There have been been some major Catholic news developments the past few days that have important implications for the life, family and culture issues covered by LifeSiteNews.

In Canada, the Development and Peace saga is starting to look like it is on track to a somewhat satisfactory resolution – eventually. We were greatly disappointed by the Mexico investigative report by the Canadian Catholic bishops' conference regarding Development and Peace funded groups there. However, the publicly released summary last week of the ad hoc committee's report looks far more promising.

The statements from CCCB secretary general Msgr. Pat Powers that are reported today indicate that the log jam against admitting the undeniable about Development and Peace is starting to break. The story is far from over and caution is warranted, but a sea change in the past decades' outdated manner of Catholic social justice activity may be on the way – as long as the bishops are encouraged to continue the process.

In the US, the astonishing election of Archbishop Dolan as president of the USCCB and Archbishop Joseph Kurtz as vice-president also bodes well for similar major change in the US.

In both nations a decidedly secular, liberation theology type of approach has dominated Catholic Church institutional social justice activities for too many years. While many in the West have been moving away from failed socialist/Marxist concepts, most western Catholic Church social justice institutions have been stuck in out-of-date, misguided 1960s thinking. 

Pope Benedict and others have been trying to lead them to adopt a fully Catholic and truly evangelistic approach to social justice. That would end the acceptance, or at the least, tolerance of abortion, homosexuality, radical feminism and many other moral aberrations that have been rampant in Catholic social justice institutions and programs.

This is happening none too soon. Catholic social justice agencies may be on the way to becoming a far better part of the solution to the most pressing problems in our culture, rather than continuing as an all too often contributor to social division and failure. We saw this division with the liberal Catholic voters who made the difference for Obama to become President and the passage of the dreadful US healthcare bill thanks to the critical support of liberal Catholic nuns.

It is a tough grind to bring about needed change, but it is worth it.

Steve Jalsevac