Brandon Vogt

Compassion vs. CARE: A Defense of Catholic Relief Services

I usually avoid controversy here on the blog, but several of my friends have been discussing the recent accusations against Catholic Relief Services. I’ve yet to see anyone defend them, so I decided to weigh-in, especially since I’m convinced the facts have been misinterpreted and that CRS has been unfairly maligned.

Food, Water, and…Contraception?

Last week, I had the great pleasure of visiting the headquarters of Catholic Relief Services (CRS) in Baltimore. I was there to give a couple of talks on new media and to help the staff communicate better. Even though I worked with Catholic Relief Services on several projects before, including the computer lab we built in Mombasa, Kenya, the visit was honestly surprising.

Some people accuse CRS of ignoring their Catholic identity—of forgetting the ‘C’ in their name. Yet what I found during my visit was a bubbling, definite sense of Catholic mission. The group seemed not just interested in mere philanthropy; they were clearly driven by their Catholic roots. Everything from the conversations, to the wall furnishings, to the beautiful on-site chapel reflected that.

I also sensed a strong excitement over the new President, Dr. Carolyn Woo, whom many of the staff credited with reinvigorating this specifically-Catholic identity.

So upon returning home, I was surprised to find an alarming article at LifeSiteNews titled “U.S. bishops’ relief agency gives $5.3 million to major contraception-providing charity.” The article seemed to clash with my recent experience, and it raised serious concerns about CRS’s Catholic identity:

“CRS, “the official overseas relief and development agency of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops” has recently given millions to an organization that doles out contraceptives, including abortifacient ‘emergency contraception.’

The most recent CRS annual returns (2010) indicate that the largest CRS grant—$5.3 million—went to CARE, an international “relief and development organization,” that actively promotes and provides contraceptives for women in developing countries, and supports pro-abortion groups and legislation.”

In no uncertain terms, the article implied that CRS supported the twin evils of contraception and abortion through their partnership with CARE—and did so using donations from faithful Catholics. The article also quoted Dr. William Marshner, founding professor of theology at Christendom College. He described CRS’ funding of CARE as “ghastly” and said “obviously this expenditure of funds on the part of Catholic Relief Services is an immoral use of the money.”

However the alarms rang loudest in the article’s comment boxes. CRS had not even responded before commenters accused them, and the bishops who oversee CRS, of being “heretics”, “communists”, “homosexuals”, and complicit in murder among other charges.

CRS Responds

The next day, before pitchforks and torches were raised too high, CRS issued a rebuttal. In the post, Communications Director John Rivera disputed LifeSite’s main accusations and made three important points.

First, in case there was any doubt, CRS vigilantly stands with the Church in its rejection of contraception and abortion:

“CRS is not in agreement with CARE’s position on contraception because we do not support any positions that would be in violation of Catholic teaching on human dignity and the sanctity of human life.”

Second, Rivera noted that the funds in question were non-fungible. “Fungability” is a technical term concerning the capability of being exchanged. For example, suppose I give $10 to a homeless man so he can buy lunch. I know this particular man is an alcoholic, so I tell him he must only use it for food.

In reality, that mandate holds little weight. The money is highly ‘fungible’ since it goes straight into the man’s pocket with the rest of his money. From there he can use it to buy alcohol against my wishes. Even if he does use it to buy food, my $10 gift would free up $10 of his own money, which he otherwise would have spent on food, to now spend on alcohol. It could be argued that even if my intention was to provide food, my $10 gift in fact supported the man’s alcoholism.

So fungibility is very important in a context like this. If CRS’ grant to CARE is fungibile, it means money given for “food, clean water, sanitation services and basic nutrition programs” may actually be supporting contraception and abortion. If it’s not fungibile, the money is being used morally—even admirably.

And according to Rivera, it’s the latter:

“[T]hese funds are not fungible. In other words, these funds provided by the federal government or foundations are specifically designated for the 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, they would not have undertaken these programs. Therefore, the funds can in no way be described as “freeing up” money for either CRS or CARE to engage in other activities. Description of such funding being fungible is simply wrong.”

The third point Rivera made is that CRS has strict processes of vetting the morality of their work. They entrust a third-party reviewer, the highly-respected National Catholic Bioethics Center (NCBC) to review their work each year:

“CRS has consulted with Dr. John Haas of the National Catholic Bioethics Center, an expert in moral theology who is a member of the bishops’ pro-life committee, to review our grants (including grants with CARE) and he found that none of them constitutes support of or involvement in immoral activities.”

This speaks volumes to CRS’ commitment to Catholic teaching. It’s also a direct and clear refutation of LifeSiteNews’s accusations that CRS funded contraception and abortion.

After Rivera’s cogent response, I expected LifeSiteNews and its commenters to retract their charges. I even wondered whether LifeSite might issue a formal apology.

Yet they didn’t. Instead, the next day they responded with a second article reaffirming the original charges. The new article, however, contained some interesting analysis from Dr. John Haas—the same Dr. Haas who CRS cited in their defense. Since part of Rivera’s argument was that Dr. Haas and the NCBC had reviewed the CARE grant and found nothing immoral, Haas’ opinions hold special weight. Here’s what LifeSiteNews had to say:

“In a follow-up statement on July 24th, CRS states that after reviewing all of their grants, Haas “found that none of them constitutes support of or involvement in immoral activities.”

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.”

Note that Dr. Haas’ new comments do not contradict any of CRS’ claims. Nor do they “reveal a very different picture.” CRS asserted the NCBC reviewed their projects and partnerships and found nothing immoral, which Haas affirmed. That Haas expressed subjective concern and personally advised against the partnership has no bearing on its objective morality.

Imprudent, but Not Immoral

With the backstory clear, I’d like to offer my own defense of the morality of CRS’ partnership, but I need to make several things clear.

First, I’m a huge fan of LifeSiteNews. I think they do incredible work in defense of the unborn, and they’re a bright light for the Church. God bless them for their work.

Second, I think LifeSite has good intentions in this case. They don’t want the Church to reject sin verbally while supporting it financially; in essence they don’t want hypocrisy. And I’m with them there. Donations from Catholics should never be applied to anything counter to Church teaching. If in fact CRS channeled donations to support abortion or contraception, the group deserves nothing less than firm repudiation.

Third, I’m no moral theologian. I’ve read a lot of Catholic moral theology and consider myself well-versed, but I’m certainly open to critique.

