August 12, 2009
Feast of St. Anicetus, Martyr
His Excellency Archbishop Luigi Ventura
724 Manor Avenue
Ottawa, Ontario K1M 0E3
As you may be aware by now, the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishop’s official development and aid agency, Development & Peace, has been the focus of intense scrutiny over the past few months by various Catholic news sources. It has been discovered that Development & Peace has been funding over 40 pro-abortion, anti-family, anti-Catholic groups in the Global South, most notably in Latin America, Africa and Asia. The evidence – which comes from these groups’ own websites, from third party websites, from audio interviews with these groups’ representatives, from eye witness testimony and pictures at these groups’ facilities, from bishops’ conferences, and from pro-life groups in these countries - is nothing less than staggering in breadth and scope.
I have enclosed herewith two pieces of evidence for your review. The first is a letter sent by the Peruvian Bishops Conference’s Office of the Family to the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops which requests that the CCCB stop funding pro-abortion groups in their country. The second enclosure, which was mailed to all of the bishops of Canada on April 17, is an eye-witness report, including incriminating pictures, from a young lady who visited one of Development & Peace’s pro-abortion partners in Managua, Nicaragua. In addition to the evidence enclosed with this letter, I encourage you to watch this video which summarizes the major events of this scandal: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RsBkAc8Shng. A complete inventory of all of the evidence and reports can be found at this location: http://www.socon.ca/?p=1567.
Despite this overwhelming evidence, both the management of Development & Peace and the current president of the CCCB, Msgr. James Weisgerber, have refused to concede, much less address, the substantial and incontrovertible evidence against the pro-abortion partners they have been funding. Furthermore, the news sources which have been uncovering this scandal have been met with hostility and slander by Development & Peace. In fact, Msgr. Weisgerber went so far as to deny the credibility and even Catholicity of “Catholic bloggers” who uncovered Development & Peace’s scandalous practices.
In light of the Holy Father’s recent encyclical, Caritas in veritate, which explicitly says that authentic human development cannot be “detached” from a respect for the unborn, the urgency of reform of this so-called “development and aid agency” is desperately required.
In addition to informing you of this grave scandal, I have two requests to make. In the event that the Canadian bishops do not act decisively to cut every and all ties to these groups and stop the blood money from flowing by the end of their plenary assembly in October of this year, I am asking you on behalf of the pro-life community in this country to take the following steps:
1) Stop the Jurisdictional Encroachment – As the Peruvian scandal has demonstrated, Development & Peace is not revealing the specific activities of the groups they are funding in the Global South to the bishops in those dioceses. There is a legitimate question of jurisdictional encroachment by the Canadian bishops and their agency against the bishops of these dioceses. It would be inappropriate for the Canadian Church to be conducting “social justice” work in these dioceses without, at the very least, notifying the bishops as a matter of deference and respect for their authority. It becomes an unconsciounable breach when this “social justice” work ends up funding groups whose primary mandate is to push for abortion, and which, as the Peruvian case aptly demonstrates, could have been avoided. I am therefore asking you to alert the Nuncios in these countries (who could in turn alert the bishops there) about the scandalous funding practices of Development & Peace. If the Peruvian bishops have objected to such conduct, it is certain that the bishops of these other countries would likewise object.
2) Plea for Direct Intervention by the Pope – Because of the seriousness and the heinous nature of these funding activities which has not only lead to the direct assault on the sanctity of unborn life but in some cases even attacks on the Church itself in these developing countries, I am asking that the Holy See directly intervene with the bishops of Canada to encourage the bishops to conduct a thorough and complete reform of its development and aid agency.
I want to express to you, your Excellency, in the strongest possible way, that the Canadian faithful will no longer tolerate this near whole-scale abdication of responsibility and gross negligence by the Canadian episcopacy in defending unborn life and Humanae Vitae during these past 40 years, even as they ostensibly work for “social justice” while turning a blind eye to the abortion juggernaut which is rolling across the Global South.
Any unity that is not based on the truth is a sham. Let us not put ourselves in a position of having to pay lip service to the truth and to the unborn at the service of a false unity which cannot be maintained indefinitely.
Sincerely yours in Christ Jesus,