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Read our series celebrating LifeSite’s 25-year anniversary HERE.

(LifeSiteNews) – For more than two decades, LifeSiteNews has been at the forefront of exposing the cooperation of supposedly Christian organizations with evil. Despite the Catholic Church’s strong official teaching on the evil of killing innocent human beings via abortion, organizations within the Church are not always faithful to their Catholic missions – or the Church teaching that supposedly underpins those missions.

Disappointingly to pro-lifers, the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) has been one such group. Through its Development and Peace (D&P) arm, the CCCB has consistently funded groups that oppose the Church’s moral teaching – and even admitted to it in March 2021. LifeSiteNews has literally been reporting about problems with the CCCB since our beginning as a news organization.

The CCCB banned LifeSite from its annual meetings beginning in 2011.

It was LifeSite that initially broke the news about D&P’s funding scandals in 2009, when we reported the Catholic aid association was funding pro-abortion groups in Mexico.

Those revelations prompted the bishops to investigate that same year, and to establish a standing committee in 2010 to monitor D&P’s activities and international partners. At the same time, however, D&P stopped publicly listing most of the groups it supports, and even went to court to prevent the list from being published.

Moreover, the first time the bishops denied LifeSiteNews accreditation to attend their October plenary was in 2011, six months after the Development & Peace controversy erupted anew when Ottawa’s Archbishop Terrence Prendergast cancelled a speaking tour by a priest from a pro-abortion Mexican D&P partner group.

LifeSiteNews editor-in-chief John-Henry Westen was told to leave the plenary after the opening Mass. Westen, who had driven five hours to attend the meeting, had not received a CCCB email telling him his accreditation had been denied.

“The leadership of our Conference has expressed serious concerns over the manner in which positions have been taken by your organization,” the email from then-spokesperson Deacon Rene Laprise stated.

Below are LifeSite stories from 2009, 2011, and 2012 about the D&P saga, when LifeSite began exposing what Canadian Catholics were unknowingly funding through their contributions to the CCCB. Additional LifeSite coverage about the D&P scandals can be found at bottom of this article.

Read our series celebrating LifeSite’s 25-year anniversary HERE.

Canadian Bishops Conference Promoting Donations to Pro-Abortion UNICEF

By John-Henry Westen and Patrick Craine

OTTAWA, September 22, 2009 (LifeSiteNews) – In a September 18, 2009 press release, the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) promoted donations to specific programs of UNICEF Canada and two other groups. Even though the funding suggestion was to be earmarked, the announcement shocked leaders in the pro-life movement, especially those who deal with UNICEF at the international level, since UNICEF has increasingly become an “abortion advocacy organization.”

The Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute (C-FAM) has had to deal with UNICEF’s abortion advocacy first hand at the United Nations. C-FAM President Austin Ruse reacted to the CCCB announcement saying: “The Holy See ended its annual contribution to UNICEF years ago and even under great pressure has never returned. Why? Because UNICEF promotes abortion.”

Ruse concluded, “The Bishops conference does a great disservice to women and children by supporting what has become an abortion advocacy organization.”

Substantial evidence has been accumulated that UNICEF’s involvement in promotion of abortion is long-standing and unabated. Ruse’s comments referred to the fact that in 1996 the Vatican announced it would suspend the Pope’s yearly symbolic contribution to the organization. confirmed with the Vatican in June of this year that the donation has not been reinstated.

In a recent case of direct lobbying for abortion, top UNICEF officials unsuccessfully tried to stop the Dominican Republic from enacting a pro-life charter to protect “the right to life” from “conception to death.”

The CCCB release calls on Catholic school boards to direct funds to UNICEF Canada’s “Schools for Africa” project. However, UNICEF has indicated that the program has already exceeded its fundraising expectations. This is adding to questions being asked by Catholics about why the bishops’ organization is so insistent that they donate to the UN group while many Catholic charities are suffering from the economic downturn.

In a UNICEF press release on September 15, UNICEF announced that it’s “Schools for Africa” project had “raised more than $50 million for its Schools for Africa campaign, exceeding its initial target.”

The CCCB release encouraged donations to two entities other than UNICEF: Development and Peace, and the Holy Childhood Association.

MaterCare International (MCI), an association of Catholic Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, dedicated to improving the lives and health of mothers and their children both unborn and born throughout the world, is headquartered in Newfoundland. Founder and Executive Director Dr. Robert Walley informed LifeSiteNews that the organization is in great financial need. His current project in Kenya where there is hardly any healthcare is over $4 million short, he noted.

