Matthew Cullinan Hoffman

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Opinion: Development and Peace deceives its members—again

Matthew Cullinan Hoffman
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May 26, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) - The Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace (D&P) has issued yet another deceptive letter to its members, in an awkward attempt at damage control following its recent fiasco in Ottawa, where Archbishop Terrence Prendergast last month canceled a speaking engagement by one of D&P’s many pro-abortion grant beneficiaries. Following LifeSiteNews’ exposé on the scandal, the story has been picked up by numerous other publications, magnifying the troubled organization’s embarrassment.

The problem, of course, is that D&P has spent more than two years falsely denying that it has pro-abortion grant beneficiaries, despite the overwhelming evidence published by LifeSiteNews (LSN) , the blog SoCon or Bust, the National Catholic Register and other sources. So what to do now that it is caught red-handed trying to foist a speaker from one of its pro-abortion partners on the Archdiocese of Ottawa, with the Archbishop himself asked to give the opening address?  Will the organization come clean, fess up, and reform? Sadly, the answer yet again is: no.

In its latest missive, D&P thanks the reader “for writing to us with your message of support and concern following the cancellation of the visit of Father Arriaga, s.j., Executive Director of the Centre PRODH in Mexico (...) We are touched by your expression of solidarity…”

The letter then goes on to blatantly fudge the facts: “The work of PRODH is to defend cases where there have been violations of human rights, abuses of power and political repression, and injustice. Their work is not related to women’s reproductive health, abortion or contraception. However, because of certain recent allegations made against the Centre, the Bishops of Mexico raised questions concerning the Centre’s involvement in networks with other civil society organizations”

Although it is true that PRODH’s focus is not the advocacy of abortion “rights,” the organization itself has been clearly and directly involved in advocacy in favor of the pro-abortion cause, as LifeSiteNews has meticulously documented over the last two years.  LSN has even shown its readers a full page newspaper ad signed by PRODH and displayed in the Guadalajaran newspaper Publico, objecting against a state pro-life amendment. We have also published a translation of the same document in English.

In addition, PRODH has repeatedly signed other “human rights” statements that endorse or advocate the legalization or decriminalization of abortion, all of which LSN has published. Despite protests to the contrary, PRODH was not merely a “contributor” to these odious documents.  It always endorsed the statements clearly, and in one case even signed at the highest level of endorsement: as a “presenter.” Clearly, the work of PRODH more than “related” to abortion. It is a pro-abortion organization.

More deception

D&P acknowledges that it will not be funding PRODH any longer—now that the Mexican bishops themselves have expressed their “concerns” about the group, and Archbishop Prendergast has canceled its leader’s speaking engagement, there is not much more it can do. But it goes on to further mislead its members by suggesting that PRODH and other pro-abortion groups funded by D&P are only guilty of being in coalitions that include pro-abortion groups, rather than direct involvement in such advocacy.

“The case of the Centre PRODH raises the important question of working in networks and coalitions in the areas of social justice advocacy. To properly defend human rights or to bring about meaningful changes in society in the Global South and in Canada, it is often necessary to join forces and efforts with groups who share in the same objectives. These groups may not necessarily be Church-based or even Catholic, however, the strength and credibility of these networks derives from the diversity of the voices expressing themselves on a common issue. Despite their differences, they are struggling for an ideal or principle that will enshrine a higher level of human dignity.”

If PRODH and the other organizations exposed by LSN were only members of coalitions that include pro-abortion groups, there would be much less basis for objecting to their funding.  However, this is not at all the case. During its coverage of the ongoing D&P scandal, LSN has uncovered dozens of groups funded by the organization that directly, personally advocate the legalization or decriminalization of abortion, the use and distribution of contraceptives, and the homosexual political agenda, and even seek to remove the Vatican’s diplomatic status at the United Nations.  None of these groups was merely involved in a coalition that included pro-abortion groups, fighting for some legitimate cause.

PRODH is a case in point.  Besides its direct involvement with abortion “rights” advocacy, the group is a member of the All Rights for Everyone Network (“Red Todos los Derechos para Todas y Todos”). This network doesn’t only include pro-abortion groups—it directly advocates the legalization of abortion throughout Mexico, and promoted and defended Mexico City’s law which legalizes and even subsidizes abortion on demand for the first 12 weeks of pregnancy. PRODH directly supports its work and its name even appears on pro-abortion documents it issues.

The All Rights for Everyone Network is itself a D&P grant recipient. Despite LSN’s exposés proving its heavy and direct involvement in abortion advocacy, D&P has never indicated that it has cut its funding of the group.

