Pro-abortion extremist Lilianne Ploumen, the former minister of Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation in the Netherlands, was honored by Pope Francis with entry into the Order of St. Gregory the Great, according to the Lepanto Institute, Dutch radio BNR, and the Order's website.
The award was presented at the Vatican in June 2017, when Ploumen took part in an official state visit with the king and queen of the Netherlands. News about the award, however, was aired on Dutch radio BNR on Decemebr 17 and the first U.S. news story about the honor was published by the Lepanto Institute on Jan. 12, 2018.
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.
In 2017, she launched the global program SheDecides. As its website states, SheDecides was launched "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."
"SheDecides was created as an immediate response to US President Donald Trump’s reinstatement of the Global Gag Rule -- also known as the Mexico City Policy – a policy which has devastating effects on women, girls and their communities around the world," states the website. "The rule prevents NGOs outside the US from receiving money from the US government if they provide safe abortions or information about abortion."
According to The Independent, as of July 2017 SheDecides had raised more than $300 million.
In her interview with Danish radio BNR, Ploumen explains that she "received a high award from the Pope," and that she sees it as confirmation of the work she has done for girls and women concerning abortion.
A translation of the interview was published by the Lepanto Institute. Part of the exchange is as follows:
BNR: And there is another prize, from the Pope …
Lilianne Ploumen: Yes, I won another prize. I received a high award from the Pope.
BNR: For what you did for abortions?
Ploumen: Well, it doesn’t say that, but it is in itself interesting that it says it is for service/merits for society.
BNR: Well, that would be applicable to a lot of other people.
Ploumen: Yes, for sure, but the Vatican probably knows that I started “SheDecides” and they gave me this prize – very special.
BNR: What kind of prize is it, exactly?
Ploumen: Commander in the order of Gregorius.
Ploumen: Thank you.
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.
Back in May 2015, Minister Ploumen met with Pope Francis to discuss climate change. After the meeting, she said, "It's fantastic that Pope Francis is to make a statement on climate change. We face huge challenges that will require efforts from all of us, including religious leaders. With their influence and authority they can have a positive impact on the debate."
American priest Rev. Peter West, the former vice president for Missions at Human Life International, has called on Pope Francis to rescind the Order of St. Gregory honor from Lilianne Ploumen.
In a tweet, Fr. West said, "I call on Pope Francis to rescind the title title of Commander in the Pontifical Equestrian Order of St. Gregory the Great given to Lilianne Ploumen due to her pro-abortion activism. The unborn are truly the least among us today. The Church must not honor those who believe they have a right to choose to kill them.”
"For Pope Francis to bestow an award on a pro-abortion activist would be the equivalent of Jesus bestowing an award on Herord," said Fr. West. "Jesus dined with sinners and called them to conversion. He did not bestow public honors on them and affirm them in their sins."