By John-Henry Westen
TORONTO, March 18, 2009 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Toronto Archbishop Thomas Collins has taken the investigative report, published by LifeSiteNews.com exposing Development and Peace funding of pro-abortion groups in Latin America, very seriously. In a message sent to all pastors of the Archdiocese yesterday, Archbishop Collins called for the “serious allegations” about Development and Peace to be “investigated in detail,” noting that that funding of the organization was in jeopardy.
Last week LSN issued a report exposing the fact that the official international development organization of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops is funding pro-abortion groups in Mexico. The names of the groups listed in the report and the amount of the funds given to them, totaling $170,000 last year, came directly from Development and Peace. Moreover, the report included direct links to the websites of the fund recipients, which demonstrated their abortion advocacy. (See the report here:
In his letter, Archbishop Collins said: “Development & Peace has not as yet received its funding from ShareLife for 2009. Be assured I will not allow any money raised in the Archdiocese of Toronto to be used for pro-abortion activities or organizations.”
An initial response to the LifeSiteNews.com exposé by Development and Peace Executive Director Michael Casey, accused LifeSiteNews.com of “dangerously irresponsible and slanderous” actions “through ill-conceived conjecture and hypothesis, to deliberately misinterpret the social justice initiatives of our southern partners in this light.” In his letter Casey did not directly say that the LSN report was false and did not address the specific concerns brought up in the report.
Some interpreted the D&P statement to suggest that LifeSiteNews.com was erroneous in its reporting, and LSN offices have been asked, even by some Church leaders, to retract the story. However, those who have sent such requests have usually failed to follow the links to the direct evidence provided in the LSN report or were unable to understand the Spanish text. Such was not the case at the Archdiocese of Toronto.
Catholic and international pro-life groups reacted with shock after learning that abortion advocacy groups were being supplied with funds from the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops. See coverage: https://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2009/mar/09031210.html
Moreover, the Catholic pro-life leadership in Mexico was scandalized by the news and has asked the Cardinal of Mexico City to intervene in the case with the Canadian Bishops. (See coverage: https://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2009/mar/09031710.html)
“We have contacted Development & Peace to express our deep concerns and have asked that they address this extremely serious matter immediately,” Archbishop Collins concluded his statement.
The timing of the reports happen to coincide with the annual meeting of the Bishops of Canada which is currently underway in Cornwall, Ontario.
See other related LifeSiteNews reports:
Mexican Pro-Life Leader Confirms: Groups Funded by Development and Peace are Pro-Abortion https://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2009/mar/09031710.html
Commentary : Storm within Catholic Church in Canada over CCODP LifeSiteNews Report