The Lepanto Institute has just completed an investigative report, which gives conclusive evidence to the fact that CRS stored and dispensed 2.25 million units of abortifacient contraceptives and condoms in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
From 2006-2010, CRS was an implementing partner in a USAID-funded project called Project AXxes. Inventory reports from quarterly and annual reports for Project AXxes show that CRS received and dispensed 2.25 million units of contraception. According to the final report, the total distribution of contraception was broken down to 88,235 doses of Depo Provera (injectable contraception), 56,885 cycles of the oral contraceptive called Lo-Femenal, 44,097 cycles of the oral contraceptive called Ovrette, 1,907 IUDs, 2,025,216 male condoms, 40,891 female condoms, 16 IUD insertion kits, and 18 surgical sterilization kits (called CCV Kits, for the French “contraception chirurgicale volontaire”).
Below is a screen-capture of the inventory report found on page 18 of the Annexes for the First Quarterly Report in Year 3 of Project AXxes.
And here is the data:
What must be understood is that these inventory reports were not maintained in some database somewhere away from the project site, but were conducted through visual inventory accounting that was signed off in triplicate by staff responsible for CRS’s warehouse. Section 3.4.1 of the Project AXxes Administrative, Financial and Operations Procedures Manual states:
A physical inventory of the equipment and supplies will be done quarterly. This is to insure that all the equipment and supplies accounted for are indeed physically present. The inventory will be carried out by a team composed, according their level, of the administrator/manager of the project, the logistician and another member of the team. A report, duly signed by the members of the inventory team and the manager of the stock, must confirm the inventory.
Make no mistake, there was no data entry error here, a country administrator did not accidentally identify CRS in the project (as CRS claimed last year regarding its involvement in Healthy Choices II), and this wasn’t done by some third party acting without CRS’s knowledge or permission (as CRS claimed last year with the implementation of the condom-promoting program called Shuga). On the contrary, these inventory reports were highly detailed, very specific, and signed off in triplicate every quarter. This was not a mistake.
But CRS’s involvement in the storage and distribution of contraception wasn’t limited to merely acting as a warehouse site. According to the quarterly and annual reports, CRS incorporated the message of family planning in all aspects of its work in Project AXxes with the full knowledge that the purpose of Project AXxes’s family planning component was the spread of contraception and the reduction of family sizes. In polite company, this is called “population control.”
There is a great deal more at the link. Now, some commentary on this matter from Human Life International, which is in itself very revealing and insightful:
…….Since I became president of HLI in 2011, we have attempted to work with leaders at Catholic Relief Services (CRS) and the bishops on its board of directors to resolve the situation and strengthen CRS’s mission and work. HLI has respectfully sought the path of subsidiarity in this conversation, attempting to avoid further scandal to the faithful who want assurance that CRS is acting in accord with Church teaching. Sadly, our attempts have produced no fruit. Instead, we have often been marginalized and shut out of the conversation by those who are deeply invested in the secular development model or who believe that such problems could not occur. [The latter refers to the overseeing bishops at the USCCB, who have constantly maintained a head in the sand mentality regarding the giant stack of accusations against CRS -just as they have done with regard to Catholic Charities and CCHD – and attacked the messengers who have brought these scandals to their attention. They are either totally uninterested in reigning in these fantastically unfaithful organizations, or secretly support their operations and objectives. I’ll let you be the judge of that. Different religion.]
It saddens me that the Lepanto Institute has again found a clear case of CRS disregarding its moral obligation to ensure that those receiving funding are in compliance with Church teaching. This public disagreement was not HLI’s first choice, but given our mission, and the very high stakes both for the Church and for those who are harmed by these programs, we cannot in good conscience be silent……
……To put our cards on the table: we at HLI are convinced that CRS has been caught several times implementing projects that are not only utterly incompatible with Catholic social and moral doctrine, but are also destructive for those supposedly “helped.” Challenged on these reports, CRS routinely misleads the bishops and its supporters, issuing denials that assume great ignorance on the part of the reader as to how these complicated projects occur. Further, when such challenges are raised, CRS attacks the messenger’s motives and credibility, dragging good bishops into the fray with statements that are untrue……..
…….CRS receives hundreds of millions of dollars annually from the federal government, and tens of millions more annually from massive NGOs who not only disagree with the Church on these matters, but also together invest billions annually opposing the Church. CRS receives over 80% of its huge annual budget from a government and organizations that believe population control is the primary development priority today, and these organizations don’t hide this—they don’t think they have to. CRS then receives about 3% of its annual income from the Rice Bowl and other pew collections from Catholics, though Catholics certainly give more via other fundraising channels. [Not one dime, folks. And perhaps Catholics would be better served lobbying their legislators to totally defund Church activities at the federal level to help bring this kind of moral outrage to an end]
By way of contrast, the party exposing the government documents showing CRS’s participating in this destructive program, the Lepanto Institute, made less than $100,000 last year. Population Research Institute has also initiated previous investigations and, like HLI, has publicly expressed its concern about CRS when private outreach has failed. To our knowledge PRI’s annual budget is less than half that of the lone project that is the subject of the latest controversy. Same with HLI, as much as I wish it were different!
It is our mission at HLI to preach the Gospel of Life around the world, focusing on education, outreach and advocacy. This is why we are reluctantly involved in this debate: Most of the over 80 nations in which we and our partners are currently engaged are in the developing world, and suffer greatly from the imposition of population control programs disguised as legitimate development and health concerns. That’s how the multi-billion dollar aid and development industry works. It’s also why the NGOs who comprise it have such enormous budgets and so little to show for their decades of work: If the intention was to see these nations develop rather than remain dependent on wealthier nations with their own designs, then those responsible for decades of fruitless efforts would have been replaced long ago.
Sadly, though we believe most in the aid industry do indeed have good intentions, the point of the industry is not to succeed and thus put itself out of business, but rather to keep itself in business by perpetuating the corruption of governments that are unaccountable to their own people, but very responsive to massively funded Western development efforts. It’s economics 101: when your revenue is not tied to the productivity and genuine progress of your own people, but rather is tied to complying with the directives of wealthy parties who have their own priorities, you will never see authentic, integral development.
Great point. So much of the aid industry is so corrupted in its motives and means that they have become a positive impediment to true development, as Fr. Boquet rightly notes.
Fr. Boquet has more commentary, including some thoughts on CRS’ insulting response, which basically assumes people are too lazy to read the Lepanto report and too stupid to recognize a bald faced lie when they see one. This is part and parcel of the widespread hubris of the cultural left, which operates on a principle that people are too dumb to run their own lives and need the “enlightened” direction of their intellectual and moral betters.
The bishops won’t respond, because they don’t want to do anything that will threaten that sweet, sweet taxpayer money they are so addicted to. We need a concerted effort to permanently turn off the tap, and now.