Canada and Catholicism

Written by Jaceck Morawa on Thursday, 30 April 2009. Posted in Societal debates

Catholic Church under pressure from the Culture of Death

Many countries around the world are under great pressure from different groups who support the legalization of abortion on demand, homosexuality, euthanasia, and changing the definition of marriage. To add to the strain, a Catholic news website has discovered that some of these groups are being supported by donations received through the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishop’s main international development organization: Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace (CCODP). This organization is using the Catholic Church to support its promotion of the abortion agenda, all without the knowledge or consent of the Catholic population.

A diminished sense of values

The Catholic Church’s stand against the culture of death of our modern times has been the subject of many homilies and apostolic and encyclical letters.

John Paul II spoke about this during his Ad limina address to the U.S. Bishops of California, Nevada and Hawaii in 1998. "We are coming to the end of a century which began with confidence in humanity’s prospects of almost unlimited progress, but which is now ending in widespread fear and moral confusion. If we want a springtime of the human spirit, we must rediscover the foundations of hope (cf. Address to the 50th General Assembly of the United Nations Organization, October 5, 1995, 16-18). Above all, society must learn to embrace once more the great gift of life, to cherish it, to protect it, and to defend it against the culture of death, itself an expression of the great fear that stalks our times.

"There are signs of an almost unimaginable insensitivity to the reality of what actually happens during an abortion, as evidenced in recent events surrounding so-called ‘partial-birth’ abortion. This is a cause for deep concern. A society with a diminished sense of the value of human life at its earliest stages has already opened the door to a culture of death.

"What is at stake here is nothing less than the indivisible truth about the human person on which the Founding Fathers staked your nation’s [the United States] claim to independence. The life of a country is much more than its material development and its power in the world. A nation needs a ‘soul.’ It needs the wisdom and courage to overcome the moral ills and spiritual temptations inherent in its march through history.

"In union with all those who favor a ‘culture of life’ over a ‘culture of death’, Catholics, and especially Catholic legislators, must continue to make their voices heard in the formulation of cultural, economic, political and legislative projects which, ‘with respect for all and in keeping with democratic principles, will contribute to the building of a society in which the dignity of each person is recognized, and the lives of all are defended and enhanced.’ (Evangelium Vitae, 90). Democracy stands or falls with the values which it embodies and promotes (Evangelium Vitae, 70). In defending life, you are defending an original and vital part of the vision on which your country was built. America must become, again, a hospitable society, in which every unborn child and every handicapped or terminally ill person is cherished and enjoys the protection of the law". (Pope John Paul II)

Disturbing evidence

LifeSiteNews.com is a research website that covers international news on abortion, euthanasia, etc. They have been publishing a lot of scandalous information on Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace in recent months, saying that they are truly involved in funding and supporting different groups and organizations that are pro-abortion and teach "reproductive health" to citizens. Here is the shameful evidence.

The All Rights for Everyone Network (Red Todos los Derechos para Todos) is an organization that advertises several pro-abortion groups including Agenda LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Agenda) from Roma, Mexico. It also includes among its members the "Miguel Augustin Pro Juarez Human Rights Center." All Rights for Everyone Network, who is funded by Development and Peace, has been among those pressuring the government in Mexico to enforce the law that permits the legal interruption of pregnancy in the Federal District (Mexico City). The organization also displays an "agenda" on its website that says that abortion should be made available to everyone.

Their website says that this law would "represent an advance for the human rights of women" and "the law that permits the legal interruption of pregnancy up to twelve weeks of gestation, which establishes preventative measures in the area of sexual and reproductive health", approved by the Legislative Assembly of the Federal District on the 24th of April, 2007, "is a moderate and integral law that has contributed significantly to the exercise of human rights in women, both in the City of Mexico and in some other states."

It brings one to ask, why would an organization that says it is pro-life be associated with such virulent pro-abortion groups if they are concerned with their reputation as a Catholic organization? Or could it be that it is merely that they do not want to lose the valuable financial support that the Catholic Church provides them?

Here we will state some of the facts that have been presented and researched by several trustworthy entities. They glaringly point to the falsehoods that Development and Peace continue to reiterate in their denials of guilt.

Funding abortion around the world

Let’s start with the amounts of money collected throughout the last year of Development and Peace’s "Share Lent" program. These are some of the amounts given to pro-abortion groups in Mexico for the year 2007-2008:

— "Miguel Augustin Pro Juarez Human Rights Center" ($24,000 Canadian Dollars)

— "Mexican Network for Action Regarding Free Trade" ($36,000 CAD)

— "Center for Economic and Political Research for Community Action" ($40,000 CAD)

— "National Center for Social Communication" ($30,000 CAD)

— "All Rights for Everyone Network" ($40,000 CAD)

— "The Center for Support for the Popular Movement of the West" ($35,000 CAD)

This type of misplaced support is not new to Development and Peace. In 2001, they donated $130,000 to the pro-abortion "World March of Women" creating a big scandal among Catholic circles. The BC Catholic reported on April 23rd that: "The Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace (CCODP) has budgeted $140,000 for the parallel summit and other anti-globalization efforts." During the "World March of Women," Monsignor Paul Couture, who was Archbishop of Quebec at that time, was forbidden to speak because of the Catholic Church’s view on abortion.

LifeSiteNews reporter Matthew Hoffman has written that: "Mexican pro-abortion groups will receive a total of $850,000 CAD for the period 2006-2011, if last year’s budget is representative of all five years in the CCODP five-year plan. The money will largely come from funds donated through ‘Share Lent,’ and other diocesan fundraising programs", "Share Life" is another of those programs.

The United Nations

The three of those members listed in the report from the United Nations are the "Augustin Pro Juarez Center for Human Rights" the "Mexican Network for Action Regarding Free Trade" and the "Center for Economic and Political Research for Community Action."

