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Archive of August 2, 2013

Indian migrants in Holy Land prepare for Marian feast

Jaffa, Israel, Aug 2, 2013 (CNA/EWTN News) - Preparations for the Feast of the Nativity of Mary this September are already underway in the Holy Land, particularly among Indian migrant workers.

“Mother Mary is revered with great devotion by the Indian community as a mother and a spiritual figure of maternal protection,” said Friar Jayaseellan Pitchaimuthu OFM, head of the Indian Chaplaincy in Holy Land.

She is acknowledged as the “protector and patroness” of the Indian Chaplaincy in Holy Land because she is a “model” for the migrants, he told CNA.

He noted that the Holy Family took refuge in Egypt for safety and settled for livelihood in Nazareth, and that Jesus carried out his apostolic mission in Judea, Galilee and Jerusalem.

Many Indian Catholic migrant workers “seek grace and invoke (Mary's) motherly protection,” he said.

The feast of the Nativity of Mother Mary falls on Sunday, September 8, which is a working day in Israel. Therefore, the feast is being celebrated this year the previous day, which is a weekend holiday.

According to Friar Pitchaimuthu, the September 7 celebration is expected to draw more than 3,000 migrant workers and pilgrims to Jaffa, Israel.

Catholics from coastal part of Western India popularly call the feast day “Monti Fest,” a time to celebrate the harvest with family and thank God for the fruits of the crops.

As part of the celebration, a novena will begin on August 30, kicking off a week of meditations and intercessory prayers leading up to the feast day.

A large, colorful procession will begin at 5 p.m. in Jaffa, followed by Mass celebrated by H.B. Fouad Boutros Ibrahim Twal, Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem.

“There will then be blessing of harvested new grain, followed by a fellowship dinner,” said Friar Pitchaimuthu.

The friar explained that the Marian feast day is particularly important in the Indian context because of its relation to other faiths.

Members of other religions, including Hindus and Muslims, “regard Marian devotions in esteem,” he said.

Thousands of devotees – both Catholics and non-Catholics – flock every week to the Marian apparition site at Velankanni, near Chennai in South India, and other shines that have recorded various miracles, he said. 

In this way, the friar explained, “Marian devotion also leads to a platform for inter-religious dialogue.”

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Teens pack 100,000 meals for poor in Africa

Atlanta, Ga., Aug 2, 2013 (CNA) - Participants at a youth conference in Atlanta helped feed the hungry of Burkina Faso, Africa, by volunteering to package more than 100,000 meals.

“Pope Francis has said that he wants the Church to defend the poor,” said Joan Rosenhauer, executive vice president of U.S. Operations for Catholic Relief Services, which partnered with Franciscan University and Steubenville Atlanta to host the event.

“He reminds us that we are part of the universal Church, whose teachings and traditions transcend all boundaries.”

Teenagers at the Atlanta Steubenville Youth Conference on the weekend of July 19 – 21 assembled a total of 100,386 nutritious meals to be sent to West Africa.

More than 2,500 young people participated, working in 30-minute shifts and completing the project in just two hours.

Gathered in Atlanta’s Gwinnett Convention Center, the volunteers sang and cheered each time they reaching a packing milestone. According to a statement by organizers, the “high-energy atmosphere kept the teens excited.”

The meal packaging took place during one of 18 Franciscan University of Steubenville Summer Youth Conferences held each year throughout the U.S. and Canada. The conferences bring together thousands of teenagers for a weekend of talks, music, Mass, Eucharistic adoration and confession.

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LA Catholics pray for victims as more sex abuse files released

Los Angeles, Calif., Aug 2, 2013 (CNA) - As the first set of religious orders' files on accused sex abusers in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles is released, one leading priest has urged prayer for victims and continued efforts for child protection.

“Please continue to pray for the victims and their families and all impacted by this terrible tragedy in the history of our Church,” said Monsignor Joseph V. Brennan, Moderator of the Curia and Vicar General for the L.A. archdiocese.

“Let us all continue to remain vigilant and work together to protect children and young people from all harm,” he added in an Aug. 1 message to priests, deacons, parish life directors and principals of the archdiocese.

“The archdiocese and our Catholic community of faith in Los Angeles remain committed to the assistance of victims, protection of children and the prevention of abuse.”

The file release is part of the $660 million abuse settlement reached in 2007. The first set of files has documents from five religious orders: the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate, the Marianists, the Benedictines, and two orders of religious sisters.

