This chapter from our Chairman Dr. Stephen D. Mumford’s book, American Democracy and the Vatican: Population Growth and National Security (1984) summarizes the seriousness of the Vatican’s influence on U.S. policy making. The book is available at Kindle here and to read for free here.
Chapter 10: Influence of the Catholic Hierarchy on Government Policy
The Reagan administration is the most Catholic administration in American history. Yet few Americans are aware of this. Why all the secrecy? Why has this fact never been mentioned in the press, particularly in light of the Reagan agenda?
About 4 percent of Americans are of Irish Roman Catholic descent. Ronald Reagan’s father was and his brother is Roman Catholic. The president has never been very active in any faith; however, all but two of Reagan’s key appointees concerned with the national security/population growth control issues have been Irish Roman Catholics. They include: his three national security advisers, Allen, Clark, and McFarlane; CIA Director Casey; Secretary of State Haig; Health and Human Services Secretary Heckler; and Attorney-General Smith. One exception is Schultz, who is a Roman Catholic of German extraction; the other was Schweiker, not a Catholic.
What of other critical positions in the administration? At the cabinet level, other Catholics are Secretary of the Treasury Donald Regan and Secretary of Labor Raymond Donovan. Also, Reagan appointed Sandra Day O’Connor to the Supreme Court and Ann Gorsuch to the post of EPA administrator. Both are of Irish descent.
Since only 4 percent of Americans are Catholics of Irish descent, it would seem that this particular ethnic group is grossly overrepresented in the seats of power. The odds of this happening by chance are nil.
Making this disturbing is the makeup of the Church hierarchy. Although descendants of Irish immigrants to this country constitute only 20 percent of the nation’s Catholics, the roots of American Catholic bishops are mainly in Ireland. They are unquestionably the most politically aggressive element of the Church. Their ethnic group was strongly favored by the person who put the Reagan team together. My concern is that this person was not Mr. Reagan. What makes this arrangement so troubling are the marked similarities between the Reagan agenda and the Vatican agenda.
The Vatican Agenda vs. the Reagan Agenda
Few Americans realize that the Vatican and Reagan agendas are, despite minor disagreement, virtually identical. Let us look at the record.
Table 1 shows the Vatican and Reagan Administration positions on twenty-four of the most controversial issues of the past three years. It is difficult to find a single example of disagreement between them. The president has made no secret of the fact that he calls on the pope for guidance in the governing of America. In chapter four, I have quoted his incredible statement before the National Catholic Education Association in April 1982: “I am grateful for your help in shaping American policy to reflect God’s will…and I will look forward to further guidance from His Holiness Pope John Paul II during an audience I will have with him in June.” After this one-hour private meeting at the Vatican on June 7, he said that the Catholic Church “pursues the same goals of peace, freedom, and humanity.” Reagan added that he wanted the U.S. government “to work closely with the Church in Latin America…to prevent the spread of repression and godless tyranny.” He also invited the pope to visit the United States again, saying, “There is a great need for such a visit.” In May, they met in Alaska. In his March 8, 1983, speech before the National Association of Evangelicals, Reagan expressed himself in terms normally reserved for use by Catholic clergy: “I urge you to beware of the temptation…to ignore…the aggressive impulses of an evil empire, to…thereby remove yourself from the struggle between right and wrong, good and evil.” During a speech to a group of conservatives on February 18, 1983, Reagan made the statement that the attempted assassination of the pope was “an assault on God.” Can it be that the president receives the words of the pope as if they were actually words or instructions direct from God?
On August 6, 1984, columnist Mary McGrory offered that Mr. Reagan comes on as more Catholic than the Pope:
Catholic issues seem to consume him…. Reagan’s motivation now seems to be his inability to tolerate the “oppression of the Church” to which the Pope has attested…. John Kennedy may be smiling somewhere at the sight of an American president wrapping himself in the arms of Holy Mother Church…. By contrast, Reagan is going out of his way to show that with him there is no separation of church and state. He wants it known that there is a direct line between him and the Pope, that he seeks counsel from the Vatican City. Reagan took the extraordinary step of inviting the Pope’s ambassador, Pio Laghi, to his Santa Barbara ranch for consultation on delicate foreign policy questions. [emphasis added]
In a prepared address to an ecumenical prayer breakfast attended by twelve thousand religious leaders and delegates to the Republican National Convention, Mr. Reagan challenged the constitutional premise of separation of church and state. “The truth is, politics and morality are inseparable, and as morality’s foundation is religion, religion and politics are necessarily related.” A report on this speech stated that “his remarks put him squarely in the camp of the fundamentalist religious right,” implying that this is not consistent with the Vatican camp. However, the Reverend Virgil C. Blum, president and founder of the Milwaukee-based Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, endorsed Reagan’s church and state sentiments.
