Archive for July, 2009

MONTREAL, Quebec, July 31, 2009 (LifeSiteNews.com) – A group of Canadian political scientists have found that the Catholic vote, along with that of visible minorities, played a significant role in the Liberals’ fall from power in the course of the 2000 to 2008 Canadian federal elections. 

The study, principally authored by Professor Elisabeth Gidengil of McGill University, analyzes the causes of the Liberals’ “historic defeat” in the 2008 election.  Entitled ‘The Anatomy of a Liberal Defeat,’ it was prepared to present at the May 2009 annual meeting of the Canadian Political Science Association at Carleton University.

According to the study, “A close look at the sources of Liberal dominance in [the 2000] election reveals that the support of Catholics and visible minorities was a critical ingredient.”

“The Liberals were able to coast to victory in 2000 with the support of two key groups: visible minorities and Catholics,” the study says, but “by 2008, the Liberals could no longer count on their loyalty.”

According to their figures, in 2000, 70% of the visible minority vote went to the Liberals.  The Liberals dropped 14 points in 2004, primarily to the NDP, and remained basically the same in 2006.  But in 2008, they dropped another 19 points, this time largely to the Conservatives, who then received almost as much of the vote as the Liberals.

“The Catholic vote tells a similar story,” they say, with Catholic support dropping “a massive 24 points” since the 2000 election, dropping from 54% to 30% in 2008.  In 2006, the Liberals and Conservatives received about the same percentage of the Catholic vote, but by 2008, the Conservatives far exceeded the Liberals with over 40%.

Why have Catholics come to favor the Conservatives?  “The common assumption has been that the same-sex marriage issue cost the Liberals the support of many Catholics,” the authors say, but according to them, “this is simply not the case, at least in 2004 and 2006.”

They say that the most important factor in 2004 and 2006 was the sponsorship scandal, but pro-life concerns also had a major impact.  While “opposition to same-sex marriage did not have a significant effect on the probability that a Catholic vote would vote Liberal,” the study says, “…in 2006, views about abortion did.”

In 2008, however, Catholic opposition to same-sex marriage was a factor, it says.  “The story is different in 2008.  It was not Dion and it was not the green shift. In contrast to 2004 and 2006, Catholics who oppose same-sex marriage were less likely to vote Liberal.”

The other major new factor in the 2008 election, according to the study, was the vote of Catholics who believe in the divine inspiration of Scripture.  In 2008, they say, “for the first time, Catholics who believe that the Bible is the literal word of God were significantly less likely to vote Liberal.”

The authors conclude that “the Liberals can no longer take the support of Catholics or visible minority voters for granted. … Catholics and minority voters have been the twin pillars of Liberal dominance, but their support is clearly crumbling. The Liberals’ failure to own a single major issue in 2008 underlines just how serious the party’s situation has become.”

They emphasize the Liberals’ need to regain the vote of Catholics and visible minorities.  “To return to power, the Liberals have to recognize that simply replacing the leader and forgetting about the green shift is not going to be enough. They have to go back to basics and rebuild their partisan base.”

This is why the Liberal Party is finished for good.  Unless it turns back to its Catholic roots, it will never be able to regain power.

This report is very important because if the Liberal Party wants to regain power, it must start to cater more to social conservatives. 

Why do you think John McKay has been appointed by the Liberals to reach out to Catholic and other Christian voters?  The reality is that the Liberal Party has completely gutted its base with the sell out to the Gay Agenda. It was a huge miscalculation, and now they are scrambling to figure out how to win it back, but it won’t work.

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On Wednesday, July 8, 2009, the Telegraph-Journal published a story about the funeral mass celebrating the life of former Governor-General Romeo LeBlanc that was inaccurate and should not have been published. We pride ourselves in maintaining high standards of journalism and ethical reporting, and regret this was not followed in this case.

The story stated that a senior Roman Catholic priest in New Brunswick had demanded that the Prime Minister’s Office explain what happened to the communion wafer which was handed to Prime Minister Harper during the celebration of communion at the funeral mass. The story also said that during the communion celebration, the Prime Minister “slipped the thin wafer that Catholics call ‘the host’ into his jacket pocket”.

There was no credible support for these statements of fact at the time this article was published, nor is the Telegraph-Journal aware of any credible support for these statements now. Our reporters Rob Linke and Adam Huras, who wrote the story reporting on the funeral, did not include these statements in the version of the story that they wrote. In the editing process, these statements were added without the knowledge of the reporters and without any credible support for them.

The Telegraph-Journal sincerely apologizes to the Prime Minister for the harm that this inaccurate story has caused. We also apologize to reporters Rob Linke and Adam Huras and to our readers for our failure to meet our own standards of responsible journalism and accuracy in reporting.  (Source)

____________

“Lisa, most of us will remember the story that went all around the world about the prime minister apparently not eating the host when he was at the funeral of former governor general Romeo LeBlanc. That story was first published in the St John Telegraph Journal which is owned by the billionaire Irving family. The prime minister hit the roof. Well, today, a grovelling apology from the paper. They said the story was not true. So what happened? Well, I’m told that the Liberals passed the story to young Jamie Irving who was the publisher of the paper. He passed it to the editor who put it in the paper without checking it out, and today the editor has been fired, and Jamie’s father has suspended his son for thirty days, and I’m told the prime minister is pretty thrilled with that.” (Source)

As I mentioned in an earlier blog post shortly after this so-called “scandal” broke, this was an insider job from the beginning

There are three things worth noting here. 

Dirty politics is never an honourable profession, but it seems today that you can’t get elected without resorting to it.   It should be no surprise, therefore, when the political media hackery, cut loose from any sort of ethical restraint, begins to use sacred objects as some kind of political play thing to advance its socially liberal agenda.  The Liberal Party lost its majority because it lost the Catholic vote when it sold out to the Gay lobby.  Now it is desperate to regain that constituency in order to regain power.  It is trying to wrench away Catholic votes from the Conservative Party by ramping up the “outrage barometer” among Catholics.  It can’t appeal to religious conservatives through its policies so it has to resort to fabricating a story of religious scandal.   The problem with the strategy is that liberals have been so successful these past 40 years in watering down morality and religious understanding that only a minority of Catholics understand what the Eucharist is in the first place, and fewer still would get too uptight over its profanation.  Liberals have so bled the Faith out of Catholics over the past 40 years that there is very little outrage to spend as political currency.  Of the conservative Catholics who do know what the Eucharist really is and would indeed be outraged by its profanation, there are a number of factors that make this concocted scandal hardly worth the effort: (1) our numbers are so few it could hardly justify the attention; (2) we can make the elementary moral distinction between someone accepting the Eucharist with full knowledge of what they are doing and someone who is genuinely ignorant; and (3) most religious conservatives knew the political game that was being played from the start. 

Secondly, I find it extremely distasteful but typical that the media is now so concerned with religious sacrilege.  Folks, does that make any sense?  After spending the past 40 years prostituting themselves in promoting anti-religious, anti-Christian bigotry and sacrilege and inculcating it into the very fabric of our society, the media and the political hacks all of a sudden “find God” and “get religion”? 

Please.  

