The Grandeur of Nature
One of the grander examples of God's creating hand is the weather. During these first three days of this year's 40 Days for Life prayer vigil, we have had quite a varied taste.
At the Tuesday evening kickoff, a dozen or so participants witnessed the pristine beauty of Montreal's Lahaie park. The grounds were covered in a thick coat of mostly undisturbed freshly fallen snow. The air was still and the temps a bit nippy; the passing motorists and pedestrians were soon forgotten to us gathered on an embankment slightly removed from the street.
Quebec Life Coalition President, Mr. Georges Buscemi welcomed us, mentioning that there were another 246 other communities participating in this year's vigil from around the world, ten of whom in Spain. Other speakers included myself, Mr. Lecomte, Andrew Horwood – who led the group in prayer, and Charlotte L'Heureux who added her typical dose of congenial joie de vivre. Yet, the highlight for many by far was the presence of little, two-month old Maximillien Buscemi. Nestled warmly in the arms of his loving mother, Natalia, he brought additional joy to this evening. Finally, in a candle light procession, the group then proceeded into a warm waiting hall where some libations were waiting; fellowship continued for some time.
Wednesday morning greeted the first vigilers with cool temps in the mid-negative teens, with a steady wind blowing. The first order of business was preparing the site. To this end, Charlotte had showed some forethought for she arrived shovel in hand. Working together, we cleared between six to eight inches of snow and using a dandelion-remover, again which Charlotte had brought, to clear the old dug-out holes used at last Fall's vigil. Afterwards, the banner support frame, with some coaxing, fitted into these. At about this time, Carl Brièrre arrived and lent a hand to fasten the banner onto its frame.
Finally, today --Thursday--, we saw it all: steady snow in the morning, freezing rain at mid-day, and rain in latter parts of the afternoon. As for the next couple of days warmer climes are forecasted with some wet stuff becaue of the above freezing temps.
Through it all – snow, cold, and rain–the vigilers come and go. Our sacrifices and our prayers continue and God replies with graces both for us and all those for whose intentions we remember. We are thankful.Be the first to comment.
The Quebec-Life Coalition is proud to present its "Coins for Life" campaign. Available to both individuals and church communities, this handsome presentation not only attempts to raise much needed funding for our various projects but also spread the pro-life message.
Our primary target is faith based communities. By promoting "Coins for Life", Churches assert their support for the long standing Christian tradition of coming to the aid of the weaker members of our society. Boxes may be distributed after the service and then brought home.
Once in the home, individuals can periodically insert their loose change. When filled, these handsomely decorated laminated boxes, covered with pictures and information pertinent to the unborn, are returned to the church. There, a representative from the Quebec Life Coalition will come by to pick them up.
In additon to its use as a fund raising tool, the "Monnies for Life" box has an educational component. First, discretly placed within the home, or at the office, its colored images of the unforn at varying stages of its development are eye catchers, stirring wonder in the beholder. This will draw the viewer to examine it more closely and present him or her with the second, though starker, educational aspect: the most recent abortion statistics in Quebec.
In sum, the "Coins for Life" campaign is an ideal way to foster a Culture of Life in Quebec. One of the sides of the box specifies the mandate of the Quebec Life Coalition and encourages the recipients to place their names and addresses thereon so as to participate with us in this all important campaign of fostering life. Subsequently, we will mail them our monthly newsletter so that they remain informed of not only our projects but also of the latest news in the pro-life movement, within Quebec and elsewhere.
Each image shown below represents one of the facets of the box. Simply click on one of the images in order to enlarge it; though written in French, English boxes are available.
Further information about this campaign or to get your own "Coins for Life" box, please do not hesitate to contact us.Be the first to comment.
Helpers of God's Precious Infants
We at QLC are planning to establish a sidewalk counseling ministry in Montreal. The sidewalk counselor is the last person who can reach out and offer an alternative to the woman planning an abortion and to save her child. The counselor waits peacefully and prayerfully on the sidewalk near the abortion facility, anticipating the arrival of the girls. A successful model of sidewalk counseling is that established by Msgr. Philip Reilly, Brooklyn, NY, and transplanted into numrous communities around the world. The following excerpt, taken from the Ottawa Helpers, describes the three-fold approach of vigilers, sidewalk counselors, and spiritual helpers. Hopefully one day, with your help and that of other benefactors, we will have our own sidewalk program ministry.