The truth is that Mr. Reagan is just giving his blessing to a reality. The Vatican has for decades ignored the constitutional premise of separation of church and state though this situation has worsened since the publication of the Pastoral Plan for Prolife Activities in 1975. Columnist Mary McGrory, in an article on the unprecedented challenge to the archbishop of New York by Governor Mario Cuomo, frankly stated that for a Catholic politician to publicly oppose the wishes of an archbishop is political suicide. She pointed out that Cuomo is the first Catholic politician to pick a fight with a prelate and that “it is the conventional wisdom that no politician wins in a fight with the Catholic Church.”
The Major Difference Between the United States and Latin American Countries
The vast disparities between Latin America and the United States should not exist. Both were settled by Europeans at about the same time. Both are rich in resources. But where a democratic form of government grew out of the British experience, and among its North American possessions the principle of separation of church and state had been fostered, Latin America reflected the authoritarian Spanish and Portuguese conquest of the countries to the south. The nature of these settlements was particularly distinctive in regard to religion. Many in the North had come to seek religious freedom, which they guarded jealously, insisting on separation of church and state. In Latin America, the new land was explored for its wealth and for conversions to Catholicism. The modern Catholic Church adheres to this day to this prerogative, this close alliance of government and religion. It acts in this country as if it has a moral obligation to influence, in whatever way it can, issues that are at variance with Catholic priorities. The Catholic Church disregards the fundamental American concept of separation of church and state, claiming a “divine right” to do so. I am deeply concerned about this state of affairs as it concerns over population.
As a result of the Vatican’s position and actions, our government is not dealing with the realities of overpopulation, including illegal immigration. Should the Vatican agenda be followed for even the next fifteen to twenty years, there will be no turning back for the U.S. The United States of North America will become a part of Latin America.
The Church and Divisiveness in America
Because the Catholic Church ignores the principle of separation of church and state, it is the most divisive force in America. The March 19, 1984, issue of U.S. News and World Report examined two secret Catholic elite religious societies in this country: the Knights of Malta with one thousand U.S. members who are prominent in government, business, or professional life and Opus Dei with three thousand members of widely varied backgrounds. The Knights of Malta organization dates back to the time of the Crusades; its members include some of our nation’s most prominent Catholics: CIA Director William Casey; William Wilson; Vernon Walters; Senators Denton and Domenici; Alexander Haig; William Sloan; and William F. Buckley, creator and leader of Young Americans for Freedom, from which a large proportion of the Reagan administration team were drawn. Because many Knights and recipients of the Order’s honors have worked in or around the CIA, critics sometimes suggest a link between the two. The CIA has been dominated by the Catholic hierarchy.
According to members, the order serves “as an international defender of the Church.” In June of each year a ceremony is held in Rome for Knights of Malta which includes the “swearing of allegiance to the defense of the Holy Mother Church.” Herein lies the problem for population growth control and its recognition as a national security issue. Population growth control seriously threatens the survival of the Vatican, as discussed in chapters one and four. Knights are committed to defending the Church. Only the most devout and obedient are invited to join the Knights and Opus Dei (which its detractors have compared to mind-controlling cults). If the Vatican has determined that population growth control threatens the Holy Mother Church, the members of these societies are obliged to counter this threat by thwarting the development of population growth control government policies and their execution. It is inevitable that the best interests of the Vatican and those of the United States are not always going to be the same. For this reason, no one can possibly swear complete allegiance to both and mean it. The acts and attitudes of the Knights of Malta in the Reagan administration seem to reflect this complete allegiance to the Catholic Church rather than to our country.
This deep conflict has serious ramifications for population growth control. As long as it exists, it is not possible to effectively deal with the population problem. The real population problem is not convincing people that they must have small families or delivering the family planning services to them. This we can most certainly achieve in just ten years for 95 percent of the world’s population and at a price we can afford. The real population problem is this conflict between the needs of the Church and the desperate needs of humanity to control its proliferation.
