September 28, 2004 ( – Now that the homosexual crisis in the Catholic Church has become public, it is becoming apparent that it has affected not only parishes and dioceses but organizations that control Catholic charitable efforts as well. In the UK, the official aid agency associated with the Catholic bishops’ conference, the Catholic Agency for Overseas Development (CAFOD), has come under scrutiny for its endorsement of the use of condoms, in contravention of Catholic moral teaching, for the prevention of AIDS.

In a long editorial article, an abridged version of a paper presented at an AIDS conference in Bangkok, and published in the liberal Catholic paper, The Tablet, on September 25th, CAFOD calls the Catholic teaching on sexuality ‘over-simplistic solutions for an idealized world.”

The article, which is posted on CAFOD’s website on their policy page, goes on to propose “a third, middle-ground approach known as ‘ABC’- ‘abstain, be faithful, use a condom.'” The article claims that this ‘third way’ is supported by Catholic moral theology and makes an oblique reference to the principle of double effect. “Traditional moral theology allows for an approach in which individuals subscribe to clearly identified ideals but sometimes have to make choices that fall short of these.”

However, none of this will be surprising to those who attended a Mass to celebrate “25 years of friendship and commitment to justice,” for two prominent ‘Catholic’ homosexuals, Martin Pendergast, a former Carmelite priest and current head of the Roman Catholic Lesbian and Gay Caucus and Julian Filochowski, a director of CAFOD.

The mass was originally to be celebrated by Bishop John Crowley of Middlesbrough, the former chairman of CAFOD, but after it was featured in a story in the Daily Telegraph he bowed out of the event while protesting that in no way was it meant to repudiate Catholic teaching on homosexuality. Instead, the Mass was eventually celebrated by Father Jim O’Keefe, former president of Ushaw, a seminary in the north of England. Among the attendees was the current chairman of CAFOD, Bishop John Rawsthorne.

Catholics all over England contribute to CAFOD through diocesan collections. When Filochowski stepped down as director of CAFOD, he was thanked by England’s top Catholic prelate, Cormac Murphy O’Connor. The Cardinal wrote, “For what you have achieved in your 20 years as Director of CAFOD you have the grateful thanks and appreciation of the Catholic community in England and Wales.” Read Catholic World News coverage: Read CAFOD’s policy editorial “HIV debate: no simple solutions:”