Wednesday, July 25, 2012

USCCB's CRS Demands Retraction

Catholic Relief Services (CRS), the foreign-aid branch of the USCCB, has demanded a retraction from both LifeSiteNews and ChurchMilitant.TV regarding coverage of the story about CRS giving $5.3 million dollars to the pro-abortion, contraception-providing organization CARE. (I wrote about this here.)

LifeSiteNews reported yesterday that:

After LifeSiteNews published the piece, CRS demanded a retraction or correction. “None of the activities listed suggest support of or involvement in immoral activities,” spokesman John Rivera wrote in an e-mail. “In the terminology of moral theology, there is no material cooperation with evil.”

Then on July 20th, CRS issued a press release titled CRS Disputes LifeSiteNews Article, in which they stated that “all of the CRS programs … are entirely consistent with Church teaching.” At the same time, they strongly implied that the grant was approved by Dr. John Haas of the National Catholic Bioethics Center, the U.S. Bishops’ top advisor on bioethical issues.

But when LifeSiteNews contacted Dr. Haas he revealed a very different picture.
Dr. Haas told LifeSiteNews that when he reviewed the proposed donation to CARE it was “of grave concern to me.”

While Haas noted that the NCBC assessment did not dispute that CARE’s project was laudable nor that the monies were non-fungible, he opposed the grant because of the scandal it would cause. His main concern was the stridently pro-abortion stances taken by CARE’s president and CEO, Helene D. Gayle.

Read the rest here. The statements by Dr. Haas in that article are very telling.

ChurchMilitant.TV also was sent a letter asking for a retraction. Michael Voris issued this video response:

As I noted in my previous post: Through this kind of inconsistency – and incompetency – the bishops stand to lose ground in the legal battle against the HHS mandate. They can’t make the case that contraception is a moral evil against Church teaching in the US, all the while cheerfully handing out millions of dollars for the spread of contraceptives in other parts of the world. 

Here's an excerpt of the concluding remarks made by Michael Voris in the above video:

Why, why, why is there the default attitude that there must always be compromise with organizations that support evil and fight against Church teaching? That’s not an approach of the Church Militant – that’s a total capitulation.

Compromise should always be an absolute and final last resort and EVEN THEN we need to always be looking for a way to advance the right and end the compromise. There is no absolute NEED to give CARE 5 million dollars, just as there is no absolute NEED for the Catholic Campaign for Human Development to hand over millions of dollars to anti-Church programs in the United States.

Why can’t the Church take all these monies and direct them only to groups that fully support Church teaching AND fight poverty? If such groups don’t exist, start them. Before the liberals got their hands on the levers of power, that’s exactly what used to happen; they were called religious orders.

How cool would it be to harness all the enthusiasm of so many young people renewed in their faith and start a Catholic Peace Corps type program that does this sort of work. The point is simple: stop giving money to groups that to one degree or another are enemies of the Church.

Just say NO! And until CRS and other groups are totally forthcoming, maybe you might want to think twice about those donations.

Imagine the ridiculously incredible position the US bishops have now been put in by their own overseas aid organization. Their lawyers are in court fighting against Obama contraception mandate while their CRS staff is handing money to groups overseas that support it.

I would want to be the bishop or lawyer who has a judge staring at me from across the bench asking me to explain that.

And here's the message sent to CMTV:

From: Rivera, John
Sent: Monday, July 23, 2012 1:53 PM
To: Contact@ChurchMilitant.TV
Subject: Request for retraction of Special Report 07-21

Dear Mr. Voris,

I am writing to insist on a retraction of your inaccurate and distorted
YouTube video on the $5.3 million grant CRS gave to CARE. The thrust of
your piece is that by giving CARE these funds (which are not just federal
government money, but also from U.S. foundations), we are supporting
the family planning activities it engages in. This is completely false.
The grant in question was used to provide vitally needed food, clean
water, sanitation services and basic nutrition programs to desperately
poor families in Zimbabwe, Madagascar and five countries in Central
America. Make no mistake about it, these programs are saving lives.
Furthermore, these funds are not fungible. In other words, these funds
are specifically for these anti-poverty programs mentioned above, and
cannot be used for any purpose other than that stated in the grant. If
CRS and CARE had not received these grants, the programs would not
have existed. Therefore, the funds can in no way be considered to “free
up” money for either CRS or CARE to engage in other activities. Those
who claim it does either don’t understand how this funding works or
are being disingenuous.

You fail to mention in your piece that Dr. John Haas of the National
Catholic Bioethics Center conducted a thorough review of our
partnerships, including the CARE grant, and concluded that none of the
activities listed suggest support of or involvement in immoral activities
or any violation of Church teaching.

We are doing everything in our power to ensure that we are adhering to
Catholic teaching and to ensure that we can provide desperately
needed services to suffering people around the world in light of the
Gospel mandate to help the "least" among us.

John Rivera

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1 comment:

  1. That's what happens when Bishops, who have marginal (at best) management and leadership skills, entrust the running of their organization to a bunch (too many) of liberal lay people. If you're going to shoot yourself in the foot at least do it yourself, rather than pay someone to do it to you.


Please be courteous and concise.