Over the past several months, Catholics across North America have been shocked by stunning revelations that the Church’s development and aid agencies have been funding pro-abortion, pro-contraception, and anti-Catholic groups. In Canada, the Canadian bishops’ official foreign development and aid agency, Development & Peace (D&P), was caught funding over 40 of these groups. Evidence comes from these groups’ own websites, audio interviews with their employees, credible third party reports, and even eye witness reports. A short documentary video of the scandal can be viewed here. It got so bad that even the Peruvian bishops rebuked their Canadian counterparts. In the United States, of course, the Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD) was caught doing much the same thing except on a domestic scale.
Now, there are more questions about yet another Canadian Catholic poverty relief organization called Save A Family Plan (SAFP) based in London, Ontario engaging in questionable initiatives. In its 2007-2008 Annual Report, for instance, we read:
Gender considerations have been mainstreamed in all SPED II activities, with results indicating less discrimination against women, and increased acceptance of women as decision-makers and participants in the community and in the home. Significantly, SAFP was invited to make a presentation at a CIDA Roundtable on Gender Equality at the Canadian High Commission in Delhi, India in March 2008. (Source)
In and of itself, there is nothing very problematic in the above paragraph, but it’s the euphemisms that need to be picked out and examined to ensure that there is no advancement of radical feminist and pro-abort agendas. The report makes mention of “gender” being “mainstreamed”. This is a very akward sounding initiative, at the very least, and it could smack of a certain feminist agenda, at worst. As a minimum, it deserves further investigation. In their program called “SPED-II: A Community Driven Initiative for 2006-2009, they engage in funding an initiative called “gender mainstreaming”. Their Spring 2006 newsletter tells us that one of their objectives is:
“to empower and strengthen the capacities of community and their grass root organizations for improving access to local resources and for addressing local socio-cultural, gender, environment, and other development issues by participating in local governanace process and networking.”
Although this agency does much good and is even funded by well-meaning but ignorant Catholics, there could be a serious problem with the initiative of “gender mainstreaming”, which they list in the same newsletter:
Gender mainstreaming is not some off-the-cuff phrase that Save A Family Plan just made up, either. It has a universal and unambiguous meaning in the international anti-family mafia. The U.N. and other socialist, secularist organizations use the language to advance their anti-family and anti-Catholic goals and objectives in traditional Catholic countries. Various pro-family and pro-life sources have outed this euphemism as being an initiative that is absolutely lethal to the family:
It has long been the project of the radical feminist and homosexual movements to change the understanding society has toward men and women. This was the reason the word “sex” to define men and women was changed to the more malleable “gender.” If gender is a social construct and has no basis in nature then there is no basis for sex roles. It means that any girl can be trained to want to be a fighter pilot and any boy can be raised happily as a girl.
In the UN system, the idea of “gender as a social construct” comes in the guise of “gender mainstreaming.” According to a paper issued by the UN Special Advisor on Gender “mainstreaming the gender perspective in all types of activities is a globally accepted strategy for promoting gender equality. Mainstreaming involves ensuring that gender perspectives and attention to the goal of gender perspectives and attention to the goal of gender equality are central to all activities – policy development, research, advocacy/dialogue, legislation, resource allocation and planning, implementation and monitoring of programs and projects.” (Source: C-FAM)
Here is some more information about “gender mainstreaming”:
“Gender mainstreaming,” an ideology that proposes to erase the foundational unit of western society, the natural family, is being infiltrated into laws and institutions around the world under the rubric of “equality” legislation and guidelines, says author Gabrielle Kuby.
Kuby, the author of a 2003 book, endorsed by the former Cardinal Ratzinger, warning Christian parents of the danger of the Harry Potter book series, has written on the threat of the work of ideologues on the far left who are working to create a “new man” who can arbitrarily decide whether he is a man, a woman or some other “gender” unrelated to the natural distinctions of biology. “According to them,” she writes, “there are not two sexes, but six or more, depending on sexual preference.”
“Behind the facade” of equality, “lurks the general attack on the moral standards to which we owe the Western culture. Without it, neither the family nor Christianity can survive.”
In her article, “Gender Mainstreaming – The Secret Revolution,” to be published in German in this month’s edition of Vatican magazine, Kuby warns that the new ideology is being carefully inculcated into international law and particularly into the materials made available to educators to create school curricula. Kuby writes, “This view of freedom and sexuality, according to the will of the UN, EU and most European governments is to be imprinted onto the minds of children from the nursery onwards.”
In the case of one national government, Germany’s, the “gender mainstreaming” ideology is part of the guiding principles of every ministry of the government. The homepage of the German government’s Ministry of Science says, “The Federal Government has established an equal opportunities policy based on the political strategy of gender mainstreaming as a universal guiding principle.”
Kuby’s contention is supported by John Smeaton, head of the UK’s Society for the Protection of Unborn Children, who wrote this weekend that people in Europe who adhere to traditional Judeo-Christian values and ideas are under threat by anti-family ideologues working to enforce their anti-family policies and silence dissent.
