FRANCE, April 18, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) – The French Catholic hierarchy is supporting at least two pro-abortion groups in Latin America through its international development agency, LifeSiteNews has learned.
The Catholic Committee against Hunger and for Development (Comité Catholique contre la Faim et pour le Developpement or CCFD), which is sustained in part by funds collected in French parishes during Lent, is supporting the pro-abortion feminist group INDESO Mujer in Argentina, as well as the pro-abortion Antonio de Montesinos Center for Social and Cultural Studies, according to the CCFD website.
The two groups were exposed by Jean-Pierre Moreau, author of the book Pastoral Terrorism, which criticizes the influence of Liberation Theology in France. In his blog by the same name, Moreau notes that his previous book, The Church and Subverison, uncovered pro-abortion groups funded by the CCFD in 1985, and accuses the organization of continuing the policy. Moreau’s two recent exposés have been republished in the French blogosphere amid calls for boycotts against the CCFD.
LifeSiteNews’ own investigation has verified that, according to the CCFD’s own website, the groups are among its beneficiaries, and that both are strongly involved in pro-abortion activism.
Pro-abortion activism in Argentina
INDESO Mujer, which stands for Institute for Legal and Social Studies on Women has been funded for at least twenty years by the CCFD, and receives money for the “development of male / female relations for more equality” (see official listing of CCFD beneficiaries page 5) . The CCFD does not report the size of its donation to the group.
The front page of the INDESO Mujer website contains a section on “Sexual and Reproductive Rights” which includes “the right to safe and legal abortion.”
On the same page the group also advocates positions that are contrary to other aspects of sexual morality upheld by the Catholic Church, including “access to safe and effective contraception” and a panoply of sexual “rights” that includes “sexual pleasure, which includes masturbation” and the right to “free sexual association” with others.
The page advertises INDESO Mujer’s participation in the annual September 28th Campaign for the Depenalization of Abortion in Latin America and the Caribbean, and offers a an online “book” on “sexual and reproductive rights” which advocates the slogans “sexual education to decide, contraceptives to avoid abortion, and legal abortion to avoid death” and “legal, safe, and free abortion”. (p. 21, 19 of pdf).
The same manual claims that people have a right to “sexual relations independently of age, civil state, or family model” and a right to “a pleasurable, recreational sexuality, independently of reproduction.” (p. 24, 22 of pdf)
In addition the organization links to an edition of its magazine “La Chancleta,” which is devoted to advocating “sexual and reproductive rights,” including abortion.
Moreau discusses the CCFD’s support for INDESO Mujer in a video posted on his blog, which can be found here.
Pro-abortion activism in Mexico
The CCFD also supports the pro-abortion Antonio de Montesinos Center for Social and Cultural Studies (Centro de Estudios Sociales y Culturales Antonio de Montesinos) according to its official listing of beneficiaries, page 7. The purpose of the funding is also listed as the promotion of “equality” between men and women.
The Montesinos Center is a member of the Ecclesial Observatory, an organization that opposes the Catholic Church’s teaching on human life and family. It shares membership in the organization with four other groups, including “Catholics for the Right to Decide,” an organization repeatedly denounced by Catholic bishops for supporting the legalization of abortion and distorting the Church’s teaching on the topic.
The Ecclesial Observatory lobbies for the legalization of abortion in Mexico, and issued a pamphlet supporting Mexico City’s abortion-on-demand legislation in 2008, entitled “Abortion: social, ethical, and religious aspects,” which denounced the Catholic Church for its opposition to abortion.
On page 3, the pamphlet says that while abortion is not a good in itself, “the continuation of an unplanned or undesired pregnancy, which very probably represents a threat to the physical and mental life of the woman, of the couple, of the family, and even of the society, cannot either be considered as desirable.”
“The opposition of the Catholic hierarchy and of some civil associations to the Legal Interruption of Pregnancy, without taking the circumstances into account, constitutes a lack of understanding and up-to-date knowledge about the topic, and also a lack of charity and mercy,” the pamphlet states on page 15.
The name of the Montesinos Center, along with Catholics for the Right to Decide, appears on page 2.
LifeSiteNews has verified that the Center is also a signatory of a pro-abortion report that was also signed by groups supported by the Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace (D&P): the Civil Society Organizations Report on the Situation of Economic, Social, Cultural, and Enviornmental Rights in Mexico (1997-2006) (Informe de organizaciones de la sociedad civil sobre la situación de los derechos económicos, sociales, culturales y ambientales en Mexico).]
As LifeSiteNews has reported in the past, the report states that it is “urgent and necessary that advances be made in all of the states towards broadening the basis of legal abortions for the purpose of equalizing them throughout the country” (p. 189 of the pdf, 188 of the document), and repeats the same sentiment on page 104 of the document. On page 134 of the document it advocates the performance of abortions in public hospitals. The Antonio de Montesinos Center signed the report as a “presenter” rather than as merely one that “adheres” to the report.
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Mgr André Vingt-Trois, Archbishop of Paris, President of the French Bishops’ Conference