March 31, 2009 ( – The following statement by Priests for Life Canada President Fr. Tom Lynch was released today and is being sent to Canadian bishops:


Recently it has been revealed that Development and Peace, the social justice and development arm of the Conference of Canadian Catholic Bishops, has been partnering with a number of development and social action groups in foreign countries that have taken public stances and actions contrary to Catholic moral teaching. Specifically, it seems that several “development partners” of Development and Peace have been engaged in the push to legalize abortion in Mexico and distribute condoms in Africa, among other actions. These facts have been brought forward by journalistic investigations.

This raises a serious and urgent problem for Canadian Catholics. Lent is the time when most collections for Development and Peace across Canada are taken up. The funds gathered are assumed to be used for development purposes which are fully in line with Church teaching. If they are used for immoral radical legal and social goals and by lobbying groups which are directly opposed to Church teaching, no Catholic can in good conscience support such an organization. They also cannot contribute funds for such work or else they would formally and materially collaborate in manifest evil. Since the 2009 Development and Peace collections are even now being taken up, immediate action and reassurances are needed.

Priests for Life Canada would strongly urge all the bishops of Canada to follow the leads of several ordinaries who have stated clearly and unequivocally that these allegations will be immediately investigated. Priests for Life Canada would also strongly urge that such an investigation be carried out by outside lay Catholics so as to assure complete professionalism and impartiality, and in an open and transparent manner so as to restore confidence in the development initiatives of the Canadian bishops.

As well, we would commend the further action of bishops who have assured their people that no monies collected will be sent to any organizations that assist, promote, enable, or fund pro-death initiatives. Instead, any monies collected will be sent only to reputable development agencies who, and support such projects which, agree and concur with the total pro-life stance of the Church. We would call for all Canadian bishops to individually and collectively make this assurance to their lay and clerical faithful without delay.

Lastly, we would commend all those who have sought to assist the bishops in their stewardship role of appropriate use of goods and encourage them to continue in that effort.

The development work of the Catholic Church is an integral part of our constant teaching and call. The furtherance of this work in full and uncompromising accord with well known and immutable Catholic principles of social justice for all – especially the pre-born, defenceless and vulnerable – is essential.

Father Thomas A. Lynch, STL
National Director, Priests for Life Canada
[email protected]