MONTREAL, Quebec, October 14, 2011 ( – The Quebec division of Campaign Life Coalition will present a 400-signature petition to the Canadian bishops on Monday calling for a “top to bottom” reform of their development arm, the Canadian Catholic Organization for Development & Peace.

Campagne Québec-Vie president Georges Buscemi will hand-deliver the petition in Cornwall on Monday as the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops begins its annual plenary assembly.

Development and Peace, established by the bishops of Canada in 1967 to support the poor in the Third World, was caught funding at least two dozen pro-abortion groups beginning in 2009.

The bishops have initiated a reform with the creation of a standing committee to oversee D&P’s work.

The reform was called into question in April, however, after a D&P event featuring one its pro-abortion partners from Mexico was cancelled by Archbishop Terrence Prendergast of Ottawa because the bishop found their actions “incompatible with the Church’s defence of the right to life from conception to natural death.”

Despite the funding scandal, D&P has so far refused to release a current list of partners.

Campagne Québec-Vie’s petition expressed a fear that “only the tip of the iceberg has been exposed,” and demands that the bishops of Canada “review from top to bottom the mandate and the organisation of D&P, so that D&P may accomplish its task of mercy and justice on behalf of the poor in light of ALL the teachings of the Church, particularly those concerned with the sacred character of human life and procreation.”

Buscemi said he believes “the answer is found in Pope Benedict XVI’s latest encyclical Caritas in Veritate, which states that ‘openness to life is at the centre of true development’ (section 28).”

“This is a perfect statement to guide the reform of Development and Peace,” he continued.  “If Development and Peace wants to truly help the Third World develop, they should be promoting respect for life and openness to life in the Third World, especially when we consider how secular NGOs are showering the Third World with pro-abortion propaganda and condoms, to the detriment of Third World nations and cultures.”

An online version of the petition may be found here.

Campagne Québec-Vie’s French language page dedicated to the Development and Peace affair can be found here.