Saturday, June 11, 2011

Fr. Raymond de Souza hits it out of the park on the Development and Peace scandal

I love you Fr. de Souza!
My view is that D + P has a tenuous claim on Catholic dollars because, aside from fundraising in Catholic parishes, they have a tenuous relationship with any distinctively Catholic mission. In their operations they are largely — and by their own proud design — indistinguishable from any number of peace and justice NGOs working in the developing world.


Even more troubling, when questions about the Centro PRODH were publicly raised two years ago, the Canadian bishops sent a delegation of two bishops to Mexico to investigate the matter. The bishops’ visit was co-ordinated by D+ P itself — a rather dubious investigative strategy — and D+P officials drafted the report, which cleared the Centre. A rather obvious question now needs to be asked: Did D+P, or the investigating Canadian bishops, never ask Cardinal Rivera what his views were of Canadian Catholics supporting Centro PRODH in his diocese?

Imagine for a moment if the situation was reversed. A Catholic development agency from say, Germany or the United States, decides to fund in Vancouver or Toronto a group that collaborates with pro-abortion groups here. This goes on for 10 years, and when questions are raised about this, the archbishop of Vancouver or Toronto’s opinion is not sought out as the first step. Being rich does not give one the right to ignore the reality of the local Church. Just because D+P has money from generous Canadian Catholics does not give them the right to undermine the public witness of local Catholics, beginning with the archbishop of Mexico City.

Any organization that thinks, much less operates, that way has a deeply flawed understanding of Catholic solidarity. Our duty towards those in poorer countries is not to undermine their social fabric with the corrupt morals of Canadian public policy, but to assist them in genuine human development according to Gospel values. If D+P gets that wrong, then of course it does not deserve Catholic support.


The delegates made it clear that they want Canadian bishops to give them access to parish collections, and then shut up. There is a certain consistent logic at play here; D+P is no more interested in the views of the bishops in Canada where they raise money than they are of the bishops in the countries where they spend it. That approach may earn them the support of social activists here and abroad, but it should not earn the support of Catholics.

I want our local Church to help the poor in underdeveloped countries.

But only in accordance to Catholic doctrine.

D + P clearly does not understand Catholic doctrine.

That they freak out when Catholic doctrine is applied shows they do not understand.

The thing is, the bishops have a duty to explain.

Which they're not doing.

They have to make it clear to Development and Peace what the problem is and what the truth is.

Have we completely lost sight sight of the bishop's number one job: preaching and expounding on the truth?

They shouldn't just "propose" as many bishops like to say. Their job is to TELL the truth. Not just offer it as one option, but to say-- authoritatively-- THIS IS EXACTLY HOW IT IS.

Could the bishops, please, please, please, perform this simple but vital function. Please? Why should the laypeople have to practically beg them to do their jobs?