The release concerns 10 priests or religious brothers and two nuns, each of whom were accused of molesting children in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. The files report 21 alleged victims whose allegations cover incidents ranging from the 1950s to the 1980s.

The files are particularly detailed about Father Ruben Martinez, O.M.I., whose actions prompted eight lawsuits settled in 2007.

The documents show decades of therapy dedicated to trying to cure Martinez of pedophilia. During the therapy, he admitted abusing his younger brother as a child, the Associated Press reports. He said he abused about 100 boys in total.

He worked in parishes in the Los Angeles archdiocese in the 1970s and 1980s, beginning at a small parish in Brawley, Calif. in 1969.

According to the files’ psychological reports, he said he started molesting children in 1970 and stopped “direct sexual contact” with boys after a mother complained to his pastor in 1982. He claimed a 1986 complaint made him stop molesting boys completely .

The files are not clear whether the Oblates or the archdiocese knew of the complaints. Around 1986 he began his therapy sessions and started a counseling program for people with sexual compulsions. He also joined a “gay pride” group and at one point marched in a gay pride parade.

A 50-year-old man who sued over the priest’s abuse, speaking anonymously to the Associated Press, said the priest would have him and other boys wrestle in their underwear, sometimes with the priest, and take pictures of them. The priest would take groups of young boys to see R-rated movies and on group trips.

On one trip the priest stopped with six boys in front of a man’s apartment and took one boy in, leaving the other boys in a hot car for several hours. After the priest and the boy returned, the boy cried for hours.

“A lot of us kind of knew what had happened to him,” the abuse victim told the AP.

The victim’s lawsuit was settled in 2007 but Fr. Martinez was never charged criminally. His abuses were not reported until years afterward.

After treatment in the early 1990s, he was assigned to a small parish in a remote town in southeastern California. However, he would drive miles to San Diego to find male prostitutes.

Fr. Martinez was removed from active ministry in 1993. He is now 72 and lives in Oakland.

In 2003, the priest worked as a switchboard operator in the archive room at the Oblates’ Washington, D.C. offices. He was reprimanded for making sexual jokes, looking at sexually suggestive pictures of young boys, and downloading files on “topics dealing with the gay lifestyle,” the released documents said.

During a 2005 psychiatric assessment, the priest denied any contact with a child in 23 years.

Msgr. Brennan, recognizing the “troubling and upsetting” nature of the files on abuse in religious orders, said that those affected can find help by contacting the archdiocese’s Office of Victims Assistance Ministry.

A Los Angeles County Superior Court judge has set a September deadline for the public release of files on accusations against religious order members in the archdiocese. Other orders involved include the Salesians and Vincentians.

The files are distinct from those of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, which released 12,000 pages of abuse-related documents several months ago.

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Pope writes to Muslims about mutual respect

Vatican City, Aug 2, 2013 (CNA/EWTN News) - With the end of the month of Ramadan approaching, Pope Francis decided to personally write to all Muslims as a sign of friendship and to promote greater respect between the two faiths.

“This year, the first of my Pontificate, I have decided to sign this traditional message myself and to send it to you, dear friends, as an expression of esteem and friendship for all Muslims, especially those who are religious leaders,” Pope Francis wrote in the letter, which was signed on July 10.  

Ramadan, the season of fasting, prayer and almsgiving will end with the customary feast of Id al-Fitr on August 8 or 9 this year. The variability is due to the holiday being determined by the Islamic calendar, which is lunar.

Pope Francis began his message, released Aug. 2 by the Vatican, by focusing on how his ministry as pontiff and the choice of his papal name are founded upon “a very famous saint who loved God and every human being deeply.”

“I am aware that family and social dimensions enjoy a particular prominence for Muslims during this period, and it is worth noting that there are certain parallels in each of these areas with Christian faith and practice,” he said.

For the theme of this year’s message the Holy Father chose: “Promoting Mutual Respect through Education.”

By “respect,” Pope Francis said he means “an attitude of kindness towards people for whom we have consideration and esteem,” while his emphasis on mutuality was to underscore that “this is not a one-way process, but something shared by both sides.”

He also detailed how respect plays out at the personal level.

“What we are called to respect in each person is first of all his life, his physical integrity, his dignity and the rights deriving from that dignity, his reputation, his property, his ethnic and cultural identity, his ideas and his political choices,” he wrote.

