01 April 2009

Archbishop denounces Lifesite

It has just come to my attention (via this Lifesite article) that Archbishop Bohan of Regina has called the allegations against Development and Peace false. He did this in a statement dated March 25. He and Archbishop Weisgerber of Winnipeg are the only two bishops to publicly claim Lifesite's allegations are untrue. Archbishop Bohan asked parishioners to continue to donate money to D&P because of "the excellent work that Development and Peace does in the world to mitigate poverty and thus save countless lives of children and vulnerable people." Speaking specifically as the "chief Shepherd of our diocesan Church" he finds the allegations to be "a malicious attack on this important and sacred work that the Catholic people in Canada do for the poor in the world through Development and Peace."

I am sure that no one is going to be surprised that I disagree strongly with Archbishop Bohan. As I have said before, the allegations against D&P are serious, and good evidence has been offered to substantiate the claims. The mission of Lifesite is to provide coverage on life and family issues occurring around the world. They are not a malicious organization out to get anyone. Instead, they are dedicated to the promotion of life. They do good investigative work, and publish their findings. Just because the investigations uncover something unpleasant doesn't mean they are malicious.

With all due respect to the two Archbishops, I think they are wrong. I think they are ignoring evidence because for some reason I won't speculate on, they do not want to admit that D&P could do anything wrong. Both men speak of the good work D&P does. Lifesite is not denying that they do good work. They are simply saying that work is all for nothing if D&P's partners are also complicit in abortion. Let's not forget what abortion is. It is the intentional killing of a human being. If D&P's money goes to organizations that support abortion, any lives they save through their other programs are negated by the evil of abortion. I do not think the Archbishops understand that.

Unlike me, Lifesite has never called for people to stop funding D&P. They are simply asking for an investigation to take place. I also want to see an investigation, but I'm also asking everyone to stop donating until we know exactly what is going on. I've heard from others who think that now that investigations are occurring, we should still donate because the money won't go to D&P until the investigation is done. I understand that position, but I disagree with it for the following reasons:

  1. Not all diocese are investigating the allegations. If your diocese is not, your money might go to D&P without investigation
  2. D&P has only promised to investigate their Mexican partners, not the other partners in 7 other countries. This means that even if they fix any problems in Mexico, there are still other problems with other partners.
  3. D&P is conducting their own internal investigation. With all due respect, based on the denials D&P first issued, I don't think they can conduct a truly unbiased investigation.

Until a full, complete and arms reach investigation is completed, I don't think anyone should donate money to D&P, because the evidence of complicity in abortion is strong. Instead, take the money you would have donated to D&P and give it to another development organization that is not in any way involved with organizations supporting abortion.

With all due respect to Archbishops Bohan and Weisgerber, I think they are ignoring the strength of the evidence and as a result are giving poor advice to parishioners.

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