Fourth and finallly, CRS is not the Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD). The two have been lumped together in many discussions I’ve seen, but they’re worlds apart in terms of their commitment to Catholic identity. CCHD routinely used donations for projects directly counter to Church teaching—their partnership with ACORN being the most infamous. While I’ve personally worked on several CCHD projects locally, I strongly affirm the need for reform and I stopped donating because of it. Nevertheless, CCHD is not CRS.

With those qualifications, my contention is this: CRS’ partnership with CARE may have been imprudent, but it was certainly not immoral.

Was the partnership foolish? Sure. Was it avoidable? You bet. Did it stain CRS’ reputation? A big, definite yes.

But was it wrong? Was it unethical? Was it sinful or heretical in any way? No, across the board. And here are three reasons why:

1. Association doesn’t equal endorsement. It’s a basic fact that partnering for a project does not imply the two parties completely endorse each other’s views. When I serve sandwiches at the local homeless shelter with my virulently pro-abortion friend, I’m not endorsing his views on abortion by feeding the hungry alongside him. In fact, by boldly witnessing to my own views, there’s the small possibility that they rub off on him, causing his views to shift through our partnership.

On the other hand, can dubious associations confuse people, especially when the areas of disagreement are muddy? You bet. In this particular case, CRS certainly could have been more clear in its rejection of CARE’s other work. But a failure to clarify is not participation in evil, nor a promotion of it. Simply put, feeding the hungry or digging a well alongside someone does not mean you promote his views on abortion.

(This, by the way, is why the Vatican works with the United Nations even while objecting to UN policies that promote contraception.)

2. CRS did not fund contraception or abortion. The question of fungibility is key, as mentioned above. It determines whether CRS indirectly financed the pro-abortion, pro-contraception work of CARE or not. In this case, John Rivera asserted that the grant to CARE is non-fungible. Dr. Haas, even though he disagreed with the grant on different grounds, confirmed the same thing. This fact silences the charge that CRS channeled donations to CARE’s immoral work by partnering with them on other developmental projects.

3. Imprudence is not necessarily immoral. Catholic moral theology differentiates between immoral actions—those that are inherently sinful—and imprudent ones. Imprudent choices are ones that are “not careful or sensible; not marked by sound judgment.” Or to say it more colloquially, they involve making a bad call, a poor decision.

Immorality is always wrong, without question. Imprudence, though foolish, is not always evil.

Don’t Abandon the Ship; Help Fix It

Few would doubt CRS chose to enter an imprudent partnership. Most of us would agree it was a mistake, an error, a bad call by any measure. One has to only gauge it by its fruits: the partnership caused significant scandal, turned away many donors, and tarnished CRS’ otherwise admirable image.

Yet still, that doesn’t make the partnership immoral. Or evil. Or sinful.

I think Dr. Haas says it best in the LifeSiteNews article:

“Even though the grants going to CARE are for very laudable and indeed life-saving initiatives, I believe that these very strong public positions taken by the President of CARE in complete opposition to the policies and positions of the US Catholic Conference of Bishops would certainly give rise to legitimate theological scandal if not confusion as to why the Bishops would fund such an organization.”

This whole thing could have been avoided if CRS understood the scandal it would evoke. I’m sure they now regret the partnership. But I’m also convinced it will cause them to be more careful in the future.

For us Catholics, it’s not time to jump-ship on CRS. Whenever our boat scrapes rock, our first move should not be to abandon it. Instead we should assess the damage, fix the problems with permanent solutions, and then steer clear of future dangers.

More practically, it means we shouldn’t stop giving to their work (which would do more harm to the poor and hungry than CRS as an institution.) Instead we should encourage our bishops to tighten their oversight on CRS since, after all, it operates under their aegis. Board members should be questioned, policies revamped, and partnerships reevaluated. We should encourage CRS to value prudence as much as morality, and gauge the potential any action has for scandal.

Despite their imprudence, though, I still support CRS and their otherwise life-changing work. I’ll continue donating every month, our kids will fill up their Rice Bowls with coins next Lent, and I’ll support their projects near and far.

I hope you will, too. Few charities do better work in the name of Christ and his Church. And almost none do it as efficiently or faithfully as CRS.

So together let’s help steer this ship forward in the right direction.

And let’s do all we can to strengthen its Catholic identity, not rip the name-tag off its chest.


Dr. John Haas has clarified his own position over at the National Catholic Bioethics Center website. Check it out!


Earlier I complained that LifeSiteNews was deleting comments I posted on their articles. It turns out their commenting system is acting quirky as noted on their homepage, and they’re currently addressing the problem.
(Photo Credit: CRS, Scotsman)

  • Siobhan

    I was a fan and supporter of LifeSite News for a long time, until a friend of mine provided evidence that contradicted one of their articles. Embarrassed, I went to their FB page and asked for more information, several times in fact, and I was ignored. They’ve lost all credibility with me.

  • Peruvian

    Wow this is incredible! I’ve been searching for an answer to this issue and this really helped. You rock Brandon because what you did was for God’s church!

  • Dobrodoc1

    No it’s not.

  • Carela22

    Thank you Brandon. I think you clarified lots…I’m proud of your resolve. I have read all these comments and found myself confused and even grieved. I do not believe that you are “anathema” for sharing this with us. Perhaps we Catholics should stop fighting each other and pray for clarity in all these matters. Firs and foremost, it is a matter of charity. We must treat each other with respect. We are not factions that are against one another.
    Here’s my opinion. Yes Lifesite news does a great work, but this does not by any means give them infallibility. People on all sides make mistakes. Humans make mistakes. I am not condemning either side, but I hope that we remember who our real enemy is, the one who divides and causes us doubt even to the loss of our faith…
    Also, what do you think the person who was given clean water to drink and a bowl of rice to eat, and medicine for their ailments would think about these arguments? Perhaps we should consider them as well. Some of these people are faced with the horrific temptation of abortion, because they see no way out of their misery. They see no future for themselves or for their children. Have any of you been to one of these places? Places where children are walking barefoot through the trash heaps, looking for food? Where mothers suffer watching their children die slowly due to starvation and disease? I have been to one of these places, I lived in one of these countries. It was the kindness of strangers that brought hope, brought life. The pro life movement and the social justice movement are not opposing factions. They are groups that should work together to bring an end to the culture of death.
    I will pray for both sides and for solutions to these problems. Real solutions not empty talk and accusations. The church must continue her mission of charity and the end of abortion and contraception. These are not two separate causes. I fear that some see it as such.

