Part one of a multi-part series
Matthew Cullinan Hoffman
MONTREAL, March 28, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – The Canadian Catholic bishops’ international aid organization, Development and Peace (D&P), has been funding at least seven organizations that actively promote the depenalization of abortion in Latin America. Many of the groups are also heavily involved in anti-family activities that clearly violate Catholic teaching, such as promoting gender ideology, marching in “gay pride” parades, advocating for the legalization of same-sex “marriage,” and supporting LGBT film festivals.
As D&P prepares for its annual nationwide collection this Sunday, the organization is denying any wrongdoing. But a representative of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops issued a statement to LifeSiteNews (LSN) saying that the bishops “appreciate” the information, and encouraging LSN to “engage D&P in an in-depth conversation, making use of this information to bring about improvement if necessary.”
The seven organizations are present in five countries: two in Brazil, one in Colombia, one in Honduras, one in Haiti, and two in Paraguay.
The Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace has been repeatedly exposed by LifeSite and other news sources as a financial supporter of groups that endorse and promote pro-abortion and anti-family policies.
As a result of the revelations, the Catholic bishops of Canada created a standing committee in 2010 to ensure that D&P would cease to fund partners involved in pro-abortion and anti-family activity. At the same time, however, D&P ceased to publicly list most of the groups it supports, making their claim impossible to verify. D&P even went to court to prevent the list from being published.
However, seven out of the ten groups LifeSite was able to identify as D&P aid recipients for this story were involved in anti-life, and often anti-family, activism, raising questions about the remaining recipients that are still being concealed from the public.
Development and Peace: Our partners have never ‘supported … abortion in any way’
When LifeSite asked D&P to comment on this story, it received a response from the organization’s Communications Officer, Gay Decker, claiming that “In 50 years of existence, of solidarity, and of work for social justice, Development and Peace has never, nor have any of its partners supported or promoted abortion in any way.”
In making this claim, Development and Peace is not only denying the veracity of dozens of LifeSite stories documenting the pro-abortion activities of D&P partners, but is also denying the Archdiocese of Mexico City’s affirmation in 2011 that D&P was funding pro-abortion organizations in Mexico, one that was confirmed by Archbishop Terrence Prendergast. The Peruvian bishops also accused D&P of funding pro-abortion groups in their country in 2009. As late as 2014, Bishop of Pembroke Michael Mulhall was withholding Lenten collection money from D&P because of revelations of new pro-abortion partners discovered by LifeSite.
Deacon René Laprise, a media representative of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB), stated, “As you know, D&P is responsible and accountable for this dossier. The Bishops are always concerned that the policies and partnerships that are formed by D&P do not undermine Catholic doctrine, ethics, and social teaching, and they support efforts on the part of D&P to vet partnerships carefully.”
“We appreciate your bringing this information to our attention and would encourage you to engage D&P in an in-depth conversation, making use of this information to bring about improvement if necessary,” he added.
Following LifeSite’s inquiry with D&P regarding this story, one of the organizations exposed in this article, Decidamos, began immediately to eliminate webpages from its site containing evidence of its anti-life and anti-family stances. However, foreseeing such a development, LifeSite had already made PDF copies of the pages, to which we link below.
In part one of this series, LifeSite will present extensive documentation on two of the seven pro-abortion organizations funded by D&P in Paraguay: “Decidamos” and “Servicio Paz y Justicia Paraguay.” The pro-abortion activities of five other D&P partners will be documented in subsequent reports.