Vatican Denounces Obama Administration's Decision to Fund Pro-Abortion Groups
By Matthew Cullinan Hoffman
ROME, January 25, 2009 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Vatican officials have denounced US President Barack Obama's decision to sign an executive order last week allowing funding for foreign organizations that provide abortions and abortion referrals.
Archbishop Rino Fisichella, head of the Pontifical Academy for Life, said that "if this is one of President Obama's first acts, I have to say, in all due respect, that we're heading quickly toward disappointment."
“It is essential to know how to listen to all of the requests of the country without shutting one's self up in an ideological vision with the arrogance of thinking that having power means the power over life and death," he said.
Archbishop Elio Sgreccia, the retired president of the same institution, told the Italian press that "among so many good things that could have been done, Obama has selected the worst: that which does not prevent the massacre of the innocent."
"It's a heavy blow," he continued, "and not just for us Catholics. The right to life is the first to protect and defend."
L'Osservatore Romano, the Vatican's principal newspaper, denounced the decision as "very disappointing, an error on the road to defend human life and the dignity of every person."
Under the Bush administration, funding abortion providers overseas was prohibited in accordance with the "Mexico City Policy," originally established by Ronald Reagan. The policy, so-named because it was formulated in a 1984 conference in Mexico City, sought to prevent US funds from indirectly paying for abortions.
Although direct funding of abortions with US taxpayer dollars is currently illegal, organizations that perform abortions can now use government funds to indirectly finance abortions by simply shifting resources from programs that receive the funding to those that terminate the lives of unborn children.
The Obama administration's decision to rescind the Mexico City Policy will make large quantities of US foreign aid dollars available to groups that provide or refer for abortions, especially in Africa.