IMAGE: CNS photo/Kevin Lamarque, ReutersBy Mark PattisonWASHINGTON
(CNS) -- President Donald J. Trump issued an executive memorandum Jan. 23 reinstating
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.The
action was hailed by pro-life leaders.Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan of New York,
chairman of the U.S. bishops' Committee for Pro-Life Activities, applauded the
news in a Jan. 23 statement. "This is a welcome step toward restoring and
enforcing important federal policies that respect the most fundamental human
right -- the right to life -- as well as the long-standing, bipartisan
consensus against forcing Americans to participate in the violent act of
abortion," he said."President
Trump is continuing Ronald Reagan's legacy by taking immediate action on day
one to stop the promotion of abortion through our tax dollars overseas." said a
Jan. 23 statement from Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the Susan B. Anthony
Trump's immediate action to promote respect for all human life, including
vulnerable unborn children abroad, as well as conscience rights, sends a strong
signal about his administration's pro-life priorities," she said.
"By redirecting taxpayer dollars away from the
international abortion industry, President Trump has reinstituted
life-affirming protections for unborn children and their mothers," said a Jan.
23 statement by Rep. Chris Smith, R-New Jersey, co-chair of the Congressional
Pro-Life Caucus. "There is political consensus that taxpayer dollars should not
fund abortion and the abortion industry."
see pro-life fruits of the election unfolding as President Trump has taken
immediate action to reinstitute President Reagan's Mexico City Policy," said Father
Frank Pavone, head of Priests for Life, in a Jan. 23 statement. "Poll after
poll shows that Americans do not want their tax money to pay for
abortions. Stopping funding to foreign
pro-abortion groups is a powerful first step toward doing the same
for the city that hosted the U.N. International Conference on
Population in 1984 -- where Reagan, then in his first term as president,
unveiled it -- the Mexico City Policy has been the textbook definition of a
political football. Adopted by a Republican president, it has been rescinded
when Democrats sat in the White House, only to be restored when Republicans
claimed the presidency.
1993, President Bill Clinton's revocation of the policy was made so quickly
following his inauguration that some participants in the March for Life, conducted
two days after the inauguration, carried "Impeach Clinton" signs.
Clinton had rescinded the policy two days after taking office, so did President
George W. Bush reinstate it two days into his presidency, expanding it to
include all voluntary family planning activities. President Barack Obama
rescinded the policy Jan. 23, 2009.
challenges to the policy resulted in rulings in 1987 and 1988 that limited its
application to foreign NGOs.
executive memorandum "makes clear that Trump intends to carry out with his promised
pro-life agenda. Taxpayer funding for abortions, whether here or overseas, is
unpopular with voters and is plain wrong," said a Jan. 23 statement by Ashley
McGuire, a senior fellow with the Catholic Association.
amounts to subsidizing the violent victimization of women and children, in
particular poor and minority women who feel they have no choice but to have an
abortion," McGuire said. "Redirecting those funds to health centers that offer
women real choice and hope is the right policy moving forward."- - -Follow Pattison on Twitter: @MeMarkPattison.- - -Copyright © 2017 Catholic News Service/U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. www.catholicnews.com. All rights reserved. Republishing or redistributing of CNS content, including by framing or similar means without prior permission, is prohibited. You may link to stories on our public site. This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. To request permission for republishing or redistributing of CNS content, please contact permissions at email@example.com.
IMAGE: CNS photo/Bob RollerBy Julie AsherWASHINGTON (CNS) --
College senior Colleen McCrum stood with fellow pro-lifers in front of the
steps of the U.S. Supreme Court early Jan. 21 holding a sign that said, "PROLIFE,
McCrum, 21, who attends
Christendom College, a Catholic school in Front Royal, Virginia, joined a group
organized by Students for Life of America to participate in the Women's March
The pro-life organization
was shut out of being an official sponsoring partner for the giant march, but the
group's leaders said nothing prevented them from taking part and marching on
behalf of women exploited by abortion and for the rights of "pre-born women."
President Donald J. Trump
"has made a lot of promises to the pro-life movement and I want to hold him to
his promises," McCrum told Catholic News Service. She also felt it was
important to have the pro-life presence at the march because she feels the
media makes it look like there are more "pro-choice people" out there than
Mary Solitario, 21, a
classmate of McCrum from Christendom College, told CNS it was upsetting
pro-life groups were not officially recognized by march organizers. She said
she wanted to join the march to show solidarity with women.