Consider the intensity of the commitment of these secret society members as “international defenders of the Church.” It is hardly a secret that one of the most important American advances in “defending the Church” by Catholic elitists was the creation of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). The activities of the CIA go far beyond intelligence gathering of an international nature. The CIA serves as an agency through which secret “assistance” to the Holy Mother Church can be provided by secret American society members acting as her defenders:
During the CIA’s formative years, Protestants predominated…. Somehow, however, Catholics wrested control of the CIA’s covert-action section. It was no coincidence that some of the agency’s more grandiose operations were in Catholic countries of Latin America and the Catholic regime of South Vietnam.
For creating the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), the wartime predecessor to the CIA, and this special arrangement with the Vatican,
General William “Wild Bill” Donovan was decorated in July 1944 by Pope Pius XII with the Grand Cross of the Order of Saint Sylvester, the oldest and most prestigious of papal knighthoods. This award has been given to only one hundred other men in history, who, “by feat of arms or writings or outstanding deeds have spread the faith and have safeguarded and championed the Church.”
Donovan did more to safeguard and champion the Church than any other American, and he was rewarded for his services with the highest Catholic award ever received by an American. No doubt, thousands of others have striven with their deeds for similar recognition.
What has this meant in terms of the issues cited in Table I? Communism is the greatest threat faced by the Church. The Catholic Church and communism cannot coexist. They are both rival absolutists. Both indoctrinate their children so as to ensure complete rejection of the other. Columnist Robert Blair Kaiser who covered the Vatican for Time magazine had a conversation with Pope John XXIII in August 1962. “For too long, he [the pope] said, the Church had been waging a so-called holy war against the forces of communism. That was getting us nowhere.” This holy war continues in Central America today!
It is believed by some historians that the reason the Vatican aided Hitler in his rise to power was so that he could destroy Russian communism. When this failed, the Vatican through its defenders called upon the United States to stop the spread of Russian communism in Europe and elsewhere. A Vatican-inspired hate campaign against the Russians, the greatest hate campaign ever endured by Americans, was launched. To this day, like most other Americans, I am a victim of this campaign launched during my childhood.
In August 1984, President Reagan showed his intense hatred of the Russian people in his infamous radio microphone test, “My fellow Americans, I’m pleased to tell you today that I’ve signed legislation that would outlaw Russia forever. We begin bombing in five minutes.” No doubt, this Vatican-inspired hate campaign has influenced Mr. Reagan.
By this theory, at a cost of hundreds of billions of American dollars, we built a war machine for the protection of Catholicism. For this same reason have we built a nuclear arsenal powerful enough to destroy the world five times over and have we seen the Russians match it? This is, I feel, in great part the origin of the other great threat to civilization—nuclear war. Hundreds of millions of dollars were spent to protect Catholicism from communism, and one can only conjecture about the ways in which the world would have been different if this money had been spent differently and if the first requests to the World Health Organization by India for population growth control assistance had not been blocked by the Vatican thirty-four years ago.
Our commitment to saving the Catholic government in South Vietnam from communism (only 5 percent of the people of South Vietnam were Catholic,  causing some observers to refer to it as a Vatican colony) can be thought of as a result of the activities of the “U.S. Catholic defenders of the Church,” largely members of the CIA. The French provided this same service to the Vatican for eighty years before they gave up on the holy war in Vietnam.
A number of issues cited in Table I, including U.S. military support for El Salvador and other Central American governments, the Grenada invasion, and maintaining the status quo in Latin America can be seen as Vatican-inspired actions to prop up Catholic (Vatican-dominated) governments against popular uprisings. They are the “holy wars against communism” mentioned by Pope John XXIII. During a May 1984 fundraising visit to New York, the archbishop of Managua, Nicaragua, Miguel Obando y Bravo, said his campaign represented the best-organized opposition in Nicaragua to popular Sandinista government efforts.
Another example is Lebanon. Most Americans are not aware of the closeness of the Gemayel government to the Vatican. “Maronite Christians,” a minority group in Lebanon, are the Eastern Catholic Church. “The Maronites are in communion with Rome and have a college for the education of their clergy in Rome. In the year 1181, at the time of the Crusades, the Maronites…made peace with Rome and became attached to the Holy See.” Gemayel, like his politician father, was Jesuit trained in a Catholic university. The Vatican wishes to see the Maronites continue to be the dominant power in Lebanon so that the only country in the Middle East in the Vatican sphere of influence will remain so. In all of these cases the Vatican, to maintain and expand its geographical control, seems to be calling upon the services of the U.S. Defense Department to serve as an instrument of Vatican foreign policy in much the same way it has in Cold War Europe.
