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Canadian bishops' agency blocks access to information on grants

Catholic World News - October 05, 2010

The development agency administered by the Canadian Catholic bishops’ conference has obtained a court order to block the request of a Catholic news agency for information about the organization’s grants.

The Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace (D&P) persuaded a Canadian federal court to deny a request for information submitted by LifeSite News, a news agency that has been sharply critical of D&P funding decisions. After repeatedly asking D&P for more information about its grants, and receiving no response, LifeSite News submitted a freedom-of-information request. Because D&P receives federal government moneys, the organization is obliged to provide such information, unless it can persuade a court that there is a compelling reason for confidentiality.

D&P argued that because it provides funding for human-rights activists in many foreign countries, disclosure of its grants could lead to “kidnappings, assassinations, or terrorist attacks.” The organization made that argument without knowing that the request for information came from LifeSite News, a spokeswoman said. She added-- oddly, in light of the context-- “We don’t have anything to hide.”

LifeSite News has drawn attention to grants by D&P to organizations that have been involved in promoting legal abortion in other countries. The Canadian bishops’ agency has rejected the criticism, claiming that LifeSite belongs to “the far right wing fringe element.”

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  • Posted by: - Oct. 05, 2010 6:18 PM ET USA

    D&P have nothing to hide. They are trying to protect people vulnerable to attack and assasination in countries where there is no protection for those courageous souls who speak out against the abuses of mining companies who confiscate their land, contaminate their water and in short, destroy their livlihood. The Canadian Bishops took very seriously the charges leveled by LifeSite News and investigated thoroghly before satisfying themselves that there is no funding provided by D&P for abortions.

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