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CRS denies promoting contraception in Africa

October 25, 2016

Catholic Relief Services (CRS) has denied that the agency was directly involved in the distribution of contraceptives in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Last week the Lepanto Institute released a detailed report, showing that CRS—the official overseas relief agency of the US bishops’ conference—had “received, stored, and dispensed millions of contraceptives, including condoms, oral contraceptives, injectable contraceptives, intra-uterine devices, and even surgical sterilization kits.” The Lepanto report was based on government documents and inventory reports.

While conceding that the documents “do indeed seem to show CRS as receiving contraceptives,” the agency claimed that “unclear wording” had created an inaccurate impression. The agency said that the reports used by the Lepanto Institute had been prepared by “another organization that did not understand how important absolute clarity on this point is to CRS.”

CRS said that anyone concerned about the report should be reassured by “the twelve bishops on our board, the USCCB, and the Congolese bishops’ conference who all continue to stand by us.”

Father Shenan Boquet, the president of Human Life International, described the CRS response to its critics as “insulting.” He said: “Not one single person who knows how those reports work would deny that they entail birth/population control as a matter of course.”

 
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Show 5 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: brenda22890 - Oct. 26, 2016 9:52 AM ET USA

    Haven't given a penny to CRS or the Campaign for Human Development in years ... sorry to say. I'd rather give directly to local food banks, donate to clothing drives, etc. It's not the international outreach I might prefer, but it is real help for real people, and not more of the same subterfuge.

  • Posted by: 1Jn416 - Oct. 26, 2016 9:28 AM ET USA

    To CRS: You're depending up on the reputation of the same bishops who have supported the Campaign for Human Development through all its scandals, the same bishops who so often seem to have trouble telling the truth about situations in their own dioceses? Against what you yourself admit is compelling, written evidence? Sorry, folks don't fall for that any more.

  • Posted by: [email protected] - Oct. 25, 2016 10:06 PM ET USA

    CRS liar,liar pants on fire.

  • Posted by: David K - Oct. 25, 2016 9:15 PM ET USA

    In summary: CRS claims it's all a misunderstanding, but offers no evidence in support of this claim. Hmmm...

  • Posted by: ElizabethD - Oct. 25, 2016 7:58 PM ET USA

    If the US government came up with an alternative way to provide contraception stateside so that objecting organizations could have their religious freedom nominally protected while their employees are still facilitated to contracept and abort, it would be the same as this. The objecting organization (a diocese, the Sisters of Life, Hobby Lobby) would then be described on all documentation as providing x number of units of condoms, Depo Provera, IUDs, morning after pills, etc.