Quebec pro-life group to present to bishops petitions to reform catholic organisation Development and Peace
Campagne Québec-Vie (also known as Quebec Life Coalition), the Quebec division of national pro-life group Campaign Life Coalition, will be presenting a 400-signature petition demanding a « top to bottom » reform of the catholic organisation Development and Peace (D&P)to the bishops assembled for their annual meeting beginning on October 17 in Cornwall, ON.
Development and Peace, an organisation established by the bishops of Canada in 1967 to help the poor of the Third World, has been accused by pro-life and pro-family groups of funding pro-abortion, pro-contraception and homosexualist organisations. The bishops of Canada have of late created a standing committee to oversee D&P’s work.
The petition demands a « reform » of Development and Peace, asserting that « Development and Peace funds agencies in the developing world – in Mexico, Latin America, and Africa— that promote abortion, contraception, and ideologies that run counter to the teachings of the Catholic Church » and expresses a fear that « only the tip of the iceberg has been exposed ». The petition concludes with a demand that the bishops of Canada « review from top to bottom the mandate and the organisation of D&P, so that D&P may accomplish its task of mercy and justice on behalf of the poor in light of ALL the teachings of the Church, particularly those concerned with the sacred character of human life and procreation. »
An online version of the petition may be found here.
Campagne Québec-Vie president Georges Buscemi, who will be delivering the petition in Cornwall this Monday, remains optimistic about finding a solution to the problems plaguing Development and Peace. « The answer » he believes « is found in pope Benedict XVI’s latest encyclical Caritas in Veritate, which states that ‘openness to life is at the centre of true development’ (section 28)» Buscemi believes that « this is a perfect statement to guide the reform of Development and Peace » and that « if Development and Peace wants to truly help the Third World develop, they should be promoting respect for life and openness to life in the Third World, especially when we consider how secular NGOs are showering the Third World with pro-abortion propaganda and condoms, to the detriment of Third World nations and cultures. »
Campagne Québec-Vie’s French language page dedicated to the Development and Peace affair can be found here.
With each passing week, seeing the need for reform at Development & Peace is becoming more and more evident. Last month, I commented on moral inconsistency; this month there is both that and some administrative quirks to note.
In June, I noted that the humanitarian agency of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops, funded largely by the catholic parishioners via special collections taken during the Lenten period and also by the federal government subverts Catholic pro-active family teachings. I noted three cases.
It was suggested, elsewhere, that local bishops ought to give their approval to groups within their dioceses whom D&P is considering to partner with.
I have recently come across two other features of D&P requiring some tinkering, to say the least. First, the union representing D&P's approximately 60 employees is actively pro-abortion. The fact that the CSN – la Confédération des syndicats nationaux -- is pro-abortion is borne out in a document put out by one of the its working groups – i.e., le Comité national de la condition feminine. This document, entitled “Rapport du Comité national de la condition feminine,” came out at their annual congress in May of this year and presents the vision of the trade union –i.e., that abortion is a woman’s right. This document may be found here.
So, one wonders whether the union’s ideology has impacted and continues to influence D&P employees.
Second, setting aside moral accountability and turning to financial and administrative considerations, D&P has been ranked last in overall charity efficiency among international aid agencies by a Canadian financial magazine. MoneySense, a division of Rogers Communication, evaluated fifteen (15) companies in the “International Aid and Development” category, giving D&P a C+ rating for spending efficiency, the only one of the 15 to receive a C rating. Spending efficiency refers to monies that go directly to aid programs; 72.3% for D&P.
Each company was evaluated according to four criteria - program spending efficiency (C+), fundraising costs (A), governance and transparency (C-), and reserve fund size (B). I note in parentheses the grade attributed to D&P.
Commenting on these findings, John Pacheco, a social conservative blogger (www.socon.ca/or_bust/) observes that even though the overall rating attributed to D&P was a respectable B, this is misleading for not all criteria should be of equal merit. He writes:
1) The “B” Grade was one of the lower Grades given in the International Aid & Development category.
2) The compensating categories which helped increase the overall grade for Development & Peace concerned revenue generation and cash reserves, rather than efficiency and stewardship of funds. The latter two categories, however, are much more important categories for the individual donor because it concerns how the Charity spends donor money rather than how the Charity raises it. In one of these lesser categories, for instance, Development & Peace received an “A” Grade for fundraising efficiency. But this is very deceptive since D&P has a running tap of donations from a) the Catholic Church and its various organs and b) the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) of the Federal government. Every Lent, for instance, Development & Peace pulls in approximately $10 Million dollars from tens of thousands of duped Catholics while doing sweet jack all to earn it, except, of course, to wait for the 70 odd cheques to come rolling in from the various dioceses in Canada for their “Share Lent” campaign. And it’s a similar welfare program with their other partner in moral crime, CIDA, who keeps the abortion gravy train rolling with regular wire deposits into D&P’s bank account. That’s certainly efficient, but not in the way most people think of ”fundraising efficiency”.
In comparison, a much smaller Canadian-based aid agency with a Catholic identity, Chalice, earned an A rating.
These findings appear in the summer 2011 edition of MoneySense, but there is not electronic version yet. However, the 2010 evaluation, written by Sarah Efron, may be found here.
