Honestly, you can’t make this up.

Thanks to my Lutheran cyberfriend, the Revd Gregory Jackson from Ichabod, I discovered that Pope Francis has awarded a Dutch abortion activist with a distinguished medal.

For anyone thinking, ‘I’m not a Catholic, no need to worry’, if you’re in any one of the following Lutheran synods, Revd Jackson warns (highlight mine):

The UniSynod Loves This Pope – ELCA-WELS-ELS-LCMS-CLC (sic)

His post has the link to the relevant Breitbart article from January 17, 2018, excerpted below (emphases mine outside of the first paragraph):

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 email to the Catholic Herald, Ms. Ploumen said that she was “very honoured” by the pontifical medal, which was sent via the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs last month.

In an interview with Dutch radio, Ploumen said she views the honor as a sign of the pope’s progressivism, as well as acknowledgement for her work in supporting abortion rights.

Breitbart gives a history of the medal:

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.

There is supposed to be an investiture ceremony when the medal is conferred to the recipient. A sponsoring prelate presents the recipient before the medal is given. Said prelate must recite a standard formula including these words:

membership in the Pontifical Order of St Gregory the Great “is conferred as a reward for services to the Holy See and the Church on gentlemen/ladies of proved loyalty who must maintain unswerving fidelity to God, the Supreme Pontiff, the Holy See and the Church.”

But it says that Ploumen received it via the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs. So, it seems to be a case of, ‘Hello, Lilianne, the Vatican sent something to you. We’ll have someone deliver it.’

Does the Pope support abortion?

Pope Francis has been an outspoken critic of abortion, calling it a “very grave sin” and a “horrendous crime.”

The Vatican is walking this back a bit.

The Vatican says that Ploumen has not been given this distinguished medal for her socio-political views but for her appearance in June 2017, accompanying the Dutch royal family’s visit.

The spokeswoman, Paloma García Ovejero, said that it was a diplomatic exchange of honours.

So the medal is viewed as a mere trinket? ‘Let’s see, what can we get for Lilianne Ploumen? Hmm. How about the medal for the Pontifical Order of St Gregory the Great? Yeah, that’ll do.’

She’s completely undeserving. It’s not ‘only’ for her views on abortion, either:

As “a radical supporter of homosexual rights,” Register correspondent Edward Pentin states, Ploumen “urged homosexuals to disrupt Mass in a Dutch cathedral after an openly homosexual man was denied Holy Communion” in 2010.

Last September, Ploumen also gave a prominent address at the LGBT’s Core Group at the United Nations.

This was a very wrong move, indeed.

I’m not Catholic, either.

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