"All of us are for
women's rights and human rights," she added, holding a sign that said: "Defending
the most marginalized is defending ALL of us." Under an outline of a pregnant
woman were the words #ProtectThemBoth. Pro-Woman Pro-Life."
Students for Life of
America officials said what was billed as an inclusive march ended up having a "radical
abortion agenda" once Planned Parenthood signed on as a key partner in late
December and "bulldozed" over pro-life groups that wanted to be partners.
"We were ignored. Our application
(to be a partner) was ignored completely. Other pro-life groups were kicked out as partners,'' said Michele
Hendrickson, Eastern regional director of the Virginia-based Students for Life
of America. "Pro-life is pro-woman. ... What was originally portrayed as
inclusive is excluding pro-life."
Texas-based New Wave Feminists was initially accepted as a march sponsor
then rejected; its members still marched in Washington. Another group snubbed
by march organizers was And Then There Were None, a nonprofit organization that
helps abortion clinic workers leave the abortion industry.
Organizers of the huge march,
which drew an estimated 500,000 participants to Washington, said the purpose of
the event was "to promote women's equality and defend other marginalized
groups." Among many issues highlighted were immigration, education, equal pay,
women's health care and "reproductive rights." Marches were held simultaneously
in New York, Boston, Atlanta, Denver, Los Angeles, Phoenix, in St. Paul, Minnesota,
and Key West, Florida, and in several cities around the world.
In Washington, thousands of the marchers
wore pink, magenta or rainbow-colored hats and most carried signs. Some read: "Orange
is the New Quack," apparently a reference to Trump's hair color; "Keep Your God
Out of my Bod"; "I Can Nazi How His Cabinet Picks Are Smart"; "Girls Just Want
to Have Fun-Da-Mental Rights"; and "Respect Existence or Expect Resistance."
president of Students for Life, told CNS she reached out to the march
organizers about applying to be a march sponsor and they never responded, as Hendrickson indicated. Hawkins
said the abortion industry has "taken over any discussion of women's rights."
"Pre-born women's rights
are human rights. Their voice counts, our voice counts," she added.
As the pro-life group
gathered near the steps prior to the big march, Hawkins used a bullhorn to
highlight their message to people heading to join the throngs of marchers: "Abortion
betrays women. Women deserve better. Abortion betrays women. Women deserve
better," she chanted.
Her comments prompted a
few expletives from march participants as they walked passed the court toward
the U.S. Capitol to join the huge march. Marchers went around the U.S. Capitol to
Independence Avenue and on to the National Mall, where later in the day they
heard a lineup of celebrity and other speakers, who included singer Madonna and
actresses Scarlett Johansson and Ashley Judd.
As the start of the big
march drew near, Hendrickson had some words of caution for the pro-lifers who
were carrying their own signs and banners. "They have excluded our voices at
this inclusive march. By taking a radical abortion stance, they are excluding
women in the womb," she told them. "We're here to take a stand against that. '
They're not going to like our message today."
She urged the pro-lifers
to check their emotions and not be silent, but not to yell back at anyone who
shouted at them.
At another march location
members of the New Wave Feminists were gathered. That group's Destiny
Herndon-De La Rosa told CNS they were prepared for confrontation "and instead
were supported by so many women." "They kept coming up and telling us
how glad they were that we were there and how, even though they didn't
necessarily agree on the abortion issue, they thought it wrong that we were
removed as partners," she said.
The Students for Life
group did not receive the same kind of welcome. A video posted later in the day
to the organization's Facebook page shows marchers taunting some of the pro-lifers and ripping up their signs, which read: "Abortion Betrays Women."- - -Follow Asher on Twitter: @jlasher.
- - -Copyright © 2017 Catholic News Service/U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. www.catholicnews.com. All rights reserved. Republishing or redistributing of CNS content, including by framing or similar means without prior permission, is prohibited. You may link to stories on our public site. This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. To request permission for republishing or redistributing of CNS content, please contact permissions at firstname.lastname@example.org.
