D&P Mexico Investigation Report Going to Bishops then Public - Perhaps by June

Wed Apr 22, 2009 - 12:15 pm EST

By John-Henry Westen

OTTAWA, April 21, 2009 ( - A report from the committee of inquiry that travelled to Mexico to investigate the funding of pro-abortion groups by the development arm of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) is under preparation and will only be made public "as late as June," according to a CCCB representative.

Having visited Mexico from the 15 to 18 April, 2009, the committee, made up of officials from Development and Peace and the CCCB, including two Canadian bishops, will first present its report to the CCCB Permanent Council, a committee of 12 bishops made up of the CCCB executive and the leaders of the largest dioceses in the country.

Following that, all the bishops of Canada will be notified of the results of the inquiry, after which they will be made public. Gerald Baril, of the Communications Service of the CCCB told (LSN) that the next meeting of the Permanent Council is in early June.  He added, however, that they could do it by conference call and thus expedite the process.  "It may be as early as May and as late as June," he said, about the timing of the report becoming public.

The committee was established in response to reports initiated by that Development and Peace, the official development arm of the bishops’ conference, has been funding pro-abortion groups in Mexico.  While the original LSN report mentioned only five groups in Mexico who received $170,000 in total last year, later reports have found evidence for D&P funding of pro-abortion and pro-contraception groups throughout Latin America, Africa, and Asia. 

The latest report on another Mexican D&P partner, not part of the original 5, included an interview with the group in which they admit to arranging an abortion for the unborn child of a woman with Down syndrome.

While in Mexico, the members of the committee, chaired by Archbishop Martin W. Currie of St. John’s, Newfoundland, and Bishop François Lapierre of Saint-Hyacinthe, Quebec, met with representatives of the Episcopal Conference of Mexico and with senior representatives of the organizations mentioned in the initial LSN report.

While in Mexico, Michael Casey, the Executive Director of Development and Peace, spoke with the Catholic News Service (CNS) about the investigation.  Other members of the investigation team would not speak to the media.  Baril told LSN that although Monsignor Mario Paquette, the General Secretary of the CCCB was also part of the investigation, he "was told not to discuss any details of the inquiry until the bishops have been informed because they are directly concerned with the whole thing."

In the interview with CNS Casey expressed his confidence in the groups after an initial April 16 meeting with leaders of the groups in Mexico City.  He said he was "not dismayed" at the result of the meeting and said he considered D&P to be cautious in selecting partners to fund.  "We do a lot of research when choosing new partners; our program officers visit here regularly," he said. "We look for partners that share the same value base ... we’re very much focused on integral human development - people-oriented, community-based."

The Members of the CCCB Permanent Council include:

* Most Reverend V. James Weisgerber, Archbishop of Winnipeg, President of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops
* Most Reverend Pierre Morissette, Bishop of Baie-Comeau, Vice-President of the CCCB
* Most Reverend James M. Wingle, Bishop of St. Catharines, Co-Treasurer of the CCCB
* Most Reverend Paul-André Durocher, Bishop of Alexandria-Cornwall, Co-Treasurer of the CCCB
* His Eminence Jean-Claude Turcotte, Archbishop of Montréal, Ex Officio Member
* His Eminence Marc Cardinal Ouellet, Archbishop of Québec, Ex Officio Member
* Most Reverend Thomas Collins, Archbishop of Toronto, Ex Officio Member
* Most Reverend Lawrence Huculak, O.S.B.M., Eparchial Archbishop of Winnipeg and Metropolitan for Ukrainian Catholics in Canada, Ex Officio Member
* Most Reverend Douglas Crosby, O.M.I., Bishop of Corner Brook and Labrador, Atlantic Regional Representative
* Most Reverend Eugène Tremblay, Bishop of Amos, Quebec Regional Representative
* Most Reverend Ronald P. Fabbro, C.S.B., Bishop of London, Ontario Regional Representative
* Most Reverend Luc Bouchard, Bishop of Saint-Paul, Western Regional Representative

See all the coverage of the Development and Peace scandal here:

To RESPECTFULLY contact any Canadian bishop:,com_wrapper/Itemid,1211/lang,eng/

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