Wednesday, September 23, 2009

"Inconceivable!" CCCB supporting UNICEF

Do you remember the movie "Princess Bride"?  There was a short character named Vizzini who had a penchant for using the word "inconceivable".  That's how I felt when I saw this story:  the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) is encouraging the faithful to donate to UNICEF.  You can read the original press release on the CCCB's site here.

As most pro-life people know, UNICEF is a staunch supporter of abortion and contraception.  They're so aggressive in this respect, that the Vatican took the bold step of stopping all donations to UNICEF way back in 1997 specifically because UNICEF was pushing abortion and contraception in developing countries.  You can read the Vatican's official statement here.  Read the coverage by the New York Times here.  

This move by the CCCB comes on the heels of the Development and Peace (D&P) scandal, where the CCCB's official charity was caught red handed funding groups that push for abortion and contraception in developing countries.  This scandal was a huge source of embarrassment and controversy for the bishops this past summer.

Human beings are intelligent creatures.  We learn from our mistakes.  Given the scandal that was caused by D&P, it's hard to believe that the bishops could have been so careless in supporting UNICEF.  The bishops claim that they are earmarking support for a specific education program of UNICEF that does not contradict Church teaching.  However, given that money is fungible and that pro-abortion groups cannot be trusted (just look at what the Vatican did!) the CCCB is clearly advocating a very unwise course of action.  The Vatican specifically said, back in 1997, that UNICEF was not providing sufficient accountability for earmarked donations (such as what the CCCB is advocating).

As Catholics, we look to the Vatican for leadership and follow her example.  Why doesn't the CCCB do the same?  Why is the CCCB supporting a group that the Vatican specifically singled out -- in public -- to denounce it's anti-life agenda?

It's not because of ignorance.  This past summer, during the peak of the D&P scandal, countless pro-life groups reminded D&P and the CCCB that the Vatican had stopped funding UNICEF in 1997.  We made sure to inform them.  They can no longer claim ignorance.

Sadly, the only logical explanation seems to be that the CCCB is expressly choosing to "do it's own thing" and take a different path from the Vatican.  They don't think its wrong, but the Vatican and  many Catholics understand that it is.  This is the most public and visible sign of dissent of Canadian bishops from the Vatican since the infamous Winnipeg Statement.

The clergy in Canada is in a pitiful state.  Please pray for them.