Ranking charities belies dog-eat-dog mentality

June 4, 2012

Andrew Tarnowski ("Magazine ratings undercut CCODP," WCR letters, May 21) makes a strong case for the care of money and uses the evaluations of a magazine that favours those who hold the pursuit of money in high esteem.

He neglects, however to consider the degree to which the work of Development and Peace reflects Catholic social doctrine.

Mr. Tarnowski neglects entirely the second mandate for Development and Peace which is to educate Canadians about conditions in the Global South and the need for solidarity with the people there. Apparently he and MoneySense exclude this work from "programs."

The dominance of business-world thinking presents charitable work as competitive, ranking of organizations as better or worse than one another rather than as a variety of compassionate responses to a variety of needs and relationships.

As long as the belief that money can solve everything persists and Catholics are content with a monetary donation as the full extent of compassion, the abuse of the poor and powerless will only increase.

The cuts by CIDA represent more than the money involved. The government is demonstrating its power to shut down those who would speak out on behalf of people abused by Canadian companies (for example, KAIROS, Development and Peace).

These actions also represent a confrontation between world views - competition, where the strongest win and the weak suffer, as presented by Canadian business or compassion and the common good as presented by the Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church.

Angus Perry