Pope Francis Gives Pontifical Medal to Pro-Abortion Dutch Activist Lilianne Ploumen-Truth!

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Pope Francis Gives Pontifical Medal to Pro-Abortion Dutch Activist Lilianne Ploumen-Truth!

Summary of eRumor:

Pope Francis bestowed the Pontifical Medal upon Lilianne Ploumen, a Dutch pro-abortion activist.

The Truth:

Pope Francis gave a papal honor to a pro-abortion activist Lilianne Ploumen. But the Vatican said it was given as a “diplomatic practice” and not as an endorsement of her views.
BNR Newsradio, an all-news station in the Netherlands, posted a short video of Lilianne Ploumen posing with the Pontifical Medal on December 22, 2017. The video went largely unnoticed at the time. That changed, however, with a Media Research Center report that appeared on January 22. The story appeared under the headline “Pope Francis Awards Pro-Abortion Extremist Lilianne Ploumen with Pontifical Honor.”

The video shows Ploumen posing with the Commander in the Pontifical Equestrian Order of St. Gregory the Great medal. The recognition has two divisions, civil and military. It’s frequently given to heads of state who meet with the Pope. Ploumen serves as the minister of foreign trade and development in the Netherlands. She launched a pro-choice NGO called “She Decides” in 2017. The group aims to counter an executive order issued by President Trump that bars U.S. aid to organizations that discuss abortion as a family planning option with their clients.
In an interview with the Catholic Herald on January 15,  Ploumen said, “I assume I have been granted the pontifical medal in the context of the Dutch state visit to the Vatican in June 2017. I was part of the delegation in my capacity at that time as minister of Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation of the Netherlands.”
The Holy See Press Office confirmed that Ploumen had been given the honor as a “diplomatic practice” for heads of state in a statement to the National Catholic Register that same day:

“The honor of the Pontifical Order of St. Gregory the Great received by Mrs. Lilianne Ploumen, former Minister of Development, in June 2017 during the visit of the Dutch Royals to the Holy Father, responds to the diplomatic practice of the exchange of honors between delegations on the occasion of official visits by Heads of State or Government in the Vatican.
Therefore, it is not in the slightest a placet [an expression of assent] to the politics in favor of abortion and of birth control that Mrs Ploumen promotes.”

So, wile it’s true that Lilliane Ploumen received a papal honor. But the Vatican maintains that it was given as a diplomatic practice, and wasn’t an endorsement of her views on abortion.