The Canadian bishops’ conference and its international development agency will discontinue funding for 24 partners following the completion of a joint subcommittee’s review of international partner organizations that receive funding from Canadian Catholics.
The 24 Development and Peace partners were not named in the final report released Feb. 25 due to sensitive information contained in the report and “in fairness to the reputations and, in some cases the safety, of all partners,” said a Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops in a release.
The subcommittee has since November 2017 been investigating concerns that some of the activities and positions of Development and Peace partner organizations might be in conflict with the Church’s social and moral teachings. Clarifications were sought by the committee from the partners themselves and bishops of the dioceses in which they are based.
In total, 63 organizations were identified for study. The review found no objections to the continuation of 20 of the partnerships, and no recommendations were made for 19 others where the partnership had already concluded or was about to end.
The 24 partnerships that were severed were based on “a lack of clarification to resolve serious questions regarding support for positions or actions in conflict with the Church’s social and moral teachings,” the report said.
Going forward, the Development and Peace partnering policy is being revised, new criteria for partner selection and review are being developed and an International Partnerships Committee, with bishops’ conference representation, is being established to review, approve and monitor partnerships.
A nearly three-year process of investigation and review resulted in a slimmed-down national council with four bishops appointed to the development agency’s governing body.
Calgary Bishop William McGrattan, Pembroke Bishop Guy Desrochers, Ste.-Anne-de-la-Pocatiére Bishop Pierre Goudreault and St. John’s, Nfld., Archbishop Peter Hundt represent the CCCB on a new national council. The remaining 11 representatives will be elected by D&P’s 10,000 members.