As previously reported by Socon or Bust, the CCCB has issued its report of the allegations made against D&P by LifeSiteNews. I will be responding to all of the relevant material in the report. After reading through the entirety of their representations, I’m very sorry to say that my predictions have come true. In fact, as hard as it is to believe, and despite its seemingly conciliatory nature in parts, the report refuses to deal the inconvenient facts. The report only addresses those facts which it is comfortable in interacting with, but omits the facts that prove the case against D&P. (How many defendants in a trial would not opt for this approach if they were given the option?)
The most bizarre part of this report, however, is in its contradictory nature. In parts, it’s defiant and caluminous. In other parts, it seeks more co-operation with pro-life groups and even LifeSiteNews, the object of its attacks. And in still other parts, it ironically recommends changes to its funding rules to ensure the Church’s teaching on abortion is respected – which, of course, begs the question about why this is necessary if D&P’s practices were above board.
Let’s therefore start with the press release before delving into the report itself….
(CCCB – Ottawa) In its report on five Mexican Non-Governmental Organizations that had received project funding from Development and Peace, the Committee of Inquiry of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) has come to the conclusion the allegations are unfounded “that financial assistance by Development and Peace aided projects related to the promotion of abortion.”
Here we go again. Where precisely did LifeSiteNews or Socon or Bust allege that D&P was aiding “projects related to the promotion of abortion“?
The pro-life community has always reported what the evidence has indisputably shown: D&P is funding groups which are pro-abortion or advocate for abortion.
The CCCB’s response to this manufactured and fictitious allegation has been given so many times that there is a legitimate question of whether the distortion and misrepresentation of our position is deliberate.
In light of the facts uncovered in its visit to Mexico, 15 to 18 April 2009, the Committee has issued seven recommendations to ensure this situation does not happen again. Its recommendations include: That Development and Peace be more vigilant in demanding information from possible partners and in ensuring more thorough consultations with the Bishops appointed to its National Council;
What information is going to be “demanded”? Does this mean D&P is going to put an abortion litmus test into its funding decisions? And why is this even required if D&P insists that they don’t fund “organizations” but only “projects” (which of course is a completely vacuous statement)?
- That Development and Peace foster good relations between its partners and the Episcopal Conferences of the countries in which they are located;
I think it is quite telling and significant that this recommendation is made. Indeed, the implication, of course, is that there has been negligible or perhaps even no relations between D&P and some (or even most of) the national bishops’ conferences in those countries where D&P’s partners are operating. This has been one of my main criticisms of D&P and the CCCB. It strikes me as rather arrogant and possibly illegal (canonically speaking) that D&P would operate in the name of the Catholic Church in the backyard of a bishop without the bishop even knowing! This is problematic enough if the group in question is engaged in legitimate and moral activities. It becomes absolutely scandalous if the groups being financed are also advocating for abortion. It smacks of a certain kind of smug, elitist attitude that D&P just knows better when it comes to “social justice” than the bishops of the Global South. We saw how this whole scandal erupted with the Peruvian bishops.
But you see folks, until now, D&P was not interested in what these Episcopal conferences were going to say about their pro-abortion partners. They knew very well that if they had to submit their management financing decisions to the bishops of these countries, their choices of “partners” would risk being rightly rejected. And therein lies their sticky problem.
Who knows what “fostering good relations” means? Does it mean respecting the jurisdictional boundaries of the Bishops of the Global South and their judgement, or is it just more patronizing, socialist clap-trap and business as usual in funding groups who are pushing their sexual imperialism among the poor in the developing world so dubious claims of “social justice” can be advanced?
- That Development and Peace staff be encouraged to develop a good and sound understanding of the social doctrine of the Church;
This is a rather remarkable statement since it implicitly admits what the problem is. I have a very simple question for the bishops of Canada: why are you permitting people into management positions who do not have a “good and sound understanding of the social doctrine of the Church” in the first place? Isn’t that a mandatory requirement of the position, for Pete’s sake? Just like none of the partners that D&P funds are required to be Catholic, perhaps the management of D&P doesn’t have to be Catholic either.
That there be a frank and transparent dialogue between LifeSiteNews and the Bishops of Canada.
While that’s a commendable recommendation, there’s a problem with it. First of all, LifeSite is a news organization, not a pro-life action group per se. Besides, LifeSite and the Bishops have been dialoguing on this for months and there hasn’t been any resolution to the problem. So the problem here is not that there has not been a “frank and transparent dialogue”. There’s been plenty of that. No. The problem here is not one of form but of substance. The bishops of Canada must conform their pastoral practices to what the faith teaches. It’s a simple as that. If they won’t listen to the voices of the children, let them listen to and follow the example of the mother of all churches in Rome. Or maybe the CCCB, in addition to knowing better than the church in the Global South, knows better than the Church in Rome too.
The solution to this dilemma for the bishops is very basic, folks. It’s a very simple, one word solution: