Pope Francis has conferred the title of “Commander of the Pontifical Equestrian Order of St. Gregory the Great” on Lilianne Ploumen, a Dutch politician and vocal agitator for abortion rights.
Last year, Ploumen founded a pro-abortion organization called She Decides, which offers funding and support for international NGOs that provide, facilitate or campaign for abortion.
In an interview with Dutch radio, Ploumen said she views the honor as a sign of the pope’s progressivism, as well as acknowledgment for her work in supporting abortion rights.
“Yes, because you know, the Vatican, especially under prior popes, had a rather rigid attitude when it came to the rights of girls and women,” she said.
The Order of St Gregory the Great was founded by Pope Gregory XVI in 1831, under the patronage of Pope St Gregory I. It is bestowed on those who have distinguished themselves in public service or given support to the Church.
The approval of candidates for this high honor must be given by the pope himself.
The Vatican press office has confirmed that the honor was indeed awarded to Lilianne Ploumen but insists that it was not meant to signal approval of her pro-abortion activities.
This did not settle well with many people. Several people took to Twitter to weigh in on the news:
He’s taking “who am I to judge” and bringing this lack of judgment to its extremity.
— Niall Burke (@nialljburke) January 17, 2018
This is why God sent Jesus Christ to die for sins and not a “Pope”.
— Matthew King (@MattxRSiJ) January 17, 2018
This only confirms that the Pope couldn’t care less about what God’s Word says about abortion. The person who won the award said it best when she said this proves the Pope is progressive. Shame on him and the Catholic church.
— Dave Moehring (@davemoehring) January 17, 2018