How "Catholic" is Catholic Relief Services?
Full Report on CRS-Madagascar Released Today

Steven Mosher
(c) 2013 Population Research Institute
Weekly Briefing
4 September 2013
Reproduced with Permission

Population Research Institute (PRI) today released its full report on the activities of Catholic Relief Services (CRS) in Madagascar. The 118-page report is based on a month-long investigation by a PRI investigator and includes lengthy interviews with over 40 interviewees. The report also includes recommendations for action from PRI's president, Mr. Steven W. Mosher.

Population Research Institute hopes the report will assist CRS in carrying out needed reforms of its USAID-funded programs. Anne Morse, a PRI researcher who helped to compile the report, noted that earlier efforts by CRS to cast doubt on key points of PRI's investigation are decisively rebutted by the current report.

Says Morse: "The CRS leadership needs to reflect on why so many Malagasies, including key individuals in the Malagasy Church and NGO community, are under the impression that CRS worked more with secular NGOs than with local Catholics. And why are so many Malagasies under the impression that Catholic Relief Services was involved in family planning in the SantéNet2 program? Were all these people just 'confused,' as CRS apparently claims? If so, how did such confusion arise?"

PRI's president, Steven Mosher, notes that PRI undertook this investigation at the behest of several of CRS' major donors. Says Mosher, "We publish this report in the hope that it will provide American bishops, who are ultimately responsible for CRS and its overseas programs, with an opportunity to learn how their charitable agency is perceived by their brother bishops, no less than local Catholics, overseas."

"What constitutes Catholic charity?" continued Mosher. "Does it consist of simply administering huge grants from USAID and other government agencies, with all the compromises of faith and action that such an approach entails? Or does it require, as the Pope Emeritus' recent Motu Proprio demands, that all good works be accomplished in concert with the preaching of the Gospel and the administrations of the Sacraments? Quo vadis, Caritas?"