I understand if they don’t respect our Faith, but do they not have some respect for our intelligence? Apparently not.  Far from fraudulently showing how the Prime Minister is a supposed disrespectful and belligerent fool, they’ve only showed themselves to be completely ignorant of the religious landscape of the country, as well as demonstrating to us that they think  religious conservatives are mindless fools who will jump when our strings are pulled.  How do the Liberal political hacks think that this exercise is going to play out at the ballot box during the next election?

And finally, what else can we say about liberal media distortions?  It’s been so obvious for years, but now it’s right there in the open for everyone to see.  The Telegraph-Journal, like most of the papers and other media in this country, is one big, fat, pravda-style propaganda machine for the Liberal Party and social liberalism.  It was bad enough when they restrained their political savagery to the secular sphere, but now they act like wild dogs, stopping at nothing to secure a cheap political advantage, even if it goes so far as to profane and politicize the most sacred element in Catholicism.

It’s sick.

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OTTAWA, July 28, 2009 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Last week LifeSiteNews.com co-founders Steve Jalsevac and John-Henry Westen responded to the request contained in a recent report from the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops to have a “frank and transparent dialogue.” Jalsevac and Westen offered “to make a brief 15-minute presentation and be available to answer questions for as long as the Bishops wish, at the Plenary Assembly of the Bishops in Cornwall this October.” The bishops will meet in Cornwall from October 19-23 with the subject of LifeSiteNews.com and Development and Peace on the schedule. The official report of the Committee of Inquiry of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops was publicly released June 29th. Bishops Martin Currie and François Lapierre, co-authors of the report, stated: “We make an urgent appeal to the leadership of Lifesite News that it establish an open and fruitful dialogue …We also hope there will be a means for frank and transparent dialogue between Lifesite and the Bishops of Canada.” “We gratefully accept this offer of dialogue,” said Jalsevac and Westen. “As from the beginning of this matter, LifeSiteNews.com policy is to remain open and eager for dialogue with the bishops of Canada. We hope and pray to be able to assist in any way to facilitate an informed and just conclusion to the very serious issues at stake in this matter regarding Development and Peace.” The LifeSiteNews.com letter noted that, “In addition to personally speaking with several bishops on the matter – some of whom were very critical of our reports – we offered to be available to answer questions from bishops at the March 30 – April 1 meeting of the Ontario Conference of Catholic Bishops – an offer that was politely declined.” The letter noted that in the interest of transparency the offer would be made public. It concluded: “We hope to hear back from you on this offer of dialogue, and just as we have and continue to pray for the bishops of Canada we ask for your prayers as we seek to do God’s will in all things.” On July 27, LifeSiteNews received a response from Msgr. Paquette, the General Secretary of the CCCB in which he advised, although “the agenda of the Plenary Assembly has already been set … the Executive Committee of the Conference meets in September” and the LifeSiteNews “willingness to continue these discussions will be brought to their attention at that time.”

While I think this is a great initiative, it’s pretty pathetic that we have arrived at this stage.  What’s there to dialogue about?  The evidence is there for everyone to see.

The only thing left for the CCCB to do is to ACT to stop funding pro-abortion groups.

“Dialogue” is necessary to a certain point, but after that, it become an exercise in futility.

That is why Socon or Bust is still calling for Catholics to keep boycotting D&P.  It could take years before D&P is finally cleaned up.

By that time, however, it will be too late for many of these countries.


D&P ABORTION SCANDAL VIDEO & INDEX PAGE

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FROM LIFESITE….

Still more good news to report on the Canadian Development and Peace front as Vancouver Archbishop Miller, while not yet announcing his decision on the matter, has said he “strongly supports” the actions of Toronto Archbishop Collins.

As we reported with great relief on Thursday, the release by Archbishop Collins reflected what we consider to be a wise and responsible diocesan solution to the Development and Peace scandal. And, as we hoped that many other Canadian bishops would imitate his thoughtful response, Archbishop Miller has begun that movement.

Archbishop Collins restricted the funds given to D&P and also said that future funding to the organization is dependent on a “profound renewal” of the organization. See that coverage. In other words, he has given significant credibility to our numerous reports on D&P.

We have put hundreds of hours of often exhausting effort leading the investigation and reporting on this issue. Thankfully, it appears substantial good will finally result from the efforts by ourselves, our many collaborators in various countries…who followed up and also took part in the investigations in order to bring about much needed change. It is by no means over yet, but we seem to be getting there.

We’re expecting an announcement from the Vancouver archdiocese in the coming days. (Source)

D&P ABORTION SCANDAL VIDEO & INDEX PAGE

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SHANGHAI, July 24, 2009 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Although 2009 marks the thirtieth anniversary of the one-child policy, China’s second largest city is not celebrating. Far from it. The Times Online reports that far from fearing overpopulation, the city of Shanghai has pleaded with married couples to help them stave off the looming crisis of demographic implosion by having a second child.

Shanghai has announced pro-procreation policy, that contrasts sharply with the rest of the nation’s strict enforcement of the “one couple, one child” policy that has inflicted forced abortions, involuntary sterilizations, and catastrophic fines inflicted on the local population to limit the growth of its 1.3 billion persons. Yet the fewer numbers are exactly what has Shanghai worried, because the city is faced with not enough young men and women to sustain its aging population.

“We advocate eligible couples to have two kids, because it can help to reduce the proportion of the aging people and alleviate a workforce shortage in the future,” Xie Linli, director of the Shanghai Population and Family Planning Commission, told the Times.

Zhang Meixin, a spokesman for the commission, also told the Times that more than three million people over the age of 60 constitute the population of Shanghai. That makes this age cohort 21.6 percent of Shanghai’s population, which as Zhang stated, “That is already near the average figure of developed countries and is still rising quickly.”

If the rate of demographic decline continues, they project that by 2020, the number of elderly will make up 34 percent of the city’s population. The Times reports that a similar phenomenon is happening throughout all of China, and by 2015 the working-age population will begin to decline, and begin to increase the pressure on the social system to support the aging group of pensioners….

Look around today.  If a family has more than 2 kids, they’re considered weird and abnormal.  In fact, everywhere you look, you see an aging population. I was at a wedding recently and my cousin and I were the only ones to have more than 3 children.  Obama is even putting people in place who want to impose compulsory population control in America. It’s all just part of the brave new world we’ve constructed for ourselves. The underlying presumption is that nature is merely arbitrary – a product of evolutionary forces that can be manipulated without consequence.  No design, no purpose, just randomness. 

As our demographic implosion is soon to demonstrate, however, that theory is going to be exposed for the lie it always was. The population controllers never figured that screwing with human reproduction would cause this sort of catastrophe.  What were they thinking?  Just how are we to support an exponentially aging population without embracing a culture of life? 

Well, actually, it can be done…

There are two facets of the “Logan’s Run” Plan…

In the year 2274…the survivors of war, overpopulation and pollution are living in a great domed city, sealed away from the forgotten world outside. Here, in an ecologically balanced world, mankind lives only for pleasure, freed by the servo-mechanisms which provide everything. There’s just one catch: Life must end at thirty unless reborn in the fiery ritual of Carrousel. (Source) Check the video out here.

A) Euthanasia.  That’s obvious. It’ll have to be rather aggressive too. None of this voluntary stuff. Once you hit 65 (or maybe 30 like in the Movie), maybe it will be time for you to check out, pops.  You’ve lived your life. Don’t be such a drain on the system.  You’ve had your share of condoms and vasectomies. Now it’s payback time.  Go “with dignity”, OK?  Don’t be such a drag on the rest of the society.  Just take these pills and fade to black.