The Vigilers come to the abortion mill to pray for an hour or more, on any day that the babies are going to be killed. They carry on a most important spiritual battle, as they stand outside the mill. They pray in a spirit of reparation: for their own sins; the sin of abortion; and particularly for the deaths that will occur while they stand outside on that day. They pray for women going into the abortion mill: for the abortionist and his staff; for the neighboring community; for their legislators; for the religious leaders of the nation; and for all who, through indifference, do nothing to try to stop abortion.
The Vigilers provide spiritual and moral support for the Sidewalk Counselors. They are essential. Before a mother is able to physically abort her child, a 'spiritual abortion' must take place within her heart. By the time she arrives at the abortion mill, she will have already rejected her child. This 'spiritual abortion' must be overcome by spiritual means, before the mother can change her mind about the physical abortion. By their sacrifice and prayer, the Vigilers obtain the grace of God that is needed to reverse the 'spiritual abortion'; while at the same time the Sidewalk Counselors are working to prevent the physical abortion of the child.
The Sidewalk Counselors are the ones who approach the woman going in to have the abortion and ask her to reconsider her decision. It is surprising that the woman often has not been given much factual information about what happens in an abortion. The Sidewalk Counselors educate her about the baby's biological development in her womb, and help her to understand the exact manner in which the abortion will kill her child. They will also warn her of the physical harm the abortion may cause to her own body. The woman will be provided with literature telling of all the help available: financial, medical, and spiritual.
The Sidewalk Counselors will also talk to the father of the baby. If the woman decides to go up to see the abortionist anyway, she will be reminded that the Helpers of God's Precious Infants will pray for her and be outside waiting, if she, like others before her, changes her mind while she is upstairs and comes back out again.
There are some people who want to be present at the abortion mill but are physically unable to come. These Spiritual Helpers are present with the Helpers of God's Precious Infants in spirit. They contribute prayers and sacrifices made during the week, and offer it up for the work of The Helpers.
Some of the Spiritual Helpers are small children who are still in school. They make small sacrifices, such as giving up one night of television. They pray the Prayer Card of the Precious Infants for the work of those who go out to the places where the babies are being killed.
Other Spiritual Helpers are 'shut-ins' or terminally ill patients in hospitals, who offer their sufferings and the pains of their condition to God for the purposes and intentions of the Helpers. There are also religious communities, called to a life of contemplation and prayer, providing powerful spiritual backup.Be the first to comment.
Planning is in full swing for the next 40 Days for Life vigil. Materials have been printed, phone calls made, and visits done, and more.
40 Days for Life is a twice-yearly 40-day vigil outside of an abortion facility. Participants are asked to pray and fast so as to bring an end to abortion. This year there are 246 registered groups worldwide, up from the 238 from this past Fall, 2010, and up from the 1 when it all got going in 2007, in College Station, Texas.
Here in Montreal, the vigil begins with a kickoff on Tuesday, March 8, at 7pm in Lahaie park, across the street from 30 Saint-Joseph E, where the Morgentaler clinic is located. This is a full month later than last year and so we will enjoy greater daylight hours and, hopefully, warmer climes. The following day, Ash Wednesday, vigilers will show up at 7am and will replace one another throughout the day until 7pm. This pattern will continue through until Sunday, April 17, 2011 – i.e., 40 continuous days.
Praying and fasting are the order of the day during this span of time. We take our lead from Christ who directed his disciples to pray and fast so as to augment one's faith and to exorcise certain demons, of which, we know, are plentiful.
Leading to March 8, numerous visits have been made. In addition to contacting local pastors, on Friday, February 4, 201, four of us from the Quebec-Life Coalition – CQV, visited the church of St. Vincent de Paul in Pont Viau, Laval, to promote the vigil. We were invited to attend the monthly prayer group. The evening began with adoration of the Blessed Sacrament in the chapel followed by rosary for life. Afterward, fifteen or so of us gathered in an adjoining room where a brief presentation was made about the Forty Days for Life concept and the experience here in Montreal. The laptop of Georges Buscemi, CQV president, facilitated the presentation, permitting those in attendance to get a glimpse of the pro-life movement both here in Canada and in the U.S.
