Washington, September 18, 2013 - CRS continues to issue statements that it is being unfairly "attacked" regarding the groups it funds. A comprehensive investigative report on Catholic Relief Services grants and short video released by American Life League finds a lot of fire where CRS claims there is not even smoke.
The report documents that CRS gave $64.7 million — 86 percent of the total $75 million in domestic grants — to groups that actively subvert Catholic moral teaching as part of their ongoing work. The report lists each grantee, the funds it received from CRS, and the specific activities that make the groups unsavory partners for any Catholic agency.
"Only a few weeks ago, CRS stated that 'it could not support, even indirectly, a group that launched unfair smear campaigns against those in the Church;' referring to criticism of CRS by American Life League, of course," said Judie Brown, president of ALL and three-time appointee to the Pontifical Academy for Life.
"Now, CRS defends directly funding groups whose primary work is abortion and contraception in order to deliver mosquito nets. Doesn't that qualify as the ultimate hypocrisy?"
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." Brown says she can only pray that it is a matter of "too much trust and not enough verify" on the part of the bishops.
"We shall see," says Brown. "It is one thing to issue anonymous group statements. It is another for a bishop to step forward publicly and say, 'I support paying groups that promote contraception, sterilization, abortion, and overturning the Mexico City Policy to represent American Catholics overseas.'"
"Pope Francis was clear when he said, 'The Church is not a charitable NGO,' notes Brown. "I cannot believe our bishops support the idea that, in order to serve the poor, CRS must accept government grants to then fund groups whose primary work undermines Catholic evangelization. It defies common sense."
ALL has sent the entire report and short video by e-mail and Priority Mail directly to every active bishop in the United States. Brown says two years of meetings with CRS management have proved fruitless.
Media inquiries, please contact Paul Rondeau at 540-659-4171 or PRondeau@ALL.org .
American Life League, cofounded by Judie Brown in 1979, is the oldest national Catholic pro-life education and advocacy organization in the United States. For more information, please visit http://www.ALL.org.