The gist of the response from Catholic Relief Services (CRS) is that the monies went only to good projects and were not able to be used for other purposes. However, one needs only to think about the scenario on the ground for a little in order to see the difficulty.
The latest CRS press release responding to the CARE funding scandal says: “The grant in question with CARE was used to provide vitally needed food, clean water, sanitation services and basic nutrition programs to desperately poor families in Zimbabwe, Madagascar and five countries in Central America. Make no mistake about it, these programs are saving lives.”
What happens when CARE undertakes these great ventures with the poor in all these countries with money from the US Bishops?
Naturally the poor who are served food and water are grateful—to the contraception-pushing group CARE. So when CARE comes back to those same poor people with contraceptives and suggestions for ‘safe and legal’ abortion, the poor will be receptive to the nefarious suggestions thanks to the goodwill CARE built up with these folks doing good projects with the cash supplied by the US Bishops.
Beyond that, there are many good pro-life and Christian groups in those nations who could go to them to do humanitarian work which does not include abortion promotion and distribution of contraception. Can the US Bishops not direct their multiple millions of dollars to these worthy organizations rather than CARE?
Finally, as Christendom College’s Dr. William Luckey noted in a conversation about the CRS grant to CARE, there is no way we would be having these kinds of debates if CRS had been dealing with a white supremacist group.
“We wouldn’t go near them. Even though they did charitable work, they might have schools for poor white kids all over the country, which would be basically a good thing. We wouldn’t even touch them. The scandal would be so bad. The outcry would be so bad,” he said.
Remember that Dr. John Haas, whom CRS consulted on the grant to CARE, warned CRS: “In my opinion because CARE is so well known and so high profile and because the advocacy of abortion has been so strong and public and in such opposition to the position of the bishops, scandal would be unavoidable.”
And for the Catholic Church, abortion is at least as evil as racism.
In addition to all of the above CRS has painted themselves as above reproach regarding their activities. And with just a little research, that can be shown to be false.
In their first public response to LifeSiteNews, CRS adamantly defended the $5.3 million grant to CARE stating, “We do not fund, support or participate in any programming or advocacy that is not in line with Church teaching, including artificial birth control.”
However, LifeSiteNews has discovered that CRS is a member of the CORE Group, and according to the CORE Group’s explanation of dues, CRS appears to pay $3,000 in annual membership fees. In addition to being a dues-paying member, CRS is represented on CORE Group’s board of directors by employee Mary Hennigan, and co-chairs CORE Group’s “working group” on HIV/AIDS through CRS employee Shannon Senefeld.
The CORE Group is a major advocate for the spread of birth control.
CORE Group’s “Safe Motherhood and Reproductive Health” (SMRH) working group explicitly promotes contraception.
According to CORE Group’s annual report for 2011, it spent $87,499 on “family planning,” and $567,734 on “Maternal and Child Health.”
The money spent on Maternal and Child Health also went toward the spread of birth control. According to the Annual Report, “CORE Group developed a facilitator’s guide on developing behavior change strategies for integrating family planning into MCH (Maternal and Child Health).
The “curriculum” stressed the importance of integrating all forms of birth control into Maternal and Child Health programs. One example of this can be found on page 53, which gives a step-by-step formula for changing the behaviors of poor people in third world countries to “Increase use of OCs, IUDs, and condoms among women of childbearing age by an average of 25% within two years.”
That’s a typical western imperialist population control program.
CRS’s defense of the $5.3 million it gave to the staunchly pro-abortion, pro-contraception organization, CARE International, is that, “CRS always has taken very seriously decisions we make about the groups with which we collaborate or form partnerships to ensure that we are not violating the Church teachings. We do not fund, support or participate in any programming or advocacy that is not in line with Church teaching, including artificial birth control.” But this defense does not appear to apply to CRS’s dues-paying membership, presence on the board, and co-chairmanship of for a project of the CORE Group.
There are many motives for a stance which does not take issue with contraception.
In today’s world many of the largest ‘humanitarian’ organizations throwing around literally billions of dollars are at the same time funding the culture of death. Principal offenders in this category are the massive foundations of the Buffets and Gates, Hewlett Packard and other such foundations which have made population control one of their prime objectives.
Thus it was not surprising to see that CRS was in receipt of huge donations from the Gates Foundation. In this 2008 press release CRS announced a $21.8 million grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
The US Coalition for Life, a Catholic pro-life group, called attention to the Gates grants to CRS back in 2010. Coalition for Life leader Randy Engel warned of the scandal of the US Bishops’ groups receiving funds from the world’s most prominent ‘death peddlers’.
In her report, Engel detailed some of the grants from the Gates Foundation to the leading abortion groups worldwide including:
- International Planned Parenthood Federation - $41,876,150 since 1998. Supports a total anti-life agenda world-wide. Organizes massive anti-life initiatives the world over.
- Planned Parenthood Federation of America - $12,984,000 since 1998. Does not include millions for PP abortion centers in Gates’ home state of Washington and elsewhere. Performs over 200,000 surgical abortions per year and supports a full antilife agenda including contraception, sterilization, abortifacients, live human embryo and fetal experimentation, sex education, divorce, fornication, infanticide, homosexuality, eugenics, infanticide, pornography, in vitro fertilization.
- U.N. Fund for Population Activities and Americans for UNFPA - $56,681,272 in 2000. An indirect grant to UNFPA of $2,200,000,000 for “reproductive health” and mass population control programs.
Engel saw in the CRS receipt of funds from the Gates Foundation a reason for the lack of condemnation from the US Bishops regarding the foundation’s activities.
Similarly, when US-resident Melinda Gates went on-and-on about her being a ‘Catholic’ while at the same time launching a $4 billion campaign to spread contraception, it was the Vatican newspaper and Kenyan bishops complaining rather than US Bishops.