  • (Note: I’ve edited my comment so that no bad intentions were presumed. LifeSiteNews *did* misquote (or at least mischaracterize) Dr. Haas in their article’s headline, which they admit. I can’t say whether it was done intentionally though so I shouldn’t have assumed bad motives. I removed that part from my comment. Mea culpa!)

    This is my last comment on this post though the comboxes will certainly remain open for your own discussion:

    My original reason for defending CRS’ commitment to Catholic morality was that LifeSiteNews misled their readers in their reporting.

    I’m still convinced of that, and it has only been confirmed by their newest update. In their latest post, LifeSiteNews accuses CRS of “spinning the news.” Yet in the very same article they admit to misquoting Dr. John Haas in a headline, which had the disastorous effect, intentional or not, of damagaing CRS’ reputation. It made it seem as Dr. Haas’ claimed the grant was immoral and advised CRS to avoid it, yet they chose it anyways. That is simply untrue.

    • Papabile

      Nice…. you’ve gone from stating this:

      First, I’m a huge fan of LifeSiteNews. I think they do incredible work in defense of the unborn, and they’re a bright light for the Church. God bless them for their work.

      Second, I think LifeSite has good intentions in this case. They don’t want the Church to reject sin verbally while supporting it financially; in essence they don’t want hypocrisy. And I’m with them there.

      to now saying this:

      “My original reason for defending CRS’ commitment to Catholic morality was that LifeSiteNews intentionally exaggerated CRS’ imprudence and misled their readers in their reporting.”

      Nice. Nice. Nice……

      First they had good intentions, now they “intentionally exaggerated CRS’ imprudence and misled…”

      Which is it?

      Oh, yeah, I forgot, one can both have good intentions while intentionally exaggerating and misleading…..

      It’s good to know you’re a “huge fan” of them.

    • Papabile

      I do not think Dr. Haas would claim that “theological scandal” is within the realm of that which is moral.

  • ForChristAlone

    Brandon, given all that you have to say in defense of CRS, the fact that they actually REPRESENT the bishops of the USA and that they are using money donated to them by Catholics, would you publicly recommend that all those working for CRS sign a statement of allegiance to ALL that the Catholic Church teaches – including specifically matters pertaining to abortion, contraception, same sex “marriage” and a homesexual lifestyle? If everyone working for this agency were to sign such a declaration, I would be more than happy to resume my donations to CRS and recommend that others do likewise.

    • Deacon Ed, thanks for the comment (and your others as well)! Of course I *wish* such a statement would be signed, but it won’t for several reasons–many of which are less than nefarious.

      For example, one thing people often forget is that even though CRS operates under the aegis of the bishops, and even though they are supposed to be the official international Catholic charity of the American Church, Catholic donations make-up a small percentage of their income. Some 80% of the funding comes through government grants, which has huge implications for the requirements they can place on employees.

      I may be wrong, but I don’t think they would be *allowed* to ask employees to sign such a statement, even if they wanted to.

      (You can see how tricky a tightrope CRS has to walk. They have to vigorously maintain their Catholic identity while not being *too Catholic* for government standards. Some may say, as many of my friend have, that the first step to CRS re-claiming its Catholic identity is to reject all government funding–to immediately refuse that 80%. While some Catholics, like yourself, might give more if they made such a move, I doubt it would make up the monumental difference. Cutting out 80% of their funding that would have disastrous effects for their work around the world and the developing countries that depend on it. Quite simply, I don’t know the answer to the problem other than to work within the tension.)

      • ForChristAlone

        When I was the Director of my diocese’s Catholic Charities, we were necessarily small in comparison to similar diocesan agencies because we did not accept a dime of Federal funds. I was very happy about that because I interpreted all that we did, small in scope as it was, as a ministry of the Church and never had to worry about the compromises faced by CRS, CCHD, Catholic Charities USA, etc. .

        And yes, I would recommend that the Church accept NO money from the government as that will allow us to be faithful to Christ without any of the current and future problems that such entanglements will bring. Mark my word that the day is upon us when we will have to face this reality; we will have to choose between God and mammon. If you think for a moment that the Federal government will continue to give grants to the Catholic Church without strings attached, I have a bridge to sell you. As the Holy Father has avered: the Church might just have to get smaller if it is to remain faithful.

        And, lastly, I do believ that requiring ministers of the Church who represent the Church in an official way (social ministry is included) to sign affadavits of belief in Church teachings. Bishop Loverde in Arlington recently did this, as did Bishop Vasa when he was in Oregon. We need to insure that those who work for the Church in official capacities fully represent the Church. If someone cannot do so, they can take their talents elsewhere (like CARE or Planned Parenthood).

  • Gabriel Austin

    Are we talking about the Roman Catholic Church? With its headquarters in Vatican City? Are there no charitable organizations within the Church to whom resources be given? Ever hear of the Daughters of Charity? I could name several dozen other solid Catholic orders which need money. Off hand – St. Patrick’s Missionaries, Columban Fathers, Bishop of Sudan, and on and on.
    Meanwhile the CARE organization [a “humanitarian” group – that weasel word] has income of over $500 million annually; it’s pro-abortion CEO is paid $400,000 annually.

    Discussions about material cooperation with evil and trivial comments about syllogisms are college stuff.

    Charity begins at home; it is also best supervised at home . [It is called subsidiarity]. Giving Catholic money to the poor is best handled by Catholic organizations of which there are several hundred thousand.

    • I could name several dozen other solid Catholic orders which need money

      Gabriel please do so. I agree with Michael Voris best part is at 5:06-5:54

  • joseph konieczny

    An exercise in dielectics. The defense is over wordy indicating the author”..doth protest too much.” How can one be perfectly sure that some official of CARE can subvert the intent?

  • You’re defense of CRS reminds me of some people’s defense of the nuns. No one is saying the nuns are bad, but the LCWR needs correction due to the manner in which they have expressed their faith in action. Similarly, CRS is a swell organization as your preface seems to suggest, but they screwed up – uncessearily caused a scandal – and they need to HUMBLY admit to that error, promise to do better, and move on.

    I’m about tired of them defending their actions. Just take your knocks and offer a mea culpa and move on. Could you imagine Mother Theresa defending a mistake? That’s not the path of sainthood.

