Dear Archbishop Smith and the Bishops of Canada,
We wish you a blessed Lent in these last few days as we approach the great celebration of Easter. We are writing to you during this Year of Faith out of true concern for the Church’s evangelical witness here in Canada.
As you know, there has been much controversy the past four years about many Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace partnerships in the developing world. We are grateful to the Bishops for the reform you have initiated thus far, and to you, Archbishop Smith, for your emphatic promise that Development and Peace will no longer fund pro-abortion groups. But we wish to express our concern that the scandal has still continued.
Faithful Catholics are dismayed that D&P has maintained partnerships with pro-abortion groups, such as APROSIFA and the NGO Forum on Cambodia, as reported by LifeSiteNews.com in March 2012 and September 2012 respectively.
They are also disturbed by the fact that for the last four years, in the wake of this funding scandal, D&P has hidden its full list of partners, avoiding public accountability and expecting Catholics to blindly trust them and continue donating.
Beyond D&P’s funding relationships, we also wish to express concern over the distorted manner in which D&P has promoted Catholic social teaching in this country, which we believe has added to the faithful’s confusion over authentic doctrine.
This year’s D&P campaign on ‘human dignity’ is a case in point. In the Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church, the Church states: “Promoting human dignity implies above all affirming the inviolability of the right to life, from conception to natural death.” Yet when we read D&P’s campaign materials we find a focus on the important issues of the option for the poor, care for creation, and economic justice, but still no mention whatsoever of the highest priority: the right to life.
We promise to pray for your continued reform of D&P. At the same time, we respectfully urge you, our shepherds, to institute a meaningful and transparent reform producing full confidence that donations to the Church’s official development agency will no longer be passed on to groups that oppose Catholic moral teachings. Sadly, current circumstances do not yet allow for such confidence.
Please accept these remarks as a humble expression of the faithful in keeping, we believe, with our canonical duty in Can. 212 §3 to “manifest to the sacred Pastors [our] views on matters which concern the good of the Church.”