BALTIMORE, July 25, 2013 (LifeSiteNews.com) – The bishop who heads Catholic Relief Services is defending the organization’s $2.7 million grant to a leading promoter of “safe abortion” in the developing world.
CRS, the U.S. Bishops’ foreign relief agency, has been under fire in the last week after LifeSiteNews revealed July 18th that they are giving the grant to Population Services International as part of an ongoing project to combat malaria in Guinea.
See here for detailed evidence of PSI’s extensive promotion of abortion in the developing world.
CRS defended the grant in an e-mail response to LifeSiteNews and then followed up with a more detailed statement on their website, published Friday.
But Bishop Gerald Kicanas, chairman of CRS’ board of directors, has also defended the grant in reply to concerned Catholics. A LifeSiteNews reader, who wished to remain anonymous, forwarded a response that Bishop Kicanas wrote to him after he had e-mailed the bishop to express his concern over the grant.
“CRS upholds the teachings [of] the church on respect for the dignity of all life from conception to natural death,” Bishop Kicanas, who heads the Diocese of Tucson, begins. “CRS opposes abortion in all circumstances and never works with any organization in activities that are in any way related to abortion.”
“Regretfully some groups misconstrue CRS's working with groups to provide humanitarian aid,” he added. “Always go to the CRS website to clarify misunderstandings that some have about CRS's work which is oftentimes misrepresented by some.”
The bishop echoed CRS’ own defense, arguing that the grant was solely for “malaria prevention,” that the funds were not fungible, and that CRS funded PSI at the behest of the Global Fund, which provided the funds to CRS.
See Bishop Kicanas’ full e-mail below.
In CRS’ published statement, they said they knew the grant would provoke criticism but went ahead anyway in order to save lives. “We decided that saving children’s lives was more important than possible criticism. We believe we made the right choice,” they write.
They argue that the grant does not “violate Church teaching,” indicating that thy followed a vetting process with their local church partners and their board of directors. “Like many Catholic organizations that engage with the wider secular world, CRS sometimes works with organizations that hold positions contrary to Church teaching,” they write.
See Catholic Relief Services' full defense of the PSI grant here.
Pro-life leaders are asking how CRS’ defense of the grant jibes with their insistence last summer that they would never partner with Planned Parenthood, even for a seemingly good project.
“We’ve given this a lot of consideration, and there’s a threshold in terms of what the focus of an agency is, and the preponderance of their work,” said CRS spokesman John Rivera.
Michael Hichborn, director of American Life League’s Defend the Faith Project, has said that in funding PSI – which was founded for the purpose of population control, and carries it out by marketing contraceptives and abortion drugs in the developing world – they “might as well be funding Planned Parenthood.”
LifeSiteNews contacted both Bishop Kicanas and CRS on Wednesday to ask how they believed their work had been “misrepresented,” as well as whether their defense of the grant meant they were now willing to fund groups like Planned Parenthood. We did not hear back by press time.
Cardinal Robert Sarah
Pontifical Council “Cor Unum”
Palazzo San Pio X
V-00120 Vatican City State
Fax: +39-06-69887301 or +39-06-69887311
E-mail: [email protected]
Find contact information for all U.S. Bishops here.
Readers may also comment on Catholic Relief Services’ Facebook page.
Bishop Kicanas’ E-mail to a Concerned Reader
CRS upholds the teachings on the church on respect for the dignity of all life from conception to natural death. CRS opposes abortion in all circumstances and never works with any organization in activities that are in any way related to abortion. Regretfully some groups misconstrue CRS's working with groups to provide humanitarian aid.
CRS's involvement with PSI is only in malaria prevention and these funds are not fungible (able to be used for anything else) Global Fund selected CRS as primary grantor for malaria prevention project in Guinea and selected PSI as subordinate agency to work with CRS.
PSI's duties are to train health workers and to build awareness for malaria prevention methods. Such funds are strictly audited and must follow rigid guidelines set by Global Fund and CRS.
Always go to the CRS website to clarify misunderstandings that some have about CRS's work which is oftentimes misrepresented by some.
Sent from my iPad