The Pope noted that this requires that people “think, speak and write respectfully of the other, not only in his presence, but always and everywhere, avoiding unfair criticism or defamation.

“Families, schools, religious teaching and all forms of media have a role to play in achieving this goal,” he added.

Building up mutual respect also has implications for “interreligious relations, especially between Christians and Muslims,” the Pope stated.

He explained that this means respecting “the religion of the other, its teachings, its symbols, its values.

“Particular respect is due to religious leaders and to places of worship. How painful are attacks on one or other of these!”

Pope Francis also made an important distinction about the thinking behind showing respect toward a religion that one does not follow.

“It is clear that, when we show respect for the religion of our neighbors or when we offer them our good wishes on the occasion of a religious celebration, we simply seek to share their joy, without making reference to the content of their religious convictions,” he said.

Turning to future generations, the Pope emphasized the importance of Christians and Muslims bringing up their children “to think and speak respectfully of other religions and their followers, and to avoid ridiculing or denigrating their convictions and practices.”

The Holy Father finished his message by wishing all Muslims a “happy feast” and offering his “prayerful good wishes, that your lives may glorify the Almighty and give joy to those around you.”
 

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Despite reports, Vatican organizer says Rio went as planned

Rome, Italy, Aug 2, 2013 (CNA/EWTN News) - Although the media focused on some of the moments when the Pope’s security team appeared overwhelmed during the World Youth Day, one of the Vatican press office’s coordinators says just one change was made to the schedule and everything else that happened was foreseen.

“In fact, Pope Francis never changed the schedule. He just added the appointment with the Argentineans, which was set in the cathedral of Rio de Janeiro,” Salvatore Scolozzi told CNA July 31.

Scolozzi is one of the members of the coordinating team for the Vatican Accredited Media Personnel, known in the Holy See’s press office by the acronym VAMP.

For Pope Francis’ first international trip, that group consisted of almost 70 journalists who were embedded on the papal plane and given up-close access to the events in Rio. The list of media outlets admitted to the VAMP group represented the various languages and countries of the world.

From Scolozzi’s point of view as a media personnel coordinator, Pope Francis’ trip to Rio de Janeiro went off without a hitch.

“Everything worked perfectly,” he said.

Scolozzi arrived in Brazil with the coordinating team several days before the Pope landed, so that he could “pave the way” for a smooth visit.

He explained that the job of the Vatican coordinating team is to serve as “a mediator between the VAMPs and the authorities of each place the Pope will be visiting.”

Practically speaking, that means he and his coworkers engage in “a lot of diplomacy, explaining that the journalists will not bother any ceremony they will attend to, and on the other hand, they will be as close as they can to events without interfering, being seen, or making any noise.”

All of the provisions made to accommodate the press corps are plotted out “months before the papal trip,” Scolozzi explained.

At the helm of the Vatican media planning team is Vik van Brantegem, assistant of the Director of the Holy See Press Office, who serves as its general coordinator.

“He is a clear, stick-to-the-point and extremely precise leader,” said Scolozzi.

“He has a great amount of experience, since he has been serving the Holy See for 30 years and has worked in logistics and security for the media in all the World Youth Days since the Santiago de Compostela event in 1989.”

In Scolozzi’s opinion, there was only one critical moment during the Pope’s trip.

As the Holy Father traveled in a Fiat Idea between the airport and the Presidential Palace of Guanabara on July 22, crowds of pilgrims stopped his car and tried to touch the Pope and greet him.

According to Scolozzi, “obviously members of Gendarmes Corps were worried,” since there were only about 10 of them guarding the Pope and trying to restrain the enthusiastic crowd.

Their concerns were shared with the press and headlines began appearing about the Pope’s security being threatened.

But the traffic jam did not worry Scolozzi and his fellow planners.

In his view, “everything could be foreseen” since it was known that “Rio de Janeiro’s urban structure did not permit the Pope’s convoy to avoid crowds at crossroads,” and “the Pope also wished to be as close as he could to people.”

The City of Rio de Janeiro was aware of this problem, he noted, asserting that the focus should be on “how they well managed the problems, because there were no problems with the crowd since the very first day.”

The throngs of excited young people were also part of the experience for the journalists embedded with the papal delegation.

The reporters “often had to pass through the crowd,” Scolozzi recalled, pointing to the Pope’s July 23 visit with his fellow Argentineans as an example.

The press pack “wanted to wait for the end of the speech of the Pope in Varginha, and so they moved right after the end of the meeting,” he said.

