Faith at the UN: Drawing Back the Curtain on the Catholic
Family and Human Rights Institute
The following is from
Catholics for a Free Choice. Website details for further information
appear at the end of this comment.
As a body established to
maintain global peace, the United Nations is a place where
all voices are meant to be heard. The freedom to address
issues on an international stage has allowed nongovernmental
organizations to educate UN missions on a range of issues,
especially women's empowerment, education, and the importance
of sexual and reproductive health and rights.
But the freedom to speak at the UN can be abused. As a new
report by Catholics for a Free Choice reveals, one of the
chief abusers of this freedom is the conservative, anti
reproductive rights organization Catholic Family and Human
Rights Institute (CAFHRI).
Bad Faith at the UN: Drawing
Back the Curtain on the Catholic Family and Human Rights
Institute examines the history, activities and finances
of CAFHRI and provides some disturbing conclusions. The
short history of CAFHRI is marked by a series of half-truths
and hidden facts. Internal and external documents reveal
that CAFHRI deliberately sought to hide the fact that it
was established by Human Life International (HLI)-an anti-abortion
organization that has been charged with anti-Semitism for
claiming that Jews run the abortion industry-and Human Life
International-Canada, after HLI was denied UN accreditation.
Forces behind CAFHRI also concealed its true primary purpose-to
serve as a resource for the Holy See at the UN. While CAFHRI
currently does not have consultative status at the United
Nations, UN officials confirm that CAFHRI has requested
ECOSOC status, even though Ruse admits to holding only a
"veneer of support" for the UN and boasts of actions
that "defy every UN rule on lobbying."
Bad Faith also examines
the disturbing warlike mindset that permeates CAFHRI's thinking
and actions. Proclaiming that God is on their side, CAFHRI
strategically seeks to demonize the voices of those at the
UN who seek to craft ethically sound international policy
on sexual and reproductive health and rights. What is even
more shocking is that this mindset exists within the Holy
See delegation as well, where, according to Austin Ruse,
a priest member of the delegation guaranteed Ruse absolution
if he "take out" Hillary Clinton.
CFFC President Frances
Kissling states, "Religious groups have been active
in the UN from its founding. For the most part they have
participated in good faith and they have contributed much.
They have respected the plural, secular and tolerant nature
of the UN. It would be unfortunate if CAFHRI, wearing the
mantle of religion, were allowed to continue its efforts
to create a Holy War in the international institution most
identified with peace."
For more information or
a copy of the report see www.catholicsforchoice.org