Dozen Canadian bishops now withhold funding from Development and Peace over abortion support
VICTORIA, British Columbia, April 23, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) — Bishop Gary Gordon of Victoria is the 12th of Canada’s some 60 Catholic bishops to withhold funds from Development and Peace over its ties to groups in developing countries that contradict Catholic moral teachings.
The bishops are holding back the 2018 Share Lent collection following revelations of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops’ investigation into D&P’s global grantees.
An interim report of the CCCB review to the Western and Northern bishops’ assembly in February revealed the Catholic international agency partnered with 40 agencies in developing countries that support either abortion, contraception, homosexuality, or gender ideology.
These “creditable investigations” documented “serious issues regarding a number of these partner agencies that contradict the moral teachings of the Catholic Church,” Bishop Gordon wrote in an April 18 letter.
His diocese is “delaying the distribution of the 2018 Share Lent collection to Development and Peace until clear assurances are received that its partners comply with Catholic teachings,” he stated.
“The decision has not been an easy one to make given the positive impact Development and Peace has had in the world for the past 50 years,” added Gordon.
LifeSiteNews has reported extensively for years on Development and Peace’s funding of pro-abortion, pro-contraception, and pro-LGBT groups in the developing world. It reported last March D&P had been funding at least seven Latin American organizations that actively promote the legalization of abortion, including one in Haiti.
Dioceses across Canada donate to D&P through the annual Share Lent campaign, or ShareLife in Toronto.
The campaign brought in $8.3 million in the fiscal year 2016-2017, according to Edmonton’s Grandin Media. In Toronto, D&P received $800,000 from ShareLife last year, according to the Catholic Register.
Bishop Gordon joins Bishop Joseph Phuong Nguyen of Kamloops, British Columbia, Cardinal Thomas Collins of Toronto, Archbishop Richard Gagnon of Winnipeg, Archbishop Michael Miller of Vancouver, Bishop Hector Vila of Whitehorse, Bishop-Elect Gregory Bittman of Nelson, Bishop Gerard Bergie of St. Catharines, Archbishop Richard Smith of Edmonton, Bishop Paul Terrio of St. Paul, Bishop William McGratten of Calgary Alberta, and Bishop Mark Hagemoen of Saskatoon in withholding funds from D&P.
Smith told Grandin Media he was shocked by the interim report, and Collins wrote the findings “produced alarming concerns about dozens of overseas organizations.”
Development and Peace is a “significant recipient of funds collected as part of our annual ShareLife appeal. We consider our relationship with our donors to be that of a sacred trust,” wrote Collins.
“As CCODP is the development arm established by the Catholic bishops, it is critical to ensure that it allocates no funds to projects or groups that operate contrary to the moral and social teachings of the church,” he concluded.
Winnipeg’s annual D&P collection is usually not sent to the international aid agency until August, Gagnon wrote in his pastoral letter.
“That space of time should give Development and Peace ample opportunity to make the required reforms,” he stated. “It is very important that the concerns surrounding the recent review of D & P partners are attended to properly.”
The CCCB released a statement April 10 confirming a “joint research project is currently underway involving representation from the CCCB and CCODP” into D&P’s partners in the Global South.
Development and Peace is cooperating with the internal review, and some bishops are waiting for the final report before making any decisions on funding.
That includes Archbishop Terrence Prendergast of Ottawa, Archbishop Christian Lepine of Montreal, Bishop Paul-Andre Durocher of Gatineau and Primate of Canada Cardinal Gerald Lacroix of Quebec City.
The CCCB review was sparked when Catholic Women’s League members raised questions about a women’s health clinic in Haiti that partnered with Development and Peace, Grandin Media reported.