That meant the media bus got struck in the middle of the crowd and they had to walk on foot to the cathedral, where the Pope’s meeting with Argentinean youth was going to take place.

Nevertheless, Scolozzi maintained, “there was not more risk than in any other papal trip” and  “everything was managed in tranquility.”

Pope Francis’ choice not to use the so-called armored popemobile was also not a challenge for his security team, the Vatican coordinator asserted.

In fact, he pointed out, “the windows of popemobile are always open” so that “all the Popes can embrace children and catch objects people hand to them along the way.”

“The Brazilian security did an excellent job, and it is evident since nothing happened,” he maintained.

“In the press conference he held in the flight back to Rome,” Scolozzi concluded, “Pope Francis told journalists that ‘there can always be a fool’ in the crowd, but that he is a fool, too, and that he trusted people.

"But I can assume that all the Popes have been crazy in this way in the past, since we had to face the same matters, even though each Pope has his own personality and his own way to approach to people.”

 

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Mexico archdiocese investigating possible Eucharistic miracle

Mexico City, Mexico, Aug 2, 2013 (CNA/EWTN News) - Msgr. Ramiro Valdes Sanchez, vicar general of Guadalajara, Mexico, has announced that the archdiocese is investigating a possible Eucharistic miracle that reportedly took place last week. 

Msgr. Valdes Sanchez said he has received instructions from the archbishop of Guadalajara, Cardinal Jose Francisco Robles Ortega, to direct the investigation.

The pastor of Mary Mother of the Church, Father Jose Dolores Castellanos Gudino, said that on July 24, while he was kneeling in prayer before the Blessed Sacrament, he saw a flash of light and heard a voice.

“Ring the bells so that everyone comes,” the voice allegedly instructed. “I will pour blessings upon those present and the entire day. Take your small tabernacle for private adoration to the parish altar and put the large monstrance next to the small tabernacle. Don’t open the tabernacle until three in the afternoon, not before.” 

“I will perform a miracle in the Eucharist,” the voice continued, “the miracle that will take place will be called, ‘Miracle of the Eucharist in the incarnation of love together with our Mother and Lady.’ Copy the image that I will give you now and show it to others.” 

The voice then reportedly told him to share this with all of his priests to aid in their conversion and that he would fill all souls with blessings.

Fr. Gudino said that after hearing the voice he could only say, “My Lord, I am your servant, let your will be done.”

With local people gathered at 3 p.m., he recounted that he “approached the tabernacle and upon opening it the host consecrated by Our Lord Jesus Christ was covered in blood.”

According to the priest, the voice also told him to establish an adoration chapel and to allow any scientific study necessary to confirm the miracle.

Msgr. Sanchez said samples from the host will be studied in Guadalajara. 

“First of all the testimony needs to be gathered from three people who were present, obviously in this case from the pastor,” he explained.

He also said that a team of experts will be assembled to investigate whether there is a scientific explanation for the phenomenon.

“While this is occurring, the Church in Guadalajara, through the Cardinal Archbishop, has said that the Host should not be exposed to the public and that it be kept in a safe place, in a tabernacle,” he added.

“The Catholic Church’s legal doctrine states that when an extraordinary, uncommon event occurs, the necessary precautions should be taken to determine if the event can be explained by natural causes or if a more serious investigation is necessary to determine if it goes beyond the natural and whether or not it should be considered a miraculous event,” he explained.

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Brazilian president signs law permitting abortion after papal visit

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Aug 2, 2013 (CNA/EWTN News) - Four days after Pope Francis left Brazil, President Dilma Rousseff signed into a law a measure that opens the door to the distribution of abortion-causing drugs in the country’s public health care system.

Upon its publication in the government’s official journal, the August 1 law requires health care centers in Brazil to administer the “morning-after pill” to women who say they have been raped up to 72 hours after the crime.

The head of Brazil’s Special Secretariat for Women’s Policies, Eleonora Menicucci, an avid abortion proponent, defended Rousseff saying the decision to sign the law was out of “respect for Congress and for women.”

The new norm, she said, will have “a positive impact in preventing abortion in women who have been the victims of rape,” although she acknowledged that it allows for abortifacient “emergency contraception.” 

The law will also “mitigate the harm caused to the victims of sexual violence,” Menicucci said.

Gilberto Carvalho, an advisor to President Rousseff, said the new law offers women “humanitarian support.”

