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Click here for WFF Statement on
Click here for Action Alert on
CEDAW (updated 8/20/02)
Click here to view Senator Christopher
S. Bond's response to our Statement updated 1/17/03
"reproductive rights" agendas make dramatic advance
at United Nations and International Criminal Court, as Catholic
Church's credibility plummets
A series of events this
year brought ominous news of the burgeoning push for ideological
feminist and related agendas, at a time when the Catholic Church's
counter-influence in the United States was collapsing during
six-months of sex scandals and cover-ups. The following timeline
summarizes main events in the simultaneous advances of coercive
measures that conflict with essential Church teaching on the
intrinsic value of human life, the central and irreplaceable
role of the family in society, and the value and dignity of women,
especially as mothers, teachers and care-givers.
June 2002 - Revelations of massive sex-abuse by clergy
dominate US press throughout first half of 2002. By mid-June,
three bishops had resigned following allegations of sexual abuse;
a majority of dioceses were affected by public revelations of
sex abuse by dozens of priests and subsequent cover-ups by bishops.
The sex-abuse of minors by clergy was overwhelmingly homosexual
- Profoundly deepening the damage,
it was revealed that in case after case, bishops reassigned priest-abusers
to other parishes where abuse continued.
- This crisis is unprecedented
in the history Catholic Church in America, and the credibility
of Catholic bishops, individually and collectively, has been
March 2002 - During Lent, the "Vagina-Monologues"
, a pornographic play by Eve Ensler is performed on about
400 college campuses (February 14 proclaimed "V-Day"),
including 12 Catholic Jesuit campuses. Ensler claims her aim
is to "end violence against women", and that some proceeds
from the performances are to help Afghan women victimized by
the patriarchal Muslim religion.
- Planned Parenthood sponsors of some performances.
- The United Nations web
site carries a link to the "V...Monologues" web site.
- In one "monologue",
a 13 year old girl describes her "good rape" by an
older woman. This scene is reportedly eliminated from some Catholic
campus productions in the wake of homosexual child abuse scandals
involving Catholic priests.
- Women and Fundamentalism
Resolution of the European Parliament passed by
a narrow margin (242-240/42 abstentions).
- The Resolution cites "Memory
and Reconciliation" (Pontifical Theological Commission
statement on apologies for sins and errors of the Church, Vatican,
March 7, 2000), and UN's CEDAW in preamble list of "considerations".
- The Resolution is the work of
the Women's Rights and Equal Opportunities committee of
the European Parliament, initiated on September 8, 2000. The
Resolution had earlier been tabled (October 25, 2001).
- The Resolution, "[deplores]
the interference of the Churches and religious communities
in the public and political life of the state, in particular
when such interference is designed to restrict human rights
and fundamental freedoms, for instance in the sexual or reproductive
sphere, or incite and encourage discrimination". It
"[expresses] serious reservations with regard to regressive
ideologies which are nostalgic for times past and claim to
possess answers for women's role in the future based on retrograde
positions from the past", and "[stresses] that
the process of women's emancipation and liberation is
an aspect of the historic progress of humankind."
- It asserts that "women's
reproductive functions are often controlled by the family, national
legislation and/or religious leaders; whereas furthermore
most of those responsible for controlling women's reproductivity,
at any level, are men", and "stresses that the
rights of women laid down in the international treaties and
conventions cannot be restricted or breached on the pretext of
religion, religious interpretations, cultural traditions or customs
- The Resolution "Supports
women who fight against fundamentalism and any movement
which aims to exclude them from social, economic and political
life..." and it "Condemns religious leaders who
make use of belief-systems with the aim of excluding women".
2002 - The United
Nations Commission on Population and Development (CPD) meeting
is held this week in New York. Issues surrounding reproductive
rights and reproductive health, including HIV/AIDS, are debated.
The 35th session of the Commission on Population and Development
will also deliberate on the follow-up actions to the recommendations
of the 1994 International Conference on Population and Development
(ICPD) in Cairo. The HIV/AIDS issue is presented as a matter
of "women's rights".
