American Life League’s Investigative 

Report on Grants by Catholic Relief Services

for the fiscal year 2012


Issued September 2013
Copyright © 2013 by American Life League



Over the course of the past year, several news agencies and pro-life organizations have charged that Catholic Relief Services is funding organizations that undermine Church teaching on human life and morality, as well as authentic, integral human development. Given the public discourse regarding this funding, there remains a great deal of confusion about the nature and extent of the problem, perhaps even doubts that there is a problem at all.

The purpose of this report is to provide the facts. The evidence supports that the problems are real and exhibit a clear and present danger of grave scandal. According to CRS’ IRS Form 990 for FY 2012, CRS granted over $75 million to 47 different organizations based in the United States. This report documents that $64,656,809 went to 23 organizations that promote practices and policies contrary to Catholic moral teaching. This represents 86 percent of CRS’ domestic grants for 2012.

These offenses include:

·               the facilitation, promotion, and in some cases, direct commission of abortion;

·               dispensing and promoting all forms of modern contraception, including abortifacient drugs and devices;

·               facilitating, promoting, and in some cases, direct commission of male and female sterilization.

To be clear, CRS is providing funding and partnering with organizations that directly subvert Catholic moral teaching. The activities of the CRS grantees detailed in this report are not due to coalitions, associations, or tenuous relationships—they are performed directly by CRS grantees. In all cases, these activities represent the focus of these agencies, and in many instances, they are the preponderance of the grantees’ work.

This large collection of evidence demonstrates systemic problems at Catholic Relief Services.

American Life League has met privately, on more than one occasion, with CRS executives. All grave concerns have been routinely dismissed. For this reason, American Life League is compelled to present this fully documented report to the body of the faithful. The sincere hope is that the findings in this report will bring proper understanding and clarity of the facts.

The intent of this report is to help equip the shepherds of the Church to diagnose the problem and swiftly and resolutely take corrective action. Hopefully, that will allow Catholic Relief Services to bring the fullness of charity and truth to those in most need of aid throughout the world.


“The Church is not a charitable NGO.”

– Pope Francis, homily at Missa Pro Ecclesia, May 14 2012


Since at least 1975’s Evangelium Nuntiandi, the Magisterium has spoken of the risk of the Church’s charitable work becoming too secular, of divorcing evangelization from her necessary work of loving service of the poor. Pope Paul VI, while lauding the work of justice and peace of well-intended Christians, warned that letting the Church’s work lose its spiritual dimension, focusing too much on the political or social order would mean that “the Church would lose her fundamental meaning.” (32)

Almost exactly 30 years later, Pope Benedict XVI, following decades of prayerful study and dialogue on the nature of Catholic Charity, released Deus Caritas Est, which laid out a bold new vision for Catholic Charity—a vision with Christ at the center, one that was distinctly Catholic. Adding a note of greater urgency to this teaching, he followed up on his call for a renewal of the Church’s “essential” work of charity with December 2012’s motu proprio, “On the Service of Charity,” which added to Canon Law a groundwork for episcopal oversight of Catholic charitable organizations, and a key criterion for determining what does and does not constitute a morally justifiable source of funding. Hopefully, these documents will form the basis for a new conversation about a renewal of the bishops’ primary charitable organization, Catholic Relief Services.

The fundamental question at the very center of recent concerns is this: Is the current model of CRS operation—one in which CRS receives three-quarters of its funding from federal government and secular organizations, and thus has little control over the ultimate recipients of much of these funds, and sometimes even little control over the implementation of otherwise worthy projects—still the best way for the Church to serve the poor in the developing world? Answering this question is not only very important, it is extremely urgent. Right now, men, women and children (both born and preborn) in the developing world are being crushed by huge NGOs who insist that legitimate development efforts must include abortion, contraception and sterilization. They believe that children are an obstacle to progress, so, through destructive and morally illicit means, they suppress the future generations of Africans, Asians and Latin Americans. This is literally a life or death struggle, with great implications for the communion of the Church, and it is one in which many souls ultimately hang in the balance.


Summary of Findings

The following organizations, which received grants from Catholic Relief Services in fiscal year 2012, are acting in direct opposition to Catholic moral teaching. For each organization listed below, we have included the amount of money they received from CRS and a brief summary of the work they are doing to either provide or promote abortion, contraception, or sterilization. Organizations are listed in order of money granted. The names of the organizations are linked to the evidence contained in the report.


1.      CARE International ($13,880,143) - CARE International is actively promoting and distributing all forms of birth control, has called for the overturning of the Mexico City Policy, promotes deviant sexuality, and is partnered with Marie Stopes International for family planning projects.

