Patrick Craine

,

D&P ex-directors slam bishops over pro-life reforms

Patrick Craine
Patrick Craine
Image

MONTREAL, Quebec, October 12, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Three former executive directors of the Canadian Catholic Organization for Development & Peace have accused Canada’s bishops of adopting “draconian measures” in an effort to stage a “total takeover” of the beleaguered group.  They warn that the bishops’ approach risks “over emphasizing” the moral norms of Humanae Vitae.

In three separate documents, dated September 9th, the directors say some bishops have used LifeSiteNews’ reports as a “pretext” to question D&P, and they accuse the CCCB of adopting “unjustified control measures in the hope of quieting critics.”

The documents, published by the ‘Soutenons DetP’ blog in advance of the bishops’ October 17-21 plenary meeting, were authored by Fabien Leboeuf, who served as executive director from 1996-2001; Gabrielle Lachance, who served from 1988-1996; and Jacques Champagne, who served in the 1970s.

In one of the documents, Leboeuf outlines the “history of tensions” between D&P and the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB), pointing out that the current “crisis” at D&P is only the latest of numerous crises dating to D&P’s beginning years in the 1970s.

In another, Lachance argues that recent and impending changes to D&P’s governance and practices signal a “total takeover of the organization by the bishops,” which he says “seriously undermines the importance given to the role of laypeople over the history of the organization.”

The directors are particularly upset over D&P’s decision to involve the local bishop in decisions about partnering with groups in their dioceses, as well as the CCCB’s creation of a standing committee to oversee D&P’s work.

Lachance likens the bishops’ standing committee to a “trusteeship,” and says that involving the local bishop “leaves the selection of projects to the discretion of the individual bishop’s opinion, rather than basing it on known, tried, professional, and consistent criteria.”

Leboeuf criticizes the CCCB for aligning itself with the Vatican’s effort to “rein [Catholic charitable groups] into a pre-Vatican II model of Church.”

And Lachance suggests that by focusing D&P’s renewal on Pope Benedict XVI’s Caritas in Veritate there is a risk of “over emphasizing the moral issues raised in Humanae Vitae,” which he says could result in “the questioning of projects to assist abused women and rape victims.”

In Caritas in Veritate, Pope Benedict highlighted the prime importance of respecting human life in the Church’s development activities. “Humanae vitae indicates the strong links between life ethics and social ethics,” the pope wrote.

The directors tout the CCCB’s 2009 report from their investigation in Mexico that cleared D&P and said LifeSiteNews acted as “a counter-witness to that Gospel spirit that should guide all Christians.”  For example, they criticize the CCCB for “the instigation of tighter controls over Development and Peace despite the fact that the [2009] report cleared Development and Peace of all suspicions.”

According to Leboeuf, LifeSiteNews has been “relentless in its campaign to discredit Development and Peace,” and “to turn up anything that could be misconstrued to create the impression that the organization supports the right to abortion in any way.”

“It is abundantly clear that nothing short of its dismemberment, or the abandonment of the social justice principles incorporated into Development and Peace’s mandate, will satisfy LifeSiteNews,” he writes.

The D&P crisis today, as well as those going back to the 1970s, has shown “the timidity of most of the bishops in face of accusations by extreme rightwing groups” and “the bishops’ tendency to allow the position of a few bishops that basically distrusted Development and Peace to prevail,” writes Leboeuf.

LifeSiteNews did not hear back from Development & Peace by press time.

See all the documents here:
* DP email to staff
* History of tensions
* Impact of recent decisions

FREE pro-life and pro-family news.

Stay up-to-date on the issues you care about the most. Subscribe today. 

Select Your Edition:


Share this article

Advertisement
Featured Image
Lisa Bourne

‘You can’t have’ marriage equality ‘without polygamy’

Lisa Bourne
By Lisa Bourne

July 3, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) – Motivated by the U.S. Supreme Court ruling legalizing homosexual “marriage,” a Montana polygamist has filed for a second marriage license, so he can be legally wed to two women at once.

"It's about marriage equality," said Nathan Collier, using homosexual advocates’ term to support marriage redefinition. "You can't have this without polygamy."

Collier, who has has appeared on the TLC reality show Sister Wives with his legal wife Victoria, and his second wife Christine, said he was inspired by the dissent in the Supreme Court decision.

The minority Supreme Court justices said in Friday’s ruling it would open the door to both polygamy and religious persecution.

“It is striking how much of the majority’s reasoning would apply with equal force to the claim of a fundamental right to plural marriage,” wrote Chief Justice John Roberts.

Collier and his wives applied for a second marriage license earlier this week at the Yellowstone County Courthouse in Billings, a report from the Salt Lake Tribune said.

Collier, who was excommunicated from the Mormon Church for polygamy, married Victoria in 2000 and had a religious wedding ceremony with Christine in 2007. The three have seven children between them and from previous relationships.

"My second wife Christine, who I'm not legally married to, she's put up with my crap for a lot of years. She deserves legitimacy," Collier said.

Yellowstone County officials initially denied the application before saying they would consult with the County Attorney and get him a final answer.

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

Bigamy, the holding of multiple marriage licenses, is illegal all 50 states, but Collier plans to sue if his application is denied. Officials expect to have an answer for him next week.

While homosexual “marriage” supporters have long insisted legalization of same-sex unions would not lead to polygamy, pro-life and family advocates have warned all along it would be inevitable with the redefinition of marriage.

“The next court cases coming will push for polygamy, as Chief Justice John Roberts acknowledged in his dissent,” said Penny Nance, president of Concerned Women for America, after the Supreme Court ruling. “The chief justice said “the argument for polygamy is actually stronger than that for ‘gay marriage.’ It’s only a matter of time.”