Here in the offices of the Quebec Life Coalition (QLC) we are as busy as ever. We are keeping abreast of current developments both in the prolife field and wherever attacks on our faith and values occur. As you peruse the July newsletter, you’ll see the wide geographical scope of recent events and this is only a sample. So thank you so very much for the continuous generous support you give to this ministry.
Locally we continue to foster the message of Life. For example, during the postal strike as I cycled around different parts of Montreal and Laval delivering the June newsletter, I took the opportunity to stuff non-QLC mailboxes with some extra newsletters to get the message out there.
Also, in addition to visiting pastors at their offices and parishioners both in Laval, N.D.G., and on the south shore, I have continued to keep a prayerful vigil at the Morgentaler facility. On the one hand, I meet with a fellow prayer – Ms. Charlotte L’Heureux, twice a week for a period of public prayer; not a week goes by that we were delightfully joined by a few others.
On the other hand, again a couple of other mornings per week, I move indoors, inside the neighbouring Enfant Jésus church, to join a few more prayer stalwarts after the morning mass for a more private devotion. These prayers and sacrifices all contribute to combating the cultural war.
Lest we forget that there is a cultural war going on. The late Holy Father, John Paul II coined the expression Culture of Death. American philosopher Peter Kreeft develops the theme in an article entitled How to Win the Cultural War he argues that to be fully prepared and armed for this battle, we need become holy and loving.
Yet how does one become holy and loving? Is there a method?
No. There is none. No prayers, no meditations, no 12-steps programs, no yogas, no psychological techniques, no techniques at all. There can be no button to push for sanctity, any more than for love. For sanctity is simply love: loving God with all your soul and mind and strength.
How do you love? You just do it. A cause cannot produce an effect greater than itself. And nothing in the world is greater than sanctity, nothing greater than love. Therefore, no cause, no human cause, can produce sanctity. There can never be any technology for sanctity.
One such area where we can act in a holy and loving manner is in regards to our response to the on- going turmoil at Development in Peace. D&P is not the only way to bring Christ’s message of love to those in need. There are alternatives. Here are three that focus on doing corporal works of mercy.
Active on four continents, President Fr. Patrick Cosgrove writes about the work done by this organization particularly in Haiti following the earthquake of 2010. Regarding the latter, activities include general emergency relief – food and support, construction, and education. Elsewhere he refers to providing medi- cal help in Kenya. Finally I sense that there is an onus on helping children and that projects undertaken ha- ven been completed.
2. Mary Mother of the Poor
The home page for MMP clearly spells out both its Mission and Objectives. Respectively, these are ―to seek holiness in evangelizing & working with the poor through the intercessions of the Blessed Virgin Mary‖ and ―to Relieve Poverty; To Coordinate Health & Social Services; To Advance & Teach Catholic Tenets; and To Help Youth Develop Their Talent.
3. Catholic Near East Welfare Association - CNEWA is a papal agency for humanitarian and pastoral support, providing support for those in need in the Middle East, Northeast Africa, India, and Eastern Europe for more than 75 years.
Again, we will see if D&P and the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops will effect some change. Thank you for your continued support.
Over the past month, there has been a plethora of articles concerning the funding of abortion-promoting organisations by the Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace - a.k.a., CCODP or D&P.
In an effort to keep you abreast of these events, we present a few of these in chronological order, beginning with the most recent and working our way backward.
- The most recent comes from Father Raymond J. de Souza, pastor of Sacred Heart of Mary Parish on Wolfe Island, and chaplain at Newman House at Queen's University in Kingston, Ont. and regular contributor to the National Post. His article appeared in yesterday's BC Catholic, the diocesan newspaper of the Vancouver archdiocese, and is entitled "CCODP pro-life commitment flounders in foreign countries".
- The latter story was covered by LifeSiteNews in an article entitled: "A prominent priest’s stinging critique of Development & Peace". By going to this site, scores of other stories on this subject may be accessed.
- There were several developments last week which followed one another. First, CCODP announced that they were pulling funding from one of its partner agencies. Second, the head of this agency, a Jesuit priest, announced his resignation - "Fr. Arriaga, leader of pro-abortion D&P grant recipient, leaves office following scandal". Third, the Jesuit communities in Canada and Mexico rallied in support of their brother Jesuit in "Jesuit leadership defends pro-abortion organization denounced by Mexican cardinal."
- Also, the daily LeDevoir presented an op-ed article entitled "Crise à Développement et Paix - Tutelle des évêques sur l'organisme laïque d'aide internationale"
- Finally, the archbishop of Mexico City, Cardinal Norberto Rivera Carrera, asserts that Mexican D&P partner the PRODH centre (the very centre defended by the Jesuit leadership only a few days before) promotes an ideology that is "against unborn life."
Week of May 22, 2011
The week before - May 22-27, the papal organization which oversees the national foreign aid catholic organizations such as D&P - Caritas Internationalis, met in Rome. This was their 19th World Congress. Here are a few of the stories that came from it:
- "Caritas: the practice of Love by the Church as a 'Community of Love' "
- "Catholic charitable works cannot preclude evangelisation: top Vatican Justice and Peace official"
- "Pope : Vatican must ensure Caritas charity groups are “completely in accord” with Magisterium"
Finally independent bloggers have also taken an interest in these proceedings.Two bloggers have combined their work on the English blog Social Conservatives United, while a francophone site that focuses upon the Church in Quebec has not ignored the current kurfuffle at D&P - Crayon et Goupillon.
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