.- An investigating committee of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) has submitted its report clearing a CCCB-run development agency of charges it helped fund pro-abortion groups in Mexico. However, the CCCB president said that reports of such funding for Peruvian groups require âclarificationâ from the Peruvian bishops.
In March LifeSiteNews.com published reports indicating that the Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace (CCODP) was distributing funds to five organizations that support the legalization of abortion and the distribution of contraceptives in Mexico.
During its June 18 meeting, the Permanent Council of the CCCB received a report and recommendations from its Committee of Inquiry established to investigate the allegations.
A CCCB press release initially said that there would be no further comment until the committeeâs recommendations were published.
However, in a Thursday e-mail CCCB President and Archbishop of Winnipeg V. James Wiesgerber told CNA that the investigation of the five CCODP-supported groups in Mexico was âcomplete.â
âThe delegation of bishops determined that that the allegations were unfounded,â he added, saying that the committee report will be distributed to CCCB members and will be discussed during the fall plenary session.
Development and Peace funding of pro-abortion groups is also alleged to have taken place in other Latin American countries.
The National Catholic Register has reported that the CCCB agency was supporting questionable âreproductive healthâ groups in Bolivia. One such organization, âCentro de PromociÃ³n y Salud Integralâ (CEPROSI), supported a âstrong pro-abortion lawâ in the country, a Bolivian pro-life advocate said.
Early in June, Archbishop Jose Eguren, President of the Peruvian Bishopsâ Conferenceâs Family, Childhood and Life Commission, wrote to CCCB president Archbishop James Weisgerber about similar allegations in Peru.
Archbishop Egurenâs letter said there was âno doubtâ such funding has taken place, reporting each of the three
accused CCODP-funded groups âeither explicitly endorses abortion, and/or contraception, either by name or by its various euphemisms.â
The Peruvian archbishop requested the Development and Peace funding be halted.
Speaking to CNA, Archbishop Weisgerber said there was âa lack of clarityâ concerning the letter from the Peruvian Conference's Commission for Life and Family.
âCCODP has had a long and close relationship with the Peruvian Bishop's Commission for Justice and Peace. We are seeking clarification from the Peruvian Conference of Bishops as to their position on this matter.â
CNA asked the archbishop to confirm some of his remarks to Catholic News Service. He had said it was âvery clearâ from the direction of Pope John XXIII and the Second Vatican Council that the church is to work with other people âbut not, in a sense, blindly.â
Speaking to CNA, Archbishop Weisgerber said heâd like to add to those comments the phrase âprovided, of course, that the common project does not contradict principles of our moral tradition."
He also referred to a paragraph of Pope John XXIIIâs encyclical Mater and Magistra, in which the Pontiff discussed Catholic interaction with those who do not share their view of life.
"We have to work with people whose values we are not necessarily in agreement with," he had told CNS.
The Canadian prelate the example of âyearly Vatican contributions to UNICEF, with which the Vatican has disagreed on contraception and abortion policy. Vatican donations are earmarked for specific programs or projects that reflect church priorities,â according to CNS.