However, by itself, that’s not likely to do the trick. It will definitely help, for sure, but it won’t be enough so enter Plan B…

B) Farming.  No, not the kind you do with a hoe, fool. I’m talking about human farming…as in creating babies WITHOUT fathers or mothers on a massive scale.  That way, we don’t upset the pleasure principle that we live and die by.  No more messy 9 month pregnancies.  It’s all state and machine controlled.  So there will be a perfect equilibrium of young people. 

Population Management 101.

We’ve already made fathers unnecessary. Just how long do you think technology is going to wait before a human womb will be unnecessary?  Logan’s Run showed it.  They got the population control prediction correct in our brave new world. I don’t see why their presentation of these human farms is going to be off that much, either. 

In principle, our culture has already accepted this idea, even if the technology is not there yet.

But the fact is that we’re well ahead of schedule. It won’t be the twenty third century. It will occur in this one, the way things are going.

And of course, if the State is dictating entry and exit, you might as well be bought and sold for a price.

See, folks?  Isn’t sexual liberation great?


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From time to time, Socon or Bust stumbles across a story whose facts are hidden or not well known.  When such a story has significance to social conservatives and the principles of social conservatism, Socon or Bust  invests time and resources into researching and reporting on the relevant facts of the story.   In most cases, it involves uncovering and revealing  explosive evidence and providing the correct context so that our readers may make an informed judgement. 

Typically, the story involves an organization that has either abandoned its original purpose or mandate and is involved in carrying out objectives which are completely contrary to their founding principles, or the organization has become ethically challenged, engaging in immoral practices. 

The Special Investigations Unit of Socon or Bust therefore exists to ferret out these scandals so that our readers and all social conservatives can mobilize and take action to correct the abuse.

If you’ve unexpectedly discovered some disturbing facts about a group or organization, but you don’t know what to do about it, contact us and we’ll dispatch the Unit to conduct an investigation.





 

  

Rock vs. Scissors: Benedict Against the Petty Media
Early in 2010, the New York Times ran a hit piece against Pope Benedict, trying to implicate Joseph Ratzinger in the American sex scandal when he served as the Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.  The article in question sought to charge then-Cardinal Ratzinger in failing to remove a predator-priest, even thought it was not the Cardinal’s responsibility to so.  The salacious, false, and shoddy journalism led to widespread condemnation and outrage on the internet.  Not to be outdone in gutter journalism, the Associated Press tried the same tactic with a disgraceful article of their own.

 Socon or Bust was there to rebut the charges and cover all of the fallout

Click here to read the investigation’s reports. 






 

The Proportionalism of Fr. Michael Prieur
Fr. Michael Prieur has been a stalwart defender of the Winnipeg Statement, the pastoral document issued by the Canadian bishops shortly after the release of Pope Paul VI’s monumental encyclical Humanae Vitae which rejected contraception as a form of birth control.   Despite repeated requests for Fr. Prieur to recant his position by faithful Catholics including the ever vigilant Msgr. Vincent Foy, Fr. Prieur refuses to do so and continues to maintain that the Winnipeg Statement, which told Canadian Catholics that they could contracept “in good conscience”, is consistent with Church teaching.  In addition to this scandalous position, LifeSiteNews broke the 2008 story of the fetal euthanasia policy of St. Joseph’s hospital where Fr. Prieur serves as chief ethicist.  After it was revealed that early inductions of babies with “lethal anomalies” was being conducted to hasten their deaths, a subsequent controversy ensued which necessitated a further investigation by the Diocese of London.  The final instalment of Fr. Prieur’s troubling moral positions involves his approval of the use of embroyonic stem cell lines, derived from destroyed IVF embryos.  Click here to read the investigation’s reports. 

Confuse A Family Plan
In this instalment of Socon or Bust Investigative reports, we examine the facts about a story which involves a Catholic charitable organization, Save A Family Plan.  An ostensibly Catholic organization, it has been engaging in an initiative called “gender mainstreaming” which is also used by CIDA, secular NGOs, and the U.N. to advance the anti-family agenda.  Since this charity’s board of directors is staffed with priests and nuns, the Canadian Church is demonstrating a profound lack of awareness to the current culture war.  And it shows, once again, that the Canadian clergy and episcopacy is in desperate need of a re-orientation towards a pro-life perspective. Click here to read the investigation’s reports.

Inviting Dissent: The Gaillardetz Visit 
At their annual plenary assembly held in Cornwall, Ontario between October 19-23, 2009, the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) – amid a firestorm of controversies including the Development & PeaceAbortion Scandal and the charge against Bishop Raymond Lahey for possession of child pornography – invited dissenting theologian Richard Gaillardetz, a professor at the University of Toledo, to address them at the Plenary Assembly.  Gaillardetz is noteworthy for his dissent on a number of core Catholic issues, most notably on contraception and the infallible status of Ordinatio Sacerdotalis, John Paul II’s apostolic letter which infallibly declared that women could not be ordained to the priesthood.  Socon or Bust’s Investigative report prompted the CCCB to seek a response from Gaillardetz.  Gaillardetz’s letter to the CCCB precipitated a number of exchanges and blog entries on the subject of his problematic positions, and whether it was appropriate for the CCCB to invite a noted dissenter to address them at their Plenary Assembly. Click here to read the investigation’s reports.

   Development & Peace Abortion Scandal: The Never Ending Saga 
For forty years, Development & Peace, the official aid agency of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops, has been engaged in suspect activity in promoting various Marxist and liberation theology-type projects.  An initial interview with a spokesman from D&P by LifeSiteNews led to further investigations into the funding practices of this organization which resulted in the uncovering of the biggest abortion scandal ever to rock the Catholic Church in Canada.  The overwhelming evidence revealed that D&P was funding at least 40 pro-abortion, anti-family groups in 20 countries on 3 continents. Socon or Bust engaged in exposing the outrageous conduct of D&P as well as applying pressure to Church leadership to address the scandal, and to substantially reform the organization which was using the Catholic donations to advance the culture of death.  Click here to read the investigation’s reports.

Canadian Human Rights Commission: Jackbooting Us Into Submission
The Canadian Human Rights Commission was established in 1978 to address so-called human right violations against Canadians who would otherwise not be able to address their grievances in a court of law. While the objectives of the legislation establishing the Commission may have been noble, there are serious deficiencies in how the commission works. In the extrajudicial courts of the Canadian Human Rights Commissions (federal and provincial), the complainant’s expenses are paid for by the state, but the defendant must pay for his own defence while the rules of evidence, normal in the regular courts, do not apply. Costs of appeal to regular courts must also be borne by the defendant. Over the past number of years, conservatives and Christians, in particular, who hold critical views of the current politically correct opinions, have lost their cases before the tribunal hearings. For instance, in nearly every case in Canada brought against conservatives and Christians, the tribunals have found in the complainant’s favour. The CHRC and its provincial counterparts are being used as a political tool of the Left to squash freedom of speech and extort financial penalties against those who dare question the depraved political and social dogmas of contemporary western culture. Socon or Bust played a key part in exposing this corrupt government body and subjecting it to public scrutiny. Click here to read the investigation’s reports.  [Other Star Chamber Reports can be read here.]

