Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Update: Caritas Internationalis grouping "cleared" by their Canadian Bishops' Conference superiors via probe in which their accusers had no voice

(Social Justice South Africa; c.f. Zenit News Service (Catholic; Independent; International) 22 / 06 (June)/ 2009; Salt and Light television (Interview) (Catholic; Canadian) 19 / 06 (June) / 2009 ; National Catholic Register (Independent; Catholic; American) 25/ 03 (March) / 2009)

Analysis / Article
From the Editor: Marc Aupiais

Background, controversies, and abortion

The Canadian Bishops, themselves have not been free from controversies involving abortion, with many bishops previously supporting a march by pro-abortion groupings (as our service among others had reported), nor is Caritas Internationalis free from accusations that its international funding helps support abortion, or other such activities, one noted controversy involved Caritas Christi, a member of Catholic Charities, which is a US member of Caritas Internationalis.

Despite all this, as our readers are aware, Leslie-Anne Knight, as Secretary General of Caritas Internationalis, had informed our service that no Caritas funding went towards support of Abortion, and that the grouping is loyal to the church. She did not inform us whether or not donations to Caritas Internationalis in general, went to the Canadian branch, and would not answer our further questions.

Our service also reported on alleged threats, which were emailed to us, by important unofficial, but fully verified representation locally, of the interests of Caritas Internationalis. We also noted odd activity on our site by a Vatican based computer or computers. We further found out that our twitter site, was suddenly being followed by differing International Caritas sources, having written on the issue, and published our interview with Leslie-Anne Knight.

Email from Representation of the Southern African Catholic Bishops' Conference

We have now been emailed by a source in the Local Southern African Hierarchy, with an email containing the contents of a Zenit News Service Article, itself largely based on an interview that Salt and Light Television conducted with a noted source who is: claiming that Caritas in once again, innocent. The email did not follow the protocol of emails sent out to their general press releases lists, but rather that of the individual emails we have received in the past: seemingly directed only at our service. The recent email we received: is verifiable, from a local hierarchy source.

Development and Peace, accused of using funding collected in Parishes: to support organizations promoting abortion:

In response to claims of Canada's Caritas Organization, Development and Peace: allegedly funding pro-abortion activities in Mexico and in multiple different countries, on multiple continents, to those accusations from from many sources: including LifeSiteNews (Canadian), National Catholic Register, and So-Con-Or-Bust (Canadian), many of which were reported by Catholic Culture, and also independently by ourselves:

The Canadian Bishops conference, which likely controls, or has authority over the structural Development and Peace, quite publically launched a probe "facilitated" by Development and Peace, which was under investigation. The probe was not co-facilitated by any of the organizations, or journalists making accusations against a structure controlled, and funded by the local Bishops' Conference in Canada.

Archbishop James Weisgerber: report will Vindicate Caritas Internationalis' Development and Peace:

Archbishop James Weisgerber, president of Canada's Bishops' conference (c.f. Zenit news article), who is the Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Winnipeg, has reportedly told media, in a publicly aired interview, that a probe by the Canadian Bishops, who are the hierarchical superiors of Development and Peace, will vindicate the organization of accusations that it was promoting abortions in one specific incident: the situation in Mexico.

Probe isolated, not independent, did not adhere to so-called Natural Justice Principles, and was conducted by the very Bishops who gave over funds collected in Parishes: to Development and Peace:

The probe was confined to Mexico, when the accusations of irregular spending of funds collected in Canadian parishes: were international. The probe into the accused: was facilitated, by the accused : Development and Peace, and conducted by their superiors, who had collected money in parishes for the organization. The probe was not independent, and the multiple international accusers of the organization, among them well-known sources: were seemingly not given a chance to prove their statements, or to help "facilitate' the probe, as Caritas had been allowed. The bishop, also admitted, that they were reliant on Development and Peace: who are accused of supporting groups promoting abortion, to get around Mexico.

According to Zenit News:

"Archbishop Weisgerber acknowledged that some of the agency's partners are collaborating on separate projects with groups that adhere to principles opposed to Catholic teaching. He insisted, though, that the support given by Development and Peace is directed to specific projects that are not in violation of the Church’s position on abortion and contraception.

Objectivity

The report is based on a fact-finding trip to Mexico from April 15-18 conducted by officials from the bishops' conference and Development and Peace. The agency's involvement in an investigation of its own partners has raised concerns about objectivity, but the archbishop dismissed those fears, saying that Development and Peace simply facilitated the visit and had no role in the writing of the report."

They further note, that:

"earlier this month when Archbishop Weisgerber received a letter from Archbishop José Eguren, president of the Family, Childhood and Life Commission of Peru's episcopal conference, demanding that the Canadian agency cease funding pro-abortion groups in Peru."
(Zenit News (Catholic; Independent; International) 22 / 06 (June)/ 2009)

Archbishop: of organization they fund: We are the Final Authority, accusers do not know "what it 'really' means to be Catholic":



The news service quotes the Archbishop who claims Caritas' Canadian Branch is innocent, ignoring that among the accusers, were clergy, he attacks all the independent investigations: as saying:

""I think the issue here is, who decides what it really means to be Catholic? And I think this is where we have had a little difficulty when people are going to Web sites to decide what it means to be Catholic rather than turning to the bishops,""
(Zenit News (Catholic; Independent; International) 22 / 06 (June)/ 2009)
Seeming Irregularities (Analysis)

The real question is how Catholic it is to attempt to alter how Catholic press portrays your organization, with private and public threats. As there are many bishops among those who were concerned about this incidence, and as this probe was effectively internal, and had no real external component, and as the Bishop in question, admits openly that Development and Peace partners, are involved in activities contrary to the teaching of the Catholic Faith, this release by the bishop, hardly vindicates the Organization, or the fact that his episcopal conference has funded, and supported the grouping they themselves were investigating.

Editorially: Money spent on one project, frees up money for others, money allows more marketing, a charity is a system, and every part benefits from the success of other parts. Funding just one part of a charity, certainly aids it in other areas, and promotes its' goals. These goals, seemingly can be support of abortion.

As if to further call his own statements into question, the Archbishop in question reportedly admits:

""Development and Peace wants to work very closely with the bishops to develop new protocols to make sure that their adherence to Catholic principals is more carefully formalized.""
(Zenit News (Catholic; Independent; International) 22 / 06 (June)/ 2009)
Analysis of the fact, we were directly informed of this by SACBC (Southern African catholic Bishops' Conference) representation: 

We are unsure of the purpose in informing us of this article, was: by representation of the local Bishops' Conference in Southern Africa: whether to agree with the Archbishop quoted from Canada, or to vindicate our own service's independent investigation, which caused some tensions between us and some hierarchy figures. From what I personally have read, this hardly clears the organization, especially given some links on their website's external links section: to some questionable groupings, and the multiple accusations from multiple, international sources. Their Umbrella Organization's treatment of our own service's independent review of this situation, was behind the scenes: in the least bit suspicious.



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