England and Wales Bishops funding pro-abortion groups through support for comedy charity: SPUC
LONDON, March 18, 2013 (LifeSiteNews.com) – A leading pro-life group has asked the UK’s Catholic Education Service (CES) not to contribute to a charitable campaign that has donated millions of pounds to leading pro-abortion groups, including the International Planned Parenthood Federation.
John Smeaton, director of the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC), has again asked CES and the Catholic bishops of England and Wales to suspend participation in the annual Comic Relief charitable drives.
“It is simply unethical for anyone - let alone Catholic schools - to raise money for Comic Relief, that massive bankroller of the culture of death,” he said.
The Comic Relief telethons were founded in 1985 to help with the effort to relieve the Ethiopian famine. Since then they have raised over £750 million. Two popular campaigns sponsored by Comic Relief, Red Nose Day and Sport Relief, say they aim to “bring about positive and lasting change in the lives of poor and disadvantaged people, which we believe requires investing in work that addresses people's immediate needs as well as tackling the root causes of poverty and injustice.”
But critics have said that the charitable work of the events includes donating large sums of money to hard left groups to promote “reproductive choice.”
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In a recent letter from Comic Relief to CES, posted by Smeaton on his blog, Comic Relief explains that, after concerns had been raised, they had “opened up a dialogue” with the Catholic bishops in 2000 “to help communicate the facts.” The result, says Comic Relief, was that the “Bishops’ Conference and the Department of International Affairs confirmed that they were confident that Catholics may continue to support Comic Relief’s fundraising initiatives in good faith.”
The letter also points out that Comic Relief has provided more than “£13.6m of grants to more than 50 projects managed by the Catholic Agency for Overseas Development (CAFOD) and the Scottish Catholic International Aid Fund (SCIAF).”
However, Smeaton said in response that Comic relief “has for many years funded organisations which perform and/or promote abortion.” These include, through the Red Nose Day campaign, International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) and the homosexualist group Terrence Higgins Trust.
The Red Nose Day website showed that the campaign donated £374,694 to the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) in January 2011 for work in Swaziland, Mozambique and Ethiopia. In the same year, a grant of £248,200 was awarded to African Initiatives in Ghana for “sexual and reproductive health” projects aimed at teenaged girls. In the 2005/06 list, Oxfam, which has a long history of support for abortion, was named for a grant of £1,000,000.
Other pro-abortion groups that have been funded by Comic Relief include Marie Stopes International (MSI), another of the world's largest abortion providers, Population Concern, Reproductive Health Alliance Europe, and others.
“Raising money for Red Nose Day means that some of that money will go to charities and projects that are inimical to building a culture that respects all human life from conception,” Smeaton wrote.
“No one wants to be a spoil-sport when it comes to fundraising for worthy causes, a good thing in itself. However, fundraising efforts should not be spoilt by having the money used to fund the destruction of human life.
“I urge schools, colleges, universities, places of work, parishes etc to simply boycott Red Nose Day, and pick a worthy charity or two for which to raise money instead. Don’t let Red Nose Day leave you red-faced; get the facts.”