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Catholic Relief Services ended contract with firm linked to family of American Life League leader

Catholic World News - August 30, 2013

In 2012, Bishop Gerald Kicanas of Tucson, chairman of the board of Catholic Relief Services (CRS), wrote a letter to the bishops of the United States informing them that CRS would be terminating its printing contract with a firm that is run by the son of the founder of the American Life League (ALL), reported.

ALL, said Bishop Kicanas, had employed a “divisive methodology” in criticizing CRS and the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.

“Recently, our Board and staff learned that our primary vendor for printing services, AKA Printing and Mailing, is owned by the family of Judie Brown, President of ALL, and maintains a close affiliation with ALL,” Bishop Kicanas wrote. “It was the unanimous decision of the board that we should not renew CRS’ largest printing contract with AKA.” also printed a recent Facebook exchange between John Rivera, CRS’ director of communications, and an ALL employee.

“How's AKA's business doing these days?” Rivera reportedly wrote. “And what was the REAL reason your video on CRS was taken down a couple of years ago? As I recall, we received a note of apology from Judie Brown for it.”

Catholic Relief Services took issue with some of the statements in the article.

“CRS did not use the threat of ending a printing contract to silence critics, as alleged in a recent article by LifeSiteNews,” CRS said in a statement. “That decision was taken in light of many issues, including business processes and the attacks ALL has made against CRS and other Catholic Social Ministries. It had nothing to do with AKA’s links to the pro-life cause, which CRS supports. CRS’ bishop-led board made a principled choice not to support such smear tactics.”

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  • Posted by: Gregory108 - Aug. 31, 2013 1:10 AM ET USA

    I have long ago stopped giving to CRS. From what I can tell, they have been involved in a lot of spiritually/ethically very suspicious liaisons. I have started giving to Cross International, which is run by someone I trust. This sounds like retribution to me too. Instead of taking corrective actions, they attack the people who are attempting to correct them and call them back to their stated mission.

  • Posted by: - Aug. 30, 2013 8:05 PM ET USA

    Bishop Kicanus should be ashamed. CRS has been and is still dealing with and providing support to organizations that support abortions and same sex marriage. This is nothing more than retribution for the righteous criticisms of CRS.

  • Posted by: TheJournalist64 - Aug. 30, 2013 7:43 PM ET USA

    CRS is on my "no-pay" list indefinitely.

  • Posted by: Defender - Aug. 30, 2013 10:24 AM ET USA

    If it looks and smells like retribution...

  • Posted by: jg23753479 - Aug. 30, 2013 9:24 AM ET USA

    This is the 2nd incident involving CRS I have read in recent weeks that puts its dedication to pro-life policies in doubt. It strengthens my resolve to give my charitable donation to a concern I can trust rather than CRS this year.

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