Catholics across the world expressed outrage this week after learning that the Vatican honored a Dutch abortion activist with a prestigious award.
Lilianne Ploumen, the former minister of foreign trade and development cooperation for the Netherlands, is known for pushing abortion on demand across the world. In 2017, she founded an international abortion campaign in response to President Donald Trump’s decision to stop funding groups that promote or provide abortions overseas.
Despite Ploumen’s pro-abortion record, the Catholic Church recently recognized her as a Dame in the pontifical Order of St Gregory the Great, the Catholic Herald reports. The award is given to people who display exemplary public service.
CNS News reports Ploumen received the award in June 2017 when she visited the Vatican and met Pope Francis; however, news of the award only recently broke. She was part of a larger delegation from the Netherlands, including the king and queen. Ten members of the delegation received special honors from the Vatican, according to the report.
Here’s more from CNS:
Ploumen officially was given the medal and title Commander in the Pontifical Equestrian Order of St. Gregory the Great, a knighthood of the Holy See. The honor is given for service to the Holy See and the Catholic Church and for a person’s excellent work in their communities or countries. The motto of the Order is Pro Deo et Principe, which means “For God and Ruler.”
Some of the members of the Order include Otto von Hapsburg, Alice von Hildebrand, G.K. Chesterton, Eunice Kennedy Shriver, and Bob Hope.
Ploumen is a strong supporter of contraception, abortion, and the LGBT agenda, which means she supports policies and moral views in direct conflict with the teachings of the Catholic Church.
The news sparked an immediate backlash. Ploumen’s work is contrary to the beliefs of the Catholic Church about the sanctity of life. The church teaches that every human life is valuable, from the moment of conception to natural death, and abortion is a grave evil.
What’s more, Ploumen told the Dutch radio BNR that she saw the award as a sign that the pope may be more accepting of abortion.
Here is an excerpt from the interview:
BNR: It is rather progressive of the Pope.
Ploumen: Yes, very. And I am very happy with it.
BNR: Do you see it as confirmation of what you are doing for girls and women, for abortion?
Ploumen: Yes, that, and also, the last couple of years I invested a lot of time in establishing contacts with the Vatican.
Ploumen: Yes, Lobbying. Especially since the Vatican, mainly with the previous popes, were very rigid when it comes to women’s rights. And that is not going to change in the short term, but perhaps there are some areas in which we can work together, and that is what I tried.
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The Vatican denied this in a statement this week. According to the National Catholic Register: “The Vatican has said a papal honor given to a militant pro-abortion Dutch politician was standard ‘diplomatic practice’ when someone is part of an official delegation with their head of state, and in no way was meant as a sign of support for her politics of abortion or birth control.”
Several Catholic leaders in the Netherlands distanced themselves from the decision to honor Ploumen, saying they had no part in it.
Ploumen once described the fight for abortion on demand as “the main battleground” in modern politics. She dedicated a lot of her time to fighting against the pro-life and pro-family teachings of the Catholic Church, even while claiming to be Catholic.
Her international abortion campaign, She Decides, raised more than $300 million last year to push women across the world to kill their unborn babies.
“It is a very powerful signal to the rest of the world that the fundamental right of women and girls to decide over their own lives must be respected,” Ploumen said at the start of the campaign.
According to the Catholic Herald, most of the abortion funding is going to the United Nations, but 5 percent is going to fund the International Planned Parenthood Federation and another 3 percent to the British-based abortion chain Marie Stopes International.