Vatican Downplays Papal Award to Pro-Abortion Activist
But the Award Stands
by Christopher A. Ferrara
January 16, 2018
Predictably enough, the Vatican has downplayed the conferral of the title “Dame in the Pontifical Order of St Gregory the Great” on Lilianne Ploumen, a Dutch politician who is notorious for her international promotion of abortion, including the raising of several hundred million dollars for “She Decides,” the organization she founded to help insure the worldwide availability of abortion following President Trump’s restoration of the Mexico City Policy banning any federal funding of abortion in other countries.
While Ploumen has — also predictably enough — touted the award as an endorsement of her “work,” the Vatican, as the Catholic Herald reports, now announces that “the award was a matter of diplomatic routine around the visit of a head of state. A spokeswoman said the award was ‘in keeping with the diplomatic practice of exchanging honours between delegations during official visits by heads of state or government to the Vatican. Therefore, it is not at all an endorsement of the political views in favour of abortion or birth control that Ms Ploumen promotes.’”
At the same time, however, even Cardinal Wim Eijk of Utrecht, the most senior bishop of the ultra-liberal Dutch hierarchy, hastened to “distance himself from the award, saying he was ‘not involved’ in the decision and was ‘unaware of the fact that this papal award was requested for Ploumen.’”
The same award was reportedly bestowed on all of the members of the delegation of which Ploumen was a member. Assuming, then, that the award was improvidently bestowed as a matter of “diplomatic routine” on someone who is promoting the mass murder of innocent children in the womb, the solution to the ensuing worldwide scandal is simple enough: revoke the award as to Ploumen and request that she return the medal bestowed upon her, particularly in view of her publicized comments that she regards it as a validation of her promotion of genocide by abortion.
But that is exactly what will not happen. The award will stand, and there will be no condemnation of Ploumen’s evil works, which the Vatican now describes as merely her “political views in favour of abortion or birth control.” Political views? Please.
It needs to be said, however, that long before the arrival of Pope Francis, the same award already had a history of being scandalously bestowed on promoters of radical evil. As Life Site News observes, during the reign of John Paul II the award was bestowed on “Renate Brauner, then-Deputy Mayor of Vienna… a notorious supporter of abortion at the time of her award” and, even more egregiously, on one Jimmy Saville, “accused after his death of raping or sexually abusing as many as 300 people, including children as young as nine years old…”
In the case of Saville, “[a] formal request was initiated by the Catholic Church in England in 2012 to have the honor posthumously revoked.” And the Vatican’s response? Then papal spokesman Father Federico Lombardi said — believe it or not — that the honor could not be revoked because there is no “official list of persons who have received papal honours in the past, [so that] it is not possible to strike anyone off a list that does not exist.”
So, according to the Vatican, no honor it bestows can be revoked unless there is a list of people to whom the same honor has been given — as if the revocation of an honor must stand if the honoree’s name cannot be removed from a list of honorees.
Such is the sophistry that too often characterizes Vatican pronouncements in the post-Vatican II epoch. The only difference now is that the sophistry extends even to the attempt, via Amoris Laetitia, to undermine the moral law itself. And sophistry in matters of faith and morals can only be a sign of the Adversary at work in the human element of a Church in crisis. The prophecy of the Third Secret of Fatima continues to unfold before our eyes.