    Greatly disappointed by this whole scandal and in those who defend it. As to your question about scandal – this scandal is passive – scandalum datum and acceptum, but not infirmorum.

    • But there’s a categorical difference between a group of nuns teaching outright heresy and CRS making an imprudent judgement that is in no way sinful, immoral, or heretical.

      • I agree there is a difference. My point in drawing the comparison out was only demonstrate how people stand up for the person (fine) as a pretense to excuse that person’s actions (not fine). Your preface grounded your apology for CRS as a defense of their actions by virtue of the person. It’s a non-sequitor defense of an indefensible action.

        I don’t know if anyone sinned in this case – God knows, but it is a fact that they have caused a passive scandal. One which may now give liberty to other Catholic Charities and to Christians to donate to CARE and organizations like it.

        When organizations like Notre Dame and CRS do things they set the example for others. This was a horrible example of charity and use of donations that I pray no one follows.

        Anytime I see an organization having to defend themselves as much as CRS has over the past few days – even sending me tweet after tweet – I become very suspicious. Virtue doesn’t need defense. Moreover, again, a mea culpa and ‘we’ll do better next time’ would have sufficed, but it seems pride has gotten in the way of humility.

        • First, my preface did not ground my “apology.” It was meant to affirm, through anecdote, CRS’ commitment to Catholic identity–a point that is incredibly relevant here.

          Second, I’m not apologizing for anyone, either in the sense of “excusing” or “defending”. I clearly admitted CRS’ missteps and imprudent decision-making..

          Third, I don’t agree with this:

          “This was a horrible example of charity and use of donations that I pray no one follows.”

          I don’t see how this was a horrible example of charity. 100% of the money went toward food, water, and basic nutritional programs. None of the money went to anything outside of the project, nor to fund any off CARE’s contraception of abortion work. So how are these acts of charity “horrible”?

          Also, the claim that virtue doesn’t need defense sounds noble at first glance, but it’s not true in practice. Take, for instance, priests wrongly accused of abuse. Or Mother Teresa wrongly accused of living a lavish lifestyle. Are you suggesting it’s wrong, or a sign of immorality, that one defends the truth and corrects unjust distortions?

          In my opinion, LifeSiteNews jumped the gun on their accusations, and stirred up needless scandal, and therefore my post was simply written to fill in the details and unravel some of the false charges.

          • On your third point I I think CRS now agrees at least in part with me according to a tweet I received today:

            CRS News [email protected]
            @yosephdaviyd Yes, Haas’s prediction of theological scandal was correct. But we worked hard then, and now, to address it.

            Does virtue need defending? I just don’t think truth ever needs to be ‘vigorously’ defended, I’ll say. Jesus was silent during his persecution. We can offer explanation of our actions, but more than that can tend towards pride, rather than humility and trusting God with the results of obeying Him.

            I found that to be an interesting take by you that LSN is the one who caused the scandal . . .

            Blessings and Shalom – Please continue your unprofitable service to God.

          • David, thanks again for the comment and for sharing the tweet.

            Just because you defend an action against unfair allegations doesn’t make the action wrong by nature. In other words, it doesn’t make sense to judge the virtue of an action by whether people defend it or not.

            Regardless, I never claimed CRS’ partnership was virtuous and I’m not defending it as such–only that it was not immoral or sinful.

  • davidphilippart

    The only “scandal” here is LifeSiteNews’ arrogant self-righteousness. Every day, every one of us spends money on things big and small that goes to institutions and people who support abortion. It’s unavoidable. That does not make us all culpable. Maybe the owner of the McDonald’s where you bought lunch yesterday sends money to a group that supports abortion. CRS does great work. It does not support abortion in any way. The only damage being done to the church is by the attitudes and comments being made here.

  • Jason

    At this time in our nation, with all of the discussion surrounding the HHS mandate, contraception, same sex marriage, abortion, etc. we cannot afford to have mixed messages coming out of the USCCB.

    Highly imprudent, but not immoral is probably a good way to describe it. Planned Parenthood supposedly operates the same way in that they claim that the money taken from taxpayers, which they receive, is not going towards abortions. However, I can’t imagine that anyone here would suggest that this makes it morally acceptable for a Catholic organization to donate money to Planned Parenthood. Doing so would be highly imprudent and would cause great harm to the many efforts of pro-life Catholics around the country, and indeed the world.

    Its well past time that the offices of the USCCB and the organizations they affiliate with start paying closer attention to the scandal which is caused by actions which are taken. How many faithful Catholics have been disillusioned because of associations such as this one through the years? How much ammunition and cover has been given to the enemies of the Church and those who seek to destroy her because of associations such as this? How much damage has been done to the propagation of Catholic social teaching because of associations such as this? It is obviously hard to quantify these things, but even a conservative estimate would have to say that the numbers would be large.

  • RaymondNicholas

    Allow me to suggest a different point of view of the matter.

    First, the Church is challenged with major problems both within and without. There is no need to list the issues. Suffice it to say the sharks will attack at the least provocation. By sharks I mean those who hate the Church, not those who wish to protect her from stumbling. It would be a duty incumbent upon any person in authority or group representing the Church by use of her name to give the appearance of avoiding a conflict of interest. That the CRS would be party to an organization which defines in its core mission activities that are at odds with Church teaching should have been known by the CRS, and they should not have been associated with CARE from the start. This is a major lapse in judgment. It may not be a sin per se, but it was a very unwise decision and rightly causes scandal.

    Second, the fungible money argument does not apply and detracts from the main arguments opposing CRS involvement with CARE. Consider Planned Parennthood. They kill the innocent unborn and they provide health services not related to killing the unborn. One very bad thing and one good thing. In order to accomplish both missions, PP must incur a number of general and admin costs NOT related to the direct costs associated with either operation. These overhead costs, which are not insignificant, allow PP to organize and manage its affairs, such as fundraising, public relations, and political engagement, not to mention the more mundane operating costs of acquiring and maintaining property, plant, and equipment, human resources, accounting, etc. Without the ability to subsidize these costs among many different product or service lines, the burden of supporting these costs would fall to one segment of business and cause PP major financial harm. The CRS, by granting funds to CARE to operate one its lines of business, enables CARE to subsidize its other programs through CARE’s overhead allocations.

