The following comes from a July 25 story on Catholic World News.

Days after Catholic Relief Services —the US bishops’ relief and development agency—issued a statement that referred to the National Catholic Bioethics Center in its defense of a controversial 2010 grant, the bioethics center president John Haas revealed that he had urged the Catholic Relief board not to approve the grant because of the “unavoidable” scandal that would result.

At issue is a Catholic Relief grant of $5,380,466 to CARE, a humanitarian agency that integrates contraception into its emergency and relief efforts. Catholic Relief Services’ newly-released tax return states that the purpose of the grant was for “emergency”; Catholic Relief later stated that the grant was “used by CARE for water and sanitation programs in four Central American countries (El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua), for food and nutrition programs, as well as water and sanitation in Madagascar; and for food and nutrition programs in Zimbabwe.”

Following a LifeSiteNews report, Catholic Relief said that a recent investigation of similar grants conducted by the National Catholic Bioethics Center found that none of the funding from Catholic Relief was fungible. That is, there is little to no risk of the grant funds being used either (i) for purposes outside those outlined in the grant request or (ii) for freeing up money in the receiving organization for immoral purposes by virtue of their having received the grant from Catholic Relief. The bioethics center found that there could be a risk of scandal over such partnerships if people become confused and wrongly assume that Catholic Relief was endorsing a partner’s position on other issues.

Following the Catholic Relief statement, Haas said that the proposed grant to CARE was “of grave concern to me” and quoted from the comments he had submitted to the Catholic Relief board:

“On the anniversary of Roe v Wade in 2009 [CARE CEO Helen Gayle] called on President Obama to rescind the Mexico City Policy and fund abortions abroad. She issued this call on the very day hundreds of thousands of pro-life demonstrators including many bishops called for the reversal of Roe v Wade. Her testimony and statement are both posted on the website of CARE.

“Even though the grants going to CARE are for very laudable and indeed life-saving initiatives, I believe that these very strong public positions taken by the President of CARE in complete opposition to the policies and positions of the US Catholic Conference of Bishops would certainly give rise to legitimate theological scandal if not confusion as to why the bishops would fund such an organization.

“I think even some bishops would take exception to the grant to CARE if they were aware of the strong public advocacy of abortion and the positions at odds with those of the bishops …

“In my opinion because CARE is so well known and so high profile and because the advocacy of abortion has been so strong and public and in such opposition to the position of the bishops, scandal would be unavoidable.

“It would be different if [Gayle] weren’t so public about her opposition to the moral teaching in this area, and I said I had grave reservations about this whole thing going forward without the question of the scandal being addressed,” Haas recalled.

To read original story, click here.