Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
December 14, 2009
Bishops create ad hoc committee to help CCODP review mandate
CANADIAN CATHOLIC NEWS
OTTAWA - An ad hoc committee of four bishops has been named to help the Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace in a renewal process.
"The focus of the committee is to help Development and Peace to review its mandate and to see how they can adjust to the last encyclical letter of the pope, Caritas in Veritate," said Bishop Pierre Morissette, president of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB).
"We think that there is a lot of very helpful insight in this letter for Development and Peace."
Morissette, bishop of Saint-Jerome, Quebec, said he hoped the committee would be active soon. It includes Calgary Bishop Fred Henry; Rimouski Archbishop Pierre-Andre Fournier; Sherbrooke Archbishop Andre Gaumond; and Toronto Auxiliary Bishop John Boissonneau.
The committee is a response to recommendations of an inquiry a bishops' delegation made last June into Internet-based allegations that CCODP was funding projects through Mexican partners who were "pro-abortion."
Though the inquiry report found no evidence any partners were directly involved in abortion, they did recommend more prudence on the part of CCODP.
Morissette acknowledged online reports also made allegations against the development agency's partners elsewhere in Central and Latin America; Asia; Africa and elsewhere.
CCODP executive director Michael Casey said the new committee will be the bishops' "accompanying body" in a process of "institutional reflection and renewal" that is already taking place at Development and Peace.
Casey also stressed the importance of Caritas in Veritate in the renewal of CCODP, which was founded 40 years ago in response to Pope Paul VI's social justice encyclical Populorum Progressio.
"I think this is going to be a really interesting reflection jointly undertaken," he said, noting that it was normal after 40 years of doing things a certain way to do this kind of examination.
"We are really happy to have the support of the bishops on this by this committee and they're going to be engaged actively in this organizational reflection."
Casey recognized the concerns that some of the bishops have had about ensuring the Catholic identity of the agency and its relationship with overseas partners that are non-religious.
Casey said the controversy created a perception Development and Peace was "not fully in line with the Church. "We want to see where we can strengthen those links."
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