Moving beyond Catholic organizations, the pro-life movement in Canada has been communicating that it is suffering financially as well. Mary Ellen Douglas of Campaign Life Coalition informed LifeSiteNews, “We’re terribly short of funds and we need everybody to dig deep in order to keep us afloat. We’re doing everything we can to raise funds on our own and we’re just hoping that people will respond generously to this terrible need right now.” She added: “There are many good causes out there, but the cause of life is in need of their immediate help, and it should be the priority.”

CCCB Associate General Secretary Bede Hubbard spoke with LifeSiteNews about the CCCB decision to promote funding to UNICEF. He noted that in 1997 (shortly after the 1996 stoppage of the symbolic Vatican donation to UNICEF) the CCCB Presidency consulted with the Vatican Secretariat of State on the matter.  They worked out, he suggested, a system of earmarking funds for particular programs, that are not – in the words of the CCCB press release – “in conflict with Catholic moral principles.”

Each year, explained Hubbard, the CCCB Executive Committee reviews proposed guidelines with the Vatican’s representative at the United Nations.

However, at the time of the 1996 Vatican decision to suspend funding, then-Vatican representative to the United Nations, Archbishop Renato Martino, explained that the decision was based on four concerns, the first of which was: “The failure of UNICEF to provide accountability for funds which donors have ‘earmarked’ for specific and morally unobjectionable child-related programs despite numerous requests by the Holy See for such assurances.”

See related LifeSiteNews reports:

UNICEF Among Sponsors of New Campaign Promoting Abortion

UNICEF Report Recommends More “Reproductive Health Services” and “Family Planning”

Caught on Video: How UNICEF, WHO Manipulate Latin American Catholics to Cooperate on Abortion

Read the original article HERE.

Caught on Video: How UNICEF, WHO Manipulate Latin American Catholics to Cooperate on Abortion

By Hilary White and Steve Jalsevac

June 5, 2009 (LifeSiteNews) – When is abortion not really “abortion”? When it is promoted as “therapeutic” by UN-supported international health organisations trying to make a “strategic alliance” with the Catholic Church in Latin America. The Population Research Institute (PRI) has just posted a 6-minute video of highlights from interviews conducted by its Latin American Director that reveal the slick language tactics used by UN agents to manipulate Catholics to cooperate with its anti-life, anti-family agendas.

Dr. Oscar Suriel, International Consultant on Family, Health and Community, for the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), a member organization of the World Health Organization (WHO), told PRI’s Carlos Polo in March, that it is not “abortion per se” that they support, but only “therapeutic abortion.”

Dr. Manuel Manrique Castro from UNICEF said that his organization’s dedication to the use of condoms to prevent AIDS was fully supported by many Latin American bishops.

Drs. Suriel and Manrique spoke to Polo at a meeting in Quito, Ecuador organised by the Latin American Catholic Bishops Conferences (CELAM). The two UN officials said they were at the “Pastoral Meeting about Children and Adolescents at Risk, at CELAM’s invitation, and both spoke of organising a “strategic alliance” with the Church.

When asked in the videotaped interview whether PAHO’s support of abortion does not put it into conflict with the Church, Dr. Suriel flatly denied that his organisation supported abortion “per se” but only promoted “therapeutic abortion.”

“It is not correct that we promote abortion,” Suriel said. “That is a poor assessment because it is not so. If it were so, then we are like you said, in opposition to you, and that is not correct.”

“You are referring to therapeutic abortion. And therapeutic abortion is not promoting abortion. Therapeutic abortion is an important thing. So what we are promoting is therapeutic abortion. But we do not promote under any circumstances or in any way abortion per se. It is very different from what you are saying.”

However, when confronted with the fact that PAHO had supported the Mexico City legalization of abortion on demand, a situation that even PAHO does not believe constitutes “therapeutic” abortion, Suriel backtracked and said it was about what a woman wants. “We promote that if a teenager wants … if they have a pregnancy and they must keep it, we promote that,” he said.

PAHO and UNICEF both promote “reproductive health” that is an acknowledged euphemism at the United Nations for the promotion of abortion, abortifacient drugs, artificial contraception and sterilization. UN groups, while stating that their reproductive health policies are in conformity with local laws, also engage in heavy pressure tactics, particularly through committees such as that of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), to change national laws to allow abortion on demand. Earlier this year, UNICEF published a 168-page report that called for massive increases in “reproductive health services,” in developing countries.

