Are Canadian Bishops Helping to Support Abortion in Mexico?

Deal W. Hudson
April 23, 2009

Last year, the Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD) announced it would no longer fund the community-organizing arm of ACORN, a decision based on the disclosure of ACORN’s explicitly partisan efforts on behalf of President Barack Obama’s political campaign.

Now a much more egregious use of Catholic money has been alleged. LifeSiteNews (LSN), which operates primarily out of Toronto and is leading the investigation, has presented evidence that the Canadian Catholic Organization for Development & Peace (CCODP), an official arm of the Canadian Bishops’ Conference, is funding 16 organizations in 9 countries who advocate in favor of abortion and/or contraception.

At first, the Canadian Bishops’ Conference paid little heed to the evidence against CCODP and instead urged Catholics to continue giving to the organization. Two Canadian bishops called LSN’s reporting “false” and “malicious.” After months of following the story, however, it began to gain traction. An editorial in the Catholic newspaper of Vancouver acknowledged the scope of the CCODP scandal. Vancouver’s Archbishop, J. Michael Miller, and several other bishops demanded an internal investigation of CCODP before passing along its share of the annual Lenten collection. As a result, CCODP has asked a group of Canadian, U.S., and Mexican bishops to investigate the allegations.

This isn’t a new charge. In 2000, the CCODP was forced to stop funding the pro-abortion World March of Women after LifeSiteNews reported on the issue. That led to a huge controversy in Canada, with bishops publicly disagreeing with each other, creating widespread mainstream media coverage of the issue.

But CCODP’s denials will be considerably weakened after Wednesday’s interview on LSN with the Mexican official of an organization receiving CCODP grants ($32,000 in 2007-2008). Ofelia Pastrana Morena, the general coordinator of the Comaletzin Rural Feminist Interregional Coordinator, said in a telephone interview yesterday that the organization promotes the use of artificial birth control and “sexual and reproductive health services.” According to Pastrana Morena, if contraceptives fail, her organization seeks to make abortion available to women who don’t want what she called the “product” of conception, meaning the unborn child.

This is what’s known as a smoking gun – positive proof of LSN’s allegations that CCODP is funding at least one organization that recommends abortion for women. The question then is whether or not this will motivate the Canadian bishops to go beyond a simple internal investigation and scrutinize the grant-making of CCODP as closely as it deserves.

One disturbing aspect of the story is how CCODP and many of the Canadian bishops initially responded to the evidence. Before LSN released its first story, it contacted CCODP, where a representative told them that the organization has “no policy for or against” abortion. Its spokesman was completely unconcerned over whether the group was involved in pro-abortion activities.

After LSN released its first report, CCODP responded by releasing a memo saying that it was not involved in funding organizations that provide “abortion services,” an accusation LSN never made. CCODP executive director Michael Casey also wrote to CCODP supporters saying, “It is dangerously irresponsible and slanderous on the part of some journalists, through ill-conceived conjecture and hypothesis, to deliberately misinterpret the social justice initiatives of our southern partners in this light.”

CCODP has continued to deny that it funds organizations that provide “abortion services.” Meanwhile, it has only addressed LSN’s first report, the one in which they presented information about five of its Mexican partners. Since then, LSN has produced numerous reports, many with much stronger evidence that CCODP has refused to acknowledge.

LifeSiteNews has done the reporting and provided the evidence necessary for a serious and thorough investigation of the CCODP. Whether its administrative officers will respond as quickly and definitively as the CCHD in the United States remains to be seen.

♦ ♦ ♦

If you would like to urge the Canadian bishops to stop funding organizations that support abortion, contact the bishops’ conference:

Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops
2500 Don Reid Drive
Ottawa, Ontario
Canada
K1H 2J2
E-mail: cecc@cccb.ca
Phone: (613) 241-9461
Fax: (613) 241-9048

A complete list of contact information for the Canadian bishops may be found here.

By Deal Hudson

Deal W. Hudson was born November 20, 1949 in Denver, CO, to Emmie and Jack Hudson, both native Texans. Dr. Hudson had an older sister Ruth, and eventually, a younger sister, Elizabeth. Emmie Hudson, Ruth Hudson and Elizabeth Hudson now live in Houston, TX; Jack Hudson passed away some years ago. The late Jack Hudson was a captain for Braniff Airlines in Denver at the time of Dr. Hudson’s birth. Later the family moved to Kansas City when his father joined the Federal Aviation Agency. From Kansas City, the Hudson family moved to Minneapolis, then to Massapequa, NY, and finally to Alexandria, VA, where they first occupied a home overlooking the Potomac River adjacent to the Mount Vernon estate. After a year, the family moved to a home on Tarpon Lane a few houses up the street from the Yacht Haven boat docks. Dr. Hudson attended Mt. Vernon Elementary School from grades 4 to 6 and has a special gratitude for the teaching of Mr. Hoppe who first told him was a ‘smart lad.’ Having moved with his family to Fort Worth, TX in 1960, Dr. Hudson attended William Monnig Junior High and Arlington Heights HS. In high school, Dr. Hudson was captain of the golf team, editor of the literary magazine (Guerdon), and performed the role of Peter in the ‘The Diary of Anne Frank’ during his senior year. Dr. Hudson graduated cum laude with a major in philosophy from the University of Texas-Austin in 1971 where his undergraduate advisor was Prof. John Silber. His teachers at the University of Texas included Prof. Louis Mackey and Prof. Larry Caroline. Dr. Hudson minored in both classics and English literature. Dr. Hudson lived in Atlanta from 1974-1989, where he attended Emory University, receiving a Phd from the Graduate Institute for the LIberal Arts. He also taught philosophy at Mercer University in Atlanta from 1980-89. In 1989 Dr. Hudson and his family left Atlanta when he was hired to teach philosophy at Fordham University in the Bronx. Dr. Hudson taught at Fordham, and also part-time at New York University, from 1989 to 1994. Dr. Hudson first came to Atlanta in after graduation from Princeton Theological Seminary (PTS) with an M.Div. While at PTS, Dr. Hudson managed the Baptist Student Union at Princeton University and became its first director. Dr. Hudson also was licensed at a minister in the Southern Baptist Convention at Madison Baptist Church in Madison, NJ. Dr. Hudson’s primary area of study at PTS was the history of Christian doctrine which he pursued with Dr. Karlfried Froelich. In 1984 Dr. Hudson was received in the Catholic Church by Msgr. Richard Lopez, with the special permission of Archbishop Thomas A. Donnellan, at the chapel of Our Lady of Perpetual Help Cancer Home in Atlanta. Dr. Hudson has been married twenty-five years to Theresa Carver Hudson and they have two children, Hannah Clare, 23, and Cyprian Joseph (Chip), 15, adopted from Romania when he was three years old. The Hudson family has lived in Fairfax, VA for more than fifteen years, after having lived five years in Bronxville, NY and a year in Atlanta, GA, where Theresa and Deal were married.

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