Priest Editor Says Canada’s Catholics Should Stop Funding KAIROS
By Fr. Alphonse de Valk
Editor Catholic Insight Magazine
TORONTO, December 22, 2009 (catholicinsight.com) – Throughout much of 2009 Canada's Catholic bishops have been struggling how to handle the controversy with the Canadian Catholic Organization of Development and Peace (CCODP). Readers will recall that the controversy began in March of 2009 when the pro-life news agency LifeSiteNews.com, which issues daily bulletins on the internet of what is happening in The Americas and the rest of the world with respect to the "life" issues (abortion, contraception, bio-ethics, sexual orientation, etc.) came across evidence that a number of foreign partners of CCODP were involved in sometimes anti-life activities.
On enquiry with D&P HQ in Montreal it was discovered that D&P "did not have a policy for or against abortion." In an age where secularism is ruthlessly anti-life and neutrality is an unknown commodity, that meant that D&P was quite comfortable supporting anti-life organizations under the guise of "we don't know anything about it."
But Pope Benedict won't take ignorance as an excuse. "Openness to life," he states in his latest encyclical Caritas in veritate" is at the centre of true development" (Section 28).
Canada's bishops have promised to straighten this out.
As of December 9, 2009 the CCCB set up an ad hoc committee of four bishops to follow up on the LifeSiteNews reports and to help D&P "review its mandate." CCCB president Bishop Pierre Morissette, of the diocese of Saint Jerome, hopes the committee will begin work soon; meanwhile the bishops will continue to support D&P whose staff presently claims to be engaged in a "process of renewal" (LifeSiteNews, Dec. 8, 2009).
KAIROS Funding Cut
Now comes the news that on November 30, 2009, the Federal government has cut the funding of KAIROS. The Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), an arm of the federal government, has supplied around 40% of KAIROS budget for the past three decades. KAIROS's application for funding of $7.1 million for the period of 2010-2013 was turned down by International Development Minister Bev Oda.
Oda's spokesman has said that KAIROS's proposals do not meet the government's updated priorities for international aid-providing food, water, health and education in developing nations. However, Mary Corkery, KAIROS's executive director, has speculated that the cuts came as a result of the organization's domestic activities, which include criticism of government policies on climate change and other issues (Toronto Star, Dec. 18, 2009).
Who or What is KAIROS?
KAIROS is an ecumenical group supported by some unions and by members of seven Christian denominations in Canada, principally the United Church, Anglicans and Catholics. The Catholics are further subdivided into the CCCB (Canadian Bishops), the Canadian Religious Conference, and Development and Peace. The Executive Director of KAIROS was a former executive with D&P.
The philosophy of the group is essentially that of the United Church which has become increasingly a leftist lobby group while scuttling its Christian convictions. Even its "moderators," the group's highest official, are no longer certain whether Jesus is divine, or whether or not they should accept His Resurrection. In short, Christian doctrine, especially the Creeds, have faded away.
On December 18 Immigration Minister Jason Kenney, speaking at a forum in Israel, stated that the Church-based group lost its federal funding because of its position on the Middle East, more particular because of its anti-Israel stand.
This charge was received with great indignity in the Toronto Star, especially by United Church spokesman Bruce Gregersen ("Fury grows over anti-Semitism charge," (Dec. 19, 2009). But the truth of the matter is that in late July and early August 2009 the U.C. General Council debated resolutions calling for boycotts of Israeli institutions, "academic and cultural, national and international." When after several weeks of debate these resolutions fell flat, not least because of the unfavourable press coverage, the Council then considered calling for an economic boycott of Israel. This also went down the drain.
In an editorial "Why the United Church is dying." the National Post noted that it "has long since forsaken its mission of spreading God's message." The paper continued: "[it] increasingly has become just another left-wing tea-and-biscuit talk shop for supporters of gay marriage, unregulated abortion and Palestinian rights" (August 16, 2009).
Why are three Catholic groups, led no less by the Bishops of Canada, continuing to help finance this organization? Does ecumenism now mean that Catholics must allow themselves to be taken for fools?
This article is republished with permission from Catholic Insight.
Notes from LifeSiteNews:
The December 19 Toronto Star article by Les Whittington describes Kairos: Working with 21 partner organizations around the world, KAIROS sponsors projects promoting social and economic justice in Africa, Asia, Latin American and the Middle East.
In a Dec 21 Star article Rosie DiManno writes that KAIROS, "has for decades been active in promoting "liberation theology" sponsoring and facilitating social, economic and ecological justice around the world, including the Middle East."
The KAIROS website reveals that the organization has a strong commitment to the global anti-aids movement, including repeated positive references to Stephen Lewis who has condemned Uganda's unwillingness to adopt the spectacularly failed condom strategy against aids and who is intensely pro-abortion.
KAIROS is also strongly committed to what it calls "ecological justice" which involves "work that is rooted in hope and in the belief that we change our ways and live in right relationship with all of creation."
The organization promotes major actions to combat climate change. KAIROS is a co-signer to an open letter to Canada's Parliament titled "Supporting the Copenhagen Climate Bill" which states "Failure to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases will lead to catastrophic changes in our climate, threatening millions of people with drought, famine, extreme weather events and rising sea levels." Many of the co-signing groups are known strong supporters of population control. The Dec. 20 Catholic Register reports that "Kairos supporters in Toronto also joined in the call for action on climate change. A gathering outside Bellefair United Church in the Beaches neighbourhood brought together people who beat on drums for climate change."
Leading KAIROS member Churches, the United Church of Canada and the Anglican Church of Canada, have a history of strong support for abortion access and for homosexual "marriage" and the acceptance of homosexual behaviour.