Yet, more is left to be done. We continue with our meetings and follow-ups and our core group is set to meet. Numerous church groups have been contacted ; so, if you have not heard from us, do give us a call.
Also, if you are unable to attend because you live far away, consider organizing your own vigil? We'd love to help and make our resources available to you. Contact us to find out how you can start up your own 40 Days.
Also, you can visit the official page of the 40 Days for Life in Montreal for updates, flyers, etc. as they become available: www.cqv.qc.ca/en/40daysBe the first to comment.
In September, 2008, the Conseil pour le statut de la femme deposited a study1 shedding light on the availability of abortions in the province. We, at the Quebec Life Coalition, thought it worthwhile to highlight some of its findings and to point out its lacunae.
First, let’s look at the statistical information as found in the first of the study’s four chapters. The wealth of data, presented in tabular form, principally covers 2006, though contrast is done with the previous four years. These tables describe the distribution of abortions according to sixteen regions of the province, according to the type of facility where the abortions were performed, according to both the kind of procedure used and the age of the recipients, and more. For example, the following notes some of the numbers:
- Abortions – yearly, province-wide: 28 198 2
- Abortions – daily average: 80
- Abortions – daily average, Montreal: 30
- Number of abortion facilities in Montreal: 20
- Percentage 1st trimester abortions – prior to 14th week: 92 %
- Percentage of late-term abortions: 8% (2256)
- Percentage of abortions in women (15-34 years): 80%
Note that these figures are on the underside. The study’s author lamented that the statistical information was drawn from the record keeping branch of the provincial health agency – i.e., la Régie de l’assurance maladie du Québec – RAMQ. As this latter is primary interested with health care, their record keeping plays second fiddle. « …l’Institut de la statistique du Québec estime, dans une de ses études, que l’écart entre le nombre réel d’avortements pratiqués et celui qui est comptabilisé s’établit à 6 % .»3 Hence, we may be looking at another 1700 abortions per year in Québec.
A second troublesome point concerns repeated abortions. These latter are understood to mean when two or more abortions occur within the past five years. The author rightly points out the strong link between repeated abortions and violence done to women – whether psychological, sexual, or physical. Yet, as this study purports to be for the province of Québec, no data for the province is given, but only that for Canada in general, the United States, and France. Hence, an important lacuna exists.4
2. Ibid., p. 3.
3. Ibid., p. 13.
4. Ibid., p. 18-19.Be the first to comment.
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(Picture of Carl Anderson Knights of Columbus Supreme Knight)
Canadian bishops on board for National March for Life
Friday, 08 May 2009
Written by David Wang, The Catholic Register,
Views : 142
OTTAWA - This year’s National March for Life to Parliament Hill on May 14 will see an unprecedented number of Catholic bishops taking part.
“It’s a wonderful occasion,” said Ottawa Archbishop Terrence Prendergast, who has invited other bishops to attend.
Prendergast attended the March for the first time last spring.
“I was delighted with my participation in it,” he said. “I kind of wish I’d come up before.”
Prendergast said that as of April 20, nine bishops had confirmed their attendance: himself, Quebec Cardinal Marc Ouellet, Toronto Archbishop Thomas Collins, Pembroke Bishop Michael Mulhall, London Bishop Ronald Fabbro, Toronto Slovak Bishop John Pazak, Toronto Ukrainian Bishop Stephen Chmilar, Sault Ste-Marie Bishop Jean-Louis Plouffe and retired Keewatin-Le Pas Archbishop Peter Sutton.
Prendergast also confirmed that Knights of Columbus Supreme Knight Carl Anderson will speak both at Parliament Hill and at the annual Rose Dinner following the March. The other speaker at the dinner will be retired Liberal MP Tom Wappel.
