The May fund-raising letter of the Washington-based Population Institute referred to the Holy See as the “anti-contraceptive gestapo.” The statement, made in reference to the Holy See’s teachings on marriage and the family, was designed to mobilize members against the Vatican’s position at the upcoming U.N. event in Beijing, the Fourth World Conference on Women.

Werner Fornos, president of The Population Institute, wrote the following: “The Vatican continues to undermine the advancements we’ve made in Cairo on issues of pregnancy prevention. The anti-contraceptive gestapo has vowed to double the number of its delegation to 28 and to turn once more to weaken the cause of reproductive rights.” Listed on the Advisory Committee are several sitting Congressmen. As noted in the Washington Times, former President George Bush quit the National Rifle Association because its director sent out a fund-raising letter referring to federal agents as “jackbooted thugs.”

In a news release on this subject, the Catholic League issued the following remarks:

“The Population Institute proves once again that some of the anti-natalist forces are unquestionably anti-Catholic. Not content, or able, to debate the issues on their merits, these activists seek to defame the Holy See and thereby discredit its influence. Members of The Population Institute who share its politics, but not its bigotry, should make a clear and decisive break with the organization.

“Following the lead of former President George Bush, who broke with the NRA over an irresponsible fund-raising letter, those public officials who currently serve on the Public Policy Advisory Committee of The Population Institute should break with the organization. Accordingly, the Catholic League calls upon the following advisors to The Population Institute to resign immediately: Sen. Paul Simon, Sen. Daniel K. Inouye, Sen. Barbara Boxer, Rep. Jim Leach, Rep. Robert Torricelli and Rep. Sam Gejdenson.

“Not to resign would be to give tacit support to anti-Catholicism. It would also show a lack of courage.”

The Catholic League wrote directly to each Congressman involved in this scandal. We’re very grateful to Cardinal John O’Connor who cited the League’s response in his weekly column of June 15 in Catholic New York.

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