Madagascar Bishops and Clergy Complain about Catholic Relief Services’ Activities – Meeting with CRS Head Carolyn Woo Last Year Proved Fruitless

Catholic Relief Services (CRS) claims that allegations that it has used funding from American Catholics to distribute contraceptive and abortifacient drugs and devices in Madagascar are “simply false.” Yet these charges do not originate with PRI, but reflect the views of the bishops and clergy of Madagascar.

During our month-long investigation of CRS activities in Madagascar, our investigator interviewed a number of bishops and clergy in the country, many of whom leveled serious charges against CRS. These ranged from promoting abortifacient contraception and a failure to hire Catholics, to wasteful spending habits and a refusal to work through the local ordinary. Here are a series of quotes from these interviews:

Promoting and Distributing Contraceptives and Abortifacient Drugs
“Even in my own diocese! Without my knowledge,…they [CRS] were 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’??” So, there you have it: They [CRS] were following the instructions of USAID.'” Archbishop Desire Tsarahazana of Toamasina (Tamatave)
“Well, one thing for sure, you can go into the most remote, middle-of-nowhere place now and you’ll find it well stocked with abortifacient products. And, you know, they [the community health workers under CRS] are giving the shots (depo provera) now!” Fr. Jean Jagu, Vicar at SMM Church in Brickaville