In a piece from the Washington Times, LifeSiteNews Editor-in-Chief and the co-founder of Voice of the Family John-Henry Westen stated the move toward legal polygamy is “just the next step in unraveling how Americans view marriage.”

Advertisement
Featured Image
Christopher Halloran / Shutterstock.com
Ben Johnson Ben Johnson Follow Ben

, , ,

Chris Christie: Clerks must perform same-sex ‘marriages’ regardless of their religious beliefs

Ben Johnson Ben Johnson Follow Ben
By Ben Johnson

TRENTON, NJ, July 3, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) – Chris Christie is not known for nuance. This time, he has turned his fiery personality loose on county clerks and other officials who have religious objections to performing same-sex “marriages.”

In a tone usually reserved for busting teachers' unions, Christie told clerks who hold traditional values, “You took the job, and you took the oath.” He would offer no exemption for an individual whose conscience would not allow him to participate in a union the vast majority of the world's religions deem sinful.

“When you go back and re-read the oath it doesn’t give you an out. You have to do it,” he said.

He told a reporter that there “might” be “individual circumstances” that “merit some examination, but none that come immediately to mind for me.”

“I think for folks who are in the government world, they kind of have to do their job, whether you agree with the law or you don’t,” the pugnacious governor said.

Since the Supreme Court voted 5-4 to legalize homosexual “marriage” last Friday, elected officials have grappled with how to safeguard the rights of those who have deeply held religious beliefs that would not allow them to participate in such a ceremony.

Christie's response differs markedly from other GOP hopefuls' responses to the Supreme Court ruling. Mike Huckabee, for instance, has specifically said that clerks should have conscience rights. Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal signed an executive order granting such rights and ordered clerks to wait until a pending court case was fully adjudicated before any clerk issues a marriage license to a homosexual couple.

Christie gave up a legal appeal after a superior court judge struck down his state's voter-approved constitutional marriage protection amendment. New Jersey is the only state where such a low court overturned the will of the voters.

The decision to ignore conscience rights adds to the growing number of Christie's positions that give conservatives pause.

The natural locus of support for a Christie 2016 presidential run is the Republican's socially liberal donor class, for personal as well as political reasons. His wife works on Wall Street, and some of the GOP's high-dollar donors – including Paul Singer – have courted Christie for years.

However, this year Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio, and to a lesser degree Scott Walker have eclipsed Christie as the preferred candidates of the boardroom donors – who sometimes prefer Democrats to Republicans.

Christie also used language during a speech before the Republican Jewish Coalition last year, which concerned some major GOP donors.

Christie is reportedly spending this weekend with Mitt Romney and his family at Romney's New Hampshire home. Romney declined to enter the 2016 race himself and may be able to open his donor list to Christie's struggling campaign.

Advertisement
Featured Image
Shutterstock.com
Ben Johnson Ben Johnson Follow Ben

After having a girl with Down syndrome, this couple adopted two more

Ben Johnson Ben Johnson Follow Ben
By Ben Johnson

LINO LAKE, MN, July 3, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) – For most people, having five biological children would have been enough. In fact, for many Americans, large families are treated as a scandal or a burden.

But one family made the decision, not just to have a large family, but to give a home to some of the most vulnerable children in the world: Girls born overseas with Down syndrome.

Lee and Karen Shervheim love all seven of their children, biological or otherwise. Undeterred by having twin boys – Daniel and Andrew, 18 – they had Sam four years later.

They now have three daughters who are all 11 years old. All three have Down syndrome.

And two of them are adopted.

About the time their eight-year-old son, David, was born, Lee and Karen decided to adopt a child with Down syndrome to be a companion to their daughter, Annie.

They made the further unexpected choice to adopt a child from Eastern Europe with the help of Reece's Rainbow, which helps parents adopt children with Down syndrome.

“Between my wife and I, we couldn’t get it out of our heads,” Lee told the Quad City Press. “So many children need families and we knew we could potentially do something about it.”

After originally deciding to adopt Katie, they spent six weeks in Kiev, visiting an orphanage in nearby Kharkov. While there, they decided they may have room in their heart, and their home, for another child.

When they saw a picture of Emie striking the same pose as their biological daughter in one of their photographs, they knew they would come home with two children.

Both girls were the same age as their Annie. She would not lack for companionship, as they worried.

Lee said after the Ukrainian government – finally – completed the paperwork, they returned to the United States, when the real challenges began.

“The unvarnished truth,” Lee told the Press, is that adopting the Russian-speaking special needs children “was really disruptive to our family. They came with so many issues that we had not anticipated.”

After teaching them sign language and appropriate behavior, they moved to Lino Lake, Minnesota and found a new support group in Eagle Brook Church. There they found personal assistance and spiritual solace.

Every year in the past seven years has been better and better, they say.

“I think my girls can do almost anything they want to do,” he said, “and that’s what I want to help them become.”

The family's devotion is fueled by their faith, and it informs the sense of humor Lee showed in a tweet during the 2014 midterm elections:

It takes a special person to believe in the potential of the “mentally retarded,” as they were once labeled. Today, 90 percent of all babies diagnosed with Down syndrome in the womb will be aborted. The percentage is higher in some countries. Some have even spoken of "a world without people with Down syndrome."

Their God, and their experience, tell them that every child has infinite worth and potential, Lee told local media, and he would encourage anyone to follow his footsteps and adopt a Down syndrome child – or two.

“The message is that it really doesn’t matter where you started or where you came from,” Lee said. “There are endless opportunities for everyone, whether they have disabilities or not. They deserve a shot.”

Advertisement

Customize your experience.

Login with Facebook