Statement from Fr. Erik Oland, SJ, on the Review of Fanm Deside by the Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace and the CCCB

November 30, 2019 – The Jesuits of Canada want to express their solidarity with the women of Fanm Deside in Haiti who sent a letter to the Executive Director of Development and Peace, a copy of which we have received.

We have collaborated for many years with the Sisters of Our Lady of Good Counsel, particularly on issues related to Haiti, and we wish to support their public statement of November 28 as founders who maintain close ties with Fanm Deside.

We are particularly touched by the cry from the heart of these Haitian women who describe a reality that is unfortunately witnessed daily by Haitian Jesuit confreres and colleagues from our Province. We are convinced of the essential work being done by Fanm Deside and its director Marie-Ange Noël.

We are concerned that the answers given to the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops over the past two years have not been deemed satisfactory by the CCCB leadership and that there has been a failure to listen and respect the clear support given by the bishops in Haiti. This lack of listening may undermine the episcopal collegiality that should characterize ecclesial communion. We are concerned that the November 20 letter, written on behalf of the Canadian Bishops, may reveal a lack of awareness of the crisis situation in Haiti.

The compassion and commitment shown by the women of Famn Deside in these troubled times in Haiti deserve the full support of Development and Peace. We recognize in this situation the same issues that motivated our public statement in defense of the integrity of our colleague Ismael Moreno from Honduras and his collaborators. We very much hope that this investigation of Development and Peace's partners will be completed, as it undermines their work.

We hope that the CCODP and the Canadian Bishops will maintain, as they assured the Jesuits in a letter dated last May 29, their commitment to our brothers and sisters in need, with transparency, the utmost respect, clarity, contextualization and Christian charity.

Erik Oland SJ

Provincial of the Jesuits of Canada

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