Vatican says Dutch politician’s honor was simply diplomatic protocol

| January 16, 2018 | 3 Comments

The former Dutch minister of foreign trade and development received a papal honor as a matter of diplomatic courtesy and not because of her political views, which include support for access to abortion, the Vatican press office said.

“The honorific of the Pontifical Order of St. Gregory the Great received by Mrs. Lilianne Ploumen, then minister of development, in June 2017 corresponds to the diplomatic practice of exchanging honorifics between delegations on the occasion of official visits by heads of state or government at the Vatican,” said Paloma Garcia Ovejero, vice director of the Vatican press office.

“Therefore, it is in no way an approval of the policies in favor of abortion and birth control promoted by Mrs. Ploumen,” the statement released Jan. 15 said.

In January 2017, Ploumen began the fundraising campaign “She Decides,” in response to U.S. President Donald Trump’s reinstatement of the “Mexico City Policy,” which bans all foreign nongovernmental organizations receiving U.S. funds from performing or promoting abortion as a method of family planning in other countries.

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  • Roy Hobbes

    Diplomatic protocol? What a joke. And people wonder why the Vatican press office is not to be taken seriously. This was deliberate, and the timing impeccable as rumour has it certain parts of Humanae Vitae will be revisited and revised.

    • Charles C.

      I would have been less bothered had the award been given to the ambassador alone, but to give it to the Minister of Development who has no influence over religious policy, no interest in supporting the Church, and no intention of being loyal to the Pope, leaves me baffled.

      I wonder what the other members of the order think about welcoming her into their ranks, and what importance they now attach to the honor.

  • DebraBrunsberg

    Please. Nothing is done without a motive, especially today in the Vatican. When the Vatican doesn’t have a choice in who they “honor” we know that they are lying. Who gets an award next, Cecile Richards?