March 19, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Development & Peace (D&P), the international development arm of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB), has had its funding cut by the Canadian Conservative Government by 65%. 

D&P, which has been embroiled in controversy over the last two years for funding pro-abortion groups, is looking to Catholics in the pews to make up the shortfall at Masses across the country this Sunday.

In July 2010, D&P asked the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) for $49.2 million towards its new 5-year program (2011-2016), according to a letter to supporters last week. On February 8, 2012, CIDA informed D&P that they would receive $14.9 million for the five-year period. 

The funding from CIDA to D&P for the previous five-year term - 2006 to 2011 – was $44.6 million.

In between the proposal and the response, Money Sense, the highest-rated financial magazine in the country, issued a report on the efficiency and efficacy of international charities, ranking D&P lowest.

Money Sense noted critically that D&P only allocated 72.3% of donations toward programs, with most other charities listed scoring in the 80s and 90s. D&P also ranked last for governance and transparency, along with three other groups, earning 1.0 out of 10, or a C-.  The lack of transparency at D&P has frustrated faithful Catholics in the last two years as D&P has failed to reveal their full list of partners, even in the aftermath of the funding scandal. 

The Canadian government did not give a reason for why funding to D&P was cut so dramatically. But in an e-mail to Embassy CIDA Minister Bev Oda’s spokesperson, Justin Broekema, said, “CIDA is responsible, particularly in times of fiscal restraint, for ensuring Canadian tax payers’ dollars deliver value for money and the strongest results in the lives of people in need.”

In a March 16 letter obtained by LifeSiteNews.com, D&P Executive Director Michael Casey wrote Diocesan Council presidents that parishioners are to be asked to increase their donations to D&P due to the CIDA shortfall.

Of note, Money Sense gave the highest ranking to another Catholic international charity in Canada called Chalice. The report also indicated that D&P’s top employee earns $120,000-159,999, compared to Chalice’s highest salary of $35,001.

Next Sunday, March 25, is Solidarity Sunday, the day for the 2012 Share Lent collection.  Those interested in finding charities which assist the poor in the developing world and are also pro-life are welcomed to contact LifeSiteNews.