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The Dutch development aid organisation Solidaridad is breaking off relations with the Roman Catholic bishops in the Netherlands after a dispute on how to spend aid money.
The organisation is writing to all Catholic parishes in the Netherlands to ignore the bishops' appeals for donations, and give their money to Solidaridad instead.
Commenting on the Roman Catholic bishops' new approach to development aid, Solidaridad's director Nico Roozen said in a press release that "the bishops are demanding the final say on how to spend the money, and their policies are straitjacketed by orthodoxy". The bishops' new policy also affects collections in church on behalf of other humanitarian organisations.
For over 40 years the organisation and the Roman Catholic church have collaborated in collecting money to help the poor in Latin America. The next joint action was to have started next week. Solidaridad wants to spend the money it collects on the poor, while the Netherlands' Bishops Conference wants to spend it on churches in Latin American countries.
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