- The UN Population Division had
released data on adolescent sexual behavior & STDs. (See
Rita Joseph, "Wrong
Way - Go Back! -UN Misdirections on Sexual and Reproductive
Rights for Adolescents", Voices, Pentecost 2002,
- In anticipation of the meeting,
the United Nations published an anti-Catholic document
by Catholics for a Free Choice (CFFC). A copy of an official
UN Economic and Social Council (ESC) release of the CFFC statement
notes that the CFFC is a "non-governmental organization
(NGO) in special consultative status" with the ESC. The
CFFC statement said that the status of the Holy See in the
UN should be withdrawn, because it represents a religion,
not a state. CFFC also said, "The Holy See's 'prohibition'
on abortion and contraception and the use of condoms...is not
subject to papal infallibility and Catholics are free to disagree
with these institutional positions."
- The United States delegation
declared that the promotion of strong families and strong values
is necessary to combat the spread of HIV/AIDS. This position
contradicts most UN documents that hold that the AIDS epidemic
should be addressed mainly through sexual education and the widespread
distribution of condoms to adolescents (10-18 year olds). US
Ambassador Sichan Siv told the Commission, "Abstinence
and postponement of initial sexual activity play important roles
in the promotion of adolescent health and well-being." Siv
added that "monogamy, fidelity, [and] partner reduction"
should also be encouraged.
- Ireland's representative in
a panel on "reproductive health and reproductive rights"
John A. Jackson said that the Catholic Church's policies
on birth control led to their young population, reproductive
health problems, etc.
- Anabella Arredondo Paz, Executive Director, National Commission
on AIDS, Ministry of Health of Chile, complained of deep-seated
gender difference and strong opinions about homosexuality in
her country which impeded "reproductive rights" and
2002 - International
Criminal Court - 9th preparatory commission meeting. Aim
of ICC: to establish jurisdiction of a permanent international
court capable of trying and convicting individuals who
commit violations of international humanitarian law: war crimes,
crimes against humanity, genocide, and aggression. (The definitions
are broad, and feminist influence in interpretation is considerable.)
ICC Rome Statute ratified - in a ceremony in Rome, 10
states simultaneously ratified the Rome Statute, crossing the
threshold of the 60 ratifications necessary for its entry into
- Observing the highly political
character of the ICC, Ronald J. Rychlak, law professor
at University of Mississippi, who has worked with the Holy See's
delegation at the ICC meetings, reported that at the moment of
ratification, NGO lobbyists in the gallery "held up several
individual letters, like they do at football games, to spell
"WOMEN WELCOME THE ICC". Later the ICC delegates turned
to the gallery and gave the lobbyists for the ICC a standing
- The Women's Caucus for Gender
Justice takes credit for "imbedding" feminist issues
into the Rome Statutes.
2002 - US Cardinals
meet with Pope John Paul II on massive problem of clergy
sex scandals. Pope issues statement emphasizing that children
must be protected. Credibility of Catholic bishops in the US
is gravely damaged by scandals involving child abuse by priests,
predominantly homosexual, and subsequent cover-ups and reassignments
2002 - UN Summit on Children. US Mission and State Department back
delegates from Switzerland and the European Union in their push
to change the traditional UN definition of the family - married
heterosexual parents and children - at the UN General Assembly's
Special Session on Children.
- Critics of the plan to redefine
the family fear that this would grant international legitimacy
to homosexual "marriage" and domestic-partner benefits,
making these arrangements an internationally recognized right.
- The US government has a tentative
agreement to remove language from the Child
Summit document that would support abortion counseling
and abortions for teens under guarantees of so-called "reproductive
health services," a State Department source said.
2002 - United Nations
Women's Anti-discrimination Committee (Committee on Elimination
of Discrimination Against Women) holds 27th UN Session on the
Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination
Against Women (CEDAW) at UN Headquarters in New York.
The Committee hears reports on progress with implementing CEDAW
from various nations that have adopted it.
- The CEDAW, was first
adopted by the UN General Assembly in 1979, and passed into effect
in 1981. It has been ratified by 163 nations; so far not including
the United States. Click
HERE for WFF Statement on
- States parties to CEDAW are
required to report to the 23-member Committee on their country's
implementation of the Convention.
- The CEDAW Committee believes
religion inhibits women's rights and "stereotypes"
women's roles, and that abortion is a fundamental human right.
- For example, in July 2001,
the Committee asked Nicaragua delegates "What kind
of efforts have you made in changing or influencing the attitudes
and opinions of [Catholic] Church leaders? Are there any improvements
in their attitudes towards abortion, contraception and stereotyping?"
- June 12, 2002, as Denmark was being examined
by the CEDAW panel, a UN press release reports that one expert
wondered how Danish families divided household duties and chores.
