CCCB Committee of Inquiry Reports: Development and Peace cleared of suspicion

Monday, June 29 2009

(CCCB – Ottawa) In its report on five Mexican Non-Governmental Organizations that had received project funding from Development and Peace, the Committee of Inquiry of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) has come to the conclusion the allegations are unfounded “that financial assistance by Development and Peace aided projects related to the promotion of abortion.” At the same time as recognizing that the five Mexican organizations were imprudent in signing a United Nations report on the human rights situation in Mexico that included orientations not in accord with Catholic teaching, the Committee of Inquiry has encouraged the CCCB to continue to support Development and Peace, which it had founded more than 40 years ago.

The report was presented to the CCCB Permanent Council, which accepted it and its recommendations. Following this, a statement has been issued by CCCB President Archbishop V. James Weisgerber.

In light of the facts uncovered in its visit to Mexico, 15 to 18 April 2009, the Committee has issued seven recommendations to ensure this situation does not happen again. Its recommendations include:

The Committee of Inquiry comprised Most Reverend Martin W. Currie, Archbishop of St. John’s and Bishop of Grand Falls, Newfoundland and Labrador, and Most Reverend François Lapierre, P.M.É., Bishop of Saint-Hyacinthe, Quebec. Assisting them were Msgr. Mario Paquette, P.H., CCCB General Secretary, and Msgr. Carlos Quintana Puente, C.S.S., from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, where he is Director of the Collection for the Church in Latin America. Three persons from Development and Peace saw to travel arrangements and other details of the visit to Mexico, where they also helped in organizing the visit and facilitating contacts. The staff from Development and Peace were Mr. Michael Casey, Executive Director; Mr. Paul Cliche, Deputy Director of the International Programs Department; and Mr. André Charlebois, Program Officer for Latin America.