6 July 2009

More on the CCCB and Development and Peace affair

I while back I posted on the allegations that the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) Development and Peace organization was giving money to pro-abortion groups in third world countries. The CCCB had an internal investigation into the matter, the results of which will not be released until all Canadian Bishops have looked at the report. However, the head of the CCCB, Archbishop James Weisgerber, has commented on the current situation and has come to a simple conclusion: it's the bloggers' fault.

“These bloggers who claim to be more Catholic than anyone — I think first of all they’re not part of the church, they’re not Catholic in the sense that they have no mandate, they have no authority, they have no accountability. And they speak very, very definitively about what it means to be Catholic, and they’re followed by so many people... the bishops I think take a more reasoned approach to the whole thing,” said Weisgerber.

h/t The Catholic Register

I am in agreement with some of what is said here, actually. Bloggers have neither mandate nor authority nor accountability, and many bloggers blog irresponsibly. That being said, let's have a look at what else the article in the Register has to say. It is rather interesting.

The leader of the CCCB, while refusing to go into specifics about the upcoming report, commented about his 'impressions' of the investigation: "The group found no difficulty." The problem was with bloggers, again, taking rumour and presenting it as fact.

The spokeswoman for Development and Peace added this: “Anything we allocate money to, we have written reports that have to be submitted showing how the money was spent and whether it was spent as it was intended.”

Weisberger further used the example of the Vatican's contributions to UNICEF, an organization which funds contraceptive use and abortions, stating that the Vatican's money is specifically earmarked for projects which do not contravene Church teaching. “We give money to projects, not to organizations,” he said.

So what we have are bishop groups from third world nations saying the CCCB has been giving money to pro-abortion groups in their countries, and the CCCB saying their internal investigation found no problem, not that they did not give the money. This, at least, is fact. What I surmise from the article is that the money was most likely given to these groups but was earmarked for specific projects and the CCCB is satisfied that the money did in fact go to those projects.

Well, almost all the CCCB is satisfied. Toronto Archbishop Thomas Collins has withheld ShareLife money from the CCCB until the report has been released and read and the CCCB has decided on a course of action. Furthermore, Archbishop Collins has vowed that no ShareLife money will go to Development and Peace if it is found that Development and Peace is funding pro-abortion advocacy.

Thank you, your Grace.

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