Media CenterCRS Upholds Catholic Teaching and Values

Photo by Karen Kasmauski for CRS

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Catholic Relief Services, an organization of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, is a pro-life organization dedicated to preserving the sacredness and dignity of human life from conception to natural death. Every aspect of our work is to help life flourish. We are resolute in our commitment to the Church and its teaching. Below are statements and expressions of support affirming that commitment.

Guided by the Principles of Catholic Social Teaching; governed by a USCCB-appointed board of bishops, religious, and lay people; CRS works in over 100 countries to assist people of all backgrounds, working side by side with others so they can lift themselves out of poverty, assisting during emergencies and enabling people to build the resiliency they need to stand on their own.

And the king will say to them in reply, ‘Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.’

—Matthew 25:40

Moved by the Gospel, CRS not only assists the poor, but goes even farther by assisting the very poorest of the poor, responding to the Church’s challenge to act in solidarity with the most vulnerable, and leading the Catholic faithful in the United States in doing the same. Furthermore, while it is an official agency of the Catholic Church, CRS serves people based on need, not on creed, offering life-saving assistance to people of all faiths, and people of no faith.

But let our people, too, learn to devote themselves to good works to supply urgent needs, so that they may not be unproductive.

—Titus 3:14

While CRS strictly adheres to the teachings of the Catholic Church, and our main partners are local parishes and dioceses throughout the world, we work with other agencies who are not always aligned with Catholic teaching. Pope Francis calls us into a “culture of encounter,” and we respond, seeking not just to encounter the poor and the vulnerable, but also other agencies who do not share our faith.

“If we, each, doing our own part,” the Holy Father teaches, “do good to others, if we meet them doing good, and we do so slowly, gently, little by little—we will make that culture of encounters that we need so much. We must meet one another doing good.”

But our commitment to and belief in helping the poor, the hungry, the sick, the vulnerable, and the refugee in a way consistent with Catholic teaching—and modeling those values to others—remains unchanged.

Poverty is a plague against which humanity must fight without cease.

Pope Benedict XVI

Values & commitment

  • CRS works passionately on a global scale to contribute to a more just, peaceful and prosperous world.
  • CRS uses innovative approaches to meet the world’s toughest humanitarian problems.
  • CRS is committed to the pursuit of the common good and focused on delivering sustainable solutions that create lasting impact.
  • CRS is approachable and accountable to one another, our partners, donors and the people we serve.
  • CRS serves those people in greatest need, and is inspired by their potential and opportunities for positive change.

Integral human development approach

If CRS and its partners:

  • Protect human life and dignity by caring for poor and vulnerable people;
  • Increase resilience by protecting, building and maximizing family and community, human, social, political, physical, financial, natural and spiritual assets;
  • Promote just relationships between all people, within and across families, communities and nations; and
  • Increase equitable and inclusive access to and influence on structures and systems at all levels.

Then people can reach their full human potential in an atmosphere of peace, social justice and human dignity, because:

  • People use their assets to develop strategies to manage risk, build resilience and improve their lives,
  • People use their assets to influence structures and systems, and
  • Social equity and inclusion are essential to creating an atmosphere of peace, social justice and human dignity.

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April 28, 2014