Catholic Relief Services is defending a grant it shared with another aid group that separately funds contraception, which is a violation of church doctrine.

The Baltimore-based group that is the Catholic community’s official international humanitarian agency said recently that no private donor money was given to CARE, or to any other group that funds contraception.

Catholic Relief did give $5.3 million to CARE in 2010, but it was federal grant money it was obligated to give that organization under the terms of the grant, Catholic Relief said in a statement. The grant money couldn’t be used for contraception because it was specifically designated for food, clean water, sanitation services and basic nutrition programs in Zimbabwe, Madagascar and five countries in Central America.

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