By Kathleen Gilbert

VANCOUVER, B.C., March 27, 2009 ( – Two more bishops have acknowledged that Lenten collection money slated for the Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace (D&P) will be withheld until the organization proves it has not been funding pro-abortion groups.

The statements come after a (LSN) investigative report, as well as several follow-up reports, provided evidence that D&P has been sending money to pro-abortion and pro-contraception groups in at least two Latin American countries, and in several countries in Africa.

A statement from Archbishop J. Michael Miller of Vancouver states on the diocesan website that D&P will not be funded until “satisfactory guarantees” are given that the organizations they support do not “advocate anything contrary to the Church’s teaching.”

In the Kingston Archdiocese, Archbishop Brendan O’Brian stated in a memorandum dated Friday: “Given the fact that it takes several weeks for parishes to forward the Share Lent Collection to the Chancery Office, it will be possible for us to review the results of this inquiry before determining how to disperse the funds collected this year.”

Last week, LSN reported that Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops President Bishop James Weisgerber issued a letter to Canadian Catholics in response to the exposé, which stated that, “The Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops is working closely with Development and Peace to clarify these questions and to ensure that, if necessary, rectifications are made.”

Archbishop Thomas Collins of Toronto was the first to issue a statement that he would withhold funds from D&P pending an investigation.

“The many, many good things that CCODP does need to be praised, but we need to be very, very sure we are not into just political things and certainly not anything that comes near to giving the impression or the perception of supporting policies that are against the faith of the Church,” he said. “That’s the bottom line.”

See related coverage:

Canadian Bishops Conference Responds to Exposé on Development and Peace