In previous years, only one or two bishops made the trek to Ottawa. What’s changed? This year’s March falls on the 40th anniversary of the Omnibus Bill that legalized abortion. It also follows the appointment last July 1 of abortionist Henry Morgentaler to Canada’s highest civilian award, the Order of Canada.
“I think it was one of many signs of an attempt to marginalize faith from the public domain,” said Prendergast. “I think we say no, it’s important for people to manifest their commitment.
“One of our difficulties is we’re fighting an uphill battle against the media,” he said.
He noted that last year radio announcements in Ottawa were discouraging people from going downtown because of demonstrations, but failed to say that 8,000 people were demonstrating for life. Yet if 150 demonstrate from another group, it makes the front page, he said.
“The mainstream media is tired of this, they think the issue’s gone away; it’s not important,” he said. “It’s still here, folks.”
He said that when you stand up for something and get involved it becomes your issue, just as children find through becoming involved as altar servers, the parish becomes their church and not somebody else’s.
The bishops got on board for the March for Life at last September’s plenary, when St. Catharines’ Bishop James Wingle asked whether the bishops should show up “en masse” to show their support. After much discussion, the bishops’ Permanent Council asked Prendergast to look into how the bishops might participate. This led to the bishops of Ontario and Quebec being invited to take part.
Though many bishops will not be able to attend, he said, pro-life rallies and demonstrations were to take place across the country so bishops might take part in their own area.
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REVEALED: Photographic Evidence of Pro-Abortion Group Funded by Canadian Bishops' Development Arm
Group member confirms to LifeSiteNews that they support abortion on demand and promote the use of contraceptives
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By Matthew Cullinan Hoffman
NICARAGUA, April 23, 2009 (LifeSiteNews.com) - A representative of a group that is funded by the Canadian bishops' official development arm has admitted in an interview with LifeSiteNews.com that it actively promotes an abortion-on-demand agenda in Nicaragua. The group has worked to block pro-life legislation in the country, demands the legalization of abortion, and supported Obama's decision to revoke the Mexico City Policy. The representative also told LSN that the group promotes and dispenses contraceptives from its "women's health" clinic.
The interview substantiates photos of the group's headquarters, which prominently displays pro-abortion signage, and other documents obtained by LSN and another Canadian pro-life activist.
Recently a traveler to Nicaragua returned with photos of the March 8th Women's Collective, a funded "partner" of the Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace (CCODP).
The CCODP (or D&P), which is an arm of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops, receives much of its funding from collection drives in parishes held during Lent. Over the last two months LSN has reported that at least 18 groups funded by CCODP are involved in pro-abortion and/or pro-contraception activities. (See all the evidence here: http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2009/apr/09041702.html)
The photos of the March 8th Women's Collective, which were first published by Canadian pro-life and pro-family activist John Pacheco on his Socon or Bust blog, show signs posted within the building advocating the legalization of abortion.
According to Pacheco, the eyewitness who took the photos, whom he has spoken to directly, traveled to Nicaragua earlier this year on a "faith-based education trip." One of the projects that she visited on that trip was that of 8 de Marzo (see original blog post at http://www.socon.ca/or_bust/?p=1596).
Pacheco says his source, who wishes to remain anonymous and whom he calls "Conchita," was taken to an office of 8 de Marzo, which includes a clinic capable of doing gynecological exams. The participants were then given a talk by the director of the clinic, Luz Marina Torres, who stated that 8 de Marzo supports the legalization of abortion in Nicaragua and had been involved in campaigns to prevent the passage of the nation's current pro-life penal code, which punishes all abortions except for those necessary to save the life of the mother.
As Torres spoke, she reportedly stood in front of a large banner which proclaims: "VIOLENCE IS: Requiring a girl to carry a pregnancy. We demand the return of therapeutic abortion" (see photo).
"Conchita" also told Pacheco that two doors at the clinic had signs that read, "I support abortion." A poster she photographed proclaimed that 8 de Marzo's mission is to defend "sexual and reproductive rights," a common euphemism used by pro-abortion groups for abortion and contraception (see photo).
A representative of 8 de Marzo who identified herself only as "Carla" confirmed to LSN in a telephone interview that the organization supports the legalization of abortion on demand and has been involved in the struggle against Nicaragua's pro-life penal code.
