Archbishop Odon Razanakolona of the Archdiocese of Antananarivo, which includes the capital city of Madagascar, has repudiated allegations that Catholic Relief Services (CRS) was involved with providing contraceptives or abortafacient drugs and denied that he has a strained relationship with the agency.
Archbishop Razanakolona spoke by phone on August 5 with Bishop Gerald Kicanas, chairman of the board of directors of CRS, as well as officials from CRS and the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. He is the second archbishop from Madagascar to deny allegations made in a series of articles published by Population Research International (PRI).
Last week, Archbishop Désiré Tsarahazana, of the Archdiocese of Toamasina and the president of the episcopal conference of Madagascar, also expressed strong support for CRS and affirmed that it acts fully in accord with Catholic teaching in his archdiocese.
Archbishop Razanakolona said he was surprised to see himself quoted in the article and that he is sure that CRS follows Catholic teaching and is not involved in providing or facilitating access to contraception or abortion.
The archbishop added that CRS has been a good partner in collaborating with staff in his archdiocese.