Patrick Craine

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A double standard at Catholic Relief Services

Thu Sep 5, 2013 - 2:08 pm EST

Catholic Relief Services has criticized the report we released last week on their decision to end a longstanding contractual relationship with AKA Printing & Mailing, a Virginia company owned by the husband of American Life League president Judie Brown. 

But we believe it was an important development to report, in particular because it seems to show that CRS has adopted a concerning double standard. CRS’ own response confirms the concern. They ended their contracts with AKA, they wrote on Aug. 27, because

the CRS board felt that it could not support, even indirectly, a group that launched unfair smear campaigns against those in the Church, not only CRS, working to carry out the gospel mission of aiding the poor.

Yet at the same time CRS has resolutely defended its decision to directly support a group like Population Services International, which exterminates children overseas.

This juxtaposition could leave some with the impression that CRS is more concerned about snuffing out criticism than defending the unborn. I can’t imagine that’s the case, but Catholics might be forgiven if the question comes to mind.

It’s no wonder, then, that they quickly removed this first response and replaced it with a much shorter version. (You can find the first response here, saved by LifeSiteNews, and the second version here on CRS’ website.) 

In our reporting on CRS, we have not meant to suggest in any way that CRS is pro-abortion. I fully believe them when they say they are a pro-life organization and am grateful that they spell it out clearly in their mission statement:

Catholic Relief Services is a pro-life organization dedicated to preserving the sacredness and dignity of human life from conception to natural death. 

But no matter how much they believe in the Church’s pro-life teachings, it doesn’t change the fact that they are giving money to some of the pro-life movement’s greatest enemies in the developing world. And when they were – naturally – criticized by the pro-life movement for doing it, they reacted by cutting ties to a business run by a pro-life leader’s family.

Put another way, CRS has cut off funding to a business because it’s tied to a group that criticizes some Catholic institutions, but at the same time defend their direct funding of one of the Catholic Church’s great enemies.


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