The Lepanto Institute, which searches for connections between Catholic organizations and groups hostile to Catholic teaching, is reporting that Catholic Relief Services (CRS) was part of a sex-education program in Rwanda that urged adolescents from ages 10-14 to use Planned Parenthood as a resource. The program also urged the children to use abortifacients, contraceptives and condoms, learn about “gender identity,” and masturbate.
The program, “My Changing Body: Fertility and Puberty Awareness for Young People,” was created by the U.S. bishops’ official international humanitarian agency along with Georgetown University’s Institute for Reproductive Health (IRH) and implemented in 2009-2010.
The program was used with 10-14 year-old Rwandan children beginning in 2009-2010.
Other resources recommended by the program are the pro-abortion Guttmacher Institute, as well as many other pro-abortion and contraception groups.
Contacted by LifeSiteNews, CRS Director of Communications Paul Eagle said, “We are currently looking into this accusation and will share the facts as soon as they are available “Because the program is from several years ago, it may be a few days before we have a response as we discuss this program with current and former staff to gather information.”
My Changing Body encourages children to accept homosexuality and gives adolescents a picture of gender that is not in line with the Church. The program states, “Sometimes a person’s biological gender is not the same as his/her gender identity. Negative social messages and homophobia in the wider culture can mean that young adolescents who are experiencing sexual attraction to and romantic feelings for someone of their own gender need support so they can clarify their feelings and accept their sexuality.”
Population Research Institute President Steven Mosher bluntly said to LifeSiteNews, “It’s becoming clear that CRS cannot chase ‘the God of Money’ (USAID Funding) and remain faithful to Catholic teaching. Faithful Catholics need to put their donor dollars to work elsewhere.”
American Life League’s Director of Communications Rob Gasper noted of the My Changing Body program in Rwanda, “Planned Parenthood in Guatemala (APROFAM) field tested this very same curriculum, and Georgetown IRH credits Planned Parenthood as a resource in its development. That in itself should have set off alarm bells for any Catholic organization involved in promoting this vile program. Georgetown IRH should be ashamed for creating it, and CRS should be ashamed for helping it spread. Youth should be protected, not mentally molested by Catholic aid organizations.”
Stephen Phelan, director of mission communications for Human Life International, said, “More and more the wisdom of Pope Benedict’s motu proprio ‘On the Service of Charity’ becomes clear. Catholic aid organizations must sever ties with funders who force the organizations to compromise on the essential, beautiful and just teachings of the Church.”