"In 2006 you were very involved in the struggle to preserve the legal right to perform an abortion," LSN mentioned, at which point Carla interrupted to say, "therapeutic abortion," and added, "yes, and it was stolen here."
"The March 8th Women's Collective, you would like to make abortion available for any woman who would like to choose an abortion, right?" LSN asked. "Claro," responded Carla in Spanish, meaning "of course," or "clearly."
"Do you distribute contraceptives?" asked LSN. "Yes," responded Carla, "there is a sexual and reproductive health campaign, by means of workshops, information...for young people."
LSN has also learned that 8 de Marzo joined a coalition of groups in 2006, including the pro-abortion "Catholics for the Right to Decide," dedicated to stopping pro-life legislation then under consideration by the Nicaraguan Congress.
The purpose of the coalition, called the Focal Point Feminist Movement (Punto Focal - Movimiento Feminista), and its so-called September 28 Campaign, was to "demand of our governments the effective regulation of abortion where it is recognized legally, and to demand its depenalization in cases in which it is still penalized," according to a bulletin issued by the group in September of 2006 (see original in Spanish, page 1, at http://www.puntos.org.ni/servicios/catalogos/actividadesdoc/...).
According to the bulletin, on the first and second of September of that year, 8 de Marzo was to hold a "workshop" for the members of the group, entitled "Reflecting on Therapeutic Abortion" (p.5). On August 16, it held a meeting for the coalition's members to discuss the September 16 Campaign (p.5). It is listed as a member of the coalition on page 8 of the bulletin.
LSN has also verified that 8 de Marzo signed a letter congratulating Barack Obama for approving US overseas funding for pro-abortion groups.
The letter expresses "deep gratitude for your repeal of the Global Gag Rule." The Mexico City Policy, also called the "Global Gag Rule" by pro-abortion groups, was an executive order signed by Presidents Reagan and Bush Sr. and Jr., that prohibited U.S. funding from going to groups that promote or refer for abortions.
"From our daily work with those most affected, we know that your action will have profound positive effects on the lives of millions of people," continued the letter. "We are hopeful that it heralds a new era of U.S. partnership in global cooperation to ensure universal access to sexual and reproductive health and the advancement of women's sexual and reproductive rights worldwide."
It also states: "We specifically call on you to ... support removal of remaining legal and policy restrictions on U.S. funding for safe, voluntary, legal abortion information and services, including the Helms Amendment," and "restore funding for the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF), and ensure that officials from your Administration act as a strong voice for women's sexual and reproductive health and rights in the United Nations and other international arenas and do all in their power to translate international agreements into actions that improve women's lives" (see document in its entirety at http://www.filia-frauenstiftung.de/fileadmin/upload_redakteu...).
According to CCODP's 2006-2011 program for Latin America, 8 de Marzo is receiving an unspecified amount of Canadian dollars from the CCODP for "organizational strengthening," "women's health," and "training and development."
The group is one of many CCODP grant recipients documented by LifeSiteNews and SoCon or Bust over the past two months as pro-abortion and/or pro contraception (for full listing of articles on the subject, see http://www.lifesitenews.com/features/DevelopmentPeace/).
Contact information for every Canadian bishop
Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops
2500 Don Reid Drive
Phone: (613) 241-9461
Fax: (613) 241-9048
The Evidence Supports the Pope’s View about Condoms
By Richard Bastien
In spite of all the media hype about Benedict XVI’s statement regarding the AIDS crisis in Africa, there is ample evidence to suggest the Pope has a point. To judge whether this is true or not, one need only look at the facts, first with respect to the effectiveness of condoms in preventing the spread of AIDS, and then with respect to other methods of fighting AIDS.
As regards the first point, the U.S Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) acknowledge that condoms do not provide perfect protection against HIV. While their web site starts out by mentioning that “the most recent meta-analysis of epidemiologic studies of condom effectiveness …demonstrates that the consistent use of latex condoms provides a high degree of protection against heterosexual transmission of HIV”, it then goes on to caution that “condom use cannot provide absolute protection against HIV”. More importantly, it says that “the surest way to avoid transmission of HIV is to abstain from sexual intercourse or to be in a long-term mutually monogamous relationship with a partner who has been tested and you know is uninfected.”
