By Michael Swan, The Catholic Register
A nearly three-year process of investigation and review at the Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace / Caritas Canada has resulted in a slimmed-down national council with four bishops appointed to the development agency’s governing body.
Calgary Bishop William McGratton, Pembroke Bishop Guy Desrochers, Ste.-Anne-de-la-Pocatiére Bishop Pierre Goudreault and St. John’s, Nfld., Archbishop Peter Hundt will represent the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) on the new national council, according to a joint release July 28, 2020, from the CCCB and Development and Peace/Caritas Canada. The remaining 11 representatives will be elected by Development and Peace’s 10,000 members.
Following the recommendations of a Deloitte LLP organizational review, the national council will go from 21 to 15 members.
“The necessary changes to be made, as well as the good will and hard work they entail, will help the Church radiate its mission to the world.” – Archbishop Richard Gagnon, president of the CCCB
The new governing structure is the result of an extensive review of the D&P into claims that some of its partner organizations supported abortion. Twelve bishops subsequently suspended their financial support, although it was reinstated provided no money went to partner agencies under review. That was followed by the CCCB and D&P hiring Deloitte Canada to conduct a review and recommend reforms to ensure D&P meets the goals of the bishops.
The Deloitte review came up with 14 recommendations for a reformed Development and Peace – Caritas Canada:
- Stronger governance and defined roles for the governing bodies;
- A new composition of the national council that includes CCCB representation;
- A smaller national council;
- A more clearly defined partnership policy, with roles for staff, management and the national council in choosing partners;
- An updated partnership policy;
- An “international partnerships committee” of the national council;
- Reporting procedures in line with the new structure of the national council;
- Clearly stated financial objectives and standards of performance;
- A confidentiality policy;
- Coordination with the CCCB on communications;
- More contact between Development and Peace regional directors and the bishops in their areas;
- Coordination with the CCCB on crisis responses;
- Internal cultural change beginning with Development and Peace leadership;
- Articulation of the steps to be taken in reforming Development and Peace’s internal culture.
The four new bishop representatives on the national council will be spread out over four new committees charged with implementing the Deloitte recommendations. CCCB staff will also serve on these committees.
“We all agree on the vital importance of preserving the identity of our organization as rooted in the Church’s social teachings and embodied in and through acts of solidarity,” said national council president Evelyne Beaudoin in a joint CCCB-Development and Peace press release. “And we agreed to move forward in the vision of Pope Francis of a synodal Church.”
CCCB president Archbishop Richard Gagnon called the process of investigations and negotiations over the last three years “collaborative conversations and joint meetings.”
“The necessary changes to be made, as well as the good will and hard work they entail, will help the Church radiate its mission to the world,” Gagnon said in the release.