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PARTLOW, Va. (ChurchMilitant.com) - Catholic Relief Services (CRS) has been complicit in promoting contraception and pornographic images to young girls, as well as using curricula that promote masturbation, contraception and abortifacients — and the U.S. bishops have yet to do anything about it.
This is the stark picture painted by Michael Hichborn, president of The Lepanto Institute, who has released his sixth investigative report on CRS and the curricula it utilizes. These curricula promote, actively or passively, behaviors the Church teaches infallibly to be intrinsically evil. The report reveals that the U.S. bishops have been placing souls in jeopardy in the name of helping the poor and vulnerable.
As the charitable arm of the U.S. bishops, CRS has both implemented and promoted comprehensive sexual education curricula that include pornographic images and the promotion of contraception, says Hichborn, and that has given tacit approval to fornication, homosexuality and abortion.
In short, the bishops have been wittingly or unwittingly promoting an anti-Catholic agenda to young people, especially girls, which matches the moral universe of the progressive Left. Whereas Planned Parenthood is explicit in its promotion of culture-of-death hedonism, CRS affiliates are more subtle.
The Lepanto Institute has uncovered two curricula utilized by CRS called Go Girls! and Aflateen. A direct link to Go Girls! is found on a CRS-copyrighted document about its DREAMS/4Children project in Lesotho (southeast Africa) entitled, "Two Plus Two Equals Ten." The CRS-produced document says that the Go Girls! curriculum was adapted for use by CRS Lesotho, and a footnote referencing the curriculum provided a link directly to it.
"The Go Girls! curriculum not only pushes contraception and promotes masturbation," said Hichborn, "but has a pornographic illustration that actually demonstrates the genital use of a condom," he said. "Why on Earth would someone at CRS ever think this curriculum would be acceptable on any level? The leadership at CRS needs to ask why a morally acceptable curriculum wasn't used, because CRS paid for this immoral curriculum and provided it to a vulnerable community."
Hichborn also noted that CRS has implemented a curriculum called Aflateen while maintaining a close relationship with Aflateen's parent company, Aflatoun. As Lepanto has uncovered, the Aflateen curriculum clearly promotes the use of contraception. CRS has been found to be promoting the curriculum to other agencies. In addition to this, Aflatoun has signed a public statement announcing its support for an abortion-funding initiative called "She Decides."
Church officials have noted in the past that whatever curricula CRS uses, it does not promote the parts that are contrary to Church teaching. But, says Hichborn, such curricula "have to be paid for when they are implemented, which means that even if CRS claims to have implemented a sanitized version of them, they still paid for them."
These curricula, he added, "might as well have been created by Planned Parenthood."
"For the last two months," stated Hichborn, "we have been issuing heavily documented proof that there are serious problems with Catholic Relief Services projects, and despite an initial promise to investigate and respond, CRS has yet to address a single concern."
"It is for this reason that we continue to call upon the bishops of the United States to conduct an independent, third-party investigation of CRS and to withhold their support for the agency until such an investigation is convened," Hichborn asserted.
When Lepanto first began its investigation into CRS, Bp. Joseph Strickland of Tyler, Texas drew attention to its analysis. He said on Twitter, "This report by the Lepanto Institute must be proven to be false. If what Lepanto says is accurate, then we should call for a thorough investigation of CRS." The "confusion must stop," Strickland added, affirming that "promoting contraception is immoral and we are reaping sin's devastation."
Nevertheless, still no investigation has been called and there has been no public outrage from the bishops on how these curricula are poisoning innocent souls.
As bishops drag their feet, purposely ignore or remain unaware of the problem, the Lepanto Institute requests that laity and clergy alike sign a petition, which can be found here, urging that an independent, third-party investigation into CRS be launched as soon as possible.
"CRS should not benefit from unsuspecting Catholics in the pews, who think that their donations are only going to feed impoverished Africans," the petition states.