LifeSiteNews.com reports that 12 Canadian Catholic bishops are investigating the Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace (Development and Peace or D&P) over revelations in early 2017 that it partnered with 40 groups in developing countries that were pro-abortion or pro-LGBT. The Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) asked for a review after the Catholic Women’s League raised concerns about some of D&P’s partners in recipient countries were undermining Catholic teaching on abortion and matters of sexual morality. Earlier that same year, LifeSiteNews reported that at least seven Latin American organizations that actively promote the legalization of abortion were among Development and Peace’s partners on various projects.
Lisa Gall, communications director for the CCCB told LifeSiteNews, “The joint review continues … It follows that any further updates and/or the completion of a final report will be announced in due course.”
After the revelations this spring, 12 bishops announced they were temporarily withholding their Lenten collection from Development and Peace, representing an estimated loss of $2 million to 4 million for Development and Peace, until they received “clear assurances” from the organization, “that its partners comply with Catholic teachings.”
LifeSiteNews was not able to confirm that all 12 bishops still are withholding funds for Development and Peace, although CCCB president, Saint-Jean-Longueuil Bishop Lionel Gendron implied the bishops had not released the funds when he told Canadian Catholic News the bishops are “putting pressure” on the Catholic international development charity to adhere to the teachings of the Church. “We want to put pressure, and I think the fact some of the bishops retain the funds (is) a way of putting pressure,” he told CCN’s Deborah Gyapong.
Bishop Gendron said, “What we are trying to do is, when Development and Peace are saying they are the Catholic social arm of the Church, they have to be Catholic.” Gendron said getting guarantees that Development and Peace’s partners in recipient countries adhere to Catholic teaching on abortion and sexual morality is moving too slowly. “We need to be persevering and patient, and at the same time we have to put some pressure so we will see the end of it,” he added.
LifeSiteNews and The Interim have been reporting on D&P’s funding of pro-abortion, pro-contraception, and pro-LGBT groups since 2009. In response to those reports, the CCCB created a standing committee to monitor Development and Peace’s activities and international partners, yet D&P continues to work with groups that violate Catholic social teaching. An interim report issued by the standing committee in February found that Development and Peace was working with 40 groups that promoted abortion, contraception, and LGBT rights. Edmonton Archbishop Richard Smith responded by withholding funding of D&P, and he was joined by 11 other Catholic bishops: 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-Elect 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.