Catholic Culture Overview
Catholic Culture Overview
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US bishops’ relief agency involved in African contraception drive, critics charge

October 17, 2016

Catholic Relief Services (CRS), the overseas charitable arm of the US bishops’ conference, cooperated in the distribution of contraceptives in the Democratic Republic of Congo, a watchdog group has charged.

The Lepanto Institute, which has been consistently critical of CRS, has released a report saying that in a partnership with a US government project between 2006 and 2010, CRS “received, stored, and dispensed millions of contraceptives, including condoms, oral contraceptives, injectable contraceptives, intra-uterine devices, and even surgical sterilization kits.”

“The implications of this report could have far-reaching consequences for CRS,” said Michael Hichborn, president of the Lepanto Institute. “For the last six years, CRS has been dodging around revelations of its impropriety by telling bishops and faithful Catholics that it ‘never’ promotes, distributes or facilitates the distribution of contraception. We now have proof that CRS’s claim is completely untrue.”

The Lepanto report is based on government documents, including inventory reports and procedure manuals. The documents appear to show a major increase in the use of contraceptives in the African country.


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  • Posted by: - Oct. 18, 2016 3:11 PM ET USA

    And they want us to support Catholic Relief Services each lent? Hm? The board of directors of this organization need to clean up the act. Fortunately, there are other agencies who can step in to help.

  • Posted by: Faustina01 - Oct. 18, 2016 12:14 AM ET USA

    Dear Elizabeth, get a lawyer and get it back.

  • Posted by: JimKcda - Oct. 17, 2016 9:55 PM ET USA

    Every time this "shocking situation" is exposed (again) over the past 20 years everyone denies it, then acts shocked, then blames a sub-contractor, then promises that it will never happen again. What a joke! CRS has been spending the money of practicing Catholics on artificial birth control for years and everyone who spends five minutes looking into it knows about it. WHERE ARE OUR BISHOPS and what are they doing about it? Unfortunately, NOTHING,

  • Posted by: [email protected] - Oct. 17, 2016 7:45 PM ET USA

    CRS is beyond reform. It has been totally hijacked by government aid programs. Money destroys so many good groups. They loose site of their original mission.

  • Posted by: ElizabethD - Oct. 17, 2016 2:54 PM ET USA

    This makes me totally, totally, totally sick. I helped a faithfully Catholic elderly friend (who passed away several years ago) leave a half million dollar plus bequest to CRS, a group she thought highly of. This was the result of many years of sacrifice, extremely frugal living and wise investing by my friend. CRS has been hijacked for evil and absolutely needs to quit administering US government aid programs. I never give to CRS and would never unless this group is truly deeply reformed.