MADAGASCAR, July 25, 2013 (LifeSiteNews.com) – An on-the-ground investigation in Madagascar has found that the U.S. Bishops’ relief agency is distributing contraceptives and abortifacients in the African country as part of a cross-country program funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development.
The news comes as CRS scrambles to affirm its commitment to upholding Catholic teaching after LifeSiteNews revealed they had given over $13 million to the pro-abortion CARE in 2012, and are in the midst of giving a $2.7 million grant to the leading abortion-marketing firm Population Services International.
The Population Research Institute issued the first of a series of reports this afternoon after they sent an investigator to Madagascar for a month to interview officials and witness the Catholic agency’s work first-hand.
According to PRI’s report, the Catholic agency employs over 250 community health workers in the country who distribute contraceptives “under the name of Catholic Relief Services.”
See the Population Research Institute's report here.
PRI reports that USAID has divided the country into districts called “communes” which are each serviced by a different NGO. Each NGO is responsible for offering the “whole package of health activities” in its communes, including contraceptive and abortifacient drugs and devices.
PRI’s investigator interviewed USAID and CRS officials, who confirmed that CRS carries out the “same work” in its 125 communes as other NGOs do in theirs.
“We all [NGOs] do the same work, including in the area of family planning,” a CRS zone supervisor informed the investigator.
“For us, there’s nothing special with CRS: CRS works in family planning just like the others,” Jean Patrick Bourahimou, program manager for USAID-SantéNet, told PRI. “We, the USAID technical specialists, are there for that, precisely to assure that the implementers from the different consortium members are using the same approach.”
USAID officials also told PRI that CRS’ community health workers are given the same training as other NGO workers. According to the officials, “structural mechanisms were in place to ensure that all health workers used and promoted the same family planning programs, regardless of their NGO associations,” writes PRI.
The pro-life group points out that the head of one of CRS’ regional offices in the country, Andry Ramamonjisoa, used to work for the United Nations Population Fund. “Before this [CRS], I worked with UNFPA, mainly dealing with family planning,” he told them.
The pro-life organization also reports that the pro-abortion group CARE runs USAID communes in the country, and that CRS and CARE work so closely that CRS business cards have CARE’s logo on them in addition to CRS’ logo, and vice versa for CARE.
Steven Mosher, president of the Population Research Institute, who authored the report along with media coordinator Anne Roback Morse, told LifeSiteNews that their investigator has over 25 years of experience working with NGOs.
“Why would an ostensibly ‘Catholic’ organization decide to carry out such an objectively immoral program to begin with?” ask Mosher and Roback Morse in the report. “Was it the money? Was it pressure from USAID? Was it the progressive abandonment of its Catholic identity in favor of a comforting and undemanding view of itself as being merely one more secular humanitarian relief agency?”
“How many children have been aborted or contracepted out of existence by CRS?” they ask. “CRS should be able to tell us a number. After all, all NGOs are required to submit periodic reports to USAID on their performance in increasing the ‘contraceptive prevalence rate.’”
“The Catholic Church teaches hard Truths, to be sure, but those individuals and organizations who would call themselves ‘Catholic’ are duty-bound to abide by them.”
Mosher and Roback Morse conclude by saying they hope the report “will be of assistance to the American bishops in carrying out much-needed reforms at Catholic Relief Services.”
LifeSiteNews contacted CRS for comment but did not hear back by press time.
Gerhard Ludwig Müller, Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith
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