Saturday, October 24, 2009

CCCB covers up damning D&P evidence; Archbishop admits his apathy interviewed Archbishop Martin Currie of St. John's, Newfoundland, regarding the Development and Peace (D&P) scandal. Archbishop Currie was listed as a co-author of the June 2009 report of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) that whitewashed the D&P scandal. Look what happened during the interview:

The June report sparked controversy as it stated: "we believe the allegations by Lifesite News … are not founded on the facts."  In the interview however, LSN was able to demonstrate directly to the archbishop that the allegations were indeed founded on facts.  After seeing the evidence first hand, the bishop stated apologetically, "I just should have followed up more."

Hold on a sec. The whole purpose of the CCCB's so-called investigation into D&P was to "follow up more" on the allegations. It seems that the archbishop was grossly negligent in how he conducted his "investigation". Negligent probably isn't strong enough of a word. After all, John Pacheco mailed the evidence directly to each bishop in the country.  All they had to do was open the envelope and read the contents.  It was served to them on a silver platter.  Hand-fed into their mouths with a spoon.

It makes my blood boil. We're talking about abortion! This isn't some trivial theologian debate about how many angels can stand on the head of a needle. Lives are at stake!  What does it take to get a bishop to bounce out of his chair in outrage? 

Let's read more:

He explained that the investigation was limited to the first five groups in Mexico that LSN had identified as pro-abortion.  He revealed that the investigation team questioned the five groups directly. He said that he accepted the word of the groups when they told him they in no way supported abortion.

From the outset, pro-life leaders knew that questioning the accused groups would be useless (read examples here and here).  Do you really think D&P partners would come out and say:  "Yes, we're advocating abortion so please cut our funding".  Let's get real.  In a court proceeding, the trial doesn't limit itself to questioning the accused, because most of the time he/she will claim innocence and may even lie to avoid being convicted.  That's why you have to pay attention to the other evidence.

Let's continue:

Archbishop Currie also noted that he was only aware of the groups having signed onto one problematic UN omnibus document, part of which was an endorsement of abortion. When LSN noted that that the UN document in question was only one piece of seven pieces of evidence LSN had reported, the archbishop admitted frankly he was not aware of and did not consider the other evidence.  "No, the other ones, to be honest with you, I haven't followed too closely," he said. 

Hello?  Is this how an investigation should be conducted? With eyes closed and ears stopped?  But wait, it gets worse:

The archbishop also noted that in meeting with the bishops of Mexico and one of their experts on bioethical matters, the Mexican bishops' expert, Dr. Pilar Calva, had indeed indicated serious concerns with the groups in question.  When asked why those concerns of Dr. Calva were not mentioned in the report, Archbishop Currie said he thought they were in the report.  "I think they were," he said.

WRONG.  Those concerns were never mentioned at any point by either the CCCB or D&P.  They certainly aren't in the report.  THERE WAS A COVER UP.  LifeSiteNews informed us about the concerns of Mexican pro-lifers a long time ago because they did their homework and questioned those pro-lifers to get their perspective.  But we didn't know that the CCCB had also questioned them but COVERED UP THE EVIDENCE.  

As Catholics, we are called to assume good intentions on the part of others, but Jesus didn't ask us to be stupid and naive either.  "See, I am sending you out like sheep into the midst of wolves; so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves." (Matt 10:16).  How can we presume that this investigation was done in good faith when one of the Archbishops involved admits that some crucial evidence was withheld while other evidence was simply ignored out of neglect?  How can we take them seriously?

I'm also dumbfounded by another aspect of the Archbishop's statement.  His name is on the CCCB report as a co-author, yet he doesn't even know what went into the report?  Are you kidding me?  Did he even read it once?  This is preposterous and unacceptable. 

In conclusion Archbishop Currie assured LSN of his own pro-life convictions, and also noted that D&P staff "now have a better awareness of the whole situation.  They're trying to be more cautious and more careful, to hook up better with the bishops" and to do more investigation of groups they are going to sponsor.

Awareness is great, but we're way beyond that.  We need action.  NOW.  And we certainly don't need "more investigations of groups" if they will be sleep-walking through the "investigation", like they did last time.

Let's not waste our time anymore.  We need a sign of good faith, because so far, very few bishops have shown that they care.