Conflict of Charitable Interest

CNS reported in a brief that Catholic Relief Services defended itself against accusations that it cooperated in providing contraceptives in Kenya. The concerted campaigns against charity and justice arms of the USCCB continue. I find them disconcerting, and frankly, not terribly convincing.

For one thing, there’s a clear conflict of interest. A “reporting” group is not peopled by journalists, but by another charitable organization. If you go to the main page of the other partner in criticism, their first two banners do not self-promote, but criticize CHS and CCHD.

Like many such organizations, the latter claims the moral high ground:

The Lepanto Institute was created to present the facts regarding organizations that claim the name Catholic or even Christian, but are acting in opposition to the teachings of our Blessed Lord and His Holy and Immaculate Church. Sadly, organizations like Catholic Relief Services, the Catholic Campaign for Human Development, the Catholic Health Association and many others are giving aid and comfort to the enemies of Christ.

CRS and CCHD are two organizations that operate under the US bishops. One might wonder just who the “Holy and Immaculate Church” might be. Are bishops excluded? The “faithful” pajama media? Those who are self-styled whitewashed and polished?

And to be clear, all the charities involved here have a right to operate in freedom. Competing charities can say truthful things about rivals. They can conduct research. In addition to rights, people also have responsibilities. Among others, accepting that good ends do not justify shady means.

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in Minnesota, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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