2.      Save the Children  ($13,169,755) - Save the Children is actively dispensing all forms of birth control and promoting “sexual and reproductive rights,” especially to adolescents and young adults.

3.      Institute of Human Virology  ($11,778,726) - The Institute of Human Virology (IHV) is distributing and promoting the use of condoms.

4.      Futures Group International  ($4,758,122) - The Futures Group is marketing all forms of birth control to people in the developing world. It is also working to expand access and availability of all forms of contraception, including abortifacients.

5.      World Vision International  ($3,888,914) - World Vision distributes and promotes contraception, especially condoms.

6.      Adventist Relief Agency ($2,903,159) - Adventist Relief Agency (ADRA) is distributing abortifacient contraception, promoting the use of contraception, and working to increase the “contraceptive prevalence rate.”

7.      ACDI/VOCA ($2,649,565) - ACDI/VOCA works to increase the use of contraception among couples, provides contraceptive family planning counseling, and facilitates access to female sterilizations.

8.      Interchurch Medical Assistance ($2,497,442) - IMA distributes and promotes the use of abortifacient contraception.

9.      Land O’ Lakes  ($2,151,903) - Land O’ Lakes is facilitating the distribution of contraception in Kenya.

10.   Africare ($1,650,107) - Africare is distributing condoms while providing contraceptive family planning programs.

11.   International Medical Corps  ($1,370,519) - International Medical Corps is distributing abortifacient contraception and condoms.

12.   Project Concern International  ($1,310,691) Project Concern International distributes condoms and created a “Tool Kit For Sexual & Reproductive Health Programs," which provides sexual indoctrination course material that promotes all forms of birth control and homosexuality.

13.   Helen Keller International ($614,287) - Helen Keller International is training health practitioners in male and female sterilizations and facilitating the distribution of abortifacient contraceptives.

14.   Plan International USA  ($551,067) Plan International USA is distributing condoms, working to increase the “contraceptive prevalence rates,” and training people in the use and distribution of modern contraception.


Summary of Findings, continued ...

15.     American Refugee Committee  ($476,139) - American Refugee Committee is distributing condoms and abortifacient contraception. ARC is also lobbying the Sudanese Ministry of Health to overturn the law which prevents the provision or education on implantable contraception.

16.     JHPIEGO ($282,356) - JHPIEGO is promoting the use of contraception, including abortifacient IUDs and drugs. JHPIEGO is also training physicians on insertion of IUDs.

17.     Medical Care Development International  ($203,100) - MCDI outlined a plan to integrate contraceptive family planning into potable water projects, is selling contraception, and is working to increase access to and knowledge of contraception.

18.     Conservation International Foundation  ($198,778) - Conservation International Foundation is actively working to increase the use of all forms of contraception, including sterilizations.

19.     D Tree International  ($137,514) - D Tree International is working to facilitate access to contraceptives.

20.     Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS  ($94,000) - Elizabeth Glaser is distributing condoms, promoting contraception, and called for the repeal of the Mexico City Policy. Its work is helping to increase the “contraceptive prevalence rates” in some countries.

21.     The Child Fund International  ($61,993) - The Child Fund International is working to facilitate access to contraceptives and increase “contraceptive prevalence rates.”

22.     Young Women’s Christian Association  ($23,447) - YWCA is thoroughly committed to the promotion of abortion and birth control.

23.     Population Services International  ($9,588) - Population Services International is a population control organization thoroughly committed to the spread of abortion and birth control. PSI is distributing abortion kits, training abortion providers and advocating for expanded access to medical and surgical abortions. PSI is also distributing all forms of abortifacient contraception and devices.


Analysis and Conclusion

Even though CRS says it would never fund or partner with Planned Parenthood because “there’s a threshold in terms of what the focus of an agency is, and the preponderance of their work,” the focus of all of these agencies is the spread of birth control, and the preponderance of work for many of them is the spread of abortifacient drugs and devices. Because of the partnerships listed above, CRS is providing funds and prestige to organizations that view the elimination of children as the solution to the problem of poverty. The implied endorsement created by CRS’ partnerships with these organizations is gravely scandalous to people in need; through its funding and working relationships, CRS is providing contraception-and-abortion-pushing organizations access to people in need. This apparent relationship with a Catholic agency cannot but encourage trust in these same agencies when they promote abortion, contraception, and other immoral activities.

American Life League affirms the long history of good work CRS has done for people in great need around the world, and were it not for the current partnerships and grants listed herein, a report like this one would not be necessary. It is the firm belief of American Life League that the Culture of Life cannot make any headway until the Catholic Church severs financial ties with groups such as these. It is ALL’s hope that this report provides the resources necessary to help CRS protect its Catholic identity and Catholic teaching globally as it executes its important mission of helping the poorest of the poor.