IMAGE: CNS photo/Bob RollerBy Rhina GuidosWASHINGTON
(CNS) -- After being removed from a list of partner organizations for the
Women's March on Washington, members of a pro-life group based in Texas decided
they still would take to the streets Jan. 21 to take part in the historic and
massive event. And they said it was a good decision.
it was an amazing experience," said Destiny Herndon-De La Rosa, of New Wave
Feminists, one of the groups removed as a march sponsor.
were prepared for confrontation and instead were supported by so many women,"
said Herndon-De La Rosa told Catholic News Service.
group posted photos on their Facebook and Instagram accounts of their
participation, holding signs that read, "I'm a pro-life feminist."
kept coming up and telling us how glad they were that we were there and how,
even though they didn't necessarily agree on the abortion issue, they thought
it wrong that we were removed as partners," said Herndon-De La Rosa. "It was
like Herndon-De La Rosa marched for a cause. In her group's case, they are
concerned about President Donald J. Trump's changing position on abortion and
say they wanted him to know they'd be watching what he does on pro-life issues
such as abortion, the death penalty and violence.
marched to voice disapproval of the new president. Many came from places near
and far and after filing past the streets near Washington's most important
institutions, they filled the area near the White House where its newest
residents have a direct line of view toward the Washington Monument.
were hoping the newly minted president would hear or see them and consider what
they had to say.
Legowski, a parishioner at Washington's Holy Trinity Catholic Church, said she
took to the streets "in support of values that I don't see in this
administration." Those values include equality for women and also caring about
immigrants who need help.
want to take a stand. I don't want to be passive about it," she said. "In our
faith we're called to solidarity."
means standing up against wealth inequality and defending the vulnerable, she
said. It's a means of building the kingdom of God on earth and she doesn't see
that as a priority for the new president.
a lot of women attending the march, she hosted other female friends, nieces and
a sister-in-law who lives in Germany, all of whom felt enough conviction to
travel to Washington and lend their presence to the numbers of participants.
Johnson, another Holy Trinity parishioner, attended the march with 11 nieces
and four grandnieces. They arrived in Washington from around the country, some
driving long distances and picking up other family members along the way. She
said she felt pride in her large group, particularly because they adopted the
values of her Irish Catholic immigrant parents and are concerned about the
common good, for women and for others.
wasn't marching against a cause or person, but rather marching for women's
dignity, she said.
went to a Catholic school where the nuns told me I'm a temple," she told CNS. "The
march is for that dignity."
she was excited to share that moment with a new generation in her family, she
women who attended said they didn't feel president Trump valued that dignity,
particularly after a leaked recording was aired during the campaign in which he
was heard making lewd comments about women to an entertainment reporter.
Hogan, who once worked for the Catholic Campaign for Human Development, the
U.S. bishops' domestic anti-poverty program, said he was attending the march
with neighbors and friends because he feels that what Trump has said goes
against Catholic social teaching. He said he was hoping other Catholics, as
organizations and groups, as well as church leaders, would speak up more
forcefully for the poor and vulnerable at this time.
said worries about the new president's stance on climate change, on the poor
and other issues that seem to go against what Pope Francis, as the leader of
the Catholic Church, says are important. He said he feels Trump lives and
espouses the opposite of what the church values, including family.
a citizen, "what (Trump) stands for is not what our participatory democracy
stands for," Hogan said, adding that he could not celebrate his inauguration.
Ever since Trump was elected, Hogan said he has participated in various
protests and prayer events with other organizations because he worries about
what will happen to the vulnerable in society. The Women's March was one of
those instances, he said.
organizers said the event was to "promote women's equality and defend other
marginalized groups," some pro-life groups that wanted to be partners in the
march were either removed as official sponsors days before the march -- or their
application to be a sponsor was ignored.
an interview before the march, Herndon-De La Rosa told CNS no one contacted her
group to give them the news they were taken off a roster of sponsors, but they
found out after a flurry of stories about it. The groups And Then There Were
None and Students for Life of America also were denied or taken off the Women's
many members of those organizations attended the march.
- - -Follow Guidos on Twitter: @CNS_Rhina. - - -Copyright © 2017 Catholic News Service/U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. www.catholicnews.com. All rights reserved. Republishing or redistributing of CNS content, including by framing or similar means without prior permission, is prohibited. You may link to stories on our public site. This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. To request permission for republishing or redistributing of CNS content, please contact permissions at email@example.com.
IMAGE: CNS/Paul HaringBy Carol GlatzVATICAN CITY (CNS) -- In an effort to share its masterpieces
with even more people around the world, the Vatican Museums has established a
YouTube channel and revamped its website to offer high-resolution images and
The "Musei Vaticani" YouTube channel lists
short visual "tours" of some of its collections along with a handful
of promotional videos highlighting specially tailored tours and services offered
on-site, including signing
guides for the deaf or hard-of-hearing.