At the end of July, more than 20 pro-life organizations in Latin America issued a statement calling on the Brazilian people “not to be deceived and to do everything possible” to prevent the new law from being adopted.

“We have studied the measure and we can see in it the same strategy that is being used in all of our countries to promote widespread use of an abortifacient drug without a prescription,” the organizations warned. 

“Pro-abortion organizations have worked hard in recent years and are currently promoting abortion clandestinely with this drug through online or cell phone consultations,” said Carlos Polo, director of the Office for Latin America of the Population Research Institute.

Speaking on July 26, before the passage of the law, Polo charged that “the same hand that will shake the hand of Pope Francis should not sign a law that would end the lives of many unborn children.”

During a World Youth Day catechesis session on July 26, Bishop Celso Antonio Marchiori of Apucarana in Brazil warned the pilgrims gathered there to be on alert for the imminent legalization of abortion in the country.

Bishop Juan Antonio Reig Pla of Alacala de Henares in Spain, who was also present at the catechesis, agreed.

“We need to be on alert against this threat that is part of the culture of death,” he said.

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Friar lauds indulgence as a way to connect with St. Francis

New York City, N.Y., Aug 2, 2013 (CNA/EWTN News) - Today's feast of Our Lady of the Angels of Porziuncola and its associated indulgence is a way to focus on the importance of Mary and the Franciscan tradition in the Church, a friar explained.

The Aug. 2 feast is found in the Franciscan tradition, and marks the dedication of the parish church, called Porziuncola or “little portion,” which is one of those Italy's St. Francis of Assisi rebuilt in obedience to Christ's command to “rebuild my church.”

“The Porziuncola is at the heart of the Franciscan journey,” Father David Convertino, the development director for the Holy Name Province of the Observant Franciscans, told CNA Aug. 2.

“For Francis, it was his most beloved place. He lived near it with the early followers … and he loved the Porziuncola, as it was part of his devotion to Our Lady.”

The Catholic Church teaches that after a sin is forgiven, an unhealthy attachment to created things still remains. Indulgences remove that unhealthy attachment, purifying the soul so that it is more fit to enter heaven. Indulgences are either plenary – full – or partial.

A plenary indulgence also requires that the individual be in the state of grace and have complete detachment from sin. The person must also sacramentally confess their sins and receive Communion up to about twenty days before or after the indulgenced act.

Anyone who visits a Catholic church with the intention of honoring Our Lady of the Angels and recites the Creed, the Our Father, and prays for the Pope's intentions, may receive a plenary indulgence on Aug. 2.

“Any kind of a prayer form that helps people come closer to God is obviously a good prayer form, and certainly an indulgence is one way,” Fr. Convertino said.

“It helps us focus on, in this case, the meaning of the Porziuncola and the Franciscan tradition, how it's situated in the greater idea of the Church.”

The Porziuncola was built in honor of Our Lady of the Angels in the fourth century, and by St. Francis' time had fallen into disrepair. The church, which was then located just outside of Assisi, became the “motherhouse” of the Franciscan orders.

“Although Francis realized that the kingdom of heaven is found in every dwelling on earth … he had learned nevertheless that the church of Saint Mary at Portiuncula was filled with more abundant grace and visited more frequently by heavenly spirits,” says the life of St. Francis written by Friar Thomas of Celano, read today by Franciscans.

“Consequently he used to say to his friars: 'See to it, my sons, that you never leave this place. If you are driven out by one door return by the other for this is truly a holy place and God’s dwelling.'”

Fr. Convertino added that the Porziuncola “was the place he chose to lie next to on his deathbed, and at that time of course you could have looked up to the city of Assisi, which he also loved so well.”

The Porziuncola, a rather small chapel, is now located inside a large basilica which was built around it, to enclose and protect it.

“You have this large basilica built over this teeny tiny little chapel,” Fr. Convertino reflected. “If that chapel wasn't there then the basilica wouldn't be there, but if the basilica wasn't there, the chapel probably wouldn't be there either, given 800 years of war, weather, and turmoil.”

For Fr. Convertino, the duality of the big church and the little church is a reflection of the relationship between the world-wide Catholic Church and the smaller communities which make it up.

“We feel the Franciscans kind of convey, we're the ones at the heart of the Church, the little church there.”

He said that each time he visits Assisi, the “experience” of the Porziuncola is “compounded more and more,” and added that “it's such a magnificent place, and the friars there are wonderful.”