"It was gratifying to know that fathers were increasingly
taking care of babies," but the expert "also wanted
to know how they participated in bringing up older children and
shared in housework." In response, a Danish delegate assured
the Committee that "continuous monitoring was being carried
out" on fathers and their household activities.
June 5, 2002 - US Government urged to reconsider
its non-ratification of CEDAW.
- Center for Reproductive Law
and Policy (CLRP - www.crlp.org),
Franciscans International, the US-based Global Alliance
for Women's Health (coalition) and the Sisters of Loretto
Women's Network (www.lorettocommunity.org;) are among the
women's organizations urging ratification of CEDAW by United
2002 - US bishops
meet in Dallas, focus entirely on recent pederasty scandals.
About 750 media attend. Bishops adopt a "Charter" of
procedures for dealing with cases of clerical pederasty, including
"zero-tolerance" of priests who have ever sexually
- Bishops are addressed by Scott
Appleby (Notre Dame history professor, self-described "Americanist"
Catholic, and co-author of "The Fundamentalism Project"),
Margaret Steinfels (editor of liberal Catholic magazine,
Commonweal), and four victims of sex abuse by clergy.
Appleby and Steinfels call for restructuring of the Church to
make it conform to a democratic model that will be hospitable
to dissent (Appleby repeatedly notes dissent from Church teaching
on contraception after Humanae Vitae in 1968.)
- An advisory panel on psychological
aspects consists of advocates of "mature" homosexuality
for priests, Frs. Canice Connors and Stephen Rosetti
(present and past director of St. Luke Institute and Southdown
therapy facilities) and "sex-expert" Dr. Fred Berlin
of Johns Hopkins. (St. Luke Institute is under investigation
by the State of Maryland after a priest committed suicide in
his room May 16, shortly after his arrival for treatment.)
- USCCB President, Bishop Wilton
Gregory appoints an independent review board: Oklahoma Governor
Frank Keating, Robert Bennett (former-president Clinton's
defense attorney in Paula Jones/Lewinsky sex cases), and Chicago
Judge Anne Burke.
- Two bishops (Bruskewitz,
and Francis Cardinal George) say problems of dissent and
homosexuality must be faced, but most bishops seem reluctant
to include these, voting against a proposal to include this in
June 18, 2002 - Women's Caucus for Gender Justice
distributes announcement of a Job opening for Executive Director
on the internet.
- The notice states that the Women's
Caucus "has succeeded in embedding in the international
law a broad range of gender crimes as well as principles, processes
and remedies designed to make gender justice a reality. These
provisions of the Rome Statute of the ICC are in turn
a basis for law reform and anti-impunity initiatives on national
and regional levels relating to gender violence and persecution
in war conflict as well as in the so-called time of peace".
"The Women's Caucus for Gender Justice...is committed to
strengthening women's leadership, representation, networks
and advocacy for the promotion of gender justice internationally
and at the national level. Our goal is to enable women to
use and expand justice and accountability norms and mechanisms,
including the ICC, to both redress violations against
women and address the causes of gender violence and discrimination,
poverty, conflict, economic exploitation and other sources of
July 1, 2002 -
ICC Rome Statute enters into force. International Criminal
Court will begin functioning approximately 12 months after
2002 - ICC final PrepCom
of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Holy Day of Obligation
- At their June meeting, the
US Bishops' Conference had discussed holding a nationwide
day of fasting on August 14, the vigil of this solemnity
and Holy Day of Obligation. They were unable to reach a decision
to do so.
4, 2002 - UN World Summit
on Sustainable Development
[WSSD] to meet in Johannesburg.
- United Nations Environment
Programme [UNEP] announcement
on its web site (www.unep.org/wssp) explictly links "Sustainable
Development" with women's issues.
- The UNEP, "recall[s] the
vision", citing factors, including "women increasingly
aware and with an enhanced active role in society" that
will "point to the emergence of a new consciousness".
"We can decrease poverty by half by 2015...we can better
coordinate legal instruments and we can realize a vision
of a world without slums".
- "Sustainable development
is at the hub of population control initiatives that have
overtaken the globe in the past 25 years. As could be expected,
the target for control is women", writes Mary Jo Anderson
in "UN - Sustainable Development", Voices
Lent/Easter 2002, (www.wf-f.org/02-1-UNSustainableDev.html)
14 - Exaltation
of the Cross - At their June meeting, the US Bishops' Conference had discussed
holding a nationwide day of fasting on September 13, the
vigil of this feast. They were unable to reach a decision to
29 - Saint Michael and
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