Vancouver Diocesan Editorial: “Writing Could be on the Wall” for Development and Peace

Mon Apr 20, 2009 - 12:15 pm EST

By John-Henry Westen
VANCOVER, April 20, 2009 ( - The editorial in this week’s edition of the official newspaper of the Archdiocese of Vancouver calls for an overhaul of the official international development arm of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops, following reports that the organization is funding numerous pro-abortion and pro-contraception groups around the world. (See the full editorial online here:

Editor Paul Schratz writes that the Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace (CCODP or D&P) should open wide its doors in order to "assist the bishops in conducting a good housecleaning from top to bottom."
"Over the last couple of months LifeSite News and other conservative observers have documented dozens of examples of CCODP funding groups that have concealed or barely concealed ties to abortion and contraception," wrote Schratz. "At press time, the tally of its partners reported to be supporting abortion or contraception was 29 organizations in 17 countries."
"[CCODP] bungled badly its first response to the allegations, first denying and then going on the offensive against the messengers digging up the disturbing online evidence," the editorial continues. 
"Several bishops came prematurely to the organization’s defence without apparently examining the credibility of the reports, most of which could easily be documented with a few computer clicks."
The diocesan newspaper notes that CCODP’s leftist politics "have tripped it up royally."  That’s how, says the editorial, "it got snared in the March for Women fiasco in 2000. Despite some positive elements, the march’s main agenda was the promotion of same-sex unions and women’s ‘reproductive rights,’ a euphemism for contraception, sterilization, and abortion."

Despite the past scandals and the organization’s leftist reputation, however, "CCODP is an arm of the Canadian bishops, and so it has enjoyed widespread, if not fulsome, support. Now, however, the writing could be on the wall."
The editorial describes the current investigation of the Mexican partners of Development and Peace, headed by two Canadian bishops, as "too little too late."

"There’s something a bit fox-like about CCODP examining its own henhouse, since it’s accompanying the bishops on the investigatory trip."
Schratz urges the bishops and CCODP to recognize that the airing of the scandal has done them a favor by giving them an opportunity to put the organization on the right footing.

Schratz points out that last year it was revealed that the official U.S. bishops development arm, Catholic Relief Services (CRS), had distributed a booklet that included information about how to use condoms. In response CRS publicly acknowledged that a mistake had been made, and "CRS board chairman Archbishop Timothy M. Dolan, installed as archbishop of New York last week, said the theologian who exposed the fact that CRS programs included the financing of condoms did the organization a favour."

Schratz concludes: "It would be helpful if they [the bishops and CCODP] can work together to arrive at a similar outcome so a veil of uncertainty no longer hangs over CCODP. 

"In fact it could be a blessing for the agency, which can emerge from this with a reputation for life, something even it admits hasn’t been an explicit part of its mandate up to now." 
See the full editorial online here:

** See the NEW LifeSiteNews Development and Peace Funding of Pro-Abortion Groups 2009 page at

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