“Pro-life and pro-family campaigners,” he wrote, “must expect to see the publication of documents, funded by the European Union, which promote abortion, euthanasia and other anti-life and anti-family practices – with a special emphasis on zero tolerance for dissent.”
Kuby’s thesis also corresponds with that of Babette Francis, a long-time campaigner for life and family at the international level who in 2004 told LifeSiteNews.com that the fight over the definition of “gender” has become the cornerstone of UN and other internationalist ideology. This ideology also links closely to the efforts of the international agencies to impose legal abortion on countries in developing nations.
Francis said that the gender ideology was first raised at a seminal conference on women, Beijing +5, in 1995, when delegates argued that gender was a socially malleable concept and that human beings could not be restricted to the mere biological categories of male and female. The argument was that there is a “continuous spectrum and that there were all kinds of genders.”
Kuby also relates that the gender ideology first found fertile ground when it was brought forward by a powerful group of feminist and lesbian NGOs at the Beijing conference. Since then gender mainstreaming has been pushed into international law with the Treaty of Amsterdam (1999) and the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights of Nice (2000). As a negation of the traditional values of the family, Kuby writes, “abortion follows automatically as part of the global agenda” of the gender ideologies.
Kuby concludes with an admonition that Christians fight the incursions of the new ideologies.
“At this stage of history, the main attack of evil is in the field of sexuality. Christians need to meet the enemy there, otherwise they will have lost. If the young generation is pushed into moral degeneracy, the human condition of family and faith will be further destroyed and abortion will never be overcome.” (Source: LSN)
It is unclear, however, whether the “gender mainstreaming” funded by SAFP is identical in nature to the “gender mainstreaming” promoted by the U.N. More pointed and specific questions need to be asked, and an investigation of SAFP needs to be conducted to answer this question.
There are, however, some indications that strongly suggest that the “gender mainstreaming” referred to in SAFP initiatives are indeed synonymous with those used by the anti-family, globalist forces.
First of all, the fact that the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), a pro-feminist/pro-abortion federal agency, sponsors 75% of SAFP’s budget is not a good indication of SAFP’s initiatives in “gender mainstreaming”.
In SAFP’s 2007-08 Annual Report, we learn about some of the conferences and workshops SAFP staff attend. One of these conferences was called Women and Social Change: Perspectives from Canada and India, May 2007, Montreal, sponsored by Shastri Indo-Canadian Institute and McGill University. One of the speakers at this conference was the Canada Research Chair in Philosophy of Gender and Sexuality at Alberta University, Dr. Cressida J. Heyes. The title of her talk was ”Feminist Work on the Self and the Work of Social Change (Source). In and of itself, this might not be that significant, but it does raise questions about the themes and messages conveyed at these training sessions which SAFP staff attend, and the influences these sessions have on the eventual policies promoted by SAFP.
Much more troubling evidence, however, comes from their own newsletters. In their Winter 2006 Newsletter, for instance, SAFP covers their “gender equality” objectives and activities. While there is nothing overtly anti-Catholic or anti-family in the newsletter per se, the euphemisms and jingos employed are the same kind of language used by the secular feminist NGOs to advance the anti-family agenda. They also point to the idea that gender is a socially malleable concept, being “socially constructed”. Here are a few selections:
This is not exactly the kind of development and aid work conducted by the Sisters of Charity, is it? And we have to ask the question whether SAFP’s “gender mainstreaming” objective is really interested more in changing or confusing a family rather than saving it. We also have to ask whether Save a Family Plan (an ostensibly Catholic organization) and Development & Peace look more like satellites for CIDA or the Feminist NGOs that stalk United Nations ”women’s empowerment” conferences than they do authentic Catholic relief agencies.
This represents, once again, another instance of the Church hierarchy, whether bishops or influential priests, not being fully informed about how the feminist/abortion juggernaut works. The mere sound of the phrase, “gender mainstreaming” should have bells and lights going off with faithful Catholics. Are we not to expect AT THE VERY LEAST the same reaction and alarm from our superiors? Are faithful Catholics to believe that Development & Peace or Catholic Campaign for Human Development was not just a one-time controversy, but could be indicative of a much more fundamental problem with the episcopacy in the West; namely, that their pastoral orientation to fighting the culture war is largely muted and impotent?
It sure looks like it.
In the future, it would be advantageous and prudent for the bishops of North America to consult with pro-life organizations and individuals who might provide them with relevant and important information when making decisions concerning issues impacting the protection of human life and family. It would also be prudent for them to reserve an afternoon with pro-life activists at their next Plenary Assembly to assist them pulling their collective heads out of the sand and be educated on the culture war, and our opponent’s tactics and their euphemisms. I respectfully submit that it would be the best few hours they will have spent in a very long time at these conferences.