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US bishop calls for investigation after report links Catholic Relief Services to condom promotion

Bishop Joseph Strickland tweeted that the Lepanto Institute report 'must be proven to be false' and the 'confusion must stop.'
Wed Mar 4, 2020 - 7:22 pm EST
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PETITION: Urge US bishops to stop Catholic Relief Services' condom promotion! Sign the petition here.

March 4, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – Bishop Joseph Strickland of Tyler, Texas called for an investigation into Catholic Relief Services, the U.S. bishops’ international aid agency, after its promotion of contraception in Africa was uncovered by the Lepanto Institute and recently reported by LifeSiteNews.  

The yearlong investigation by the Lepanto Institute president Michael Hichborn revealed that Catholic Relief Services (CRS) instructs teens and children as young as age 10 to “always” use condoms.

CRS is the official international aid agency of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) and has in recent years joined forces with other international secular aid agencies – USAID, PEPFAR and the Global Fund – in promoting practices that are antithetical to Catholic moral teaching.

“This report by the Lepanto Institute must be proven to be false,” tweeted Bishop Strickland. “If what Lepanto says is accurate, then we should call for a thorough investigation of CRS. The confusion must stop. Promoting contraception is immoral & we are reaping sins devastation.”

“We're very grateful to Bishop Strickland for taking our report seriously and calling for a full investigation into CRS,” Hichborn told LifeSiteNews in an email.  

“Sadly, our discovery regarding the condom documents isn't even the worst we've found,” added Hichborn. “Our sincere hope is that more bishops will see what is being done in the name of the Church and put a firm end to it.”

Shocking discoveries

The Lepanto Institute investigation found: 

  • One document produced and copyrighted by CRS in 2017 says (in French), “Condom use should be correct and consistent for any occasional sexual intercourse or with a non-regular partner.” 

  • Another CRS-produced document from 2017 (also in French) says, “You can do a number of things to stay as healthy as possible ... (such as) use a condom during sex to reduce the risk of sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV, and pregnancies” and then later adds, “For adolescents who need access to HIV prevention methods, such as condoms, it is important for them to know where to access them.”

  • In March 2019, we provided our initial findings regarding these documents to CRS officials and were promised answers. Not only were we never provided answers, but several of the documents disappeared from the CRS.org website, and other condom-promoting documents appeared later in the year.

  • A CRS-produced document that was published in December 2019 indicates to a counselor that a core idea being taught to adolescents in a CRS-run program is “delaying sex, limiting the number of sexual partners, and always using a condom are good practices.”

Petition: Duplicity must stop

LifeSiteNews and the Lepanto Institute have launched an urgent joint petition to all U.S. Catholic bishops, asking them to conduct their own investigation of CRS via a disinterested third party.   

The petition also urges America’s bishops to withhold funding from the normal Lenten collection for Catholic Relief Services “until it can be definitively proved that the agency has absolutely stopped projects that oppose Catholic sexual teaching.”

“CRS should not benefit from unsuspecting Catholics in the pews who think that their donations are only going to feed impoverished Africans,” the petition suggests to the bishops.  

The petition can be found here.


  africa, catholic, catholic relief services, condoms, diocese of tyler, global fund, hiv, joseph strickland, lepanto institute, michael hichborn, pepfar, usaid

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