Women’s Inter-Church Council of Canada:  Not Just Tea & Biscuits
The Women’s Inter-Church Council of Canada (WICC) was originally established to further unity among Christian women and to co-operate with one another in advancing common Gospel values. Since the 60s, however, the organization, like many Church groups, has completely lost its original mandate and actually works against the values of the Gospel by promoting the objectives of radical feminism.   The group spans across Christian denominational boundaries and includes women from most of the mainstream denominations including, not surprisingly, the Catholic Church.   Acting on a tip from a reader, Socon or Bust conducted a preliminary investigation into this group where it was discovered that Catholic parishes have been involved in hosting events sponsored by this group.  In addition to using Church property, this group has been responsible for collecting money from unsuspecting Catholics to fund their radical feminist agenda. Click here to read the investigation’s reports. 

 Liberals Politicize the Eucharist; Scandalize Real Catholics
In a cheap display of political opportunism, the main stream media and Liberal Party operatives manufactured a story about the Prime Minister of Canada “pocketing” the Eucharist during a Funeral Service of a former Governor General.  Refusing to keep their political savagery for the secular sphere and holding nothing as sacred – whether it be the most sacred element in Catholicism or the remains of a baptized Catholic who served this country as its Head of State – the pundits and the politicians  chose to pounce on an imprudent but honest mistake of the Prime Minister.  But instead of creating the embarrassing scandal they had hoped for, they badly miscalculated the reaction of Catholics and the story backfired on them. Click here to read the investigation’s reports. 

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Development and Peace- the facts

  1. Five pro-abortion groups in Mexico received $170,000 in total this year from D&P in Canada.  These five groups are pressuring the government of Mexico to legalize abortion.
  2. D&P is also funding at least one pro-abortion group in Bolivia (Center for Promotion and Integral Health- CEPROSI).  This group has been described as “one of the most militant, radical and active pro-abortion organizations in Bolivia.”
  3. D&P are funding two pro-abortion groups in Brazil. The first group, the Rural Women’s Movement openly opposes efforts to enforce Brazil’s laws against abortion, and suggests that abortion is a “right.” Federation of Organs for Social and Educational Assistance, or FASE, is the second pro-abortion group.
  4. Two pro-abortion groups (Kay Fanm and Fanm Deside) in Haiti are being funded by D&P.  Both webpages clearly state their pro-abortion stance.
  5. A sixth pro-abortion group in Mexico was also being funded by D&P- Center for Support for the Popular Movement of the West- CAMPO, received $35,000 Canadian dollars in the 2007-2008 year. Read the rest of this entry »

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Below is the full text of Archbishop Collin’s letter concerning the Archdiocese of Toronto’s Lenten contributions to Development & Peace. I have added my comments where appropriate…

Statement Concerning 2009 ShareLife Allocations to the Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace and to the Pastoral Mission Fund.  

July 23, 2009

The time has come to make the decision concerning the allocation of this year’s ShareLife funds to the Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace and to the Pastoral Mission Fund.

For over 40 years Canadian Catholics have promoted social justice through the work of Development and Peace, which engages in social justice education work in Canada, and which supports various social justice projects in other countries. It also serves to channel emergency disaster relief to foreign lands. The Archdiocese of Toronto resolutely supports the mission of Development and Peace.

Although all of its activities are ultimately based on the call of Jesus to help those who suffer, Development and Peace does not engage in explicit works of evangelization. Because of this, in 1982 Cardinal Carter established the Pastoral Mission Fund, to assist missionary Sisters and Priests with projects directly related to evangelization.

In 2008, the Pastoral Mission Fund supported 384 projects in 28 countries: 206 in Asia, 151 in Africa, 26 in the Americas, and 1 in Oceania. To qualify for funding by the Pastoral Mission Fund, these initiatives must be endorsed in writing by the local bishops in these areas, and therefore we may have confidence that the important work that we support is being carried out by organizations whose activities are all in complete conformity with the principles of our faith. A similar process is used by Catholic Missions in Canada. 

So, in other words, the Archbishop is setting up the proper controls and protocols when the Church engages in missionary work in other countries to ensure Catholic dollars are being used in conformity with Catholic principles.  By engaging the local church in these countries, this respects the jurisdictional boundaries of the bishops of these countries as well as the principle of subsidiarity which is a core Catholic value in administration.

In the Archdiocese of Toronto, both the Pastoral Mission Fund and Development and Peace are funded through allocations from ShareLife, which was established by Archbishop Pocock in 1976 because Catholic organizations could not in conscience join together with any organization that goes against Gospel principles, specifically those related to the sanctity of life. Funds raised through ShareLife must always be used in a way that respects the principle upon which ShareLife was founded. In 2008, $1,325,000 was allocated to the Pastoral Mission Fund, and $1,125,000 to Development and Peace.

When any organization has been in operation for over 40 years, it makes good sense to undertake a thorough review of how it is fulfilling its mission, and how it is responding to current needs. In the case of Development and Peace, such a review is all the more opportune since the recent controversy regarding the way it funds organizations operating social justice projects in other countries has also surfaced some legitimate questions.

The “legitimate questions” that the Archbishop is referring to obviously relate to D&P’s funding of its pro-abortion partners.

 Even acrimonious controversy can be fruitful if, always acknowledging the good intentions of others, we make use of it to bring about improvement.

The Archbishop has acknowledged that there have been heated exchanges, but instead of trying to “cumbaya” the controversy away, he frankly acknowledges that these sorts of rancorous and caustic disagreements are sometimes necessary in order to get to the truth of the matter and “bring about improvement”.  Indeed, when one side simply refuses to acknowledge the facts and they also happen to be in a position of power, it becomes an absolute duty of the opposing side to cause conflict and acrimony.  I am very grateful for the Archbishop for having the courage to make this statement since many of his brother bishops shun conflict, even when the truth is at stake.

In order that Development and Peace may flourish, in 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 recommendations of the delegation sent to Mexico to examine a sample of the projects of Development and Peace provide valuable insights that would be helpful in such a review.

There needs to be a whole scale reorientation of the management of Development & Peace towards sanctity of life issues, just like Caritas in Vertitate says.  Right now, I am skeptical whether the current management personnel of Development & Peace have sufficiently converted themselves to the Gospel of Life to implement this re-orientation.  40 years of this fraudulent “social justice” trash does not disappear from D&P’s “social justice” world view just because they’ve been caught.  Let’s not drink the Koolaid here, folks. And what’s worse, the management of Development & Peace is still cruising the Catholic Media circuit (most recently on Salt + Light), ignoring what Caritas in Veritate says about their detachment from pro-life concerns.

Not only is there a great need for better communication between Development & Peace and the Bishops, there needs to be a real and effective communication between the bishops and the pro-life community who pointed to the proverbial elephant in D&P’s boardroom. There’s no point to the bishops being better informed of D&P’s policies if D&P cannot be trusted in the first place!  In fact, the real scandal is the lack of co-operation between the bishops and the pro-life community in Canada.  And really, if we are honest, that’s because for the past 40 years, the bishops have been missing in action on the issue of the respect for human life.

A thorough review, if it is acted on, can be the foundation for a renewal and strengthening of Development and Peace. That is what we all want.

I’m not sure that is what we all want, but that’s what the pro-life community wants.

