Prominent moral theologian and philosopher Germain Grisez has asked the United States Catholic bishops to investigate policies of Catholic Relief Services (CRS) which he says surreptitiously promote condom use as part of the charitable agency’s overseas activities.
Grisez, Professor of Christian Ethics at Mount St. Mary’s University in Emmitsburg, Maryland, wrote in the April issue of Catholic World Report that CRS distributes “educational” materials to its partners in Africa and other countries that explicitly encourage condom use to prevent the spread of HIV.
The materials include a “how-to” guide to condoms aimed at African populations.
In his essay “The Church Betrayed?” Grisez examines documents distributed by CRS to its overseas partners. He found that, although the documents acknowledge Catholic teaching about abstinence before marriage and fidelity within marriage, they also describe a CRS policy of “providing full and accurate information” about the use and benefits of condoms in the prevention of HIV.
The documents reveal an apparent policy of deception, specifying that the CRS name and logo must not be included in materials promoting condom use “due to the potential sensitivity of the information contained in these materials among Church partners.”
Grisez is the author of The Way of the Lord Jesus, a three-volume summa of Catholic moral theology. His article and the relevant CRS documents are available at Catholic World Report’s website, http://www.catholicworldreport.com .