WASHINGTON DC—President of Population Research Institute (PRI), Mr. Steven W. Mosher, published an op-ed entitled “What is Authentic Catholic Charity?” in the National Catholic Register today. The op-ed underlines the problems at Catholic Relief Services (CRS) in the context of a discussion of what constitutes authentic Catholic charity.
Mosher said, “Authentic Catholic charity, according to Pope Benedict XVI, must always include proclaiming the word of God and celebrating the sacraments, as well as exercising the ministry of charity.” (Deus Caritas Est, 25)
Mosher, “If a charity—as a condition of receiving grants from the U.S. government—can no longer preferentially hire and preferentially serve Catholics, if it can no longer openly proclaim the word of God and publicly celebrate the sacraments while carrying out its charitable work, then how can it continue to call itself Catholic? You can’t simply distribute mosquito nets and call it ‘Catholic charity.’ ”
The danger of becoming overly reliant on government funding is summed up in a quote from Pope Francis: “When the church wants to flaunt its size, build organizations, make departments and become a bit bureaucratic, the church loses its main essence and runs into danger of turning itself into an NGO (Non-Governmental Organization).”
The op-ed follows the recent publication of a report from PRI entitled “Investigation of Catholic Relief Services: Madagascar” (here). The report is the result of a month-long investigation into CRS programs in Madagascar and cites problems associated with U.S. government grants as the source of the problems.
Catholic Relief Services receives over 70% of its annual revenue from government funding.
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