Catholic Relief Services implemented a Planned Parenthood style sex education program in Rwanda. This program promotes abortifacient contraception, masturbation, and homosexuality.
(UPDATE) Catholic Relief Services responded to this report. Click here to view our analysis of CRS’ response: https://www.lepantoinstitute.org/crs-response-changing-body-leaves-questions-answers/
- In July of 2012, Life Site News broke the story of CRS giving $5.3 million to CARE, a contraception and abortion-promoting organization.
- August 2, 2012, Red State revealed that CRS is a dues-paying member of COREgroup, an organization that pushes contraception.
- On August 14, Red State also revealed that CRS is a dues-paying member and on the executive committee of MEDiCAM, an organization that pushes contraception and abortion in Cambodia. In fact, a CRS regional director was a member of the planning committee for MEDiCAM when it created a policy paper for 2011 indicating the intention to train abortion-providers.
- On September 6, 2012, Life Site News revealed that CRS had written several documents promoting condom use.
- In 2013, American Life League proved that CRS provided $64 million to organizations distributing contraception, committing abortion, and performing sterilizations.
In each instance, CRS gave excuse after excuse as to why they had to do these things, all the while maintaining the steady mantra that “CRS neither facilitates, endorses nor enables any violation of [Catholic] teachings.” However, this report proves that CRS has not been honest about how it implements programs funded by government agencies.
What follows is an examination of CRS’ partnership with Georgetown University’s Institute for Reproductive Health (IRH) for the implementation of IRH’s program, “My Changing Body: Fertility and Puberty Awareness for Young People.” According to several sources, CRS was responsible for testing, revising and implementing the My Changing Body program in Rwanda. Of deep concern is the fact that My Changing Body promotes abortifacient contraception, masturbation, consistent condom use, the International Planned Parenthood Federation, the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, the Alan Guttmacher Institute and several other abortion and contraception providing organizations.
There is no justification for a Catholic organization to have had anything to do with this program as written, let alone actually implement and test it. However, even if CRS was implementing a sterilized version of My Changing Body, their participation is scandalous and their involvement directly opened the way for greater distribution and acceptance of this terrible program.
To download the complete report on CRS and My Changing Body, click here.
Multiple sources all indicate that CRS and Caritas Rwanda were responsible for helping to test, review, and implement My Changing Body.
According to a 2013 brief by Georgetown University’s Institute of Reproductive Health (IRH), Catholic Relief Services and Caritas Rwanda were “implementing partners” for IRH’s “My Changing Body” program.The Acknowledgements section of a 2011 USAID report on the Pilot Study of My Changing Body shows that CRS was involved in the revision and testing of the My Changing Body program. It says, “We would like to thank the staff and youth workers of APROFAM and CRS for their enthusiasm and hard work revising and testing the My Changing Body curriculum.”
The updated version, My Changing Body: Puberty and Fertility Awareness for Young People, 2nd Edition, consists of six participatory education sessions for 10-14 year olds and their parents … The curriculum, which was integrated into ongoing life skills programs in youth-serving organizations, was implemented in Rwanda by Catholic Relief Services (CRS) and its partner Caritas.”
Page 12 of this USAID report illustrates how CRS and Caritas integrated My Changing Body with already-existing programs, making sure to point out that My Changing Body (MCB) was implemented outside of Church settings. The report says,
IRH partnered with Catholic Relief Services (CRS) and its partner, Caritas, to integrate MCB sessions into its President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR)-funded Avoiding Risk, Affirming Life program … The My Changing Body pilot reached VYAs (Very Young Adolescents) and their parents in collaboration with CRS and Caritas in the rural area of Nyundo Diocese … Although working with Catholic implementing partners, recruitment of VYAs and parents was done outside of church settings.”
Page 12 also explains the depth of CRS and Caritas’ participation in introducing this program to Rwandan children. It says:
Local Caritas coordinators worked with primary school teachers to identify youth from 5th and 6th grade classes and to invite their parents to meet the program facilitators to learn about MCB and participate in the evaluation … CRS staff, guided by the evaluator, identified and invited 105 VYAs for participation in the experimental group and 30 VYAs for participation in the control group …”
It is completely and totally undeniable that the promotion of masturbation was included in the My Changing Body program as introduced by CRS and Caritas in Rwanda. Page 16 states that “MCB had mixed success in promoting acceptance of masturbation as healthy sexual expression during adolescence.”
In 2011, IRH gave a presentation on My Changing Body, indicating that IRH paid CRS to “support piloting the second edition” of My Changing Body. The presentation says,
In 2010, IRH provided technical and financial support to Catholic Relief Services (CRS) and Caritas Rwanda … to contextualize MCB for their communities, train facilitators, and support piloting the second edition.”
In other words, CRS is directly responsible for introducing the My Changing Body program for use by other organizations after CRS is no longer involved. It’s very important to note that CRS introduced the SECOND EDITION of this program because the second edition of this program is completely vile.
