Catholic Relief Services Neck Deep in Scandal (Again...)

This time, it’s bold faced. From LifeSiteNews:

So what happened? Was the pledge of reform just smoke and mirrors? Good intentions that dissipated over time? Or perhaps it’s just that a few problematic documents have slipped through the cracks?

Overall, CRS’ programs seem to have a clear emphasis on abstinence and fidelity. But the organization undermines that strong message when they mention condoms as a viable option, talk about their benefits, or, God forbid, tell clients where to get them. Unfortunately, it appears that they have been doing that even after the 2008 scandal.

Not only is Catholic Relief Services having some issues in the “personnel is policy” department, but they are also struggling mightily with the truth.

Of course, USCCB-bureaucrats ride to the rescue.  Yet the central problem with this entire thing lies here, from the CNA article:

Hill said the 179-page document was written in 2009 by outside consultants for a Vietnam program that aimed to halt the spread of HIV among intravenous drug users.

“CRS staff prescribed revisions to the document that were not carried out by the external consultant in the final, posted document,” he said. This meant that five sentences in the document referred to condom use among couples where one person is HIV positive and the other is HIV negative.

Um… but according to the actual document itself, that’s not true.

Mysteriously the report was yanked from the Catholic Relief Services inventory on Issuu.com… but thankfully, Google Cache tends to archive such trivialities… 

In coordination with the CRS HIV and Health Program Manager, Kristin Weinhauer, the first draft of this manual was drafted by Michael Rosati, a CRS consultant. Michael has extensive international expertise in drug recovery work and has previously worked with CRS Vietnam in Lang Son City. From April 2009, Michael with the translation assistance of Tran Thi Linh Giang, the CRS HIV & Health Coordinator went to the Dong Tam Center in Lang Son for approximately a week to review the methods and tools used by the drug recovery center staff. Following this visit, Michael produced the first draft of this manual. Where appropriate, Michael also incorporated new ideas into the manual for the staff at the center to consider. At this time, the manual was handed off to the CRS Vietnam HIV and Health Program Manager who added information on the management of the Dong Tam Center and drafted this Foreword and Module 8 on post graduation support groups.

In spring 2009, the draft manual was reviewed by a CRS global technical review team coordinated through CRS headquarters (Program Quality Support Department). This review team came with expertise in clinical psychology, health care, HIV and drug prevention programming. It was handed back to CRS Vietnam for additional changes at this time. The final first draft of the manual was translated into Vietnamese by Mr. Bui Quoc Phong and was introduced to the staff of the Dong Tam Center as a resource manual. The CRS Vietnam HIV and Health Program Manager and Program Coordinator conducted three weeklong sessions, one per month with the Dong Tam Center staff to review and revise each section of the manual. This was done both to finalize the manual as well as to provide a forum for staff at the center to conduct a thorough review of their operations. In cases where actual practice at the center differed from international best practices, the discrepancy was discussed and resolved by either changing the operations of the center or adjusting the operating procedures in the manual. Changes were reviewed in the next week session with staff and additional changes implemented or changed within the manual. In this way, the completed manual supports the needs of the Dong Tam Center by describing its current operations and also providing a reference to strengthen the services it provides.

In short, this was NOT put together by outside consultants, it was written by Catholic Relief Services, coordinated by Catholic Relief Services, and reviewed by Catholic Relief Services.

Apparently, we now not only have a scandal redux on our hands — we also have a cover-up as well.