Catholic Relief Services' Vice-President Revealed to Be in Gay Marriage

A 44-year-old vice-president at Catholic Relief Services who's in a same-sex "marriage," was elevated to an executive position in the same month he was married, a Christian research and education organization has revealed.

Rick Atlee Estridge Jr., the vice president for overseas finance, entered into a same-sex marriage with William Daniel Goretsas Jr. on April 4, 2013, according to public records obtained from the Clerk of Circuit Court for the city of Baltimore, Maryland, the Lepanto Institute said Monday.

The institute also found that Estridge was elevated to the vice president executive position in the same month he was "married," as revealed by his LinkedIn page, which has now been taken down along with his Facebook profile.

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"While bishops across the country are fighting to maintain the Catholic identity of their schools by denying employment to active homosexuals in same-sex 'marriages,' Catholic Relief Services has elevated such an individual to an executive-level position," Michael Hichborn, president of the Lepanto Institute, said in a statement.

Estridge wrote several posts on his Facebook page, criticizing the Catholic position on gay marriage, according to the Lepanto Institute.

"Our concern has to do with CRS's sincerity in upholding its Catholic identity," Hichborn added. "We've documented several cases where CRS was involved in the promotion of contraception, which is against Catholic teaching. However, after conducting its own internal investigations, CRS regularly denies any wrongdoing. But with a high level executive, who is in charge of overseas finance and living in a state so completely counter to the most fundamental teachings of the Catholic Church, how can CRS be trusted to conduct its own internal investigations?"

"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," Maryland-based CRS declared on its website last year.

"It is true that CRS works with groups which do not share our Catholic values. We employ non-Catholics as well as Catholics," CRS explained. "We belong to coalitions which extend the reach of services to the poor often in remote areas where we do not operate. We are members of professional associations so as to obtain information and technological advances so that we are best prepared to serve those who are in our care. When these associations offer programs which run contrary to Church teachings, we do not participate."

However, Hichborn said it is "increasingly difficult" to take CRS seriously as a Catholic organization "especially since this man was elevated to his vice president's position in the same month he was 'married.'"

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