I would suggest two principles that should govern the way in which Development and Peace operates in funding projects in foreign lands:

1) It is not enough to examine the suitability of individual projects. The organizations that operate the projects must also be in harmony with the principles of our Catholic faith. If they are not, then there are plenty of other worthy projects that are operated by organizations which we can in good conscience support, and funding should go to them.

This recommendation effectively dismisses D&P’s phony argument that they don’t fund “organizations” but only “projects“.  In fact, they’ve already admitted that they fund their partners.  As everyone knows and as the Archbishop acknowledges above, there are plenty, PLENTY of alternative groups who would be worthy of our money and who respect Catholic principles on the sanctity of human life.  D&P and its collaborators, however, don’t want to give up the “social justice” cliques and networks that they have been funding these past 40 years.  That’s why we have heard nothing but denials.  If they were truly neutral on who they fund, they would have admitted the facts, cleaned up their act, and moved on. Instead, they foolishly dug in their heals to protect their current clientele. 

2) We must always act in concert with the local bishops who are responsible for the Church in distant lands. This is required by natural courtesy, and also by the way the Church is structured. The bishops on the scene are also the ones who can verify that organizations in their country are appropriate partners, and are not in any way supporting anything contrary to our faith. Projects which we fund need to be in some way approved by the local bishop or the bishops’ conference.

Precisely:

I simply refuse to believe that the majority of D&P’s funding decisions are done in consultation with the diocese where these funds are ultimately used.  It does happen in a few cases, but given the kind of groups D&P funds, it cannot be widespread.  How could they be consulting with the local diocese when the very groups they are funding, as the case of East Timor has demonstrated, are against the entire country’s Catholic bishops, or against other parts of the Church itself?  Does this not demonstrate a profound disconnect, disorder, and even arrogance of Development & Peace? That it knows better than the local Church or the country’s Catholic community on how funds can be best used for authentic development and peace?  If D&P wants to eradicate “patriarchal oppression” which the groups it funds keep clamouring against, it should first take the log out of its own eye by ceasing its “we know better” approach to the Church in the Global South. We know better to do what, precisely? Work to weaken countries’ abortion laws, sponsor groups who set up condom distribution centers and send our kids off to learn how to put condoms on a bottle? Instead of funding groups which seek to push the West’s sexual imperialism on the innocent poor, it should seek to push back the anti-life, anti-family agenda by using its funds to build up a culture of life in these countries. (Source)

This is really a brilliant move on the part of the Archbishop.  How can the Canadian bishops reject this proposal?  After all, would they appreciate other bishops meddling in the affairs of their own dioceses in the name of the Catholic Church?  I think not.  This is what we call “Checkmate” or “Game, Set, Match.”

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.

In other words, clean up your act or fold up the tent.

For 2009, we will again be allocating $1,325,000 to the Pastoral Mission Fund. 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. Any funds which have not been expended will be re-allocated to the Pastoral Mission Fund.

The key here, however, will depend on how the Archdiocese of Toronto accepts D&P funding allocations.  It will do us no good if D&P simply “assigns” the acceptable partners to Toronto’s contributions while they use the funds from other dioceses to keep funding their pro-abortion partners. 

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.

Another friendly reminder: “I’m serious. Clean it up or else.”

There can be no real conflict between zeal for social justice and zeal for the sanctity of life. Both are fundamental to the Gospel of Christ, and both must animate His disciples. They are as closely related as charity and truth, and as we seek to be faithful to our common mission as disciples we can all profit by meditating on the most recent encyclical letter of Pope Benedict, which guides us on the path ahead.

This is exactly what the Pope’s new social encyclical, Caritas in Veritate, says! D&P has neither acknowledged the encyclical’s strong pro-life message, nor have they acknowledged that it does indeed matter that these organizations also fund pro-abortion activities. One cannot “detach” development from the respect for life.  And yet this “detachment” between development and respect for life has been D&P’s operating principle for the past 40 years! 

Here is the relevant text from the encyclical (emphasis in red):

28. One of the most striking aspects of development in the present day is the important question of respect for life, which cannot in any way be detached from questions concerning the development of peoples. It is an aspect which has acquired increasing prominence in recent times, obliging us to broaden our concept of poverty and underdevelopment to include questions connected with the acceptance of life, especially in cases where it is impeded in a variety of ways.

Not only does the situation of poverty still provoke high rates of infant mortality in many regions, but some parts of the world still experience practices of demographic control, on the part of governments that often promote contraception and even go so far as to impose abortion. In economically developed countries, legislation contrary to life is very widespread, and it has already shaped moral attitudes and praxis, contributing to the spread of an anti-birth mentality; frequent attempts are made to export this mentality to other States as if it were a form of cultural progress.

Some non-governmental Organizations work actively to spread abortion, at times promoting the practice of sterilization in poor countries, in some cases not even informing the women concerned. Moreover, there is reason to suspect that development aid is sometimes linked to specific health-care policies whichde facto involve the imposition of strong birth control measures. Further grounds for concern are laws permitting euthanasia as well as pressure from lobby groups, nationally and internationally, in favour of its juridical recognition.

Openness to life is at the centre of true development. When a society moves towards the denial or suppression of life, it ends up no longer finding the necessary motivation and energy to strive for man’s true good. If personal and social sensitivity towards the acceptance of a new life is lost, then other forms of acceptance that are valuable for society also wither away[67]. The acceptance of life strengthens moral fibre and makes people capable of mutual help. By cultivating openness to life, wealthy peoples can better understand the needs of poor ones, they can avoid employing huge economic and intellectual resources to satisfy the selfish desires of their own citizens, and instead, they can promote virtuous action within the perspective of production that is morally sound and marked by solidarity, respecting the fundamental right to life of every people and every individual.

D&P ABORTION SCANDAL VIDEO & INDEX PAGE

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By John-Henry Westen

TORONTO, July 22, 2009 (LifeSiteNews.com) – 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 LifeSiteNews.com 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 LifeSiteNews.com 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: http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2009_docs/dpstatementjuly2309.pdf

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

We are vindicated.

Short of pulling out completely, I don’t think we could have expected a more resounding rebuke and correction of Development & Peace from Archbishop Collins.

This is a significant victory, but I do have a one rather substantial reservation.

But first the good news….

#1 – The Toronto Archdiocese accounts for over 10% of the entire Church’s contribution to D&P.  That’s a large portion.

#2 – Other dioceses will now follow suit and demand the same concessions.

#3 – The move forces D&P to consult with the local bishops which is something that Socon or Bust has been insisting on since this whole scandal broke.  It’s incredibly arrogant to be funding groups in the Global South without the local Ordinary’s knowledge.  It becomes unconscionable when they also happen to be pro-abortion and anti-Catholic.

#4 – The Archbishop has called for a “thorough review” of the entire organization, its policies, and its mandate. He even goes so far as to emphasize and imply that if deep renewal is not achieved, the future of Development & Peace is in jeopardy.  The Archbishop’s judgement completely vindicates LifeSiteNews and Socon or Bust’s reporting of the D&P abortion scandal. It also sends out a strong message to those church bureacrats and clerics who have been blindly defending Development & Peace despite the overwhelming evidence of wrong-doing. 

