The National Catholic Register reports Catholic leaders are still investigating Development and Peace, an agency of the Canadian bishops’ conference that conducts overseas development work.
Initial research found that the agency has been partnering with organizations that promote abortion, contraception and gender theories contrary to Catholic Church teachings, according to the report.
Here’s more from the report:
[Cardinal Thomas Collins of Toronto] noted the Canadian bishops’ review of the Development and Peace partners “has produced alarming concerns about dozens of overseas organizations.” He said pending a more detailed report expected in coming months, the Toronto Archdiocese will hold back approximately $800,000 earmarked for Development and Peace from the archdiocesan ShareLife campaign.
“It is critical to ensure that it (Development and Peace) allocates no funds to projects or groups that operate contrary to the moral and social teachings of the church,” the April 11 statement said.
Bishops Hector Vila Martinez of Whitehorse and William McGrattan of Calgary also said they have “serious and credible” concerns about the agency’s partners, which “condone and even advocate policies and practices which are not in compliance with Catholic teachings and, in particular, do not fully respect the sanctity of human life.”
The report does not include details of the findings, such as the partner groups or the specifics of their abortion advocacy.
Archbishop Smith wrote an open letter, dated April 4th 2018, to Catholics of the Archdiocese. In part, he said:
“Development and Peace fulfills its mandate in collaboration with more than one hundred partner agencies in the Global South, contracting with them to carry out specific projects aimed at improving the lives of our sisters and brothers in many developing countries. The Bishops of Canada have recently been apprised of the preliminary results of a review of these partners.”
“The initial results communicated to me are alarming. An estimated forty partners appear to show evidence of conflict with Catholic moral teaching and, in particular, that they do not demonstrate full respect for the sanctity of human life.”
Archbishop Smith stated that funds will be withheld from Development and Peace until he has clear assurances all funds will be used by agencies “whose mission, values and practices cohere with the teachings of the Catholic Church …”
After a full investigation, the Canadian bishops said they may permanently defund the agency and give the money to other charities that promote the sanctity of every human life.
Globally, the Catholic Church is known as one of the strongest advocates for the most vulnerable in society. It strongly opposes abortion, euthanasia, assisted suicide and other life-destroying practices. The church teaches that every human life is valuable from conception to natural death and deserving of protection.