TORONTO, January 6, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) – This morning Pope Benedict XVI announced that Toronto Archbishop Thomas Collins would be elevated to the rank of Cardinal at the upcoming consistory in February. Archbishop Collins has been one of the more outspokenly pro-life bishops in Canada. Notably, he took the lead in the difficult situation of correcting the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (CCCB) international development arm, Development and Peace (D&P), after LifeSiteNews exposed their funding of groups advocating for abortion.
Archbishop Collins was the first bishop in Canada to react publicly to LifeSiteNews’ revelations about D&P. Less than a week after the initial investigative report was published by this news agency, Archbishop Collins sent a message to all pastors in the archdiocese calling for the “serious allegations” about Development and Peace to be “investigated in detail,” and warning that funding of the organization was in jeopardy.
In his letter, Archbishop Collins said: “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.”
Even after an official CCCB investigation claimed (without basis) that LifeSiteNews’ evidence against Development and Peace was unfounded, Archbishop Collins went forward with his plan to restrict funding to D&P. That restriction, which consisted in only giving funds from the Archdiocese to groups in the developing world which had the support of their local bishops was continued in 2010 and 2011.
From his prominent participation in the annual national March for Life in Ottawa to his repeated brief appearances outside of Toronto abortion centres praying with 40 Days for Life, Archbishop Collins has shown himself to be a vocal defender of children in the womb. His willingness to stand up for life, even amidst disagreement from many of his brother bishops on the D&P question has shown his commitment to the high priority the Church gives to the protection of the lives of children in the womb and support for women in crisis pregnancy situations.