Would Development and Peace be willing to fund a racist group?
MONTREAL, June 26, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) — In “The Development and Peace Controversy: Towards a Real Solution”, Georges Buscemi, president of the Quebec arm of Campaign Life Coalition, engages in a thought experiment which brings the controversy into sharp focus. Imagine if the international development arm of the Canadian Bishops Conference were to fund racist groups rather than pro-abortion groups. Can’t imagine that? – neither can Buscemi – and that’s the point.
The ‘thought experiment’ section of the essay is reproduced below, however the full document is well worth the read. It outlines the process that is to be followed according to Catholic moral teaching when making difficult decisions like those faced by Development and Peace. Buscemi admits that the solution to the Development and Peace scandal is difficult since it will likely have financial consequences. However, he concludes it comes down to a choice between “God and Money.”
Thought Experiment : The pro-union organisation that promotes racial segregation
Imagine for a moment that a Honduran pro-union organisation, besides being a union organiser, was also known to promote black racial segregation, proudly displaying their “white power” banners in their meeting rooms, lobbying their government and holding round-table discussions on the legalization of racial segregation in their country, etc.
Now is there any doubt that D&P would never have even considered funding such an organisation, that they would have “smelled a rat” from the initial stages of their investigation into this potential partner, and that they would have without hesitation decided against giving any money to “those people”?
Moreover, should it ever have been pointed out to them (say, by a website called StopRacism.com or something of the sort) that one of the groups they had partnered with were promoting racial segregation, would they have spent months and months denying the allegations and shooting the messengers? Would they not instead have been grateful to those who had discovered the problem, and righted the wrong that had been occurring without their knowledge?
Would they not promptly have issued a press release apologizing for the mistake and promising changes, perhaps something along the lines of “In the past D&P has partnered with a group which engages in activities that violate universal ethical norms. We therefore have ceased our partnership with this group. We thank the concerned citizens who pointed out this problem for their vigilance, and we hope never to repeat the same mistake again, having implemented a new set of guidelines for determining partnerships. This new set of guidelines can be found at www.devp.org.”
Truth be told, racial segregation, evil as it is, is less evil than abortion. Whereas the denial of basic human rights on the basis of race is an affront to a human being’s inalienable dignity, abortion deprives an innocent human being of his life, rendering the question of dignity moot. For the thought experiment above to be more accurate, we would have had to substitute “genocide” for abortion, since advocating for abortion is more equivalent to advocating for genocide, that is, the indiscriminate killing of innocent human beings based on their membership in a certain pariah class.
Is there any doubt in anyone’s mind that D&P, far from denying well-documented accusations of supporting groups that advocate genocide, far from smearing those who made the accusations, would immediately rectify the situation and thank those involved in uncovering it? But why then were they not so quick and thankful for being called out on supporting groups that advocate for abortion, an “abominable crime” similar to genocide?
The problem, most probably, is that the management at D&P, much less the regular employees at D&P, DO NOT believe that abortion is anywhere near equivalent to genocide; and that, I argue, is one of the major problems which D&P must resolve if this controversy is ever to conclude in a satisfactory manner. So long as the denunciation of abortion and other wrongs is dismissed by D&P as merely “catholic idiosyncrasies” unrelated to the “real problems”, the controversy surrounding D&P will NEVER die off.