VATICAN CITY — The vice president of the Brazilian bishops’ conference today sought to downplay the fact revealed on Thursday by the Register that a missionary council for indigenous people closely connected to the bishops had received funding from the pro-abortion Ford Foundation.
Bishop Mário Antônio da Silva of Roraima told reporters at the Vatican Friday presser that, “as Christians and Catholics, we defend life from contraception to natural death, so we’re against abortion.”
For this reason, he said the Church in Brazil is “of course concerned about the way investments that come to various entities are used.” As far as he was concerned, though, the funds received for the Amazon are “used to promote life” and to “promote the lives of women, children, pregnant women, families and the elderly.”
He said he did not know about “donations made by various foundations” such as the Ford Foundation, but said organizations such as the Missionary Council for Indigenous Peoples, which is known as CIMI, “promote life.”
From 2006 until 2018, the Indigenous Council of Roraima, a local branch of CIMI covering Bishop da Silva’s region, received $1,164,906 from the Ford Foundation.
Mauricio López Oropeza, executive secretary of the Pan Amazonian Ecclesial Network (REPAM), an organization that has been assigned the primary role in managing the Amazon synod, said REPAM is a “network, not an institution,” and consequently “doesn’t have its own resources.”
REPAM was founded by CIMI and other organizations, some of which are also receiving funding from the Ford Foundation.
Lopez told reporters that they needed “to write a letter to Cardinal [Claudio] Hummes,” the president of REPAM and the general relator of the synod, “for more information” on whether it receives such funds. He added that this is a “pro-life synod” trying to protect life that is “at stake, endangered.”
Paolo Ruffini, the president of the synod’s Commission for Information, also weighed in, saying he did not know about the “funding processes” of the Ford Foundation. But he asked somewhat irritably: “Is it better for the Ford Foundation to use that money for non-Christian purposes?”
The Register reported on Thursday findings made by the Brazilian journalist Bernardo Küster that the Ford Foundation, which overtly campaigns for abortion rights and promotes gender ideology, had given organizations closely associated with REPAM millions of dollars since 2006.
Archbishop Roque Paloschi, the president of CIMI, did not deny it, saying instead that all of CIMI’s financial records and his own bank accounts have passed government and parliamentary scrutiny. None of CIMI’s or REPAM’s financial records and expenditure is accessible to the public.
Read more at National Catholic Register