PEMBROKE, April 4, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Bishop Michael Mulhall of the diocese of Pembroke has reinstated restrictions on funding of the Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace (D&P) for this year. LifeSiteNews has also learned that the Archdiocese of Toronto is also maintaining its funding restrictions on D&P for another year.

In a letter posted on the diocesan website last month, Bishop Mulhall explains that the work of addressing the suitability of groups funded by D&P is not fully resolved and thus the funding restrictions are to be maintained.

The diocese is stipulating that its funding be used only for D&P’s emergency relief work. According to a 2009 D&P brochure from the Archdiocese of Toronto, emergency assistance makes up only 6% of D&P’s allotments. The lion’s share (71%) of D&P funding goes towards “strengthening social movements,” “democracy and participation,” and “women’s empowerment.”

Bishop Mulhall notes that at the plenary meeting of the Catholic Bishops of Canada in October 2010 he was “given the clear impression that positive steps had been taken, that the Secretariat of the CCCB was committed to addressing any concerns with the direction of CCODP and that the CCODP had made significant progress in addressing these concerns.” He added, however, “it would take several years for some of these changes to be implemented throughout the organization.”

LifeSiteNews has also learned that the funding restrictions instituted by the Archdiocese of Toronto will be maintained for 2011. In Toronto the D&P collection is a portion of the ShareLife appeal, which accounts for over 10% of D&P’s annual funding from parishes across the country. 

In 2009, under the direction of Toronto Archbishop Thomas Collins, the archdiocese’s $1.125 million contribution to D&P from Sharelife was restricted; the funds were only permitted to go to those D&P partners that were approved by their local bishops. These restrictions were continued last year and also for the current year.

The solution was praised by pro-life leaders in Canada at the time, since none of the pro-abortion groups funded by D&P were known to be endorsed by their local bishops in the developing world.

After LSN broke the story about D&P’s funding of pro-abortion groups throughout Latin America, Asia and Africa, Archbishop Collins was the first bishop in the country to announce that he was withholding funding pending an investigation.  “Development & Peace has not as yet received its funding from ShareLife for 2009. Be assured I will not allow any money raised in the Archdiocese of Toronto to be used for pro-abortion activities or organizations,” he said at the time.

Archbishop Collins warned that future funding for D&P would be contingent on reform of the organization.  “It is vital that this coming year be one in which Development and Peace experiences profound renewal, and the depth of that renewal will determine its future,” he said.  “Future ShareLife funding for Development and Peace will depend upon our assessment of the degree to which the issues that concern us have been resolved.”