Wednesday, April 8, 2009

More Concern over Caritas Internationalis grows- a reader points us to yet another source

(Social Justice South Africa )

Article by Marc Aupiais

As we join the multiple Catholic voices: calling upon Caritas Internationalis, and "Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and peace": to open themselves to greater transparency: in order to either completely or partly justify themselves against now international allegations in relation to pro-life issues: or in order to justify any future choice to fund them:

A reader sent us the following link: accusing a Caritas African partner of supporting the distributing of Female Condoms: it is from Canadian catholic site: Socon or Bust :

This directly involves South Africa

Other articles on the same site: include: a compilation of organizations in Africa: which the organization alleges: are connected with Caritas, and are not in line with the Catholic Pro-Life:

ie. Allegations against the "Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace" (Caritas Canada): involving Africa.

As claims against "Development and Peace" continue to arise: from multiple sources: we can confirm: that Caritas internationalis Secretary General: Lesley-Anne Knight: has full knowledge that there are multiple abortion claims against Caritas' Canadian arm.

Having asked whether or not general Caritas Internationalis funding went towards supporting abortion: she replied to our service with the following email:

Note, that the claims here: contradict those of the Lifesite News Releases; which claims that CCODP in fact has no policy on avoiding pro-abortion groups. What also: of that article against D&P in National Catholic Register? These are not small or generally untrustworthy organizations, which are coming out with these serious accusations.

A few days ago: we began to spot regular Vatican traffic to our site: unusually aimed specifically at the Caritas articles. Last time I checked we do have quite an amount of sporadic Vatican travel to our site: just as we have sporadic French traffic, and as we have been visited by multiple organizations: but these views of our articles were different: much like an investigation.

We were then (sometime after we first discovered this traffic specifically targeting our Caritas articles) seemingly directly threatened by a source connected to Lesley-Anne Knight: who at the time, had full knowledge that we would publish the reply: as our email correspondence proves: she gave us no direct objection to such: and was answering a question of public interest: a subsequent email: asking for Lesley-Anne to justify Caritas against seeming additional accusations made against Caritas' Canadian arm: after she had affirmed their innocence to us: had already been met with no written reply: by the time our articles were attacked by a source connected with her.

After such: we published that a Vatican computer, or several ones were consistently browsing our online archive: these were in fact: seemingly focusing on our Articles on Caritas Internationalis: having already been threatened by a source we will not reveal at least at present: for the coverage we had already given to the claims against them surfacing by pro-life activists.

Today, we had no visits from any Vatican computer: it seems that the source noting what we were saying: according to our Sitemeter: read our article raising concern over their visits, before breaking off their investigation.

Our concern being the connection between a Vatican computer, or computers strolling through our site: and threats and actions made against and taken against our service. Either in response to an investigation, or for another reason, or unrelated: but directly involving seeming actions, or claimed actions of Lesley-Anne Knight: through a structure of the church hierarchy. (Note, not only is our editor known for fidelity to the Magisterium,  but further: we continue to correspond with our Local Bishops' conference: in case there is a question there!)

Is Caritas funding going towards supporting the condom train which isn't really stemming the tide of HIV, and diseases, is it going towards abortion, and anti-magisterial schemes? We honestly don't add our voice to those attacking them. We do advise that anyone giving any monetary or other support to any agency connected with Caritas Internationalis halt their funding and support with immediate effect. Not simply because of the accusations against them: but because of the odd response of the organization: additionally involving the fact that we were directly threatened by a source connected with Lesley-Anne Knight: for doing something both acceptable and legal. Their actions in this case: do not shine out against the accusations, as though clearly showing up enemies: further, those making the accusations, are not unknown sources: but sources trusted by catholic readers throughout the world. The history of the Canadian Bishops' Conference: is also not in the favor of D&P's case in this matter. In the manner we have acted, we have not once broken with legitimate use of communications: especially: as our request was on matters of Public Interest, making the response we have gotten from representation of the given organization: highly odd.

If Caritas wants to clear their name: I suggest they take several and genuine steps towards openness, and transparency. Attempts to use their connections with the Vatican: as an accredited Catholic Organization, or other catholic powers: here or elsewhere in order to alter how the press should portray them: are not a way to clear their name. If they had read this service's articles on Una Voce South Africa's suspect glorification of a Schismatic Priest: who the church denied burial: as though he was on the right path: or had they read this service's criticisms of the Southern Corss: sold in Catholic Parishes throughout South Africa: and apparently partially owned by the Southern African Catholic Bishops' Conference: in that case: Caritas Internationalis would know that good press coverage is not for sale: simply because I had dealt with them in a positive light in the past.

I personally would like an apology to this organization from Caritas Internationalis: for their choice of response: to perfectly legitimate requests made to them. As I am near assured that representation of the said organization shall have the opportunity to read this article: I do not think such a request is unwarranted.

Whether or not Caritas Internationalis is allowing their funding to support Abortion and Condoms: is not simply a matter of concern for Catholics. If an organization says it is dealing with funding to it in one way: but hypothetically: uses said funding in another manner: such is more than concerning to any donors to the said hypothetical organization.

As it is: until Caritas determines: firstly: to investigate these claims in a proper manner: secondly: not to attempt to seemingly interfere with Catholic media, and thirdly: to put in place transparency: and procedures to insure loyalty to Catholic Social teaching: as they claim to have: how can we know where their money is headed: if they are now investigating these things: then how could they so openly deny them?

Caritas needs to face the world and honestly do one of two things: prove to us that our support of them: is going towards what most people assume it goes towards: firstly, and secondly: open up to transparency: or secondly: if a mistake has been made: if they have inadvertently: funded the very things the church despises: is it not better to admit to us that this is so: to apologize openly and honestly: and give us reasons: more than just their word: to believe that they will take measures to prevent this from ever occurring again?

As is, hopefully we wont hear much more of more apparent horrid things involving Caritas. Hopefully we wont get another unpleasant email attacking our validity, and threatening us, from a verifiable: Caritas connected source. Either way: as some of us have learned: it is better to be Catholic, and loyal to the Magisterium, and the teachings of the church: than to appear that way.

I hope Caritas Internationalis: whose Secretary General personally decided to get involved in this manner: and whose Secretary General personally chose to take covert, and unsuccessful action against our service: when we published that she affirmed to us in affirmative language: that Caritas Internationalis, and Development and Peace: had nothing to do with Abortion, and were obeying the teachings of the church fully.

As Catholics: we must put our city on a hill, and not hide our light below a bowl. It is important that transparency becomes a virtue among Catholic organizations, it is one of the most important gifts to our modern time: of the press. It is also important that Catholic organizations, and initiatives: report accurately on issues: even those involving our own initiatives and organizations: even if it means that our image as a Church: can be slightly damaged: when possible dark deeds come to light. That said: just as when we covered the odd treatment of Una Voce: of an icon of disobedience to the church; who the SSPX's main man in Africa: notes: worked with them: but was never one of them: just as then: we hoped and prayed for innocence: we hope still and pray still on that also: here: we hope Caritas' Canadian arm is innocent, and that Caritas is innocent: but the best way to prove that: is for everything: good and bad to be put into the open: just as it would be good for transparency: if they did such.

That said: if Caritas Internationalis funding is going, as alleged by the above noted sources: towards abortion, and condom supporters: this is not a negative reflection on the Catholic religion which Caritas claims to adhere to: but only, and only if it is the case: on those who have allegedly done what the Catholic Religion terms as utterly wrong: within it. Those who act in the Catholic religion: against it: cannot be how Catholics must be judged.

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