Dear Development and Peace members,
Development and Peace – Caritas Canada, with the Canadian Catholic Conference of Bishops, is in the process of carrying out a review of our partners in Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Middle East. As a long-standing organization it is a natural process for us to ensure that our partners and their projects are supporting integral human development, creating real positive change, are effective in their work, and are faithful to the values and the social teachings of the Catholic Church.
As the primary Catholic social justice organization in Canada, founded by, and in close collaboration with the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops, Development and Peace – Caritas Canada has been working with CCCB staff on the review process, which began this past October 2017. Ensuring our programs and partners are consistent with our mission and mandate includes guaranteeing all who work with Development and Peace – Caritas Canada fully respect the sanctity of life and the dignity of the human person from conception to natural death. Respect for, and adherence to, the mission, values and practices of the Catholic Church is the primary foundation of our call to serve the poor.
Since so many of our partners live in realities starkly different from our own, in communities where even basic human needs are not met, we are aware of the possibility that an organization could change its position on moral or social issues over time. Development and Peace cannot, and will not, partner with organizations that could jeopardize our mission. With over 202 projects in 36 countries our programs on peace and reconciliation, democracy and citizen participation, ecological justice, equality between men and women, food sovereignty and humanitarian aid are all assessed and evaluated using extensive criteria, which include Catholic values. If a potential issue is flagged we will do our due diligence to respond and take decisive action to ensure we are upholding the teachings of the Catholic Church in everything we do, from our work in Canada with you, our members and donors, to the vital efforts of our partners in the Global South. We are confident this process will only continue to strengthen our relationship with our partners and our Bishops and make ever more evident the Catholic values central to our mission and vision.
For our members and donors, we ask you to have faith in our highest commitment to address any concerns. We are, and will always be, a 100% Catholic organization working for the poor and the vulnerable around the world. We re-iterate our commitment to being accessible, transparent and to improve our communication with members of our Church and our democratic movement. Our members and donors, in parishes, schools and communities in every diocese in Canada remain for us the visible sign of the living Church responding to the gospel call to love one another.
Your support and prayers are invaluable. Thank you.
Serge Langlois, Executive Director
Development and Peace – Caritas Canada