By continuing to distort and mischaracterize the evidence regarding its grant partners, D&P is giving every indication to Canadian Catholics that it is unrepentant for its support of pro-abortion organizations in Mexico, Latin America, and worldwide. It appears that only a radical, thorough, and top-down reform of the organization is likely to bring it into conformity with Catholic principles, as mandated in Pope Benedict’s encyclical Caritas in Veritate



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Pro-life group asks: Pray for abortionists who sell baby body parts

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February 11, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) - This Lent, a pro-life group would like you to pray for an abortionist - specifically, an abortionist who facilitates the sale of unborn babies' body parts.

The Pro-Life Action League is asking for people to pray for three people in particular throughout the 40 days of Lent. All three were caught on video by the Center for Medical Progress.

Dr. Deborah Nucatola appeared in the first video released last July, sipping red wine and stabbing her salad as she discussed the dismemberment of aborted children, including where to “crush” their bodies for a "less crunchy" technique.

The second is Dr. Mary Gatter, who appeared in the second undercover video, haggling over the prices Planned Parenthood expected to receive for the aborted children's organs and tissue. At one point, she joked that she wants the revenue to pay for “a Lamborghini.”

And the third is Planned Parenthood CEO Cecile Richards, who was also caught in the first video praising Dr. Nucatola.

Despite the shocking evidence uncovered by CMP, Richards has insisted her organization did not receive any profit for what she dubs its "fetal tissue donation program." She apologized only for Dr. Nucatola's "tone." She has since said that Planned Parenthood will not receive any remuneration for babies' body parts.

"These three architects of Planned Parenthood’s baby parts scheme have devoted their lives to the destruction and exploitation of human life in the name of ‘choice,’" said Eric Scheidler, executive director of the Pro-Life Action League. "If we won’t pray for them, who will?”

He asked Christians to pray for these three abortion industry profiteers - and for Richards, who is a post-abortive woman - in order to fulfill Jesus Christ's commandment in the Bible, “Love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you” (St. Matthew 5:44).

“In God’s eyes, what abortion has done to these three women may be worse than what they’ve done to unborn children, who now rest in our Lord’s loving arms," Scheidler said.

For most Catholics, Lent began yesterday on Ash Wednesday, and lasts 40 days.



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Lisa Bourne

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Texas AG faces ethics probe for saying clerks can refuse to issue gay ‘marriage’ licenses

Lisa Bourne

AUSTIN, Texas, February 11, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – The attorney general of the state of Texas is facing an ethics investigation for having affirmed the constitutional religious freedom of state workers to decline to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples if it goes against their religious beliefs.

Attorney General Ken Paxton took steps to address the issue of conscience protection in his state before and after last June's Supreme Court's Obergefell decision imposing same-sex "marriage" on all 50 states, first issuing a statement the day prior clarifying that Texas law recognizes the definition of marriage as between one man and one woman and recommending that state officials wait for direction from his office should the High Court move to redefine marriage.

Paxton then issued a statement two days after the ruling, his office allowing county clerks and their employees to retain religious freedoms that may allow accommodation of their religious objections to issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples, and said as well that justices of the peace and judges would similarly retain religious freedoms.

Click "like" if you want to defend true marriage.

A month later, a group of some 200 attorneys filed a complaint asserting that Paxton's position encouraged officials to violate the U.S. Constitution and break their oaths of office, according to ABC News.

The complaint was dismissed at first by the Office of Chief Disciplinary Counsel of the State Bar of Texas, but it was reinstated February 2 by a state Supreme Court-appointed appeals board, which contended that the complaint alleges a "possible violation" of professional conduct rules.

The appeals board decision to reinstate the case does not mean Paxton violated professional ethics, according to the ABC report, but does require him to respond to the complaint in conjunction with the investigation.

"The complaint has always lacked merit," said Paxton spokeswoman Cynthia Meyer, "and we are confident the legal process for resolving these complaints will bear that out."

Paxton was among several state officials across the U.S. who moved to ensure conscience protection in the immediate aftermath the Obergefell ruling, at times garnering the ire of homosexual activists.

Last July, South Dakota's attorney general granted permission to county clerks with conscientious objections to opt out of issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples as long as another clerk in the office would issue the license. 

Rowan County, KY clerk Kim Davis was jailed last fall for refusing to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples because it violated her religious values.

In a highly contentious case, Davis had asked for a religious accommodation allowing her office to issue altered licenses to homosexuals without her name on them, which was eventually granted by Kentucky's Governor Matt Bevin. However, the ACLU sued, seeking to force Davis to issue the old forms with her full name on them. A federal judge rejected the suit earlier this week.

Last year, homosexual activists sent harassing messages, including threats of violence, to Oklahoma State Senator Joseph Silk and his family after the Republican legislator sponsored a bill that would have given the state's business owners the freedom to follow their religious convictions in regard to homosexual "marriage."

Paxton faces penalties varying between a reprimand and disbarment resulting from the ethics complaint. The Texas attorney general is also facing securities fraud charges.



