MONTREAL, November 28, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) - The mainstream media in Quebec is reporting that the development arm of the Canadian Bishops Conference, Development & Peace, is in crisis, possibly even on the brink of collapse. The loss of five million dollars in funding from the Canadian Government and the insistence by various bishops that the group take care to partner with groups that respect the right to life, have led to resignations of some long-time D&P leaders and talk of the organization’s demise.
An article in the left-leaning Quebec daily Le Devoir Monday described D&P as being “in agony” or it’s final death throes. D&P, said the paper, is “under pressure from pro-life bishops and a lack of adequate federal funding.” The paper reported that “most of the staff have left.”
The program quoted Louis Favreau, a sociologist who studies social movements, identifying Brazilian Archbishop Helder Camara, one of the founders of Liberation Theology, as the key to the foundation of D&P. “Development and Peace, founded in 1967, because Msgr. Camara of Brazil said to the Canadian Bishops: ‘We do not want aid, we do not want aid. It’s not aid that is necessary, we want social justice,” said Favreau.
The TV special said conservative bishops in Canada who have responded to LifeSiteNews’ revelations about D&P are responsible for the crisis. Beginning in 2009, LSN began reporting on the fact that the bishops’ development agency is funding numerous groups which advocate for abortion in the developing world.
Development and Peace “is being oppressed by the virulent attacks of a pro-life organization [LifeSiteNews],” reported the CBC.
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“The direction of the Vatican with Benedict XVI is that what is rising and taking precedence in the Catholic Church is sexual morality. From this moment onwards the pro-life cause is becoming an interlocutor alongside a series of Bishops who are…who are becoming receptive. The movement is coming above all from certain Bishops who are in important Dioceses – Vancouver, Toronto and Ottawa - and it’s very simple, that is to say, for us, the money which we collect in the parishes this year for Development and Peace, it will go there or elsewhere.”
A key interviewee on the program was Francois Gloutnay, a 25-year veteran of D&P who retired early along with ten colleagues recently. The early retirement, according to the CBC, was due to federal cutbacks and pressure from pro-life bishops.
Gloutnay, former D&P Director of Formation, lamented the fact that the bishops have listened to concerns from pro-life Catholics, as well as the dramatic loss of federal funding. “All we got was a simple fax with the announcement that the Government of Canada was no longer going to give eight million dollars per year, but was only going to give three million,” he said. “For us it is…it is truly a surprise, it’s a catastrophe. “
However, the pro-life movement in French-language-Canada says that the current crisis at D&P may be part of a necessary rebirth.
“Maybe it is in agony,” Georges Buscemi, the President of Montreal-based Campagne Quebec Vie told LifeSiteNews. “It has to go through this painful stage so it can be reborn into an authentically Catholic organization.”
“Numerous members can’t stand that the organization be truly Catholic and that the bishops have say in the direction the organization takes,” he said. “It’s no wonder they support groups which advocate for abortion.”
“A lot of D&P members feel they only need the title ‘Catholic’ so they can get the money from the people in parishes,” Buscemi charged.
CBC reporter Jocelyne Allard adds this summary in the TV special report: “Forty-five percent of the budget of Development and Peace comes from parishes. In Lent the collection is up to ten million dollars per year. One can see that the conservative groups have started to encourage the Faithful to give their money to the works that rise to the level of being as Catholic as the Pope. “
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Archbishop Pedro López Quintana, Apostolic Nuncio to Canada
724 Manor Avenue
Ottawa, ON KIM OE3
Phone: (613) 746-4914
Fax: (613) 746-4786
Archbishop Richard Smith of Edmonton
Edmonton (AB) T6A 0L1
Tel: (780) 469-1010
Fax: (780) 465-3003
To contact any Canadian bishop, find contact information here.