No Official News from Canadian Bishops’ D&P Deliberations Till Dec. 2

Wed Oct 21, 2009 - 12:15 pm EST

By John-Henry Westen

CORNWALL, October 21, 2009 ( - Gerald Baril, outgoing Communications Director for the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) has informed (LSN) that the deliberations and conclusions of the Canadian Bishops regarding Development and Peace (D&P) are to be kept confidential till after the meeting of the Permanent Council of the CCCB.  That meeting is currently set for December 2, 2009.

The confidential deliberations over D&P, the international development arm of the CCCB, are taking place this week and will in part address the contents of an LSN exposé on groups funded by D&P.  LSN presented verifiable evidence in a series of reports that numerous groups in receipt of D&P funding advocate for abortion, or are otherwise involved in activities deeply contrary to Catholic moral teaching.

Several Canadian Bishops, led by the Archbishop of Toronto, Thomas Collins, initially decided to withhold funding from D&P, and then decided to allow funding only for groups approved by the local bishop in the foreign country where the group operates.  The latter measure was welcomed by the pro-life movement internationally as a wise solution to the situation.

The annual bishops Plenary Session, which is currently underway, marks the first time that the bishops have had the opportunity to discuss the matter as a body.

For the most part deliberations on the D&P question have occurred and will continue to occur this week in private discussion among the bishops.  However, during the public session Monday, the Archbishops of Ottawa and Toronto spoke publicly on the matter. Archbishop Terrence Prendergast of Ottawa objected to continuing with "business as usual" with D&P, while Archbishop Thomas Collins criticized the bishops' report on D&P for having misstated the nature of the allegations leveled against the organization by LSN and others.  

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