Several years ago the Vatican withdrew its support for UNICEF and later Renato Cardinal Martino, then Vatican representative at the UN, asked Catholics to cease donating to the organization.

Asked if UNICEF would be willing to give up promotion of their anti-life policies in order to form a partnership with the Catholic Church, Dr. Manrique said that it is only “radicals” in the Catholic Church who oppose those things, not the Church as a whole.

“Well, that may be the recommendation of the Cardinal, but along with the recommendation of the Cardinal there are many other opinions,” he said. “There are radicals that do not help the advancement of organizations.”

Asked if the promotion of condoms for AIDS prevention, the “reproductive right” of abortion and contraception, and “gender ideology” are in conflict with the Church, Manrique responded, “These three issues … are perfectly in tune with the Catholic Church.”

The Church, he said, has not “promoted” contraceptives, “but it has accepted the use of condoms specifically in the case of AIDS. It accepts it. I can bring if you like, many cases of bishops who agree and say ‘If people need it, you can use it’.”

Confronted with Pope Benedict’s recently restated opposition to the use of condoms, however, Manrique agreed that the pope is the highest moral authority in the Church, but said, “Since this is a recent event, it does not overturn the multiple statements of many Latin American bishops, including the Secretary General of the Colombian Bishops’ Conference. Or what even the Brazilian bishops have said in this regard.”

Both Suriel and Manrique later asked the Population Research Institute (PRI) not to publish the interviews, which were videotaped and are now posted to the internet on PRI’s YouTube channel. They said they feared that their comments would result in their loss of access to Latin American Catholic medical clinics and volunteers.

On the PRI website Carlos Polo sums up the UN agencies’ attitude in the interviews. He states, “They believe that they are simply recruiting social workers – who work cheaply or simply for free – into the service of a secular health organization. As far as the Church’s position on abortion is concerned, they apparently believe that if they co-opt enough of the Church’s workers, priests, and bishops, that they can use it as an instrument for their own ends.”

Unfortunately, as has been reported regarding social justice organizations funded by Canada’s Development and Peace and other Catholic groups, these tactics by international anti-life groups are proving to be successful.

Read the original article HERE.

Canadian bishops’ agency caught funding yet another pro-abortion group

As the bishops prepare for their annual meeting, LifeSiteNews has learned that a D&P partner in Cambodia has lobbied for access to “safe abortion.”

MONTREAL, Sept. 21, 2012 ( – As Canada’s bishops prepare for their annual meeting next week, LifeSiteNews has discovered that their international aid organization Development and Peace is funding another pro-abortion group in the developing world.

The NGO Forum on Cambodia, a consortium of development NGOs working in the Southeast Asian country, has called for greater access to “safe abortion,” demanded recognition of women’s “reproductive rights,” and joined a coalition that promotes a pro-abortion interpretation of the UN’s Convention for the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW).

The president of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops, Archbishop Richard Smith of Edmonton, said in January that the bishops “would not have patience for one minute to be supporting any partner that would in any way be pro-abortion.”

It is unclear how much money the Canadian bishops’ development agency has sent the NGO Forum. Development and Peace has not published a full list of its aid recipients since LifeSiteNews began revealing in 2009 that they were funding around two dozen groups on three continents that advocate the decriminalization of abortion, in addition to other activities contrary to Catholic teaching.

But D&P profiles the NGO Forum on its website, and a D&P blog post from June 13, 2012 highlights the group’s work. D&P is listed as a donor on the NGO Forum’s website.

As has been the case with past D&P partners that LifeSiteNews has highlighted, the NGO Forum does not specialize in abortion activism. But, like the others, simple web searches easily turned up numerous statements and reports indicating the promotion of the legal killing of unborn children is a component of the group’s overall approach to human rights and development.

In April 2009, the organization submitted a report on “gender issues” to the Cambodian government with six other NGOs in which they lamented that while “termination of pregnancy” has been legal in Cambodia since 1997, “a number of barriers to safe termination services persist.”

“Safe abortion services are not readily available in Cambodia and only 47 percent of public hospitals and about 15 percent of health centres offer any kind of abortion services,” the submission reads. They then call on the government to “provide basic reproductive health to all women.”

Southeast Asian governments should “take all appropriate measures to modify or abolish laws, regulations, customs and practices which limit women from enjoying their fundamental freedoms and rights,” they wrote.

They also called for the inclusion of rights based on “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” in the declaration, and asked that there be “no inclusion of ‘morality, moral value or traditional values’ clauses that serve to undermine rights.”