    Finally and most important, CRS should understand the context of its decision-making. Under the guise of population control and “care” for poor people, which really means unwanted people, the UN, the USA, and private entities such as the B and MG foundation encourage poor people NOT to propagate. CARE is wholly in sync with these efforts and I would say such is its underlying mission. Remember that the ends justify the means. The means may be overt and evil or overt and good. CARE, by providing good services to poor and needy people will gain entry into their hearts, minds, and stomachs, thus enabling CARE to foster their other programs on unsuspecting people, and to encourage the people to support other population control entities. Such a notion is both plausible and insidious.

    • “Second, the fungible money argument does not apply and detracts from the main arguments opposing CRS involvement with CARE.”

      I’m not sure how it does not apply. It is, in fact, the central hinge on which the relationship’s morality swings.

      Your comparison to Planned Parenthood is not accurate precisely because money given to PP *is fungible*, i.e. money given for breast cancer screenings can and does go into a general pot not separate from their abortion funds.

      This is not true for the funds CRS granted CARE. They are not used for non-project administrative costs, nor for advocacy, not for other costs outside of the project.

      Another fact is that CARE would not have performed this work unless the grant was given. This is key. It is another piece of evidence that all the money CRS gives to CARE as a part of this grant only goes to the projects they’re working on (since CARE has already budgeted enough money for all their other projects.)

      Both CRS and the NCBC have rigorously examined the financial and moral implications of the grant, having much greater access to the details at play, so unless you have proof or other details beyond mere conjecture, there’s little ground to accuse the money of being fungible.

      • RaymondNicholas

        You have misinterpreted my notion regarding fungible assets. My argument is not related to direct sources and uses of funds where such funds can be discreetly segregated or commingled by choice. It has to do with funding the indirect costs of the operation, and that is a real consideration not to be ignored.

        If you have ever been engaged in running multi-segment operations, and I think you have not, then you would know that the financial surpluses of each segment are needed to support the indirect overheads of the operations as I mentioned in my first post. In granting operations, as a general rule, a reasonable factor is allowed, such as a % of the direct costs, to cover indirect costs. These concepts are SOP in managing the finances of such entities, and if the CRS mirrors the rules and regulations of governmental organizations chapter and verse on grants, then what I have said is correct.

        Secondly, IMO, CRS has engaged in a conflict of interest by supporting an organization that operates contrary to Church teaching. In my accounting profession I have learned that the appearance or perception of collaboration is enough to discredit the professional. Under our code of ethics such associations are to be avoided. Should it be no less for the Church?

        Thirdly, such collaborations aids CARE in their overall mission to contracept and abort the poor people in the countries in which they operate. Perhaps not in a direct obvious manner financially, but indirectly.

  • TRD

    “I’m sure they now regret the partnership.” Brandon, could you please support this statement with some evidence.

    • As I mentioned, the partnership caused significant scandal, turned away many donors, and tarnished CRS’ otherwise admirable image. I’ll concede that “I’m sure” may have been too strong a statement, but I think it’s highly likely they would re-consider the partnership if possible.

  • Papabile

    Here’s a nice article by Germain Grisez on CRS’s stepping over the bounds previously on condoms…..

    Wow… Imagine that!

  • John Rangel

    Brandon, Thank you for your objective review of the facts concerning the CRS/Care issue. We all make “bad calls” in life. CRS deserves our ongoing support. This incident should prompt CRS to strengthen its due diligence effort when issuing grants..

  • Kathleen Burke

    Were this CRS’s first offense, I’d let it go. However, they kept this woman on the payroll and had her publicly representing CRS after this incident. Out of respect for CRS’s supposed good work and respect for life I did not publicise this connection last year. There is clearly an institutional problem that must be addressed.

  • Papabile

    Relevant extract from Haas’ statement (

    However, there is another dimension to the Principle of Material Cooperation: the consideration of the risk of scandal. Even if cooperation with an evildoer to achieve some great good were morally legitimate it still could not be done if the action of the Catholic would lead others to believe that the Catholic Church were indifferent to the evil, such as, for example, contraception.

    In this case, the NCBC was gravely concerned about the risk of scandal that could arise from a Catholic agency cooperating with an organization that consistently took such strong public positions at odds with the Catholic Church, such as advocating contraception and abortion. We strongly cautioned CRS of the problems of misunderstanding that could arise with a grant to CARE and urged them to repudiate the public advocacy of abortion and contraception by the leadership of CARE. Incidentally, at its website, under Frequently Asked Questions, CARE now states: “CARE does not fund, support, or perform abortions.” The NCBC welcomes that statement which could not be found at the website of CARE when the review was done. At that time there was, however, the congressional testimony of the President of CARE, Dr. Helene Gayle, calling for the rescinding of the “Mexico City Policy,” which forbids the use of U.S. foreign aid for abortions. That statement is still at the website. It was because of such public positions antithetical to the positions taken by the U. S. bishops that the NCBC thought that there should be a public repudiation of such CARE positions by CRS. CRS responded to our concerns about the risk of scandal by incorporating into their mission statement the following:

    As a part of the Universal Church, Catholic institutions are our partners of preference in our work. To reach all those who need our help, we also participate in humanitarian initiatives undertaken by a wide range of groups, such as governments, other faith communities and secular institutions. Although some positions and practices of these institutions are not always consistent with the full range of Catholic teaching, CRS’ association with them is always and only focused on activities that are fully consistent with Catholic teaching. Furthermore, CRS neither facilitates, endorses nor enables any violation of those teachings. CRS and its board of bishops and laypersons have a careful review system to ensure fidelity to Catholic moral teaching and to ensure that all funds under CRS’ direct control are used only for purposes complying with that teaching.

    • Thanks for sharing the link! I just added it to our main post above.

      I would agree with everything Dr. Haas said in his clarification. He never describes CRS’ relationship as immoral or sinful, only that it has the potential for scandal *if it would lead others to believe that the Catholic Church were indifferent to the evil, such as, for example, contraception.*

      This certainly doesn’t meet that definition. Is anybody convinced the Catholic Church as a whole–not just CRS–is indifferent to the evil of contraception as a result of this project?

      I would also add that CRS went to great lengths to avoid this misperception. They publicly repudiated CARE’s stance on contraception and abortion on their website, they very clearly noted their own objections to each of these practices in their revamped mission statement, and they confirm in no uncertain terms their devotion and commitment to Catholic moral teaching.

      • Papabile

        I believe the Catholic Church in the United States IS largely indifferent to the evil of contraception.

        I base it on my past experience working at the NCCB in the 90’s. (Many VERY good people and genuine Catholics there — many many bad.) I do not believe the Bishops are committed to addressing this and are pretty much indifferent in many ways.

