CRS explains how it upholds Catholic teaching, values

Catholic Relief Services, the U.S. bishops’ overseas aid and development agency, has explained — once again — that it upholds Catholic teaching as a pro-life organization “dedicated to preserving the sacredness and dignity of human life from conception to natural death.”

Fedlen Philio plants a mango tree with a youth group encouraging sustainable development in Kafou Kols, Haiti. The group received support from Catholic Relief Services to plant and raise trees in their community. (CNS/Courtesy of Catholic Relief Services)

post on the CRS Newswire examines the agency’s role in providing food, emergency relief and disaster assistance around the world, and defends its partnerships with other relief groups, including those that do not share the full realm of Catholic values, in an effort to better serve the world’s poor and marginalized. It explains that when working in coalitions with other organizations in a program that is does not align with church teaching, CRS does not participate.

“Our membership in these coalitions gives us a platform to present effective methods and procedures that demonstrate the efficacy of Catholic approaches to health and family planning,” the post says.

John Rivera, the agency’s director of communications, who wrote the post, told Catholic News Service the clarification has been on the CRS website for about a month and is refreshed regularly to keep it in the forefront for new readers.

The post makes clear that the statement was developed in response to a “coordinated series of attacks condemning aspects of our work, our partners, professional associations and even some of our employees” over the summer.

“We want to be clear that we are open to and welcome correction, presented to us by people and organizations who offer it in the spirit of Christian charity and with the intention of helping us to live the Gospel mission of serving he poorest of the poor around the world,” Rivera wrote.

The online statement acknowledges that CRS employs diverse staff members, not all of whom are Catholic. It also explains that all employees receive “instruction on Catholic teaching and its manifestation in our work” during orientation to the agency.

In the post’s final segment, Rivera outlines the process used in producing resources and materials for various audiences.

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6 Responses to CRS explains how it upholds Catholic teaching, values

  1. Is CRS now trying to make itself look good after transferring many donations to abortion, contraception, prositutes etc.. ??? My donations will stay at home or put with good priests who pastor these people who need help. They come on EWTN often.

  2. Curt says:

    I find it hard to trust. We switched our giving to the Catholic Medical Mission Board several years ago.

  3. John S says:

    Two months ago I sent an email to national and local CRS centers asking if CRS stance on abortion was in line with the teachings of the Catholic Church. I never received a response. Enough said. So CRS is no longer getting my contributions. John

  4. Damian says:

    Last time I checked, helping the poor, the starving, the dispossessed, the homeless, the lame and the ill, widows and orphans was a pro life cause. Seems to me CRS does not preach charity and pro life values, it lives them – ” The greatest commandment is to love the Lord thy God with all your heart……and the second is to love thy neighbor as thyself”. (Mt 23: 37-40). CRS has always had my support, and to the best that I can determine, it will always have my support.

  5. Loren says:

    I will pray for CRS as we all should continue to pray for Obama, his administration, the future president, and especially for Planned Parenthood. The Church teaches that we should never judge our brothers and sisters’ conscience. That is God’s business. Look inward at our own conscience and be humbled before the Lord.

  6. Peter J. McGrath, says:

    It’s common sense (or at least it should be) that variety of church agencies have a variety of special roles to play in Church life, and CRS has been a great standard-bearer of the Church’s mission & values in foreign lands and during times of disaster. CRS staff are no more expected to picket an abortion clinic in your town or take the lead in articulating the church’s anti-abortion arguments any more than a diocesan respect life director will be called upon to negotiate and personally oversee an emergency food delivery to the Sudan. CRS has a highly specialized and important mission that they do well.

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