pro-abort partners of Development & Peace, we initially identified dozens of problematic pro-abort, pro-contraception, and anti-Catholic groups. That number has now ballooned into 49 (and that’s only what we know of). The real number is likely much higher. Back in the Fall of 2010, the bishops promised to clean up Development & Peace, but they have not followed through on their promise. It’s been nothing more than a public relations exercise by the church-o-crats at the CCCB. (Socon or Bust continues to insist that national and regional conferences of bishops are the single, greatest impediment to the recovery of Catholic culture in the West because they effectively limit what local bishops can do. Two examples: education and “social justice”.)
We certainly cannot trust the management of Development & Peace to self-regulate themselves, as we have sadly learned with the Fr. Arriaga Affair. Development & Peace simply has no intention of cleaning up its own act.
Today, Socon or Bust would like to share with our readers another example of Development & Peace’s defiance of the Gospel.
In its original investigation into the Asian partners of Development & Peace, Socon or Bust identified Banteay Srei in Cambodia as one of those problematic groups. It was listed as a partner on Development & Peace’s 2006-2011 Asia Program, page 161. This would not be particularly newsworthy today, except for two inconvenient truths:
1) that Canadian Bishops and D&P promised us that there would be “Exit Strategies” for problematic pro-abort groups
2) that Development & Peace is currently featuring Banteay Srei on their Share Lent website! As their blog post informs us, “Banteay Srei is a Development and Peace partner and a group whose object is to improve the lives of women.” The name Banteay Srei is a temple in Cambodia built in honor of female deities, representing strength, unity, and safety.
The source of the material provide below originates from a website called Food Security and Nutrition managed by the Council for Agricultural and Rural Development (CARD), a Cambodian government-sponsored organization which states its role this way: “CARD is the focal point for assistance to the Cambodian Government for the development of the agricultural and rural development sectors. The ministries of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries; Rural Development; Water Resources and Meteorology and other concerned institutions work in close collaboration to ensure that cost-effective results are achieved in implementation of programmes and activities. “
The cited material comes from “Banteay Srei’s Annual Report (Oct 02 – Sep 03)“. Here are a few selections from the report:
Banteay Srei registered as a local non-government organisation (NGO) with the Cambodian Ministry of Interior in June 2000 and passed to full local management on 1st July 2000. Banteay Srei evolved out of the Australian NGO, International Women’s Development Agency (IWDA) that had been working in Cambodia since 1989… (p.3)
Women’s Rights and Health
To improve women’s reproductive health status and promote women’s rights to freedom from domestic and other forms of violence through a gender awareness program involving the whole community, the local authorities and health service providers (p.7)
The freedom for women to make choices concerning childbearing and sexual behavior is also a prerequisite to development with a gender approach…The Women’s Rights and Health Component has two projects: Community Action on Reproductive Health and Community Action on Violence Against Women. (p.12)
The outcomes of the workshop:
- Men were better practiced at fitting a condom and later viewed condoms as a means of both preventing disease and birth spacing
- Female participants received clarification from the health center staff regarding the side effects of using contraceptives.
- Women understood the nature of the side effects, learning that within three months their bodies should adapt and the effects no longer be felt.
- Health Center staff agreed to offer contraceptive (pills) free of charge to the poorest women. (p.13)
BS held a three-day workshop for 79 CGCs & VGPs [48 women] on gender and reproductive health, misunderstandings about using contraceptives, counselling skills, prevention and reducing spread of HIV/AIDS, reproductive health rights, abortion law and using Information Education and Communication (IEC) materials on RH. After the training the participants reported it had clarified the misunderstandings of using contraceptives, increased their confidence in disseminating information about RH and better enabled them to send clear messages to village women and men. Following the training condoms were distributed free of charge by Banteay Srei, these condoms were then further distributed among the community by the VGPs. There are a number of young VGPs who participate in the BS scheme, they expressed an interest and plan to talk with the youth of the community about RH and RH rights. Not only will this provide the younger generation with a forum to express their concerns, views and questions without the fear of being ridiculed or ignored but it will also target a generation who ultimately have age and time to instigate change. Furthermore, information disseminated to adults within communities often fails to filter as far down as the young. It is hoped that such discussions will circumvent the problem both presently and in the future.
Individual home visits to follow up the women using contraceptives
Weekly home visits were carried out by the Commune Gender Counselors (CGCs) and Village Gender Promoters (VGPs). During each visit issues both central and secondary to reproductive health were discussed. Although thematic, the discussions worked on a personal level, in that in dealing with each individual’s case the topics would differ. Any issues discussed were expanded upon at later meetings, used to develop training and of course used to follow up progress with individuals who had decided to use the contraceptives.
The CGCs and VGPs aimed to establish:
- Whether contraceptive users wanted specifically to use contraceptives to space child birth
- What type of contraceptive methods they used,
- How they accessed those contraceptives,
- Problems and difficulties they experienced in communicating/dealing with Health Center staff and
- Whether they experienced any side affects from using the drugs.
Several women wished to see the furtherance of encouraging men to use a condom, this desire stemmed from a number of reasons however often it was linked to the woman’s dislike of contraceptive side effects– notably weight gain attributed to the contraceptive pill. Positively in both Battambang and Siem Reap women now feel confident enough to attend the health center without being accompanied by a village gender promoter. This in itself is a small but significant step forward. The Health Center staff acknowledged the important and vital role the VGPs have played in encouraging women to access their service. (p.14-15)
This is not just about Development & Peace. It’s about the bishops and what they started over 40 years ago in Winnipeg. Let’s face it. There’s a lot of “wink-wink-nudge-nudge” going on about contraception among the bishops and the Professional Catholics who staff their bureaucracies. Many of the Professional Catholics who represent us see no problem with these activities because they practice contraceptive sex themselves. That’s why they have no resistance to the practice of it among their ‘partners’ in the Global South. That’s the dirty little truth, and everyone knows it. Now, I’ve said it and my CanChurch readers can deal with it.
How can you oppose others practicing contraception when you, yourself, have done it for years and have not repented? We can thank the Winnipeg Statement for that. This problem with Development & Peace is ultimately about the Canadian bishops’ fidelity to the Gospel of Life and their betrayal of Humanae Vitae. Putting out an otherwise solid document becomes merely lipservice to the Church’s teaching and is an insult to the Lord, if it’s not followed up with vigorous teaching from the pulpit and in every part of the Church’s catechetical life, along with concrete action to provide money to pro-life groups.
Talk is cheap. Where is the money for the pro-life cause, your Graces? Where is it?