        CRS’ actions have only reinforced that belief for me.

        So, either my belief is objectively true, or it is wrong and wrongly influenced by CRS – hence scandal.

        Which is it?

        • I think you’re setting up a false choice.

          When you read Dr. Haas’ quote in context, it seems to refer to the “Catholic Church” as a teaching body–not in the sense of the sum total of individual Catholics. Understood in that sense, I don’t think there’s confusion about where she stands on contraception. The Church clearly repudiates it in her Catechism, Tradition, and teaching Magisterium, and CRS publicly stated their own opposition, too.

          I think it’s a big leap to say that by working with CARE to deliver food and water, *while also* explicitly noting their disagreement with CARE’s contraceptive policies, CRS is communicating that the Catholic Church is indifferent to contraception.

          Regardless, your last comment veered into a general critique of the bishops and has little to do with the specific partnership between CRS and CARE.

          • Papabile

            No, I am actually referring to the teaching body of the Bishops in the United States, not the “sum total of individual Catholics”.

            Working at the NCCB was, in itself, a scandalous experience.

            With that said, you are right, there’s no question what the formal Magisterium teaches. Except, of course when national Conferences almost as a matter of policy undermine the formal teaching authority with their own limited authority. Or, when individual Bishops do so explicitly.

            What that action by CRS did was only further convince me that there are many (notice I do not say all) Bishops who want to formally undermine the teaching.

            It contributes to it and further convinces me of it.

            It’s scandalous what the USCCB allows regularly, and this individual action by CRS is scandalous in and of itself.

            Furthermore, there will be more scandal when the next organization associated with the Bishop’s Conference does something like this.

            I give it about three months.

            Oh, and by the way, having worked in politics in DC for over 20 years, I am absolutely positive that this will contribute directly to Administration briefs before courts to force Catholic Health Care to provide contraception.

          • Papabile

            Furthermore, if it is a “false choice”, complete the syllogism and refute it.

          • Syllogism:

            Premise 1: There are only two possibilities: either your belief [that the Catholic Church is largely indifferent to contraception] is objectively true, or it is wrong and wrongly influenced by CRS.

            Premise 2: Your belief is not wrong.

            Conclusion: The Catholic Church is largely indifferent to contraception.

            I would object to both premises, but the first premise is the false choice. Could there perhaps be a third option? That the Catholic Church is in fact *not indifferent* to contraception? By ignoring this possibility you’re presupposing your conclusion.

            (There are several other possibilities, though, including these two:

            – Your belief that the Catholic Church is indifferent to contraception is in fact *subjective*

            – The Catholic Church as a whole *is* indifferent to contraception but CRS has little to do with it.)

          • Papabile

            Um no. The syllogism is structured thusly:

            Premise 1: My belief is objectively true and the Church in America is largely indifferent to contraception; or,

            Premise 2: My belief is wrong, and I was subjectively misled by CRS’ actions.

            Those are the two premises. You cannot conflate the two into one as you did above.

            It is binary syllogism, not a polysyllogism.

          • I’m not quite sure you understand how premises, conclusions, and logic actually work, but it doesn’t matter; my objections remains. Two points:

            1) Again, I think you’re using “Catholic Church” to mean “individual American Catholics” which is not what Dr. Haas’ meant by the terms in his quote. By changing the definition, you’re changing the argument and making it irrelevant.

            Under your definition, Premise 1 may be true. But the Catholic Church, defined as the magisterial teaching body guided by the Holy Spirit, is clearly not indifferent to contraception. I objected to your original statement on the grounds that “Catholic Church” is defined in the context of our discussion, as Dr. Haas’ defines it.

            2) The two Premises above again present a false choice. There are several other possibilities outside of “you being objectively right” or “you being wrong and misled by CRS”. The most likely alternative is that your belief that “the (magisterial) Catholic Church is indifferent to contraception” is objectively wrong *and* it was *not* because you were misled by CRS.

          • Papabile

            I studied philosophy at a pontifical university. I understand syllogisms well.

            Perhaps you could assert that I have a third premise and you can resolve it then using a modified disjunctional method. Or, perhaps you are asserting an existential fallacy, or illicit treatment of the major term?

            I stated it was a subjective fact that CRS (which I never said “misled”) but contributed toward convincing me of the indifference.

            Again, it is not a polysyllogism.

      • Michelle Thuldanin

        You’re such a gentleman. It’s refreshing.

  • Papabile
  • Papabile

    Let’s put it this way….. if one person slurs the Church or leaders of the Church because of remote material cooperation with evil that CRS may have committed by funding CARE, that is scandal.

    I think we could objectively say that’s happened.

    • I’m not sure I completely agree with your first paragraph. By your definition, Jesus would be guilty of scandal for eating with prostitutes and tax collectors since it caused several people to slur him and his followers. Many people in the early Church slurred St. Paul and other Christians for eating meat offered to idols (surely remote material cooperation with evil.)

      And by your definition, it would be objectively wrong for me to make sandwiches for the homeless alongside my pro-choice friend if it causes a single person to slur my faith.

      The reality though is that remote material cooperation is not objectively evil, though it is to be avoided where possible. CRS’ John Rivera explains this in the comment boxes of the CRS response I linked to above:

      “In the terminology of moral theology, [in this case] there is no formal cooperation with evil, although there might be legitimate remote mediate material cooperation with evil, which is allowed according to the teaching of the Church for a strong justifying cause, in this case, it is delivering food or clean water to populations which could not be accomplished otherwise.”

      • Papabile

        I think Angelic Doctor would agree. In any case, this is exactly the debate theologians have had for centuries in terms of how to determine the level of cooperation.

        • And beyond that, how to determine whether the “strong justifying cause” outweighs the potential scandal.

          I won’t pretend that’s an easy choice. And in this case, I think CRS miscalculated. But it was an imprudent mistake; not a sinful scandal.

        • Papabile

          And before I forget, one cannot judge the status of the Son of God’s actions, particularly because the full spectrum of public revelation had not yet been completed, nor the expiation of the world’s sins obtained.

          People, therefore, had not the same level of moral expectations, and lived under the old law at that point.

  • Papabile

    No, I disagree.

    Please understand, I do not question that you intended to use the word “scandal” in a secular sense.

    However, I think if you check with Dr. Haas (whom I knew years ago when I worked at the NCCB) you will find he intended to use the word scandal in a theological sense when he uses the terms “legitimate theological scandal”.

