Is Anybody There?

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit,' says Yahweh Sabaoth" Zach 4:6 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Dio di Signore, nella Sua volontà è nostra pace!" . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." Ben Franklin 1759

Saturday, August 04, 2012

Catholic Relief Services Has Blown It Big Time, & Now They Refuse to Take Responsibility for Their Actions.

Over the past few years, I have rpeoprted on the huge scandals involving the Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD), as well as the Development and Peace (D+P) scndal in Canada. Earlier this year I shared about the Papa Benedetto's call to Caritas International to clean up its act as well.
The other day I shared about another CCHD scandal involving Obama. I also mentioned the fact that a scandal involving Catholic Relief Services (CRS) has come out. It turns out that CRS gave $5.3 million dollars to CARE, a group that promotes abortion & birth control. CRS tried to justify its actions, saying the money didn't go to any of those activities. I didn't buy it & neither do others in the Pro-life movement.
As I pointed out in that post, I have gotten some mailings from them, & I easily figured out that abortion & birth control go hand in hand with everything they do. I said "If I could figure that out from just reading their brochure, surely CRS could have figured it out as well." I went on to add "The only answer is that they intentionally ignored those facts & went right ahead giving them the money." Or, you could say that they intentionally didn't want to figure things out.


Now it is getting worse, according to LifeSiteNews, CRS is also a dues paying member of the CORE Group. Additionally, CRS is represented on CORE Group’s board of directors by employee Mary Hennigan . It also co-chairs CORE Group’s “working group” on HIV/AIDS through CRS employee Shannon Senefeld.  Guess what, CORE Group is a major advocate for the spread of artificial birth control.
& it gets even worse than that. In 2008, CRS got a $21.8 million grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. As I have pointed out, that foundation is a huge promoter of artificial birth control & abortion. & as I mentioned the other day, the Gates Foundation is a huge supporter of CARE as well.
Throughout all this CRS tries to claim innocence of any misdeeds. “CRS always has taken very seriously decisions we make about the groups with which we collaborate or form partnerships to ensure that we are not violating the Church teachings. We do not fund, support or participate in any programming or advocacy that is not in line with Church teaching, including artificial birth control.”   The only problem is, the above 3 connections prove otherwise.
So, what can be done to ensure that your money you gives goes to groups that uphold Catholic teaching not undermine it? Obviously, the 1st thing is to avoid giving to CCHD, D+P or CRS until they actually do clean up their act. Reform CCHD is 1 group working to see that they do.
If your diocese is like the Archdiocese of DBQ, they may have a 3-in-1 collection that includes CCHD or CRS. Don't give. Don't even designate the money go to one of the other causes. All that will do is free up money from other donors to go to CCHD or CRS. As I have said before, money is fungible. These multiple collections either set an amount or percentage of the collection to go to each cause. So if I give $500 to cause A, that means $500 given by others doesn't have to go to it & can go to CCHD, thus making it just as if you had donated to CCHD.
I would like to suggest a few other places to send you money instead. These are all organizattions that I regularly support myself.
The 1st is Cross Catholic Outreach (CCO). CCO, does all of the outreach to the needy that CCR claims it exists to do, & does it by giving to Catholic ministries out there that uphold Catholic teaching. At this point, I have to ask 1 question, "IF CCO can find them, why can't CRS?*" (You can read more about their core values here.)
When I 1st heard of CCO, I looked into who they were & what they stood for. I didn't have to go very far as I recognized 3 names that I was very familiar with. Well, in 1 case, I should say the father's name. I am refering to Jim Cavnar who founded CCO. I was familiar with his father, Bobbie Cavnar through my involvement with the Charismatic renewal. The next name was Bishop Sam Jacobs who I had met when he was in DBQ. The 3rd name was Sr. Linda Koontz, who had also been in DBQ several times.
Another organization is Aid to the Church in Need. (International here, USA here)  They are "an international Catholic charity under the guidance of the Holy Father, Aid to the Church in Need’s mission is to help suffering and persecuted faithful worldwide." They have a wide variety of programs, including aid to refugees, helping with the formation of priests & nuns,  & helping rebuild churches, schools etc where needed.
In this case, when I 1st got a mailing from them, I knew a little about them. They have regularly had programs on EWTN about their work so I knew how solid they were.
The next 2 are funds that go to aid a specific ministry.
The 1st is Mission to Magadan. I have talked about them in my blog many times. I 1st heard about this on Fr. Benedict Groeschell's show on EWTN when Fr. Michael Sheilds appeared to talk about what he was doing in Magadan, Russia. From the time of Stalin, Magadan was a part of the gulag/ prison camp system. After the end of the Soviet Union, there were huge needs for the people of the area. Because of the former prison camps in the area, there were many victims of that cruel system in need of help, physical, psychological & spiritual.  The Mission has helped these people to be restored to the God given dignity they deserve. Another huge area of work is in the area of Pro-life. Under Soviet rule, abortion was encouraged by the state. The Mission offers women, married & single, who find themselves pregnant, with alternatives to abortion. One of those is Nativity Inn.
There are 2 ways to donate money. The 1st is through Paypal, here. The 2nd is through the Archdiocese of Anchorage, here. (Note: You cannot send money directly to the Mission as they cannot cash checks or convert foreign money.
Finally, we come to the Bishop Gassis Sudan Relief Fund. I first heard of it through a mailing. But it wasn't until Bishop Gassis appeared on EWTN, again Fr. Groeschell's show, that I knew it was OK. Bishop Macram Gassis is the bishop of the Diocese of  El Obeid. The diocese was originally located in the southern part of Sudan, but since the creation of South Sudan, it is located in both countries. For those of you not familiar with the situation, Sudan is a Muslim country. The regime in charge has been carrying out a 20 years plus program of religious persecution, enslavement, rape, torture, starvation & murder against the Christian & non Muslim  population. Over 2.2 million people have died in this much ignored genocide.
In 1988, Bishop Gassis testified to a United States Congressional committee on the massacre of more than a thousand Dinka minorities in southern Darfur, drawing attention to the brutal policies of the Sudanese government toward minority groups at a time when little was known about these atrocities. Due to his testimony Bishop Gassis was forced into exile and set up headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya. Even now, his life is still in danger when he goes back home on relief missions. The rest of his time he spends making people aware of the ongoing genocide. This past week he appeared on EWTN's The World Over as well as the Laura Ingraham show.
The fund helps to build schools & hospitals in the area. They also help to build wells. & they are very active in helping refugees. Despite the seperation of Southern Sudan, the attacks continue, including bombings that often destroy what has been built.
As I said, these are 4 that I recommend you send your money to rather that CCHD, CRS or D+P. There are many others out there as well. & unlike the funds spent by CCHD, CRS & D+P, you can be sure they are upholding the authentic teachings of the Catholic Church & not aiding & abetting in promoting abortion or birth control. 

___________
* Again the only answer I can come up with is CRS doesn't want to.

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