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MONTREAL, Quebec, March 25, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) — After the Canadian bishops’ conference ended a number of partnerships established by its charity arm due to moral concerns, the Canadian Jesuits said they are “deeply saddened” by the move, accusing it of being a violation of witnessing the “Good News.”

February 25 saw a joint statement issued by the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) and the Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace (CCODP), which is the “official development organization” of the Church in Canada.

After questioning a number of partner organizations of the CCODP about their stance on Catholic moral and social teaching, and whether their actions might “mislead others with respect to the same,” the subsequent report found that 24 organizations demonstrated “a lack of clarification to resolve serious questions regarding support for positions or actions in conflict with the Church’s social and moral teachings.”

All 205 partners were examined, resulting in a shorter list of 63 for further examination.

While they were not named in the statement — for reasons of maintaining their “reputations” and also their “safety” — 24 partnerships were discontinued, and an additional 19 were not renewed, either because they had already ended or were about to end.

Following the review, the CCODP “only has projects with those international partners which CCODP and the CCCB agreed could continue,” and it promised new criteria for selecting partners, all of which would be “clearly informed” of the CCODP’s Catholic ethos.

In the last few days, though, the Jesuit province of Canada has expressed disappointment at the decision to end partnerships.

Noting how they had been “privileged to collaborate with the CCODP in furthering the social mission of the Church,” the Jesuits revealed they were “deeply saddened to learn that so many CCODP partners are losing this vital support from CCODP.”

“We regret that the process to arrive to [sic] this decision was not marked by the transparency and collaboration that the Church knows are key virtues to witnessing to the Good News and to becoming a synodal Church,” continued the statement, signed by Father Erik Oland, the provincial superior for Canada.

While the Canadian bishops had deselected certain organizations, based on concerns about Catholic teaching and how those groups could “mislead others,” the Jesuits appeared to prioritize the organizations themselves, rather than the Church. The decision had “harmed the reputation of some people and organizations,” they declared, which could lead to “widespread and long-term consequences” for the groups.

This in turn would be a “profound loss of the prophetic witness of the Church,” predicted the Jesuits.

In a peculiar re-ordering of priorities, the statement called for an assessment based not on “the Church’s teachings on sexual matters,” but rather “commitment to the core richness of the Church’s social teachings.”

A review which questioned “lay people and the Religious of Canada,” who knew the organizations’ “contexts,” could have led to “more accurate information on the partners,” the Jesuits argued.

The letter closed by expressing the Jesuits’ desire to “work with groups like CCODP in order to be transformed for the Kingdom of God.”

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Midwest Bishop and Priest: Petition the city to drop mask charges against home-schooling Mom of 11
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On Halloween 2020, Jane Bernardel, a homeschooling mom of 11, was arrested by police for praying in an empty church after she and her children attended Vespers and recited the Litany of the Saints -- to sanctify a day they see as having been secularized.

After a time of prayer, the pastor of the church, Fr. Gary Ziuraitis, C.Ss.R, approached Mrs. Bernardel and told her that she would have to wear a mask to remain in the church.

But, when Mrs. Bernardel refused, Fr. Ziuraitis called the police and she was arrested. And thereafter, the city of Kansas City, Missouri, brought trespassing charges against Mrs. Bernardel.

Please SIGN and SHARE this urgent petition asking the bishop and the parish priest to petition the city to drop trespassing charges against Mrs. Jane Bernardel for praying in an empty church without a mask.

Mrs. Bernardel fully maintains her innocence and her attorneys are prepared to prove it in court.

But, because of this heavy-handed approach, Mrs. Bernardel now faces charges of trespass which could mean a $300 fine and time spent in a "re-education" class.

This is an excessive and disproportionate response to praying without a mask in an empty church.

And, taking into account the church's and diocese's own guidelines, this is also just plain wrong.

Therefore, the only explanation can be that there is some misunderstanding by the bishop and the pastor of the church as to their own guidelines.

But, their misunderstanding should not legally impinge on this homeschooling Mom, who obviously loves the Church and is seeking to do good.

Please SIGN and SHARE this urgent petition asking the bishop of the diocese, Bishop James Johnston, and the pastor of Our Lady of Perpetual Help, Fr. Gary Ziuraitis, to admit to a big misunderstanding, show clemency, and ask the city to drop the trespassing charges.

After signing and sharing, please take a moment to contact the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph to politely express your hope and desire that Bishop Johnston and Fr. Ziuraitis would urgently petition the city to drop the charges against Mrs. Bernardel.

The contact number for the diocese is: 816-756-1850


'Maskless priest has homeschooling mom of 11 arrested for not masking in church' -

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LifeSiteNews reached out to the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops, as well as the Jesuits of Canada, for comment on the matter, but did not hear back.

An intervention from the Society of Jesus regarding the CCODP’s partners is not without precedent.

Two years ago, the Canadian Jesuits spoke out in defense of a member of the order in Honduras, after the Canadian bishops discovered that his radio and foundation were promoting pro-abortion views. Father Ismael Moreno, the director of Fundacion ERIC and Radio Progreso in Honduras, was found to have articles on the radio’s website which he admitted were “contrary to official Church Doctrine.”

The Jesuits in Canada were swift to defend Moreno, appealing to the example of Pope Francis, himself a Jesuit, who had “helped the Church articulate a way beyond the impasse of a too narrow understanding of the defence of life.”

Both Fundacion ERIC and Radio Progreso were previous recipients of funds from the CCODP.

LifeSiteNews has been reporting extensively for years on CCODP’s funding of pro-abortion, pro-contraception, and pro-LGBT groups in the developing world. LifeSiteNews broke the news in 2009 that the Catholic aid association was funding pro-abortion groups in Mexico, which prompted the bishops to investigate, and ultimately to establish a standing committee on D&P.


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