    However, causing “legitimate theological scandal” IS a sin, and IS immoral.

    For scandal to occur, it need not actually induce a person to sin, but to be of a nature to induce it. It need not actually cause another person (the neighbor) to sin.

    In a sense, you will never fully know the effect on individuals, but I would guess there is a a high likelihood of passive scandal.

    Why don’t you call Haas and see what he meant? (

    I doubt I am wrong on this.

    • Papabile, I appreciate the conversation, but despite your resolute confidence I still disagree.

      When you (and Dr. Haas) say “theological scandal”, would that be equivalent to the Catechism’s definition of scandal, namely “an attitude or behavior which leads another to do evil”?

      If so, CRS is not guilty of theological scandal since they have not lead anyone to do evil.

      Until you provide proof to the contrary, accusing CRS of scandal is unfair.

    • Also, I received word from CRS that Dr. Haas is planning a clarifying post on the NCBC so I suppose we’ll have to wait and see.

      To be clear, I’m not arguing that their partnership with CARE was *good* or *prudent*–I think we’re on the same page there–just that it is not inherently sinful as has been charged.

      • Papabile

        Note, I didn’t say it was “inherently sinful”, in fact it was probably only remote material cooperation, which I guess would be debatable as to whether this is venially sinful.

        But, if you accept that people may have acted sinfully as a result of this action of CRS funding CARE (whether it be slurring someone in the Church, or making nasty comments), then this actuion was the very definition of active scandal with scandalum datum attached to it.

        Objectively, there is no question this has happened in my mind.

        When you say “provide proof”, this “proof” can only by nature be objective and not subjective proof.

  • Ben

    Why do Carholics always have to choose between helping the poor and cooperatiing with evil? If you sell chicken sandwiches but support life the mayor of Boaston will kick you out of town. But if you promote abortion, contraception or gay marriage the USCCB will shower you with money either through CCHD or CRS or at least give you an award at the next CC USA banquet. Isn’t the ANY way to fund appropriate organizations?

  • Papabile

    Causing scandal IS a sin against Fifth Commandment, so even if the action was fine, by causing scandal one sins.

    Sin IS immoral.

    • Papabile, thanks for the comment. I think we’re using ‘scandal’ in two different senses. In my article above I used it in the secular sense, namely as “a disgraceful event.”

      I think you’re referring to the religious definition. The Catechism defines ‘scandal’ as “an attitude or behavior which leads another to do evil” (CCC #2284).

      Yet under that definition, CRS did not produce scandal. I don’t see how their partnership with CARE led anyone to do evil.

      Would you disagree?

      • george

        Seriously? By that measure it would be ok to give money to a known rapist because his job was downsized to part time, you know to help feed and cloth him, but not for his raping.
        What part of abortion do people not understand as murder? Colluding, supporting, partnering or any reciprocal relationship with groups who fund abortion and abortificants is helping them to do evil. The other thing is that CRS has been doing this for decades; at least since the war in Vietnam. Repeatedly, defenders say, “They could have done a better job or have been more selective” but they have repeated this deliberate unholy alliance for dozens upon dozens of years and keep getting a pass.
        If you’ll excuse me I need to read a couple more articles on CRS teaching kids in Kenya how to masturbate; probably just more
        And by the way Brandon, I enjoyed your discussion with Dr. Marshall, however I am no fan whatsoever of Fr Barron. He is dead wrong on too many issues just like Cardinal Dolan. Don’t take it personal, they are people just like us, subject to sin and transgression just like us, but as they should be, will be held to a higher standard of justice when it comes to speaking and acting against Christ’s Bride.

  • ElizD

    This is the most sensible commentary I have read about this matter. I have been a donor both to CRS and to LifeSiteNews, and I think the tone of LifeSiteNews in this matter has not been really edifying. It’s clear CARE is not a morally sound organization. However it is not a bad thing that Catholic charitable groups sometimes partner with religious or secular groups that don’t believe all the same that we do. We should never be funding immorality, but no evidence has been presented that that occurred here. CRS took a risk of some being scandalized, in favor of helping some truly needy people. I agree with Brandon that their choice was not immoral, though it did blow up in terms of scandal. I think there is a real need domestically and internationally for a growth in groups doing direct service of the works of mercy, with a faithful Catholic commitment. If there was a Catholic group ready to serve the people that were able to be helped through the partnership with CARE, presumably CRS would have funded them to do the work. It is possible they really shouldn’t partner with any group that promotes contraception, regardless of the nature and circumstances of the project. But the people in need should not be forgotten when that is discussed, any more than pro life concerns should be forgotten when the poor are served. The right to life and service to the poor are NOT opposing causes and should not appear to the world to be opposing sides that butt heads.

  • Taylor

    A question is did any of that money that CRS donated go to _any_ operating cost of CARE. I mean, did $X million go, penny-for-penny, to the good stuff, without CARE using some of it to run its facilities, pay its people, etc?

    If any of the money did, then it is immoral because it allows for support of an organization that has certain arms that engage in immoral activities.

    • Taylor, what you’re essentially asking is whether the grant money was fungible. And as stated several times above, the answer is no. This fact was made especially clear in CRS’ response:

      • Taylor

        I understand; what I’m getting at is that you can’t separate parts from the whole. I’m not asking about fungibility for the program; I’m asking about intangible ways the money could have otherwise been used to support CARE.

        I mean, surely part of the grant money was to pay the people to do their jobs? The same people who may provide contraceptives? I mean, are their departments that divisible? Stuff like that.

  • Sam Schmitt

    Although the funds given to CARE were not fungible, and so were not used directly for contraception, couldn’t it be argued that they freed up fungible donations to be used for immoral purposes? I’m not arguing that this makes CRS’s donations wrong, but wouldn’t CRS be better off funding groups that do not pay for contraception at all?

    • Good questions, Sam. The answer to your last one is “yes.” They probably should have partnered with another group that has no contraception or abortion agenda.

      Regarding the fungibility, it can be tough to wrap your head around but re-read the sections above. Since the work that emerged from this partnership *would not have happened* without the partnership’s existence, and since there is strict oversight of how the money is spent, there is no chance it would fund (or free up money for) CARE’s other nefarious work. Both CRS and Dr. Haas (NCBC) affirmed this after an extensive review.