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This pro-abortion billionaire may run for president

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NEW YORK, February 11, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) - He's an upwardly mobile, socially liberal billionaire whose political affiliation has changed numerous times over the years. He's teased numerous presidential campaigns in the past, but this time he's talking like he's serious. And no, he's not who you think he is.

Michael Bloomberg, who served three terms as mayor of New York City, has confirmed to media sources that he is considering running for president as an independent in 2016.

Bloomberg told told the Financial Times this week that he finds American political "discourse and discussion distressingly banal and an outrage and an insult to the voters," and that he's “looking at all the options."

The 73-year-old tycoon was a registered Democrat before switching parties to run in the less contested Republican primary in 2001. He became a registered independent in 2007.

As mayor, Bloomberg governed as a social liberal who strongly supported abortion and the LGBT political agenda.

In 2011, Bloomberg signed a controversial gag order directed at crisis pregnancy centers. A year later, he endorsed Barack Obama's re-election, saying that abortion-on-demand is part of "the world I want to leave my two daughters, and the values that are required to guide us there."

After leaving office, he received Planned Parenthood's Global Citizen Award at its annual gala on March 27, 2014.

That's the same year Bloomberg Philanthropies announced a $50 million undertaking to expand "reproductive health," including a major partnership with Planned Parenthood-Global to overturn pro-life laws in four nations: Nicaragua, Sengal, Uganda, and Burkina Faso.

Jeb Bush sat on the board of the philanthropy, which also strongly supports Common Core educational standards, at the time.

Mayor Bloomberg played a pivotal role redefining marriage in New York state, giving the four Republican state senators who voted for New York’s same-sex “marriage” bill the maximum campaign contribution allowed by law. One retired and a second lost his primary fight.

His strong emphasis on health regulations, such as attempting to ban soft drinks larger than 16 ounces, did little to enhance his popularity and were deftly parodied by Sarah Palin. (A state court struck down the proposed regulation.)

His $50 million gun control crusade dissipated after his cause failed in state after state.

The financial heft he could bring into the race, as well as his quirky politics, has tempted Bloomberg to enter presidential politics in the past. He considered a presidential run in 2008 and thought more strongly about a third party bid in 2012, after hosting the inaugural convention of the “No Labels” movement in New York City in 2010, but he backed off each time after not seeing a viable path to victory.

With an estimated fortune of $39 billion, he has said he would be willing to spend more than $1 billion on his campaign in 2016 - but he would only enter the race if the Republican Party nominates Donald Trump or Ted Cruz, and the Democratic Party nominates Bernie Sanders.

He called Jeb and Hillary Clinton "two quality” candidates and "the only two who know how to make the trains run." Jeb reciprocated last month, telling CNN that Bloomberg is "a good person, and he’s a patriot and wants the best for the country.”

At least one of his competitors is eager to see Mike run. "I hope he gets into the race," Donald Trump told Greta Van Susteren on Fox News Wednesday night. "I'd love to compete against him...I would love to see Michael in the race."

That is likely because polling shows Bloomberg would draw most of his support from the Democratic candidate. "Although he is characterized as the New York counterpunch to Trump, Mayor Mike Bloomberg is more the nemesis of Bernie than he is of Donald," said Tim Malloy, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll.

Bernie Sanders would defeat both Trump and Cruz in a head-to-head match, according to Quinnipiac. But if Bloomberg entered the race, he would win 15 percent of the vote largely from Sanders, giving Trump a one-point victory in the popular vote (and narrowing Cruz's loss to one point).

However, he could throw a major wrench in the Democrats' electoral college total, according to columnist Pat Buchanan.

"Not only would Bloomberg lose the Big Apple, his statewide vote would come mostly from the Democratic nominee, giving Republicans the best opportunity to carry the Empire State since Ronald Reagan coasted to re-election in 1984," wrote Buchanan, who served as White House communications director during Reagan's second term.

“It’s not beyond imagining that he could get in and have an effect on the race,” Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-RI, told The Hill.

Perhaps sensing this, numerous Democrats - including Senators Claire McCaskill and Jeanne Shaheen - have thrown cold water on a Bloomberg presidential run.

Democratic National Committee chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, a Florida congresswoman, said this week that an independent Bloomberg candidacy "won't be necessary" - because the Democrats already represent social liberals.

"I really think when he takes a good hard look, he will conclude that the issues that are important to him...[have] a natural home among our Democratic candidates," she said. "And so, I think Michael Bloomberg's agenda is well cared-for and advanced among our Democratic candidates, and his candidacy, I think he will find, won't be necessary.""

His entrance into the race would be a true injection of "New York values" - making him the third or fourth New Yorker in the race - alongside fellow billionaire Trump from Queens, the Brooklyn-born Sanders, and onetime New York Senator Hillary Clinton.

Annie Linskey, a reporter for the Boston Globe who once worked for Bloomberg, told Fox News on Monday that there is "about a four" percent chance that Bloomberg will run.



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