More specific information about the effectiveness of condoms in the fight against AIDS is provided by organizations supportive of the use of condoms. For example, the Guttmacher Institute, whose mission is “advancing sexual and reproductive health”, did a study on The Effectiveness of Condoms in Reducing Heterosexual Transmission of HIV”. The study concludes that the level of protection from HIV provided by condoms “approximates 87 %, with a range depending upon the incidence among condom nonusers”. It also concludes that “the condom’s efficacy at reducing heterosexual transmission may be comparable to or slightly lower than its effectiveness at preventing pregnancy”. (Family Planning Perspectives, 1999, 31(6):272-279).
In short, using a condom does not provide perfect protection against HIV – it merely reduces the risk. It is like playing Russian roulette with better than usual odds. On June 17, 1987, Dr. Maria Crenshaw, past president of the American Association of Sex Educators stood up before 800 sex-educators at the World Congress of Sexology, in Heidelberg, and asked a revealing question: “If you had available the partner of your dreams, and knew this person carried the HIV virus – would you rely on a condom for protection?” Not a single person raised a hand.
The relative ineffectiveness of condoms in the fight against HIV-AIDS is also attested by experience. Indeed, over the past 20 years, the promotion of behavioral changes has proven much more effective than that of condom use. The director of the AIDS Prevention Research Project at Harvard University, Edward C. Green, recently stated that “research has produced no evidence that condom promotion – or indeed any of the range of risk-reduction interventions popular with donors – has had the desired impact on HIV-infection rates at a population level in high-prevalence generalized epidemics.” Professor Green goes on to note that if we are to progress in the fight against AIDS, “we must accept that the evidence is much stronger for fidelity or partner reduction than for any of the standard-package HIV-prevention measures – in Africa at least”. He also mentions that many African countries that have not seen declines in HIV have seen increases in condom use. However – and this is the point that never gets reported -, in every country in which HIV has declined there have been increases in levels of faithfulness and usually abstinence as well. (First Things, April 2008).
Professor Green’s views are consistent with the findings of various learned journals, like Studies in Family Planning which, in its March 2004 issue, admitted that “no clear examples have emerged yet of a country that has turned back a generalized epidemic primarily by means of condom promotion”. The findings published by this journal further indicate that the promotion of condoms has been accompanied in some cases, not by a reduction, but rather by an increase, in the prevalence of HIV/AIDS. The best example in this regard is Cameroun, where annual sales of condoms increased from 6 million in 1992 to 15 million in 2001 – while the prevalence of HIV rose from 3% to 9% of the total population.
James Shelton, of the US Agency for International Development, expresses similar views in the December 2007 edition of The Lancet, one of the world’s best-known medical journals. He mentions that “something is not working” in the fight against AIDS and then goes on to enumerate “ten myths and one truth about generalized HIV epidemics.” One of the myths is that condoms are the solution. “Condoms alone have limited impact in generalized epidemics”, says Shelton. His view is that the priority should be on “the key driver of generalized epidemics – concurrent partnerships”, i.e. the practice of having sex with multiple partners. He advocates programs that enhance partner-limitation behavior – a solution not inconsistent with what the Pope has been advocating.
The foregoing pertains only to the “mechanics” of sexual relations, which suggests that even from the point of view of a crass materialist, the promotion of condoms as a means of fighting against the scourge of AIDS is, at best, questionable. However, for those who still believe that man is endowed with a soul, it may be noted that, to the extent that it removes a disincentive to engage in casual sex, the promotion of condoms contributes to a moral breakdown which can only facilitate the spread of AIDS.
One need not be a pillar of the Church to see that the views expressed by Benedict XVI are eminently reasonable. To dismiss them as “grievously wrong” or as “contrary to the accumulated evidence” reflects an attitude that is based more on ideology than on common sense.
Richard Bastien is the director of the Catholic Civil Rights League for the National Capital Area and a regular contributor to Égards.
