In January, Bp. Frank Caggiano (current primate of the Diocese of Bridgeport, CT and Chairman of the Board for Catholic Relief Services) issued an internal memo to his brother bishops in an attempt to preempt any pending reports on CRS which the Lepanto Institute may have prepared for release during Lent.
In his letter, Bp. Caggiano wrote, “Every Lent, certain provocateurs spread false allegations about CRS,” claiming that the “allegations are not new and rely on misleading interpretations, inaccurate information, or innuendo.”
Bp. Caggiano, in his assumption that that there would be a report on CRS during Lent, also assumed that whatever this report would be, it would contain “false allegations.” Of course, Bp. Caggiano made no attempt to address any specific claims or clarify any of the grave matter contained in past reports, but repeated old dismissals contained in previous rebuffs of our reports.
You can read his letter in full, here.
The Lepanto Institute had no plans on issuing any reports on CRS this Lent, as we were focusing our attention on the Catholic Campaign for Human Development and other projects, but since Bp. Caggiano expected a report, we decided that this would be a good opportunity to address his attempt to exonerate CRS’s condom-promoting documents from last year.
Last March, Bp. Cagginao wrote a letter to his brother bishops regarding the first part in our six-part report on CRS projects in Africa. You can read that letter, here.
Attached to the letter was an addendum which tried to deflect blame for documents published with CRS’s copyright and on CRS’s website that fully promoted condoms as a licit means of avoiding HIV. The addendum also defended other condom-promoting documents published by CRS, claiming that CRS was providing “appropriate and scientifically accurate” information on HIV, including “the failure rate associated with condom use.”
However, these documents insist that “condoms are 98% effective” at preventing HIV, which is a net positive, not a deterrent or negative, as CRS had portrayed it. Furthermore, in providing high-mark statistics regarding the effectiveness of condoms, CRS utterly fails to mention in any way, shape, or form, the grave immorality of using condoms.
The CRS addendum can be read in full, here.
Bp. Caggiano closed his January 2021 letter by indicating that CRS would not be addressing what he calls “false allegations” because it “only provides more material [we] misinterpret, twist, or mischaracterize.”
Of course, this is a convenient excuse for refusing to explain to pew-sitting why CRS was directly referring young girls seeking “sexual and reproductive health services” to an organization called RENATA, which admits to providing all manner of contraception and even taking young girls to obtain abortions. Or why CRS created a health referral network in Cameroon that not only included RENATA, but several other contraception-providing organizations. (see report on Cameroon) It is also convenient for refusing to address a similar health referral network in Nigeria, created by CRS, that included a partner of Planned Parenthood and several other contraception-pushing agencies. (see report on Nigeria) Bp. Caggiano is also dodging the serious issue that CRS is implementing a US Government-created program called DREAMS, which not only identifies the promotion of contraception as a primary goal of the project, but states clearly that “Each partner is responsible for distinct elements of the core package of services, and for ensuring that all adolescent girls and young women who are enrolled in the DREAMS partnership receive all services.” In other words, even if CRS is not working directly to implement the contraception-promoting or providing elements, it must ensure that other organizations do. (See report on DREAMS) Lastly, Bp. Caggiano has excused CRS from explaining to his brother bishops or the Catholic Faithful why CRS purchased and implemented two grossly immoral human sexuality curriculums (Go Girls and Alfateen+). Even if CRS had stripped the elements that promote contraception and graphically illustrate how to use a condom before, during, and after sex, CRS still paid for the curriculums. CRS still introduced the brand to vulnerable people. CRS boosted the business profile of the companies that created this filth. (See report on Go Girls and Aflateen+).
The video above is our response to Bp. Caggiano and his smear of the Lepanto Institute and meritless defense of CRS.
We encourage our readers to forward this article to Bp. Caggiano at firstname.lastname@example.org, respectfully asking His Excellency to provide a detailed explanation for each of the reports.
To assist you with this, we have drafted a letter you can use. We encourage you to tailor it to suit your own language. You can download the letter by clicking here.