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First published in The Reign of Mary, Issue #136

Betrayed Again by False Shepherds

By Sr. Mary Agatha, CMRI

Conciliar and traditional Catholics alike have been shocked and scandalized in recent months to learn that both the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) and the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) have been funding organizations that openly and actively promote such causes as abortion, contraception, homosexual “marriage” and prostitution.

In both cases, much of this money came from annual collections in parishes across each respective country. In both cases, too, the problem was exposed by zealous members of pro-life groups and lay apostolates who seem to be far more concerned about God’s law than are their modernist shepherds.

While we as traditional Catholics recognize these bishops to be false shepherds, their sheep do not. Yet what a contradictory position it is for these poor souls to find themselves in — to be forced, if they would be true to their consciences, to serve as watchdogs against their own bishops! If only they would see that this is just one of many indications that the modern Church is not the Catholic Church founded by Jesus Christ. But now let us examine the cases at hand.

U.S.A. In the U.S., Bellarmine Veritas Ministry, a Catholic lay apostolate, found that the Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD), the anti-poverty agency of the U.S. bishops, has given hundreds of thousands of dollars to pro-abortion, anti-family organizations over the past four years. Among them were the following:

  • Los Angeles Community Action Network (LACAN)
  • Rebecca Human Rights Project
  • Women—s Community Revitalization Project
  • Chinese Progressive Association
  • Young Workers United

The problem is not a new one. Last year it came to light that CCHD had given over $7 million over the past 10 years to ACORN, now notorious for its corruption and promotion of illegal activity. And, as early as 1998, the CCHD was found to have donated to pro-abortion groups such as the National Organization for Women and the radical groups that sponsored the 1996 “Fight for the Right March” in San Francisco that promoted gay and lesbian rights.

Because of Bellarmine’s investigation, the USCCB defunded two of the groups, but claims that there is no cause for concern in the other cases. Bellarmine, however, stood by its findings and advised Catholics not to donate to the CCHD until stricter guidelines are enforced.

Canada. In March 2009 a firestorm broke out in Canada when LifeSiteNews.com (LSN) reported that Development and Peace (D&P), the Canadian bishops’ foreign aid agency, was funding five groups in Mexico that were pressuring the Mexican government to legalize abortion. D&P had given $170,000 in funding to the following groups:

  • Augustin Pro Juarez Center for Human Rights
  • Network for All Rights for Everyone
  • National Center for Social Communication
  • Mexican Network for Action Regarding Free Trade
  • Center for Economic and Political Research for Community Action

Since March, investigations from multiple sources have reported that about 40 leftist pro-abortion and pro-contraception groups worldwide have received funds from D&P. Unlike the CCHD in the U.S., D&P has no policy of refusing funds to pro-abortion organizations. (Not that CCHD’s policy made a difference...)

Three such groups funded by D&P were found in Peru. In a May 28 letter, the Peruvian bishops formally requested the Canadian bishops to withdraw funding from pro-abortion groups in their country: “It is very disturbing to have groups which work against the bishops of Peru by attempting to undermine legal protection for the right to life of unborn children, be funded by our brother bishops in Canada.”

Despite incontrovertible proof, however, including photos, signed statements by these groups, their own web sites, taped interviews, and statements from local bishops and pro-life groups, D&P denied the problem altogether.

Some Canadian bishops began accusing LifeSiteNews.com of making “false,” “untrue,” and even “malicious” reports. One bishop even stated that he saw no problem with funding pro-abortion groups as long as the money is designated only for projects that are not opposed to Catholic moral teaching. Only a few bishops expressed enough concern to withhold funds pending an investigation.

On June 22, the Canadian bishops issued a report of their investigation which stated that the LSN allegations “were not founded on the facts.” It said that three of the Mexican groups had been “imprudent” by signing a pro-abortion UN document, but ignored all the other evidence.

LSN stood by its findings, which have been verified by numerous pro-life and Catholic activists. To some degree, their persistence paid off. On October 23 the Canadian bishops issued a statement on D&P calling for greater oversight and collaboration with local bishops. The Lenten collection for D&P, however, will go on as planned.

Here in the U.S., a growing coalition of pro-life groups is calling for a massive reform of the CCHD. Catholics are being urged to put a coupon in the upcoming November 22 CCHD collection stating that donations to the agency will be resumed when CCHD provides proof that funds go only to organizations fully in conformity with Church teaching.

But really, now — should it surprise us that the bishops won—t do the right thing unless pressured by laity? They have already sold out the Catholic Faith; why would morals be any different? Hasnít their role become mostly a matter of maintaining good public relations? Time and again, it is the lay groups that are warning souls of moral dangers despite opposition on all sides, while their shepherds remain silent, drag their feet, issue feeble or contradictory statements, or even support dangerous or immoral causes. (See the story on Ireland’s ratification of the Lisbon Treaty on p. 28 of Reign of Mary #136.)

Such is to be expected from false shepherds. Let us pray and sacrifice that scandals such as these will help open the eyes of many souls to see the Conciliar Church for what it is and to seek out the true Catholic Church, which, as Christ promised, will last “even to the consummation of the world.”

U.S. Bishops:
http://www.realcatholictv.com - Catholic News Roundup, September 29, 2009
Canadian Bishops:

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