Letters to the Editor 2 for April 15, 2009 - Development and Peace
RE: Two Archbishops Declare LSN Reports on Abortion-Advocacy Funding by D&P "Untrue," "False" and "Malicious"
In my opinion, the two Canadian archbishops who have denigratedLifeSiteNews for its reports on the D controversy have put themselvesin a most unfortunate position.
First, it appears that they have notlearned from the clergy sex scandals of a few years ago how to respondin public when irrefutable evidence is brought to the fore. Whatappears to be cover-up just doesn’t cut it any more.
Second, they havepublicly asserted their trust in the powers-that-be at D & P. Whenthey find out that their trust was misplaced, they will understand thattheir misjudgment in the face of evidence diminishes the ability ofothers to trust their judgment henceforth. If they are not subsequentlyin the forefront of cleaning house at D & P, they will not showappropriate displeasure at having their trust betrayed.
It is a relief that other Ordinaries mentioned in LSN’s news itemhave said that investigation will take place into the allegations andsupporting evidence before any more funds are released to D & P. Iagree completely with the April 8 LSN commentary that the recentlyannounced episcopal trip to Mexico is too shallow and too expensive,and it sidesteps doing what is really necessary. The potential forhaving it blow up in the Bishops’ faces if the report back is just awhitewash is very, very great.
We all know, because Jesus said so, that a house divided againstitself cannot stand, and that is precisely the problem at D & P.When the Bishops remedy that problem, they and we will all breathe alot easier!
Following up on my April 2nd letter(http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2009/apr/09040213.html) and furtherrevelations by LifeSiteNews I thought it important to write more aboutDevelopment & Peace.
What kind of organization would request funds to assist the poor indevelopment, and then spend it agitating their political philosophy asthough it came from God? Yet that is exactly what Development and Peace(D&P) has been doing for years.
While I always had suspicions, I started to take a greater interest inthe use of funds by D&P after their first donation to the proabortion March for Women.
The first question I had, was how could the bishops of Canada appointpeople to the board of D&P that were so far removed from theculture of life, that they would not be aware of who leads thepro-abortion and gay-rights movements in Canada?
Shortly afterwards, I discovered that D&P spent $ 130,000 for thedemonstrators at the Quebec City Summit of the Americas in2001. See attached scan of a letter from a former Board member to D&P published in the Prairie Messenger Feb. 2002, after I wrote about the funding, that said he was one who went to the counter conference in Quebec City and seemingly acknowledging the cost http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2009_docs/Prairiemessengerarticle.pdf. Also see one of the many news reports of what happened at that event in the article titled "Police and protesters exchange tear gas as violence rocks Quebec City again" at http://www.organicconsumers.org/corp/quebecreports.cfm#Police. Do you remember the government of Canada building the steel securityfence to keep the radicals out? That’s right, D&P were there! D&P called it a "counter conference", for those poor people notrepresented by their governments. If anyone is unrepresented bygovernments, it has to be the unborn and pro-life people.
So when I heard that another International G8 Conference was being heldin Kananaskis in 2002, I started writing D&P (three times) and abishop to find out how much they planned to spend to riot in Calgary. By this time, I had two letters published on their politicalactivities, and they ignored my request for information. I even paidthe $5.00 membership fee to join as a member of D&P. Still, noinformation on what I suspected was a secret society.
So now I just assume that they spend one to two hundred thousanddollars every year to fly their friends to world "conferences" wheneverand wherever world leaders meet.
Enough about "counter conferences". After all, this is not the onlyway the directors of D&P short change the poor to advance theirideology.
D&P also uses funds to promote the benefits of big governmentownership over the evil of profits every year! D&P has in the pastinitiated lavish campaigns to promote "Life before Profit", and tell ushow to operate mines and deliver water.
They may think they put "Life before Profits", but do you really thinkthat they would put the lives of the unborn before the need to fundtheir leftist friends? I think we all know the answer to that now.
With an "us vs. them" philosophy, D&P mistakenly believes that allprofit comes at the expense of the poor. They have nothing butarrogant disdain for their fellow Catholics who do not share in theirleftist political philosophy. There may be many rooms in our Father’shouse, but there is no room for pro-life conservatives in theboardrooms of D&P. Being inclusive is just not one of theirpriorities.
D & P was created at a time when socialists Pierre Trudeau andTommy Douglas were worshiped as the saviors of the poor. The long termfruit of this philosophy, however, has been the destruction of thefamily, the soul of its adherents and a culture of death.
It was not possible for D&P to associate exclusively with the hard core political left without losing its soul.
Your recent stories about D & P’s cooperation with Mexican (and other) organizations with abortion promotion and funding connections reminded me of my own clash with an Ottawa-based D & P official, well over twenty years ago.
I was then a member of my parish’s Social Justice Committee in Windsor, Ontario, and soon put off by the realization that this committee, along with others, was essentially hijacked by Windsor’s Third World Centre, then headed by a Jess Agostin, a charismatic young man of Philippino background. The Third World Centre received financial support from the Diocese of London, and had close ties to the CCODP.
At a number of Windsor-wide meetings of Social Justic Committees, Jess Agostin pushed what I considered a pro-Marxist agenda, such as favouring anti-Marcos revolutionaries in the Philippines, and the Sandinistas in Nicaragua. When I called him on his pro-Marxist political bias, he angrily called me an "obstructionist".
Finally, in the course of a meeting at The Third World Centre, a CCODP official present, and obviously ill at ease with the tale of a Nicaraguan refugee, who recounted how Sandinistas recruited young Nicaraguan boys into their army - going so far as to lure them away from their families, even those who had escaped to Honduras, tried to put a favourable, pro-Sandinista, spin on the man’s story.
Very annoyed, I called him on it. I asked him why the D & P - and the Third World Centre -saw social injustice everywhere except in socialist regimes and Marxist uprisings, why consistent socialist support for "family planning" and abortion rights never seemed to bother the D & P in its decisions whom to support and what to fund, despite the fact that D & P was supposed to be a Catholic.
He said, "Well, you have your agenda, and we have ours."
I said, "I’ll write a report about this meeting, and send it to the CCCB."
He smirked, "Go ahead; the bishops are on our side."
I wrote an account of this and previous meetings, but instead of mailing it to Ottawa, I hand-delivered it to Bishop Frederick Henry, then auxiliary bishop for the Diocese of London, residing in Windsor.
In my account, I ventured to opine that the pernicious influence of the Winnipeg Statement, and the dissident atmosphere it has helped create in Canada towards the Magisterium’s teaching on artificial birth control and its inevitable back-up, abortion, was likely responsible, to at least some extent, for the smirking dismissal by the likes of that D & P official for "my" agenda.
Bishop Henry courteously heard me out, undertook to bring my letter and the concerns expressed in it to the attention of the CCCB, but then took issue with my remarks about the Winnipeg Statement. He said that there was nothing dissident in that document.
I politely disagreed, and took my leave.
Not long after, Bishop Henry was moved to Thunder Bay. I heard nothing further.
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