Archbishop Wester, Former CRS Board Member, Refuses To See The Corruption

Archbishop John Wester of Santa Fe, New Mexico, has issued a “cease and desist” letter to Lepanto Institute (LI) head Michael Hichborn and Population Research Institute (PRI) president Steven Mosher two weeks after they released a joint report documenting and detailing Catholic Relief Services’ (CRS) promotion of abortion, contraception, and masturbation in three African countries. 

Hichborn and Mosher responded to the letter by calling on CRS to publish its purported self-review of its activities and their supposed alignment with Catholic moral teachings. 

In a letter dated March 8, Archbishop Wester, who served as a two-term member of the board of directors for CRS, declared to Hichborn and Mosher, “I can assure you that your findings on the ethical actions of CRS are in error.”  

RELATED: Response to Archbishop John Wester

Despite the two institutes’ documentation and supporting evidence, drawn from online sources, in-person interviews, hard copies of CRS materials obtained from their offices in Africa, and a lengthy year-long on-the-ground investigation conducted by both the Lepanto Institute and the Population Research Institute, Wester argued that CRS had received assurance from “prominent, well-respected moral theologians… that there is nothing being done by CRS that is immoral or unethical.” 

Wester also declared that he has “the highest confidence” in the CEO of Catholic Relief Services because he is “a man of the highest moral principles.” Without addressing the evidence – much of which is publicly documented and available and which appears to demonstrate CRS’ promotion of abortion, contraception, and masturbation – Wester simply called the report and supporting documentation a “deplorable” and “persistent persecution,” calling for LI and PRI to “cease and desist.”

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