OTTAWA, June 22, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) – The Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops is reporting on two recent meetings they held with the Canadian Catholic Organization for Development & Peace to discuss the continuing efforts to renew the beleaguered aid organization.
In two meetings on February 1st and May 31st the CCCB’s Standing Committee on D&P met with leaders of the bishops’ development arm to discuss, in part, D&P’s new proposal for establishing partnerships with groups in the Third World.
Canada’s bishops began the effort to renew D&P in the fall of 2010 after revelations by LifeSiteNews and others that their development arm was dispersing Catholic funds to at least two dozen groups in Latin America, Africa, and Asia that advocate for the decriminalization of abortion.
D&P’s new initiative is being called a “3D approach to partnership,” with the three Ds standing for Dialogue, Discernment and Decision.
“Dialogue would include conversations by Development and Peace with its actual or proposed partners,” a CCCB statement explains. “Discernment includes the ways by which CCODP liaises and dialogues with its partners and with the Bishops of Canada as well as with local Bishops in the Global South. Decisions remain the responsibility of Development and Peace as part of its overall accountability.”
“There was agreement at both the February and May meetings to continue work on the 3-D process as a constructive way to ensure objectivity, transparency, and input from all parties involved,” the CCCB statement adds.
Many Canadian Catholics, including some bishops, have remained skeptical about the effectiveness of D&P’s renewal given that the leaders responsible for the scandal have remained in place and they have failed to reveal their list of partners for their last two annual Lenten fundraising campaigns.
The concerns were exacerbated in April 2011 when Archbishop Terrence Prendergast of Ottawa was forced to personally cancel a solidarity visit to his diocese by one of D&P’s Mexican partners after he determined the partner’s actions are “incompatible with the Church’s defence of the right to life from conception to natural death.”
Though D&P’s full list of partners remains hidden, LifeSiteNews reported as recently as March that they are funding a group in Haiti that hands out free contraceptives and has published literature on how to obtain abortions.
Despite the CCCB’s “urgent appeal” in 2009 for LifeSiteNews to establish a “frank and transparent dialogue” with Canada’s bishops, they have so far rejected every offer of dialogue from the news agency.
In October, LifeSiteNews editor-in-chief John-Henry Westen was barred from attending the CCCB’s annual plenary assembly even though it is open to media.
See LifeSiteNews Development and Peace Feature Page.