Let me say: I am not impressed.
The report begins by talking about the allegations of LifesiteNews. But never species what those allegations were.
Anybody who has a passing interest in this scandal knows that Lifesite's beef has been that Development and Peace has been funding groups that engage in abortion advocacy.
But what do the bishops conclude:
In conclusion of our inquiry regarding the Mexican Episcopal Conference and the five non-governmental organizations in question, we believe the allegations by Lifesite News – that financial assistance by the Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace (CCODP) aided projects related to the promotion of abortion – are not founded on the facts.
As far as I know, Lifesite has never made any accusations with regards to funding pro-abortion projects.
I want to make some snarky remark about how convenient it was for the bishops to overlook that fact. But I will give them the benefit of the doubt.
The allegation was that Development and Peace funded groups that engaged in advocacy for abortion.
I have a hunch that some bishops think it's okay to give money to groups that work towards abortion, based on the legalism that the money is not going towards abortion itself.
The report says:
We questioned their leadership for considerable time, and confronted them with the allegations and accusations we had heard, but did not find any evidence that they have been implicated in promoting abortion.
And there were no details about this. Again, very convenient. Who did they talk to? What groups? What individuals?
It seems the bishops expect to be believed on their word.
Not that I would think a bishop would lie. But bishops can be deceived. Or they can put a positive spin (in their minds) on a negative situation.
In light of the seriousness of the allegations, if there were no substance to them, you would think the bishops would be anxious to publish the details of those conversations, as any in-depth investigative report would. In that sense, this report is rather incomplete.
The report says:
We make an urgent appeal to the leadership of Lifesite News that it establish an open and fruitful dialogue with Canadian Catholic groups. We are convinced that when a group makes allegations, accusations and denunciations against another, this can bring nothing positive to our Church and is a counter-witness to that Gospel spirit that should guide all Christians. Negative actions of this kind encourage suspicion, scandal and division in the Church. We also hope there will be a means for frank and transparent dialogue between Lifesite and the Bishops of Canada. We know our brother Bishops share this concern for unity and mutual respect which should be characteristic of the Catholic Church in our country
In the Catholic Church, everyone should be on the same page when it comes to the right to life.
But over and again, the bishops of the Church and social justice groups have been less than open and forthcoming in their support for the equality of the unborn child.
There are a few Canadian bishops who are strong in their support for the unborn. But in some dioceses, the silence on right to life issues is deafening.
I'd like to put to the question to the bishops individually: do you believe in the equality of the unborn child, and do you believe that unborn children should be legally recognized in Canada, and legally protected from abortion?
Let's bring it all out in the open, because I really hate conversations where we're all trying to be polite to not say what everyone is thinking and we dance around the question: the social justice Catholics do not believe in fetal rights.
We've all seen the lefty Catholics who won't speak up for the unborn, who, in some scandalous cases, will SUPPORT legal abortions.
This report has the looks of a Public Relations exercise to make the Vatican happy and to comfort suspicious and naive church bench warmers who, of course, do not want their money to go to abortion, and will believe the bishops on their word, because of course the bishops are all good and well-intentioned people (and I'm not saying they're not) and if they're good and well-intentioned, for a lot of people, that's enough to absolve the clergy of any wrongdoing and any open, explicit and concrete support for fetal rights.
Perhaps the social justice crowd at the top of the hierarchy will come and say what they're really thinking: that pro-life Catholics are a bunch of right-wing fundamentalists. We know the lefty laypeople already say it and say it to our faces. Perhaps the upper echelons of the clergy will have the courage of their convictions.
Somehow I doubt it. They must know, deep down, that pro-life Catholics are only following what the Pope and the Magisterium says about the Right to Life.
And, when all is said and done, maybe the truth will come out about the Canadian clergy:
Those who support the Winnipeg Statement are the same bishops who have accepted proportionalism. And proportionalism is the same philosophical error now being used to justify partnering with D&P’s pro-abortion partners, not to mention the soft abortion policy of St. Joseph’s hospital in London, Ontario.
I am so sick and tired of the BS in the Church. Let's just all get it out folks. You want dialogue Your Graces, I would love to have one, but not the kind we all speak in euphemisms and don't say what we really think. That's been going on long enough. Let's just tell it like it is. And we'll bring it Rome. I'm pretty confident which side the Vatican will take in all this.