 #5 – This is probably the sweetest part of the letter: “Even acrimonious controversy can be fruitful if, always acknowledging the good intentions of others, we make use of it to bring about improvement.”  In other words, if you have to vigorously challenge and upset people, even priests and bishops, with accusations, it’s not a bad thing, provided it’s done with civility and it’s true.  It’s also a good thing to state one’s opinion forcefully and with vigour, provided it is reasonable and done in a civil tone.  For too long, Catholic lay people have given TOO MUCH deference to church bureaucrats, priests, and bishops.  This has been a very big mistake.  It’s a disorder; it’s unbalanced; and it needs to be corrected. Socon or Bust is proud to have been part of that correction thusfar.

“It is the hallmark of the truth to be worth suffering for.  In the deepest sense of the word, the evangelist must also be a martyr.  If he is unwilling to be so, he should not lay his hand to the plow.”  … Bishops also had “to be ready to learn and to accept correction. [Cardinal Ratzinger, Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, 1989, cited in The Courage to be Catholic (George Weigel)]

My only reservation

The only reservation I have about this solution is that unless a significant number of dioceses follow Toronto’s lead, the Archbishop’s provision will not make any real difference.  Since all of the money collected by D&P from the dioceses goes into one pot, it is possible that the Archdiocese of Toronto has effectively vetoed any fund distribution to any pro-abortion partner.  The Archdiocese of Toronto may not need the support of any other diocese to effect this change.  However, there might be a downside to this, depending on how this funding arrangement is implemented. 

Let us say, for example, that of D&P’s 300 partners, 100 of them were found to be either explicitly pro-abortion or held other anti-family, anti-Catholic beliefs.  This means that even if 2/3 of the dioceses insisted on not funding these partners, D&P could “assign” their funds to the 200 legitimate partners , while keeping the remaining 100 anti-family partners by “assigning” their funding to the remaining 1/3 of the dioceses who had no funding objections. 

The problem here is the fungibility of money. So, once again, the devil is in the details.  We need to know how the Archdiocese of Toronto is going to ensure that the money they send is not going to be used to prop up D&P’s other unsavory activities in the same way that D&P’s “project” funding is used with their pro-abortion partners.

The greater number of dioceses that follow Toronto’s lead will be the extent to which the funding to pro-abortion groups in the Global South can be squeezed out.

Still, all in all, the momentum is going our way. This could be the beginning of the end for the “social justice” revolution in the Catholic Church.

Only time will tell.

D&P ABORTION SCANDAL VIDEO & INDEX PAGE

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“It is the hallmark of the truth to be worth suffering for.  In the deepest sense of the word, the evangelist must also be a martyr.  If he is unwilling to be so, he should not lay his hand to the plow.”  

Bishops also had “to be ready to learn and to accept correction.

- Cardinal Ratzinger, Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, 1989

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Folks,

Blogging will be light for the remainder of the next two weeks….

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As the State becomes more and more pervasive, the Left doesn’t seem to get it.  They are so focused on launching lawfare tactics against anyone who would dare disagree with them that they are blinded to what our country is turning into.  At least Wally gets it.

I am an atheist. What is my stake in this internecine quarrel between one group of Catholics with an agenda represented by Jim Corcoran and Father Allan Hood and another group of Catholics with an agenda represented by the 12 parishioners?

The majority of Ontarians are not Catholic. Why should taxpayers foot the bill for a costly and lengthy investigation and adjudication by the Ontario Human Rights Commission of a ceremonial rite conducted within a non-taxpaying private international organization that proselytizes The Only One?

And, by the way, whatever happened to the separation of church and state?

Human Rights Commissions, whether federal or provincial, have become something quite the opposite of what their name implies. If you believe that a Human Rights Commission is about human rights, then you are likely to believe that the Ministry of Truth in George Orwell’s novel, 1984, is about truth.

Will those calling for the bureaucrazy of the Human Rights Commission to have more power, next be calling for major revisions and amendments to the Torah, Bible, Koran and similar odious books to conform to the political correctmess zeitgeist?

Wally Keeler

Cobourg

(Source)

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As many readers of Socon or Bust know, I have been hammering away at Development & Peace for months now.   It’s easy to think of our problems as being isolated to Development & Peace, but we all know, deep down in our souls, that this is not the case.  The Canadian Church is a withering branch of the tree.

In fact, Development & Peace is only the tip of the iceberg, as hard as that is to believe.  But it’s true.  People who are truly faithful to the Church’s teaching on human life are a minority in the Church. That’s just the ugly reality.  And it’s an ugly reality that the hierarchy really doesn’t want to face because to do so is to draw attention to what they haven’t been doing these past 40 years. And so it is necessary to continue to root out the rot in the Catholic Church in Canada and display it for all the world to see. 

Readers might be familiar with the March for Women in 2000 and the participation of Development & Peace in the event.  That was the first year that D&P got busted for promoting groups which advocate for abortion and other anti-family policies.  But the March for Women did not simply involve D&P. The March for Women had another connection to the Catholic Church that is not so well known.  Msgr. Foy, the Canadian hero-priest who has long appealed to the hierarchy to retract their disastrous Winnipeg Statement, wrote an article on the March for Women and the groups involved in it back in 2000 when the whole controversy was erupting. You will notice the very healthy contingent of Catholic groups listed therein, not the least of which was the CCCB itself among other notables. Of particular note was this paragraph: 

In the kit published by Women’s Inter-Church Council of Canada called “World March of Women 2000, A Reflection and Action Kit for Church Networks” we get some insight into the theological perspectives of the March. One question cited reads: “Often violence against women finds theological justification in the teaching of the Church. We call on the Church, with the full participation of women theologians, to deconstruct and reconstruct such basic biblical and doctrinal teachings so as to usher in liberational paradigms and perspectives” (p.11). Another letter quoted calls for the Church’s repentance of the Church’s participation in violence against women. It calls for “exposing all sexual abuse, especially by those in positions of Church leadership” as though the Church were the principle cause of sexual abuse. (Source)

The Women’s Inter-Church Council of Canada (WICC) has a long history of anti-Catholic behavior.  Besides participating in feminist marches which seek to establish abortion as a human right and to attack the traditional family,  WICC has been hostile to the Catholic Church by supporting the removal of the Holy See as a member of the U.N. 

The Spring 2000 WICC newsletter contains an article by dissident ‘Catholic’ Joanna Manning (author of Is the Pope Catholic?), which encourages support for the Catholics For a Free Choice campaign which, according to WICC, “hopes to persuade the Secretary General of the UN to conduct a review of the Holy See’s status as a voting member”. “Anyone who would like more information or would like to sign the coalition’s petition is welcome to call Joanna at (416) 599-1244,” says the newsletter. (Source) [Editor's note: The Holy See is a non-member state with permanent observer status at the UN. This means that the Holy See can participate in world conferences and other agenda-setting meetings, but cannot vote in the General Assembly.]

Like most Church groups, it was founded with laudable goals for Christian unity and legitimate social work, but when the 60s arrived, it went off the tracks. Today, it is committed to “ecumenism, women’s spiritual growth, social justice, and women’s issues.”   The group spans across Christian denominational boundaries and includes women from most of the mainstream denominations including, not surprisingly, the Catholic Church. Perusing their website, the reader will immediately notice that this group is merely a feminist front group with an Obama-like religiousity to it.  You can read about their programs here.  It’s basically like Development & Peace but on steroids.  They don’t mention abortion or so-called “reproductive rights” explicitly on their website, of course, but the statements, groups, and programs which they support certainly do.  