Fr. Convertino also discussed the fresco now painted around the entrance of the Porziuncola, which shows St. Francis, together with some of his followers, receiving the indulgence from Christ and Our Lady.

“The idea behind the story is that Francis is asking Jesus for a Porziuncola indulgence, and Jesus is saying to Francis, 'Well, you really better ask Mary, ask my mother.'”

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Africa archbishop affirms support for Catholic Relief Services

Washington D.C., Aug 2, 2013 (CNA) - A Madagascar archbishop has distanced himself from controversial claims that Catholic Relief Services distributed contraceptive drugs and abortifacients in his country, affirming that the agency’s actions do not violate Catholic teaching.

The U.S. bishops’ conference reported Aug. 2 that Archbishop Désiré Tsarahazana of Toamasina voiced his “strong support” for the relief agency and confirmed that CRS does not provide or facilitate access to contraceptive or abortion-causing drugs in the region.

The archbishop, who serves as president of the bishops’ conference of Madagascar, spoke by phone Friday with Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan, U.S. bishops’ conference president, and CRS chairman of the board Bishop Gerald Kicanas of Tucson.

According to the U.S. bishops’ conference, Archbishop Tsarahazana said that there had been “some confusion in his archdiocese that was quickly resolved.” He said Catholic Relief Services acted according to Catholic teaching and does not provide or facilitate access to contraception or abortion, which Catholic teaching recognizes as sinful.

The Madagascar archbishop said he would consult with other bishops in his country to confirm that such activity is not taking place.

The U.S. bishops’ inquiry comes after the D.C.-based Population Research Institute on July 26 charged that Catholic Relief Services is “using funding from American Catholics to distribute contraceptive and abortifacient drugs and devices in concert with some of the world’s biggest population control / family planning organizations.”

The institute contended that the agency’s cooperation with U.S. Agency for International Development contractors, particularly in the SantéNet2 project in Madagascar, has compromised its Catholic identity.

The Population Research Institute said the Catholic bishops of Madagascar came to their organization after CRS failed to address their concerns about its activities. In September 2012, the relief agency’s president and CEO Carolyn Woo visited Madagascar at the local bishops’ request.

The institute quoted Archbishop Tsarahazana and several local priests reporting that the agency was involved in promoting family planning efforts that contradicted Catholic teaching.

It reported that the archbishop had said that Catholic Relief Services, without his knowledge, was “working on an artificial contraception project here.”

“And, then, the Catholic people around here heard about it and said:  “What’s that all about?  That’s supposed to be ‘Catholic’?” he said.

The report also said that some local clergy complained that the agency failed to work with the local Catholic Church, voicing concerns that there are too few Catholics in its local staff.

John Rivera, Catholic Relief Services’ communications director, said July 30 that the relief agency was “confused” by the “strong allegations” because “we simply do not engage in such work.”

“All current CRS grants in Madagascar clearly delineate what activities CRS will implement within its programming portfolio, and artificial family planning and abortifacients are most definitely not included in any of our programming grants.”

The agency said its programs in Madagascar are involved in water and sanitation, food aid, child vaccination, nutrition and malaria prevention.

It condemned the initial Population Research Institute report as “inaccurate and misleading.”

Steven W. Mosher, president of the Population Research Institute, said he was “delighted” that Cardinal Dolan contacted Archbishop Tsarahazana and that they were “able to talk about the problems.”

“We don’t have any quotes from the conversation, but we did learn that there was some confusion in the archdiocese. But the issue has now been resolved. So I’m delighted.”

Mosher said he would like to know how the agency resolved the problem about the alleged assistance in providing drugs and procedures that violated Catholic teaching.

He added that the Population Research Institute was able to be “an honest broker and help to bring Cardinal Dolan together with the archbishop” to resolve the controversy.

His conciliatory statements are a change in tone from the institute’s earlier report, co-authored by Mosher, which had contended that its investigation in Madagascar showed “a long-standing pattern of complicity and cooperation” in programs that violate Catholic teaching.

The report said that by cooperating with USAID, Catholic Relief Services had “in effect lost its Catholic identity” and was now “just one more secular humanitarian organization funded by USAID.”

The Population Research Institute report insinuated that CRS’ hiring of a regional manager with past employment in family planning with the United Nations’ Population Fund was intended to broadcast the Catholic agency’s seriousness in carrying out a “family planning / population control program.”

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December 21, 2014

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