In anticipation for the Share Lent collection in parishes across Canada this coming Fifth Sunday of Lent, 7 April 2019, we would like to provide an update on the ongoing review of a number of partner organizations of the Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace – Caritas Canada (CCODP). Share Lent is the biggest fundraiser of the year for CCODP and is vital for long-term community development projects to support those in need in the Global South and for education work in parishes across Canada.
In late 2017, the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) and CCODP established a joint sub-committee to review all of CCODP’s international projects and partner organizations in advance of the annual Share Lent campaign. A preliminary review of 183 CCODP partner organizations was prepared in view of certain criteria from the perspective of the Church’s social doctrine and moral teaching. While no questions have been raised about any projects that CCODP is helping to fund, 52 partner organizations are undergoing a detailed further study and clarification. With both CCODP and the CCCB fully participating in this process, it has been rigorous, fair, objective, in keeping with Church teachings, and is further clarified by additional information concerning the nature and context of each situation.
In 2018, CCODP put in place a funding moratorium on all 52 partners until all questions regarding their suitability have been resolved. All funds collected for the 2019 Share Lent campaign, as also was the case last year, will be used to support other justice, solidarity and peace projects fully in keeping with the values and principles of the Gospel and Catholic Social Teaching.
The objective is to conclude this review with a strengthened process and mission, reinforced procedures, and renewed partnerships. Since January 2019, the two organizations’ sub-committee has met for three full days and is in frequent communication. Upcoming additional meetings will allow the review to come to a close as soon as possible. The outcome of the joint review will be a series of recommendations as to whether partnerships should be ended, continued, or continued subject to certain conditions. These recommendations will be submitted for deliberation by each of our respective organizations: specifically, for CCODP its National Council; and for the CCCB, the Permanent Council and eventually all the Bishops of Canada.
Acts of charity and justice are among the important ways to promote the dignity of the human person and integral human development. We are confident this review will bear much fruit for the Church, for CCODP as also for the CCCB, and for the poor and vulnerable in the Global South, while also serving as an important witness to integral and sustainable human development.
29 March 2019
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