A couple of weeks ago, I received a call from a long time acquaintance.  In her capacity as a parish secretary, she received some further information about this group’s activities.  One of this group’s events is particularly interesting.  Every year, the WICC hosts a “World Day of Prayer” which serves, in part, as a fundraiser for the purpose of providing grants to their partners around the world.  The World Day of Prayer, as their brochure states, was formed in 1922 and is active in 170 countries and in over 2000 communities in Canada. 

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…I guess when I had put on the gloves I thought I was invincible, or at least well-protected from thorns, which I didn’t expect to be poking through my protection.  I remember that I was less careful when I had the gloves on, just grabbing the barbed canes without a thought.  One tends to take more risks when one assumes there’s no possible harm to result from it….(Source)

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ROME, July 13, 2009 (LifeSiteNews.com) – “Retractions. The Holy Office Teaches Archbishop Fisichella a Lesson”: that is how long-time Vatican expert reporter Sandro Magister of Chiesa characterized an article published Friday in the Vatican newspaper L’Osservatore Romano by the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith (CDF). (see coverage here) A March 15 article by the head of the Pontifical Academy for Life, Archbishop Salvatore (Rino) Fisichella, created a substantial outcry from pro-life leaders internationally who said it besmirched the reputation of strongly pro-life Brazilian Archbishop of Olinda and Recife, Jose Cardoso Sobrinho, and also left many to believe that the Church had weakened its teaching against abortion.The clarification, in addition to restating the Church’s stance on abortion – including the teaching that those directly involved in an abortion are automatically excommunicated – also cleared Archbishop Cardoso of any wrongdoing. Fisichella’s article, entitled “On the Side of the Brazilian Girl,” criticized Cardoso for announcing that automatic excommunication would be incurred by the abortionists in the hard case of a nine-year-old rape victim who was found to be carrying twins. Fisichella did not call Archbishop Sobrinho to verify the facts of the case before criticizing him in the pages of the Vatican newspaper.  Fisichella wrote: “Before thinking about excommunication, it was necessary and urgent to safeguard her innocent life and bring it up to a level of humanity for which we men of the Church should have been the professional heralds and teachers.  It did not happen so, and unfortunately, this has affected the credibility of our teaching.”

The CDF clarification says the opposite, observing that the girl “had been accompanied with all pastoral delicacy, in particular by the archbishop of Olinda and Recife at the time, His Excellency Archbishop Jose Cardoso Sobrinho.”

The move is especially significant as Archbishop Fisichella had rejected a request from 27 of the 46 Members of the Pontifical Academy for Life (of which he is the president) to correct his article of March 15.

The initial refusals to correct the article were devastating for the pro-life movement worldwide. The secular press and the pro-abortion lobby responded promptly to the article, with headlines and hundreds of articles and editorials claiming that Fisichella was hinting at a softening of the Church’s position on abortion. The Associated Press announced, “Vatican prelate defends abortion for 9-year-old.” The Washington Post said, “Vatican Official Defends Child’s Abortion.”

Significantly, Fisichella’s article was highly praised by Frances Kissling, the former president of Catholics for a Free Choice, an abortion lobby group that presents itself as Catholic and attempts to pressure the Catholic Church to abandon its teachings on life and family.

John Smeaton, President of England’s largest pro-life group – the Society for the Protection of Unborn Chilren (SPUC) – was one of the key pro-life voices in the Fisichella/Sobrinho controversy.  Smeaton says he sees in the CDF clarification a major victory and expressed congratulations to all those involved, including LSN.

“LifeSite and along with it many other major groups and leading figures within the Church raised their deep concerns about issues touched upon in Archbishop Fisichella’s original article,” said Smeaton in a phone interview from England.  “I feel they ought to be congratulated for their fortitude and their adherence to the hard facts of the matter.  And indeed their charity in raising this matter for the good of the Church, for the protection of the reputation of a magnificent pastor – Archbishop Cardoso and ultimately for the protection of the family at the centre of this tragic episode.”

The pro-life leader closest to the action in the case was Human Life International’s Monsignor Ignacio Barreiro. Speaking to LSN from the Rome office of HLI, he described the CDF clarification as a heaven-sent victory, and specifically thanked LSN for its coverage of the issue.

“This document of clarification published by the CDF, as it states in the document itself, is the outcome of the efforts of many pro-lifers worldwide that expressed their concerns about the article written by Archbishop Fisichella,” he said.  “One of the institutions that contributed to the publication of this new document was LifeSite….

As readers following the Development & Peace controversy know, Msgr. Weisgerber, the current president of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops, rebuked “Catholic bloggers” for actually thinking they know something about the Catholic faith. He even went so far as to deny their Catholicity:

“These bloggers who claim to be more Catholic than anyone — I think first of all they’re not part of the church, they’re not Catholic in the sense that they have no mandate, they have no authority, they have no accountability. And they speak very, very definitively about what it means to be Catholic, and they’re followed by so many people… the bishops I think take a more reasoned approach to the whole thing.” (Source)

Well, as the above article shows us, it was the Catholic Faithful, including LifeSiteNews, who played a leading role in getting the Vatican to correct Archbishop Fisichella’s outrageous commentary where he rebuked a faithful Brazilian bishop for his witness to unborn life.

So what are the lessons learned from this episcopal fiasco?  The lessons are….

1) It is not wrong to criticize Catholic bishops, even openly, if they themselves refuse to witness and uphold the Catholic faith and the Church’s own laws.  It also means that if we do happen to offer some constructive criticism, we can be confident that we are still Catholic, even if an Archbishop has the audacity to say that we’re not…like Archbishop Weisgerber did.

2) Not only is it not wrong to criticize bishops, but as this case has shown above and like the D&P abortion scandal is demonstrating, it becomes an imperative to do so and a great service to the Church.

3) Like the Vatican does, LSN and the Catholic blogosphere “speaks very, very definitively about what it means to be Catholic“.  That’s a very good thing to do in this age of massive confusion.   Archbishop Jose Cardoso Sobrinho spoke very clearly too, while Archbishop Fisichella opted for the soft glove, “more reasoned approach”, not all that different from Msgr. Weisgerber’s approach in dealing with the D&P abortion scandal.  We know who ended up being right in the end.

4) In some respects, the position of Msgr. Weisgerber with D&P is less defensible than Archbishop Fisichella’s position on the excommunication of the Brazilian girl’s mother and abortionists.  It remains to be seen whether Msgr. Weisgerber will observe the uncompromising position of Rome in defense of human life.  He would do well to reflect carefully on it.

5) Cardinal Turcotte, too, needs to update his understanding of the Church’s pastoral position on excommunication of those involved in abortions.  I guess Archbishop Sobrinho’s decision to excommunicate wasn’t such a “clumsy move” after all.

6) My contact with the Vatican says officials there are aware of the D&P abortion scandal. In light of the Pope’s encyclical and this decision above, one can only surmise that Rome is not going to be particularly agreeable to the current constitution of Development & Peace.  I’m not sure where Archbishop Fisichella is going to end up. Maybe Siberia…or auxillary bishop of Winnipeg.

