FaithThu Mar 7, 2013 - 10:05 am EST
Canadian bishop again refuses funding to Development and Peace amidst abortion scandal
PEMBROKE, Ontario, March 7, 2013, (LifeSiteNews.com) – A Canadian bishop is committed to withholding all funding from the Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace as the organization remains enmeshed in an abortion funding scandal.
For the third year in a row, Bishop Michael Mulhall of Pembroke has urged that the faithful to contribute to other worthy Catholic apostolates in the developing world that have been vetted by the diocese instead.
News of the bishop’s decision comes as LifeSiteNews.com has launched a new project urging prayerful support of the effort of Canada’s Bishops to reform Development and Peace. The Charity in Truth Project, based at CharityinTruth.ca, is raising awareness about the ongoing D&P scandal with a video, petition, and other resources.
In a February 20, 2013, letter to the faithful, Bishop Mulhall wrote, "We will continue with the practice of sharing the collection with religious communities and apostolates that have a connection with the diocese to be used in their efforts with the poor.”
He also said that a portion of the proceeds from the diocese’s Annual Lenten Missionary and Development Collection – formerly called the Development and Peace Collection – will go to the Catholic Near East Welfare Association, a papal humanitarian agency supporting Christians in the Middle East.
In his letter, the bishop indicated that the faithful were free to contribute to Development and Peace on their own if they chose.
Development and Peace, which was founded by the Canadian bishops as their official development agency in 1967, has been caught up in scandal since LifeSiteNews began revealing in 2009 that they were funding over two dozen groups in the developing world that advocate for legal abortion, as well as other activities such as contraception and homosexual “rights”.
The Canadian bishops began a reform in 2010, but the organization is still profiling at least two pro-abortion partners on its website, and has refused to release a full list of its partners since 2009.
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After the scandal broke in 2009, Bishop Mulhall announced the funds from Pembroke’s diocesan D&P collection would be restricted to D&P’s emergency relief efforts, the same approach taken by Cardinal Thomas Collins of Toronto. Mulhall took the same approach in 2010 as the bishops worked to institute a reform at D&P.
But then in 2011, he decided to withhold all funding from the organization after Archbishop Terrence Prendergast of Ottawa was forced to cancel an event with one of D&P’s partners because, in Prendergast’s judgment, the group’s work was “incompatible” with the Church’s pro-life stance.
“Recent developments in the Archdiocese of Ottawa during Lent have demonstrated that a great deal of work needs to be done to allow CCODP to be fully effective,” Bishop Mulhall wrote in a July 2011 letter to the faithful. “For the future, the Diocese will continue to sponsor development and missionary efforts which are identified for you during the Lenten Season.”
Before 2009, the Diocese of Pembroke had given 75 percent of its Lenten collections directly to D&P. In 2011, the diocese collected $146,108.88.