By Judie Brown
It is the duty of Catholic organizations to uphold the tenets and teachings of the Catholic Church. Any support given to other organizations must be in line with these teachings. With a new report on Catholic Relief Services’ funding history, ALL reveals practices that go against these tenets of the Catholic Church, and it beseeches the bishops to take action.
Two days ago, American Life League issued a full-length, documented report exposing Catholic Relief Services’ involvement with organizations that promote and, in some cases, directly commit abortion.
The Washington Times, among others, reported on it including this quip, “Jon O’Brien, president of Catholics for Choice, dismissed ALL and its new report as ‘an embarrassment even to those who toe the Church hierarchy’s line.’”
Incredible, is it not, that the president of a pro-abortion Catholic organization would suggest that American Life League has erred in our efforts to expose the evil being funded by an allegedly Catholic charity? The only thing that is embarrassing about this situation is CRS.
But setting aside O’Brien’s blind spot, the point is that the news of our report, including the video report on CRS’ ongoing dance with the culture of death, is creating a stir.
As American Life League said in the introduction of our report on CRS:
The purpose of this report is to provide the facts. The evidence supports that the problems are real and exhibit a clear and present danger of grave scandal. According to CRS’ IRS Form 990 for FY 2012, CRS granted over $75 million to 47 different organizations based in the United States. This report documents that $64,656,809 went to 23 organizations that promote practices and policies contrary to Catholic moral teaching. This represents 86 percent of CRS’ domestic grants for 2012.
These offenses include:
• the facilitation, promotion, and in some cases, direct commission of abortion;
• dispensing and promoting all forms of modern contraception, including abortifacient drugs and devices;
• facilitating, promoting, and in some cases, direct commission of male and female sterilization.
Some of the named grantees include:
1. CARE International http://www.care-international.org ($13,880,143) – CARE International is actively promoting and distributing all forms of birth control, has called for the overturning of the Mexico City Policy, promotes deviant sexuality, and is partnered with Marie Stopes International for family planning projects.
2. Save the Children http://www.savethechildren.org ($13,169,755) – Save the Children is actively dispensing all forms of birth control and promoting “sexual and reproductive rights,” especially to adolescents and young adults.
3. Institute of Human Virology http://www.ihv.org/default.html ($11,778,726) – The Institute of Human Virology (IHV) is distributing and promoting the use of condoms.
4. Futures Group International www.futuresgroup.com ($4,758,122) – The Futures Group is marketing all forms of birth control to people in the developing world. It is also working to expand access and availability of all forms of contraception, including abortifacients.
5. World Vision International www.worldvision.org ($3,888,914) –World Vision distributes and promotes contraception, especially condoms.
6. Adventist Relief Agency http://www.adra.org ($2,903,159) – Adventist Relief Agency (ADRA) is distributing abortifacient contraception, promoting the use of contraception, and working to increase the “contraceptive prevalence rate.”
When our report came out, we issued a press release based on our findings. We also reported that “On September 10, the USCCB Administrative Committee, which includes 43 bishops, issued a statement of support for CRS regarding the controversy. In part, the statement says, ‘The agency welcomes questions and concerns offered in a spirit of Christian charity. If any weaknesses or problems are found, assessment and action are undertaken to correct the problem.’”
We shall see. American Life League has sent our entire report and short video on our findings regarding CRS by e-mail and Priority Mail directly to every active bishop in the United States. We did this because two years of meetings with CRS management have proved fruitless. We also did this because we wanted to provide each bishop with facts upon which they could make a decision.
America’s Catholic bishops must act on this matter. Catholic Relief Services should not be free to continue its collaboration with enemies of the Church. We pray that the bishops agree and that the next news we hear on the grapevine is that CRS has ceased its contrarian ways.
Judie Brown is president and cofounder of American Life League and a three-time appointee to the Pontifical Academy for Life.