I thought I might highlight Msgr. Weisgerber’s appeal to the Vatican’s pastoral solution against UNICEF that I offered in my original post.
Weisgerber used the example of yearly Vatican contributions to UNICEF, the United Nations agency for children with which the Vatican has disagreed on contraception and abortion policy. Vatican donations are earmarked for specific programs or projects which reflect Vatican priorities.
If Msgr. Weisgerber wants to point to the Vatican as an example of how to behave regarding abortion-pushing organizations, I think that is a very commendable idea. In fact, the Vatican STOPPED funding UNICEF back in 1996 precisely because that organization was advocating contraception and the liberalization of abortion laws in developing countries. UNICEF was denying the charges at the time. The Vatican’s announcement was widely covered by the mainstream media at the time, as well as pro-life media (see report here). Below is an excerpt from this press release by the Permanent Observer Mission of the Holy See Concerning its Decision to not Contribute to UNICEF in 1997
November 4, 1996
The Permanent Observer Mission of the Holy See to the United Nations announced today at the pledging conference for Development Activities, held at the United Nations in New York, that it “cannot offer any symbolic contribution to UNICEF” this year.
It indicated that the annual contribution of the Holy See to that organization is a symbolic offering representing the Catholic Church’s desire to work with these entities such as UNICEF which share a general concern for children, while symbolically responding to UNICEF’s desire to collaborate with the Church’s child-focused projects throughout the world. At the same time, this donation was seen as a recognition that the work and policies of UNICEF were not contradictory to the moral and social teachings of the Catholic Church. This has been particularly important in view of the encouragement which this donation has given to individual Catholic and like-minded donors, and which has also led to various special activities, including the sale of UNICEF Greeting Cards in Catholic institutions.
The decision to suspend the practice of making a symbolic contribution was the result of the Holy See’s increasing preoccupation with the changes in UNICEF’s activities which have begun to divert some of its already scarce economic and human resources from the care of the most basic needs of children to other areas outside of that specific mandate given by the United Nations to UNICEF. In particular, the Holy See is concerned about:
- The failure of UNICEF TO provide accountability for funds which donors have “earmarked” for specific and morally unobjectionable child-related projects despite numerous requests by the Holy See for such assurances;
- The participation of UNICEF in the publication of a United Nations Manual advocating the distribution of abortifacient “post-coital contraceptives” to refugee women in emergency situations;
- Credible reports that UNICEF workers in various countries were distributing contraceptives and counselling their use….
If Msgr. Weisgerber wants to quote the Vatican on its pastoral application to funding pro-abortion groups, let him follow in their footsteps and cut the funding to D&P’s pro-abortion partners as well.