Vatican Standing by its Decision to Award Dutch Abortion Advocate
Early this month, Catholics throughout the world were outraged upon learning that Pope Francis awarded abortion advocate Lilianne Ploumen with the Pontifical Order of St. Gregory, an honor traditionally conferred upon those who demonstrate outstanding service to the Holy See or to humanity. Ploumen, who boasted in a video broadcast that she had received a “high distinction from the Vatican” was granted the award in June 2017 when she assisted the Dutch Royals in their visit to the Holy Father.
In the wake of conservative backlash, the Vatican is not backing down from awarding Ploumen with the Pontifical honor, but is doubling down on the action. A Vatican official recently told NCR reporter Edward Pentin that this was “a very traditional procedure” for such a “historic occasion” and was really meant as a way of “honoring the King [of the Netherlands].” If that’s the case, why didn’t the King get the award?
The official added that the honor was no different than someone “going to visit someone else’s house as a guest, and who comes with companions. One shows a minimum amount of respect to whom he brings.”
This ridiculous argument confirms the Vatican’s collusion with anti-life, which has been ongoing since Francis’ election in 2013. The Pontifical Honor of St. Gregory is only granted to an individual for his or her service to the Church, and after great deliberation at that, and doesn’t fall randomly into someone’s hands just because they are part of a tour group of dignitaries. The fact that the Vatican refuses to retract the award knowing that Ploumen is an abortion advocate proves that they granted her the award knowing she was an abortion advocate.
Vatican spokesperson Paloma García Ovejero, deputy spokesperson of the Holy See Press Office tried to wiggle out of it, saying: “The honor of the Pontifical Order of St. Gregory the Great received by Mrs. Lilianne Ploumen, former Minister of Development, in June 2017 during the visit of the Dutch Royals to the Holy Father, responds to the diplomatic practice of the exchange of honors between delegations on the occasion of official visits by Heads of State or Government in the Vatican. Therefore, it is not in the slightest a placet [an expression of assent] to the politics in favor of abortion and of birth control that Mrs. Ploumen promotes.”
Nice try, but kings, presidents, and respectable Catholic dignitaries pay visits to the Holy Father every month and they don’t receive the Pontifical Order of St. Gregory Award, so why did a notorious abortion advocate receive it?
The fact is that Lilianne Ploumen - who formerly served as Minister of Foreign Trade for the Dutch government - is internationally known for her work in funding abortion. In 2017, Ploumen launched SheDecides, which, according to the movement’s website, is a “global movement” meant to “support the fundamental rights of girls and women to decide freely and for themselves about their sexual lives, including whether, when, with whom and how many children they have. This includes having access to modern contraception, to sexual and relationship literacy and safe abortion.” The website states that “SheDecides is unapologetic about our focus on the full spectrum of sexual and reproductive rights and health, including safe abortion and comprehensive sexuality education.”
According to a joint report filed by OnePeterFive and The Lepanto Institute, which broke the story, “The SheDecides initiative came in response to the funding gap for “family planning” facilities around the world created after U.S. President Donald Trump reinstated the Mexico City Policy, which blocks American federal funding for organizations providing abortion services. Within six months, SheDecides—which has the support of 60 countries—had received pledges totaling $300 million (USD).”
All this occurred in the months immediately preceding Ploumen’s reception of the Vatican Award in June 2017, which lends credence to growing opinions that the award came in recognition of her work in advocating a woman’s right to choose abortion.
An interview on BRN Newsradio in the Netherlands reveals assertions from Ploumen that the Vatican granted her the award as a personal “prize” for her work in funding abortion. When asked if she saw the Pontifical honor as a reward for her work, she replied, “Yes, that, and also, the last couple of years I invested a lot of time in establishing contacts with the Vatican.”
Her campaigning has also gone beyond abortion to include radical support of homosexual rights. In 2010, she urged homosexuals to disrupt Mass in a Dutch cathedral after an openly homosexual man was denied Holy Communion. In September 2017, Ploumen was a prominent speaker at the LGBT’s Core Group at the United Nations, which vehemently promotes and defends sodomy.
The fact that the Vatican is now doubling down on its decision to confer the Pontifical honor on Ploumen can only be seen as an endorsement of her work, especially after concerned Catholics throughout the world have effectively alerted the Vatican to the seriousness of this act.
What next, will Rome canonize Hitler?