The NGO Forum’s website explains that it was founded by international NGOs in the 1980s to demand an end to an aid embargo against Cambodia, but notes that their mission eventually expanded to other development-related issues.

In 1997, they formed a Women’s Working Group. The organization’s annual report for 2000 indicates this working group had met to discuss action related to Cambodia’s abortion law, in addition to organizing celebrations for the radically pro-abortion International Women’s Day.

As a representative of NGOs, the NGO Forum regularly publishes position papers authored by members and other NGOs. In 20062008, and 2010, they published papers by MEDiCAM, a consortium of health NGOs working in Cambodia, that called for improvements in the country’s provision of “safe abortion.”

“The coverage of maternal health services still remains low and there is still an unmet need for birth spacing. At the same time, many women do not have access to safe abortions,” the 2006 paper read.

In 2010, the NGO Forum issued a joint statement along with MEDiCAM and others that called for “safe abortion” as a way to reduce maternal mortality. Though endorsed by the other groups, the document indicates it was compiled and distributed by the NGO Forum.

In 2009, the D&P partner was part of a working group that released a report on Cambodia’s implementation of the International Covenant on Economic Social and Cultural Rights. In a section on women’s equal rights to health, the report calls for the “elimination of all obstacles” to “sexual and reproductive health,” and says it is “crucial to counteract the harmful impact of traditional attitudes and practices denying women’s full reproductive rights.”

Notably, the NGO Forum’s membership list includes the U.S. Bishops’ Catholic Relief Services, and the Australian Bishops’ Australian Catholic Relief.

LifeSiteNews did not hear back from Development and Peace nor the NGO Forum on Cambodia by press time. D&P has said in the past that they have a policy to not give interviews to LifeSiteNews.

After the initial funding scandal at D&P broke in 2009, the organization and supporters justified the controversial funding relationships by arguing that while the partners may advocate legal abortion, the specific projects funded by D&P are unrelated to abortion.

But, like Archbishop Smith, Cardinal Thomas Collins of Toronto insisted that D&P should only fund groups in harmony with the Catholic faith.

“It is not enough to examine the suitability of individual projects,” he wrote in 2009. “The organizations that operate the projects must also be in harmony with the principles of our Catholic faith. If they are not, then there are plenty of other worthy projects that are operated by organizations which we can in good conscience support, and funding should go to them.”

The Canadian Bishops launched a renewal of D&P in 2010, but the agency’s leadership has remained intact, and they have continued to face criticism over questionable funding relationships.

In March 2011, Ottawa Archbishop Terrence Prendergast was forced to cancel a talk at his diocesan centre by Fr. Luis Arriaga, the head of former D&P partner Centre PRODH, which LifeSiteNews had highlighted in its first report on D&P in March 2009. The Jesuit priest refused to sign a statement assuring his belief in the right to life of the unborn, reportedly on the basis that such a stand would be a “violation of basic human rights.”

That controversy was compounded by the fact that D&P’s executive director, Michael Casey, had responded to the talk’s cancellation by sending out an e-mail to supporters that defended Fr. Arriaga for his “inspiring work” and lauded Centre PRODH as “highly respected for its outstanding work in defending the lives of the most vulnerable in Mexican society.”

In March 2012, LifeSiteNews reported that D&P is funding a Haitian woman’s group, named APROSIFA, that openly hands out free contraceptives and has produced literature on how to obtain abortions. It is unclear whether or not the funding has remained in place.

On Wednesday, the Catholic Register reported that the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops had taken the unprecedented step of blocking D&P’s fall education campaign after several bishops refused to allow the materials into their parishes.

The Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops is scheduled to meet for its annual general assembly in Saint-Adele, Quebec from Sept. 24-28.

Contact Information:

*Important: see Composing Effective Communications in Response to LifeSiteNews Reports.

Archbishop Pedro López Quintana, Apostolic Nuncio to Canada
724 Manor Avenue
Ottawa, ON KIM OE3
Phone: (613) 746-4914
Fax: (613) 746-4786
E-mail: [email protected]

Archbishop Richard Smith of Edmonton
CCCB President
8421-101 Avenue
Edmonton (AB) T6A 0L1
Tel: (780) 469-1010
Fax: (780) 465-3003
E-mail: [email protected]

Read the original article HERE.

Read our series celebrating LifeSite’s 25-year anniversary HERE.


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Canadian bishops admit its charitable arm funded groups opposing Catholic ‘moral teaching’ (2021)