What follows from this point forward all comes from My Changing Body: Puberty and Fertility Awareness for Young People, 2nd Edition. This is the program that CRS tested and introduced to Rwandans with the intention of passing the program to other organizations after CRS’ introduction was complete. Page 6 of the second edition of the My Changing Body program book indicates that CRS and Caritas field tested this very version of the program. It says,
We would also like to thank organizations involved in formative research that guided revisions, field testing of the second edition within existing youth programs, and in the curriculum evaluation of My Changing Body, 2nd Edition: APROFAM (Guatemala), Catholic Relief Services (Rwanda), and Caritas (Rwanda) …”
Bearing in mind that this program is aimed at very young adolescents aged 10-14, page 77 of My Changing Body gives intimate details on the mechanics of sexual intercourse and masturbation. There is no mention of chastity or morality.
Page 78-79 runs through a list of contraceptive methods, including abortifacients.
Under the heading “Dual Protection,” page 82 clearly promotes condom use in tandem with an Intrauterine Device (IUD).
The word “masturbation” is used in a positive way 48 times throughout the document. On pages 106-107, a group exercise for boys called, “My Body Feels Good,” sells masturbation as “normal” and “not harmful.” The facilitator’s note explicitly defines masturbation as follows:
Masturbation is rubbing, stroking, or otherwise stimulating one’s sexual organs—penis, vagina, and breasts—to get pleasure or express sexual feelings. Both men and women can relieve sexual feelings and experience sexual pleasure through masturbation. Boys may stroke their penises until they ejaculate. Girls’ vaginas may become wet, moist, or tingly from self stimulation, and they may experience orgasm. Many people, males and females alike, masturbate at some time in their lives. There is no scientific evidence that masturbation causes any harm to the body or mind. Masturbation is only a medical problem when it does not allow a person to function properly or when it is done in public. However, there are many religious and cultural barriers to masturbation. The decision about whether or not to do it is a personal one.”
Pages 180-181 legitimizes homosexuality. Under the heading of “Gender Identity,” it says, “Sometime, a person’s biological gender is not the same as his/her gender identity—this is called being transgender.” Summing up the whole issue of homosexuality, My Changing Body clearly seeks to indoctrinate children into the idea that sexual perversion is normal and acceptable:
Heterosexual, gay, lesbian, and bisexual youth can all experience same-gender sexual attraction and/or activity around puberty. Such behavior, including sexual play with same-gender peers, crushes on same-gender adults, or sexual fantasies about same- gender people are normal for preteens and young teens and are not necessarily related to sexual orientation. 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.“
At the end of the document, beginning on page 188, IRH states that My Changing Body is based on the works and philosophies of various population control organizations and other organizations that promote, perform or supply abortion and contraception. These resources include the Alan Guttmacher Institute, International Planned Parenthood Federation, and the Planned Parenthood Federation of America. Other listed pro-abortion/birth control resources for the creation of My Changing Body include:
- Advocates for Youth
- Center for Education and Population Activities (CEDPA)
- National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy
- Save the Children
- Pathfinder International
- Population Services International
- Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States (SIECUS)
- ISOFI (CARE)
- Population Council
- United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF)
- United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA)
- Youth Coalition for Sexual and Reproductive Rights
Following the list of abortion and contraception-pushing organizations that this program was based upon, is a list of websites for youth. This list is made up entirely of websites devoted to indoctrinating children in abortion, contraception and sexual immorality. While reading the names of these organizations, try to remember that this program is aimed at kids as young as 10 years of age. This list includes:
- Girls Incorporated (www.girlsinc.org)
- GirlsHealth (www.girlshealth.gov)
- Go Ask Alice (www.goaskalice.columbia.edu)
- I Wanna Know (www.iwannaknow.org)
- It’s Your Sex Life (www.itsyoursexlife.com)
- Sex, Etc. (www.sexetc.org)
- TeensHealth (http://kidshealth.org/teen/)
- Teenwire (www.teenwire.com)
- Voices of Youth (www.unicef.org/voy/)
- X-press (www.ippf.org/en/Resources/Newsletters/)
It is clear from multiple sources (Georgetown University, USAID, the 2011 International Conference on Family Planning, and the second edition of the My Changing Body program book) that CRS and Caritas Rwanda implemented the second edition of My Changing Body in Rwanda, with the full intention of passing the program on to other organizations afterward. It is equally clear that My Changing Body is completely incompatible with Catholic moral teaching.
There is no way any Catholic organization or individual could morally implement, promote, or give a positive review of My Changing Body. At the very core of this program is the perversion of children and the complete destruction of innocence.
As pointed out in the beginning of this report, CRS maintains that it “neither facilitates, endorses nor enables any violation of [Catholic] teachings.” But CRS’ involvement in the implementation, review, and testing of My Changing Body is an indisputable testimony that this repeated claim of CRS’ is completely untrue.
Until CRS is forbidden from receiving government funds and funds from organizations that push abortion and/or birth control, it simply cannot be trusted.