Three of the organizations above mentioned are also members of the Organizations of Civil Society on Economic, Social, Cultural, and Environmental Rights in Mexico, which openly advocates legalization of abortion on demand throughout the country. This includes 67 references to the practice or legalization of abortion. (See document in Spanish at the United Nations’ "human rights" website).

The report from the United Nations proclaims that it is "urgent and necessary that all federal entities advance towards broadening permission for legal abortion for the purpose of standardizing it throughout the country. Only in this way will the constitutional guarantee of equality before the law be a reality. The Mexican government, secular and democratic, has the obligation to promote a legislative policy, congruent with its characteristics, founded on objective factors to attend to the health of women who want to interrupt an undesired pregnancy, who are put at risk in the clandestine conditions in which abortion is currently practiced."

South America and Africa

The banner at back of meeting room in the center of the Women’s Collective in Nicaragua says, "Violence is forcing a girl to carry through a pregnancy. We demand the return of therapeutic abortion."

There is a pro-abortion information service called "The Latin American Information Agency", in Ecuador that is always publishing their positive opinion on the legalization and/or depenalization of abortion, contraceptive use, and homosexual behavior. Also they attack the Catholic Church for its doctrines on the family and human life in general. They receive funding on a regular basis from Development and Peace. A quote from their website states: "Femicide is the final result of a continuum of terror that includes rape, torture... obligatory heterosexuality... penalizing contraception and abortion."

A group in Bolivia called: the "Center for Promotion and Integral Health" (Centro de Promocion y Salud Integral or CEPROSI) is known as one of the "most militant, radical, and active" organizations trying to enforce legalized abortion in the country. CEPROSI was a partner in the creation of the "Vigilant Round Table of Sexual and Reproductive Rights" and the "Regional Committees for Sexual and Reproductive Health". Development and Peace lists CEPROSI as a member and admits that funding is being given for "education around community health and prevention".

"Women Advocates Research and Documentation Centre" (WARDC) from Nigeria, also receives support from Development and Peace. Last year, WARDC joined with the Center for Reproductive Rights (CRR), which is one of the many pro-abortion groups in the United States. In a report given to the Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute, (C-FAM) called CRR; "an organization that seeks to create an international human right to abortion on demand through litigation."

In this same report, WARDC, in conjunction with CRR, explicitly and repeatedly called upon the government of Nigeria to improve "access to family planning services, including a full range of contraceptive methods," and to ensure access to abortion. The concluding statement reiterated that WARDC is strongly advising the government of Nigeria to "guarantee access to safe abortion services within the existing law."

Our report on these facts is based on our belief that Development and Peace is obviously very much involved, as are so many other organizations, in the progression of the abortion agenda around the world.

Judie Brown, who is a member of the Pontifical Academy for Life at the Vatican, made several comments to the press on the subject of the Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace. "In order to confirm any concerns we might have... we engaged the services of a researcher to independently investigate the reports that have been posted... direct evidence from the web sites of the abortion groups in question showed their advocacy." Miss Brown stated as well that it was amazing that even after Development and Peace made an "inquiry" into their Mexican partners, they continue to insist that there is nothing going on. She made the comment that: "something is clearly wrong; there is indeed a bit of double-talk going on, and that does suggest corruption to us."

On June 9th, the Bishops Conference of Peru wrote a letter asking that all funding by Canadian Catholics to Development and Peace be halted. The "formal" request states that, "It is very disturbing to have groups which work against the Bishops of Peru by attempting to undermine legal protection for the right to life of unborn children, be funded by our brother Bishops in Canada." The letter was signed by Archbishop Jose Eguren, President of the Family, Childhood and Life Commission (Family Commission) of the Peruvian Bishops Conference. The Archbishop said that his organization investigated groups supported by Development and Peace and found three of them to be pro-abortion. He continued to say that, "Each group either explicitly endorses abortion, and/or contraception, either by name or by its various euphemisms like ‘sexual and reproductive rights’ or some derivation thereof."

We promote the culture of life

Thomas Collins, the Archbishop of Toronto, has stated that he will hold all funds that were donated through the "ShareLife" program until the situation of Development and Peace is rectified. He was later joined by Archbishop J. Michael Miller of Vancouver and Archbishop Brendan O’Brian of Kingston.

Human Life International (HLI), the Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute (CFAM), the Latin American Alliance for the Family (ALAFA), Priests for Life, and the American Life League, are all urging the Bishops of Canada to investigate the evidence that states just how corrupt Development and Peace has become.

This is necessary if we are to indeed purge ourselves of the evil that we have so far accepted, abet unknowingly. We, the Pilgrims of St. Michael, encourage the Canadian Catholic Bishops as well, to recognize Development and Peace for what the facts have presented them to be. They have taken advantage of the Church, using her good will and Christian spirit as a means to undermine the culture of life.

This is a betrayal of the willingness that the Catholic Church has always had to help our needy brothers and sisters around the world. A charitable organization that does not have utter transparency could never be supported by the Church. Development and Peace has used these opportunities to exploit the generosity of our Church leaders and the people of faith in Canada.

The Pilgrims of St. Michael, as lay Catholic missionaries, have upheld the Church’s position against injustice, misery and poverty, euthanasia, homosexuality, and of course abortion, etc., for over 70 years. Beyond that, we dedicate ourselves to educating the population about their social freedoms and the implementation of the Social Doctrine of the Catholic Church in our society and country. The Pilgrims of St. Michael have been spreading millions of our free leaflets promoting the culture of life in the U.S.A., Canada, and around the world.

All this has been accomplished through the support of the many benefactors that assist us in the fight for these essential liberties. God gave us a free will to make our own choices, and you, dear reader, where do you stand in the battle of the culture of life and death?

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