D&P ABORTION SCANDAL VIDEO & INDEX PAGE

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Pope Benedict’s stunning new encyclical Caritas in Veritate cuts across all ideological lines, calling all mankind to an examination of conscience regarding our fundamental approach to the meaning of the human person. …

To summarize the enormously rich material in this encyclical is a daunting task; indeed it can be properly understood only with careful study and reflection. Yet in essence the Pope is critiquing every form of governance, economics, and culture that denies the humanity of some human beings, be they the pre-birth child or the aged and infirm, or the poor in underdeveloped countries, in fact anyone. For East and West, North and South, an examination of conscience is urgently needed if we hope to avoid the proliferation of untold human misery and historical disasters.

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Prime Minister Stephen Harper has blamed the uproar over his handling of the Holy Communion host at former governor general Romeo LeBlanc’s funeral mass on people trying to cause embarrassment and create division between Catholics and Protestants.”People who want to cause embarrassment in religion and drive a wedge between Protestants and Catholics” are driving the controversy, Harper told a Catholic news agency in an exclusive interview after his meeting Saturday with Pope Benedict….

Some media reports suggested on the weekend that the visit had a political undertone, since analysts have argued that the Conservative breakthrough in 2006 was owed partly to church-going Catholics who switched from the Liberals over gay marriage.

But Harper didn’t address the possible political benefit of being photographed with the Pope, and instead stressed Benedict’s status as both a Christian leader and a statesman.

“While I’m not theologically a Catholic, in my judgment the Catholic Church is a critical bulwark of worldwide Christianity. The Pope is an important moral and spiritual leader generally and for Christians generally, even though I’m not a Catholic.”

Harper called Vatican City a small but important state.

“It is an influential, well-connected state that is very influential in world affairs.” (Original Source)

The more I think about this whole thing and talk to other conservatives and journalists, I am more and more convinced that this was a deliberate attempt at embarrassing Harper.  Ask yourself about the angle of the camera in the Church, and why it was there in the first place.  It is very unusual for a camera to be at the side of the altar like that, and then to focus on Harper receiving communion? What is the point of that, if not to catch him slipping up some how.

If this is deliberate, Harper is right. It is a new low for liberals and the media.  It’s politicizing our most sacred belief in the Eucharist. They’re doing it, of course, to try and wrench away religious support from the Conservatives.  Like Obama south of the Border, the liberal parties in this country are wising up to the fact that they need to soak up some religious votes to get into majority territory.  That’s why Iggy and Jack were at the very well attended National Prayer Breakfast a couple of months ago. 

The Liberal Party, for instance, lost a lot of votes during the last couple of elections because it volunteered to carry the rainbow flag in the gay parade.  Now, like Obama, they’ve realized that the religious vote (especially Catholics) even in Canada is a constituency that they cannot afford to ignore, much less lose permanently. 

One way of attracting the votes is to “Obamanize” them with religious platitudes about social justice and inject liberation theology into the campaign.  It worked for Obama in spades.  So, like the American Messiah, they’re looking to preach some of that Obama gospel up here too.  The other way – a much more riskier tactic – is to try and scandalize people of faith by showing Harper as some kind of inconsiderate and beligerant fool who is not respectful of people’s religion.

Well, I think that’s what happened here, but it didn’t work. It backfired on them.  Conservative Catholics – the only constituency that would really care about the profanation of the Eucharist in the first place – shrugged their shoulders and could see there was no intent to offend.  Instead, most of us focused on the scandalous omission of the bishop for not instructing those present as to the correct protocol for Communion.

Liberals really shouldn’t do religion. They screwed up their target market in this case.  And next time they try it, it could have very grave consequences for their parties and their leaders.

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July 13, 2009 (LifeSiteNews.com) – In what some critics of the embattled Canadian human rights commissions say could be the most intrusive human rights case in Canada thus far, the Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC) has accepted the complaint of a homosexual man who was dismissed by the Bishop of Peterborough as an altar server. While the bishop has refused to publicly comment on the matter, the complainant in the case says that the bishop asked him and his same-sex partner not to serve on the altar so as to avoid public scandal…. Corcoran is seeking monetary damages of up to $25,000 from the bishop and $20,000 each from the 12 parishioners.  But his primary interest is in restitution of a non-financial nature, he says. He states in his complaint that he wants the $20,000 from each of the parishioners to be allocated “towards a charity of my choosing.”  And the $25,000 from the diocese will be used to cover his legal expenses; but, he told LSN, he will be returning it through parish contributions.He has also requested six other “remedies.”  First, he indicates that he “would like the group of 12 parishioners to be held accountable for their un-Christian actions, in front of their peers in a public forum, by the Bishop or the Bishop’s superior.”  Second, he wants the Bishop to preach at his parish “on the consequences of practicing discrimination and the slanderous spreading of rumours, hate and innuendo.”Third, he wants to be restored as an altar server, and fourth, for the bishop to apologize for having removed him.  Fifth, he wants the bishop to write an article for the diocesan newspaper “on the rights of persons with same sex attractions to practice their faith within the Catholic Church without fear of threats, recrimination or discrimination.”  And finally, sixth, he wants the diocese to develop policies “that support the human rights of all people within the church.” (Source)

I am not sure on what basis the OHRC is accepting this complaint.  It does not fall within their jurisdiction at all. There was no employment contract or business contract involved.  This was purely a voluntary association and therefore falls outside of the OHRC’s jurisdiction. Not surprisingly however, when you’ve got the totalitarian itch like Canada’s HRCs do, you just need to scratch in places that are supposed to be forbidden to you.

The Bishop is making a mistake in attending the preliminary mediation session.  First of all, he is conceding too much to the thugs at the HRC.  What business does the government have in a dispute over a doctrinal and liturgy matters?  They have no mandate or authority to adjudicate or even moderate such a dispute.  The bishop is simply not going to accept the star chamberlain’s judgement against the Church, so why even bother acknowledging its role in the first place?

If Corcoran will not accept to meet the bishop face to face and if he does meet with him and there is still no resolution, then that’s the way the rainbow cookie crumbles.  The bishop is not mandated to go through mediation, but he does have to show up to the Tribunal under the force of the law. If I were the bishop, I’d give them the old Italian salute and tell them I’ll wait for the Star Chamber where all the media can be present to see the Religious Inquisition unfold.

I’m not sure when people are going to clue in to what’s happening to Canada. We are becoming a Gay Stasi State.  The bishops still have not clued in; that much is for certain.  But that’s going to change very quickly when they finally figure out that the cumbaya moral theology they’ve been teaching us these past 40 years, and their refusal to assent to Humanae Vitae and retract the Winnipeg Statement is going to have grave consequences for all of us.  The Gay Sex Parade is going to roll right down the center aisle of the Church in this country because the bishops let the Snake into the Garden back on September 27, 1968. 

Contraception’s a bitch, eh?

April 9, 2005.  Parliament Hill.  That’s when I told Catholics and all Canadians what would happen if we let marriage fall.  Schools are now long gone. Churches are next. And after that? Read on….

…My fellow Canadians, at this critical moment in our history when our country is on the brink of moral collapse, all of us are faced with the central question: Shall we defend marriage or shall we retreat? If we retreat to buy a little time, what will become of our freedoms when our opponents seek to dictate what is taught in our schools, our churches, and even our homes? And what will be left for our children and their posterity? What will become of their freedoms? Of their divine right to practice their faith and enjoy their civil liberties? Will we lie to ourselves today and say it won’t impact us because we fear the sacrifices that come with it?…(Source)

Audio here.

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