By John-Henry Westen

LIMA, June 9, 2009 (LifeSiteNews.com) - In a May 28 letter, the Bishops Conference of Peru has “formally” requested that the bishops of Canada cease funding pro-abortion groups in Peru via the Canadian Catholic Organization of Development & Peace (D&P). “It is very disturbing to have groups which work against the Bishops of Peru by attempting to undermine legal protection for the right to life of unborn children, be funded by our brother bishops in Canada,” says the letter.

The letter marks a major breakthrough in the D&P scandal that was first exposed by LifeSiteNews.com (LSN) in March with revelations of $140,000 in D&P funding for five Mexican groups that promote abortion. 

The Peruvian Bishops’ letter is addressed to the President of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB), and signed by Archbishop Jose Eguren, the President of the Family, Childhood and Life Commission (Family Commission) of the Peruvian Bishops Conference. Archbishop Eguren says that the Family Commission undertook an investigation of D&P-supported groups in Peru, and found three of them to be pro-abortion.

“Each group either explicitly endorses abortion, and/or contraception, either by name or by its various euphemisms like ‘sexual and reproductive rights’ or some derivation thereof,” says the letter. “In that sense, we respectfully would like to formally request that the funding for the pro-abortion groups in Peru by the Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace be halted.”

D&P’s response to the LSN revelations about its funding of numerous pro-abortion groups around the world has been to deny the allegations and accuse the news service of "dangerously irresponsible and slanderous" attacks. Even after an investigation led by two bishops and numerous journalistic investigations containing incontrovertible evidence of D&P funding for pro-abortion groups throughout Latin America, Africa and Asia, D&P has maintained its denials.

The Peruvian Bishops conference concluded their letter offering to assist the Bishops of Canada to find “worthy Catholic organizations involved in authentic development projects in Peru, as our nation could benefit greatly from the generosity of Canadian Catholics.”

Carlos Polo, a Member of the Family Commission of the Peruvian Bishops Conference told LifeSiteNews.com, “As soon as the investigation of possible financing of pro-abortion NGOs with Canadian Catholic money was announced, we began deep investigation.  This doesn’t only have to do with the Church in Canada but concerns all of us in the Church,” he said.

Polo, also the Latin American Director of the Population Research Institute, added:  “Unfortunately, in the case of Peru there is no doubt.  We see with much sadness how the money of Catholic Canadians goes to organizations that explicitly fight against what the Church teaches.  The same people are usually our adversaries in debates and public discussions.”

James Weisgerber, Archbishop of Winnipeg and the current President of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops was not immediately available for comment on this story. Taking the D&P denials at face value, Archbishop Weisgerber issued a March 23rd letter to his Archdiocese saying the allegations against D&P were “untrue”.

Polo, speaking to LSN from Peru, concluded saying: “Perhaps the abortion and birth control industries will be the forces that do the most damage to Christian values in Latin America.  There isn’t a single Episcopal Conference in Latin America that is not suffering permanent attacks for defending life and family.”

See the full letter from the Bishops Conference of Peru to the CCCB here.

See the LSN Feature Page on Development and Peace here

To RESPECTFULLY contact any Canadian bishop click here

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