Allegations against the Canadian bishops’ development agency are a “counter-witness to that Gospel spirit that should guide all Christians,” say Bishops Martin Currie and Francois Lapierre.Currie and Lapierre’s inquiry into LifeSiteNews.com stories that accused the Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace of giving money to groups which advocate for legal abortion in Mexico clears the Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace of involvement in pushing for legal abortion in Mexico. Having consulted with Mexico’s bishops and interviewed five Development and Peace partners whom LifeSiteNews.com said were promoting legal access to abortion, the bishops “did not find any evidence that they have been implicated in promoting abortion,” said the report released publicly June 29 (seehttp://tinyurl.com/mcrpk4 ). Public release of the inquiry report came one week after it was mailed to all of Canada’s Catholic bishops.LifeSiteNews.com editor John Henry Westen rejected the report’s conclusions.”They got our allegations wrong,” Weston told The Catholic Register.LifeSiteNews.com reports have alleged that Development and Peace partners advocated for more liberal abortion laws and greater legal access to abortion throughout Mexico.
“It makes me wonder, really, whether they even read the LifeSite reports on this,” Westen said.
Development and Peace executive director Michael Casey said his organization is anxious to seek reconciliation with LifeSiteNews.com and find closure on the issue.
“There needs to be much more of that spirit of openness and consultation and togetherness,” said Casey. “That has been very, very lacking in this episode here. I hope we will be able to build from this.”
But Westen sees no prospect of closure coming out of the bishop’s report, saying, “there’s a big difficulty now in terms of credibility with the bishops.”
The archdiocese of Toronto has yet to make a decision about the 2009 ShareLife allocation to Development and Peace, but will make that decision before the July 31 end of the fiscal year, said archdiocese of Toronto director of communications Neil MacCarthy. The allocation was delayed pending the report.
Members of the CCCB‘s new committee on communications expressed anxiety about how the Development and Peace controversy has played out in the media, said CCCB communications manager Gerald Baril.
“They’re not that happy with the way the CCCB is functioning in terms of communications,” said Baril.
Communications has been the major problem from the Development and Peace point of view, said Casey.
“A lot of it is a basic misunderstanding and lack of awareness of the work of Development and Peace and our role,” Casey said. “We have to be much more clear in articulating and explaining this, so that it isn’t misunderstood and distorted.”
Under the heading “Reflections and Hopes,” Lapierre and Currie make recommendations for achieving peace on the issue. For the CCCB they recommend continued support for Development and Peace, that bishops help its staff “develop a good and sound understanding of the social doctrine of the church,” and that the bishops encourage Catholics to “continue being generous in providing humanitarian aid in the name of their Catholic faith.”
For Development and Peace Currie and Lapierre recommend it ensure more thorough consultations with the bishops, particularly those on its board, and particularly when abortion, contraception and other moral issues are involved.
Currie and Lapierre appeal to LifeSiteNews.com to “establish an open and fruitful dialogue with Canadian Catholic groups.”
In a separate statement, CCCB president Archbishop James Weisgerber urges Catholics to support Development and Peace at “a critical moment in the life of the world.” (Source)
Two things that strike me about this report which I have highlighted above.
The first is that D&P wants to sloff off this abortion scandal as some kind of “communication” mix up – as if this whole scandal is due to not communicating well enough, which is, of course, an insult to those who have been following this story. The best thing D&P did was communicate the truth at the beginning of this whole controversy when they told LifeSite that they had no abortion policy. But, you see folks, in the age of spin doctors and communication directors, telling the raw truth gets thrown down as “poor communications” which really means, “you don’t know how to massage or hide the truth, man, get with the program!” (Gilio, you did the right thing. Don’t let them tell you anything differently.)
Secondly, did you catch what Michael Casey said about holding hands and “togetherness”? There’s definitely a time for reconciliation, but not before dealing with the truth of the allegations. Mr. Casey, D&P, and the CCCB might want to kiss and make up with prolifers, but there won’t be any of that until they stop prostituting themselves to the abortion lobby in the Global South.
If you look up at the scoreboard, you’ll notice we’ve just started the second period. That means this game is far from over. Sit down, order some more beer and popcorn, and pay attention. This game is gonna get a lot rougher.