Archbishop Smith has announced that donations to Development and Peace through the annual Together We Serve appeal will be withheld pending investigation of questions raised in a recent review of partner organizations that receive funding from D&P.

Here is his letter to parishioners:

4 April 2018

Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,

The Canadian Catholic Organization for Development of Peace (CCODP) was established by the Bishops of Canada in 1967 to foster justice and integral human development in the Global South. The Archdiocese of Edmonton has strongly supported Development and Peace through the annual Share Lent Campaign for many years, and most recently through our annual Together We Serve appeal.

Development and Peace fulfills its mandate in collaboration with more than one hundred partner agencies in the Global South, contracting with them to carry out specific projects aimed at improving the lives of our sisters and brothers in many developing countries. The Bishops of Canada have recently been apprised of the preliminary results of a review of these CCODP partners.

The initial results communicated to us are alarming. An estimated forty partners appear to show evidence of conflict with Catholic moral and social teaching and, in particular, that they do not demonstrate full respect for the sanctity of human life.

For this reason, the Archdiocese of Edmonton will withhold the D&P portion of the 2018 Together We Serve donations from Development and Peace. The funds will be withheld until such time as we receive clear assurance that funds received from present and future Together We Serve collections will be used only by agencies whose mission, values and practices cohere with the teachings of the Catholic Church and with the criteria of Caritas Internationalis, of which the Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace is the Canadian representative. We will continue to respect the intent of your donations through Together We Serve.

I recognize that there are many people in the Archdiocese who give of themselves generously in support the good works of Development and Peace, whether by donation or by assisting in the organization’s educational and advocacy initiatives. I write this letter in a spirit of transparency and accountability, and promise to keep you posted on developments regarding this current issue.

Sincerely in Christ,

+Richard W. Smith
Archbishop of Edmonton

Download the letter (PDF)