Last April, 12 Canadian dioceses began withholding contributions from Development and Peace (D&P), the aid agency of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB), after LifeSiteNews reported that some of the agency’s partners in the developing world supported abortion, contraception, and gay rights.

The bishops that ceased support last April included Archbishop Richard Smith of Edmonton; Bishop Gary Gordon of Victoria; Bishop Joseph Phuong Nguyen of Kamloops, British Columbia; Cardinal Thomas Collins of Toronto; Archbishop Richard Gagnon of Winnipeg; Archbishop Michael Miller of Vancouver; Bishop Hector Vila of Whitehorse; Bishop Gregory Bittman of Nelson; Bishop Gerard Bergie of St. Catharines; Bishop Paul Terrio of St. Paul; Bishop William McGratten of Calgary, Alberta; and Bishop Mark Hagemoen of Saskatoon. The CCCB vowed to investigate D&Ps relationship with 52 partner groups, 40 of which promote abortion and gay rights, in violation of Catholic Church’s moral teachings.

Development and Peace said is has dropped the problematic 52 partners on the ground in the developing world, but Campaign Life Coalition national president Jeff Gunnarson told The Interim that considering D&P was exposed working with pro-abortion groups a decade ago and it has become a recurring problem, their say-so cannot be enough for bishops and church-goers who are entitled to know that their charitable giving is not be used to promote practices in contradiction with their own moral views. “The Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops should be vigilant and closely monitor Development and Peace considering their track record of, at best, not caring who they work with on the ground, at least until it affects their bottom line.” Gunnarson said that while it is possible Development and Peace has cut its working relationships with the groups promoting abortion, the CCCB must keep its aid agency on a “tighter leash so it doesn’t creep back to its old bad habits.”

The 40 groups that LifeSiteNews exposed as pro-abortion and pro-gay rights represent nearly a quarter of D&P’s 180 partners.

In December, the Archdiocese of Toronto became the last one to release its 2018 contribution to D&P, a total of $800,000. The archdiocese and the CCCB both say they will continue to monitor Development and Peace to ensure that it only works with organizations that protect the dignity of every human being. When questions first arose about D&P’s partners more than a decade ago, the Archdiocese of Toronto began to require letters of endorsement from local bishops or from bishops’ conferences to ensure money raised in Toronto parishes will not go to organizations that violate the Church’s moral teaching. The CLC National News comments this month that the protocol, in place since 2009, “did not prevent D&P from working with pro-abortion and pro-gay groups over the last decade, necessitating the withholding of funds last April.”