Canadian Centre for Policy Studies
On the subject of AIDS prevention, the Pope is right
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Objet : Canadian Catholic Organization for Development & Peace
March 17, 2009
Archbishop Terrence Prendergast,
Archbishop of Ottawa
Last week I read a disturbing report about the Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace's scandalous activities in funding pro-abortion groups in Mexico. The report claims that hundreds of thousands of dollars are being donated to anti-life, pro-abortion organizations. I have included the full news report here with my correspondence.
As you know, each diocese in Canada collects money on behalf of the CCODP every year. There is a collection envelope during Lent to help fund their activities. This year it is scheduled for this coming Sunday March 29.
For many years, the CCODP has long supported questionable causes, many of which are diametrically opposed to Catholic teaching and the traditional family. Over the years the CCODP has been more interested in promoting social Marxism and social engineering than fulfilling its original mandate of seeking authentic social justice. Personally, I have long since stopped supporting this organization since it is neither Catholic, nor does it seek to foster development or peace. In truth, it sponsors activities and groups which do the exact opposite. I have strongly encouraged family and friends to eschew donations to this group, and I will continue to do so in the future unless some major changes happen within this organization.
This latest revelation, however - while not surprising - represents yet another outrage against the sanctity of human life. What makes this scandal particularly offensive is that the CCODP is taking the sacrificial offerings of unknowing Catholics, who would otherwise be appalled at these revelations, and directing their donations to groups who support the killing of unborn children.
This situation is even more disgraceful considering Ottawa Catholics are heavily involved in the 40 Days for Life Campaign to end the scourge of abortion in Canada. While we are praying, fasting, witnessing and sacrificing here in Ottawa, our money is going to Mexico to kill our brothers and sisters there.
I do not understand why the Catholic bishops continue to support such an organization when it has shown us time and time again that it is more interested in furthering the agenda of the Culture of Death than it is in advancing the Gospel of Life.
This is not merely an isolated event. This theft has been happening for years, and it has not come without a serious cost of credibility to the bishops of Canada. You must understand, your Grace, that this kind of blind support and perhaps even negligent oversight over the initiatives of the CCODP does not enhance the trust or the fidelity a bishop's office deserves.
I can scarcely imagine a more obscene practice which cries out for immediate intervention and correction by the country?s Catholic bishops.
I am therefore asking you to withhold any contributions collected on behalf of the CCODP by the Archdiocese until a full and thorough review is conducted into the beneficiaries of CCODP funding.
If the Archdiocese is seeking a legitimate way to alleviate poverty in the world while still remaining faithful to the Gospel, may I respectfully suggest a Catholic organization like Chalice (chalice.ca) which does the real work of social justice among the less fortunate.
As for the proper disposition on how to clean up the CCODP, I can think of no better illustration than this past Sunday's Gospel reading.
Sincerely yours in Christ,
One small victory for freedom of speech
The GazetteMarch 5, 2009
McGill University's student government has bucked an unfortunate national trend by granting full club status to a student anti-abortion group.
The Student Society's decision to grant recognition to Choose Life is not so much a victory for pro-life forces as it is a victory for free speech and freedom of association, values that seem to be under attack, and poorly defended, on many Canadian campuses - where they should be safest.
Students at the University of British Columbia's Okanagan campus, for example, have denied status to an anti-abortion group, and Carleton University's student leaders are considering a motion to refuse support or space to any group that doesn't support "a woman's right to choose."
But anti-abortion groups aren't the only ones having on-campus problems, which is what makes this fundamentally a free-speech issue. Pro-Israeli students often find their views marginalized as well. It appears to be a lot easier, for example, to organize an "Israel-Apartheid" week, like the current ones at McGill and Concordia, than to get a room and a time for a pro-Israeli speaker.
So the McGill students' decision is a hopeful sign that not all students have bought into the notion that debate should be limited to a very narrow spectrum of "acceptable" opinions. But some of the rhetoric in the society's heated two-hour debate over Choose Life's status illustrated the scope of the challenge to free debate: "There's a lot of legitimacy in calling this group oppressive to women," Councillor Sarah Woolf argued. "SSMU operates under an anti-oppressive environment, and we cannot allow this club to continue."
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