By John-Henry Westen

TORONTO, July 22, 2009 ( – In a two-page statement issued today, Toronto Archbishop Thomas Collins has released his long-awaited decision regarding funding of the Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace (D&P). For 2009, says the statement, “We will set aside $1,125,000, which will be available for projects of Development and Peace which are operated by organizations endorsed by local bishops.” The measure will serve to clear up the problems with such funding since none of the pro-abortion groups funded by D&P are known to be endorsed by their local bishops in the developing world.

After broke the story regarding evidence of D&P funding pro-abortion groups throughout Latin America, Asia and Africa, Archbishop Collins was the first bishop in the country to announce he was withholding funding pending investigation. “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,” he said at the time.

In the current statement, Archbishop Collins also calls for a “thorough review” of D&P. “(I)n this coming year there needs to be a comprehensive review of the organization, including its mandate, its governance and organizational structure, its policies and protocols related to the funding of projects, and the instruments of communication linking Development and Peace and the Canadian bishops.”

The significance of the decision is heightened by the fact that the Archdiocese of Toronto, the largest in Canada, provides over one million of the annual ten million dollars D&P receives from dioceses. Given the numerous groups funded by D&P which are not approved by local bishops, the Toronto Archdiocese funds may not be used up. In such a case, the statement notes that the Archdiocese will re-allocate the portion left over.

While the leadership of D&P have accused of malicious attack, and even selfish motives in exposing the matter, the Toronto archbishop notes that the controversy has raised “legitimate questions.” He adds: “Even acrimonious controversy can be fruitful if, always acknowledging the good intentions of others, we make use of it to bring about improvement.”

In conclusion, Archbishop Collins indicates that future funding for D&P will be contingent on reform of the organization. “It is vital that this coming year be one in which Development and Peace experiences profound renewal, and the depth of that renewal will determine its future,” he said. “Future ShareLife funding for Development and Peace will depend upon our assessment of the degree to which the issues that concern us have been resolved.”

LifeSiteNews called the archdiocese of Toronto for comment and was advised that that Archbishop Collins will not be giving interviews on this matter.

See the full statement from the Archdiocese here:

See the comprehensive LifeSiteNews Feature Page Development and Peace Funding of Pro-Abortion Groups 2009