WCR PHOTO | CHRIS MILLER
Rodrigo Loyola has resigned as chair of the archdiocesan CCODP council.
LEDUC — The longtime chairman of Development and Peace in Alberta has stepped down from his position saying that the organization has lost its original vision.
In an emotional presentation at the archdiocesan CCODP annual meeting Sept. 17 at St. Michael’s Church, Rodrigo Loyola said in his opinion, the organization is now going in a new direction, one that does not necessarily reflect the experience and relationships formed during the 10 years he was the chair.
“I think that the organization is moving in a direction that isn’t based upon the historical foundation on which it was built,” said Loyola.
“Development and Peace was created out of the Second Vatican Council, when bishops of the North came together with bishops of the South and addressed the whole issue of poverty in the world.”
That historical focus and vision are being lost, he said.
“I understand that the world changes and maybe new approaches need to be spoken of and developed, but we have always maintained that the principles and values on which Development and Peace were founded cannot shift,” said Loyola.
He said he has become passionate about these issues, having come to Canada as a refugee.
“Christ calls us to be human beings and build community, and that’s what it’s really about at the end of the day, not just community here locally but our partners down in the Global South. We are all one big family,” he said.
The WCR was unable to reach Loyola after his talk to get him to elaborate on his comments.
Loyola chaired Development and Peace executive in the archdiocese for many years and was also the Alberta representative on the national council.
Loyola passed the reins of the chairmanship to Stephen Dufresne, of St. Theresa’s Parish in the Millwoods area of Edmonton. Another longtime CCODP supporter, Pat Acheson, was elected vice chairman.
“The mission of the local Edmonton Development and Peace has been to create in the archdiocese a culture based on Catholic social doctrine that is lived locally in normal relationships. That is what we have always strived to be,” said Loyola.
“My time at Development and Peace has come to an end. It’s been 10 years, and it’s time for new leadership to step up. Take those reins and see what you can do,” he said.