      • tjjc

        I understand the idea of contracting with a group (CARE) that has the resources and the relationship to deliver goods or services that CRS otherwise could not deliver. It would be hard to imagine that CARE would fulfill the terms of the grant at a zero net gain financially. Is CARE taking on this “contract” for free? Is there no financial gain for them? Do we know for certain that 100% of the 5.3 million dollars is being used exclusively to deliver the specified goods and services? According to the CARE website, they operate at a 90/10 efficiency. 90% of the funds being used for program expense and 10% for fundraising and administrative expenses. Is that 90/10 split true of the $5.3 million dollar grant CRS awarded CARE? If 10% of our grant went toward fundraising and administrative expense, then the $5.3 million dollar grant is contributing to an organization that engages in activities that are contrary to the teachings of the Catholic Church.

  • guest

    I wish Lifesite News would be as concerned about pro-life issues when it comes to associating with Catholics who are associated with Anti-semitism. Anti-semitism is not a pro-life Catholic value, just as contraception is not.

  • Nerina

    Hi Brandon. Thank you for this article. My husband and I have contributed thousands of dollars to CRS and it would devastate us to find that we had been funding activities antithetical to our faith. We will continue to donate to the organization, but can I assume that the partnership between CARE and CRS is over now?

    • Nerina, thanks for the comment! I’m glad to hear you’ll continue donating to CRS. That’s what my family is doing, too. I wish I knew the answer to your question, but unfortunately I don’t.

      • Rick DeLano


        CARE funds and supports contraceptions and abortion, as official policy.

        CRS gives them cash.

        Brandon and Narina intend to continue giving CRS cash, without so much as establishing whether the cash will go to CARE, which aggressively promotes and funds contraception and abortion.

        ‘Scuse me, I think I’ll jes mosey on over and take the other side of the bus on this one.

        • Nerinab

          Well, Rick, since you don’t know squat about me or my views and you’d rather just make caustic remarks, I’ll let you think whatever you want. Until more Catholics take the call to live charitable lives and give sacrificially (heck, even not sacrificially – just from excess) seriously, I’ll have to deal with the imperfections of charitable organizations and I’m sure there is not a one without some sort of wart.

    • Stephen_Phelan

      Hello, Nerina. You may be interested to know that CRS has only increased its funding for CARE International since 2010 (actually, they are federal government pass-through grants, but CRS signs up for them year after year knowing where they’re going to go). They have also continued funding Population Services International (for malaria prevention), even though PSI admits that they use legitimate efforts to promote “reproductive health”, which to them is always abortion and contraception. It is part of their operating model – earn trust in a new area through a legitimate project and an introduction from the Catholic Church, then follow up with promotion of abortion and contraception once the original project is complete. There are unfortunately dozens of CRS grant recipients who put a great deal of money and effort into population control, and do so year after year.

      This is how the whole development industry works, and the Church has known this for years (see Evangelium vitae). The Catholic Church must be engaged in the very important work of service and development, but it must find a new way to engage.

  • Tomhughes

    Brandon, a very succinct article. I appreciate your clarification of the “TRUTH”. Also your Christian love permeated your blog beautifully. Thank you and God bless you!

    • jschmutte

      Every time someone exposes the wrongdoing of the USCCB agencies, that someone is accused of not possessing Christian love. Since Brandon is defending them, he automatically possesses Christian love, according to the lib rule book.

      Call me uncharitable, but here’s my analysis:

      1) Fungibility is fungibility. If CRS is helping CARE do one thing, CARE can concentrate on doing more of the other things it wants to do. When you do my laundry, I can clean my garage more often. Period. In economics, this issue falls under the topic of “Opportunity Cost”. If there were no opportunity value in the donation, why would CRS make it and why would CARE want it? What difference does it make if CRS is helping CARE by acting as an intermediary with the government? If CRS didn’t act as the intermediary, CARE would have to spend time, effort and money (opportunity cost) finding someone else to be the intermediary. CRS is helping CARE and that help is fungible, by definition.

      2) The same kind of left-wing bishops/bureaucrats that oversee CCHD oversee CRS. Why would anyone trust what CRS says and USCCB rubber-stamps when they’ve heard the same kind of lies in defense of CCHD. Reminder — despite the overwhelming evidence of CCHD’s corruption, only a dozen bishops have discontinued support.

      3) The chief executive of CARE, Helene Gayle, is not only pro-contraception, she is stridently pro-abortion, and she works directly against Church-teaching at every turn. She and CARE get tremendous credibility from the CRS partnership. That makes fund-raising from Catholics much easier. And that makes the CRS donation immoral, not just imprudent.

      4) CRS claims they have initiated a publicity campaign to explain that they don’t endorse all of CARE’s agenda. What percentage of the people who are aware of the CRS/CARE partnership ever see whatever “internal and external communications” CRS puts out to separate themselves from CARE’s immoral activity? I’m guessing it’s very low. And I would love to see exactly what CRS says about CARE in those communications. Perhaps Brandon should check into this before defending CRS any further.

      • Rick DeLano

        Thanks, jschmutte.

        Spot on.

        The continuing disastrous scandal here, and the obstinate refusal of the bureaucracy to reform its practices, leaves me with no choice.

        I’ll support other charities, ones which I do not have to wonder whether the cash is going to advocates of industrial scale child slaughter.

      • Patrick Menconi

        Good points Rick. I bet if CRS donated these “non-fungible” funds to a racist organization
        or who opposed global warming, Brandon & his supporters wouldn’t be so
        quick to defend CRS. I went to a Chicago event to prevent teen pregnancy. A Catholic Charities rep distributed brochures promoting contraception. When I contacted the director, Mnsgr Boland, he supported it. Unfortunately, this is the faithless leadership we have to deal with today.

  • BINGO, Brandon. You hit the nail right on its head. CRS does work that no one else does. Their employees have always struck me as committed to upholding, proclaiming, and living Catholic social teaching. But no one organization – Catholic or non-Catholic – is perfect, and while CRS did nothing immoral, they certainly will learn from this scandal. We who know the truth and have seen their good work should pray for them and continue supporting them.

    Thank you for taking the time to uphold CRS. I, too, was disappointed to see a complete lack of support for them online.

    On another note, LifeSiteNews would do well to re-examine journalistic standards. I’ve seen too many articles on their site that do too much “implying” and not enough “reporting” and this has, unfortunately, led me to distrust them entirely as a source for factual information.

© 2016 Brandon Vogt