Archbishop Richard Smith of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Edmonton (where I live) has been compelled to withhold funds from the Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace (CCODP). This does not come as a surprise. Over the past few years I have heard rumours that CCODP has been involved indirectly with abortion activities and contraception. I have not written about these rumours because, after all, they were rumours.
I am not sure what prompted the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops to instigate a review of CCODP’s activities, but 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.”
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“For this reason, the Archdiocese of Edmonton will withhold the D&P portion of the 2018 Together We Serve donations from Development and Peace.”
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 …” And that is how it must be!
The sanctity of human life: It lies at the center of Christian morality. God made each of us in his image and likeness (Genesis 1.26-27) That fact alone gives every human life, from womb to tomb, immeasurable value. Catholic institutions or agencies must never be involved in anything that does not hold up the sanctity of all human life — whether it be directly, indirectly, by extension, or affiliation. If life is not sacred then nothing is sacred.
LifeNews Note: Mark Pickup is chronically ill and disabled with degenerative multiple sclerosis. He is an advocate for life issues and disability inclusion across North America. He and his wife, LaRee, have been married for 38 years. They live in Alberta Canada with their two adult children and five grandchildren. Mark is available to address issues of euthanasia, assisted suicide, and issues revolving around suffering that often fuel calls for euthanasia. He writes regularly at https://markpickup.org and https://humanlifematters.org and is available for speaking event.