Its website, museivaticani.va, has been completely
revamped to be compatible with all platforms and devices in order to extend its
reach to even "remote corners of the earth," said Barbara Jatta, the museums' new director, said
at a Vatican news conference Jan. 23.
The site, offered in five languages, features a sleeker
design, simpler texts and faster navigation, Jatta said. Links to pages can
also be shared via Twitter, Facebook or email.
The website provides information about booking visits and
purchasing tickets to the museums, the Vatican Gardens, the "Via
Triumphalis" necropolis under the Vatican hill and the pontifical villas
at Castel Gandolfo, south of Rome.
For now, the site showcases a little more than 3,000
high-resolution photographs of masterpieces in its collections. The "ideal"
plan, Jatta said, is to complete within one year the addition of photographs of
all 20,000 objects currently on public display and then begin working on adding
images of all art objects in storage, for a total of more than 200,000 works of
art.The site also allows the
public to consult and search an online catalogue of some of the museums'
paintings, sculptures and other art objects. While the museums already had a
registry of their entire inventory, migrating everything to the
public-accessible database is still a work-in-progress, Jatta said. - - -Copyright © 2017 Catholic News Service/U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. www.catholicnews.com. All rights reserved. Republishing or redistributing of CNS content, including by framing or similar means without prior permission, is prohibited. You may link to stories on our public site. This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. To request permission for republishing or redistributing of CNS content, please contact permissions at firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Cindy WoodenVATICAN CITY (CNS) -- As President Donald Trump was being
sworn in, Pope Francis told an interviewer it would be "reckless" to
pass judgment on the new president before he had a chance to do anything.
"We must wait and see," the pope told two
reporters from the Spanish newspaper El Pais during a 75-minute interview Jan. 20.
The interview was published late Jan. 21 in its original Spanish with an
Asked if he wasn't worried at least about some of the things
Trump said before his election, the pope responded, "I'm waiting. God
waited so long for me, with all my sins."
"Being afraid or rejoicing beforehand because of
something that might happen is, in my view, quite reckless," the pope
said. "We will see. We will see what he does and then we will judge --
always on the concrete. Christianity either is concrete or it is not
El Pais asked another question about Trump and populists in
the United States and Europe who, the interviewer said, "capitalize on
fear in the face of an uncertain future in order to form a message full of
xenophobia and hatred toward the foreigner."
"Crises provoke fear, alarm," the pope said.
"In my opinion, the most obvious example of European populism is Germany
in 1933. After (Paul von)
Hindenburg, after the crisis of 1930, Germany is broken, it needs to get
up, to find its identity, a leader, someone capable of restoring its character,
and there is a young man named Adolf Hitler who says: 'I can, I can.'"
"Hitler didn't steal the power, his people voted for
him, and then he destroyed his people," Pope Francis said.
In times of crisis, he said, large segments of the
population think, "Let's look for a savior who gives us back our identity
and let's defend ourselves with walls, barbed-wire, whatever, from other
peoples who may rob us of our identity. And that is a very serious thing."
Obviously, Pope Francis said, nations have a right and duty
to control their borders, especially under the threat of terrorism, but
"no country has the right to deprive its citizens of the possibility of
talking with their neighbors."
The El Pais reporters also asked Pope Francis about his
hopes for improved diplomatic relations with China. As he has done in the past,
the pope reported that a Vatican-Chinese committee has been meeting regularly
for years and the dialogue continues.
"Are you ready to go to China?" he was asked.
"When they invite me," he replied. "In China
the churches are full. One can practice one's religion in China," he added,
without mentioning the fact that religious practice is tightly controlled by
El Pais also asked the 80-year-old pope if he expects to
resign like Pope Benedict XVI did.
"That I don't know. That is for God to decide," he
said. "When I feel that I cannot go on, my great teacher Benedict taught me
what to do. And, if God takes me before that, I will see it from the other side
-- hopefully not from hell."- - -Copyright © 2017 Catholic News Service/U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. www.catholicnews.com. All rights reserved. Republishing or redistributing of CNS content, including by framing or similar means without prior permission, is prohibited. You may link to stories on our public site. This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. To request permission for republishing or redistributing of CNS content, please contact permissions at email@example.com.