My purpose in presenting this brief discussion of selected foreign policy initiatives of the Vatican is to show the lengths to which “defenders of the Church” in the Reagan administration are willing to go in order to “safeguard” the Church. To these “defenders,” Vietnam, El Salvador, Grenada, and Lebanon are viewed in part as “holy wars for the preservation of the Church.” They are unquestionably willing to go to similar lengths to protect the Church from population growth control activities.
Population scientists, field workers, and, more importantly, journalists must acknowledge the magnitude of this obstacle to solving the population problem and deal with this problem in its entirety—and without delay.
In the meantime, the Vatican is enhancing its political power through generating domestic divisiveness. The abortion issue is clearly the most important to the Church and one of the most contentious issues in American history. It has allowed the Church to mobilize (under the guise of an emotional or “moral” issue) many Catholics, though a minority of those in this country, for political purposes. But it has also given the Church the opportunity to mobilize a large number of non-Catholics, mostly Protestant fundamentalists, to serve the needs of the Vatican.
Just after the Reagan administration announced the radical change in U.S. population assistance policy, Senator Bradley of New Jersey sent out a press release dated August 8, 1984. He sharply condemned the Reagan administration policy change in the name of abortion restriction. “I cannot comprehend the logic of this new policy. It is not about abortion. What the policy is about is denying support for family planning services…. The administration’s new policy will do a great deal to suppress family planning efforts . . .” (emphasis added). The Vatican’s real target here was family planning, and it expects Americans to be fooled by its strategy. Most Protestant fundamentalists have no problem with family planning, but they have been used here by the Vatican to accomplish Vatican goals.
Few fundamentalists are opposed to family planning, international population assistance, or illegal immigration control. Yet the Vatican uses its “Moral Majority” and the political force of the fundamentalists to undermine family planning, international population assistance, and illegal immigration control through this organization of lobbyists.
Federal aid to public education has always been opposed by the Church. Between 1925 and 1945, it was blocked by the Catholic lobby because it enhances the disparity between Catholic education and public education and shifts some decision-making to the federal level where it is less susceptible to Church influence than at the local level. The Vatican is opposed to the United Nations and its agencies because it sees them as a competitor for the role of international arbitrator and peacemaker. Parochial school aid is viewed by the Church as vitally important. Only 30 percent (about three million) of Catholic children attend Catholic schools. While these schools produce enough obedient Catholics to advance the Vatican agenda, tripling this proportion would substantially enhance the power of the Church. School prayer is important because, the more religious the public schools are made, the easier it is to justify government assistance to parochial schools. Other issues appearing in Table I have been discussed elsewhere in this text and need not be dealt with here.
What is important is that the Church picks up non-Catholic support on each of these issues. For example, non-Catholic private school parents who send their children to nonreligious schools support the Church’s political initiatives because they stand to gain from them. The Vatican has elevated fundamentalist leader Jerry Falwell to a position of power and status of which he never dreamed. He is enabled to have frequent meetings with President Reagan and given an opportunity to be one of the nation’s foremost “moral leaders,” delivering “Moral State of the Union” speeches on nationwide prime-time telecasts. In return, Falwell provides the Church with a constituency of millions of fundamentalists to mask as a “Christian” effort the Vatican’s lobbying effort against abortion, the Equal Rights Amendment, family planning, and population assistance issues.
The Vatican’s extensive intrusion into American policy-making is causing considerable national divisiveness. The Vatican gains considerable political advantage from its allies among non-Catholics and uses it to heavily influence government policy (or to thwart the making of policy altogether in some areas). Their manipulation has frustrated mobilization in this country to deal with the nation’s most pressing problems, such as population growth control, nuclear disarmament, illegal immigration control, environmental degradation, including the pollution of our nation’s waters and soil, soil erosion, and the “greenhouse effect.” Our country is finding itself in a position similar to those in Latin America which are literally being buried under their problems because their national interests sometimes differ from Vatican interests.
Decisions on Three Issues Which Would Allow a Rapid Expansion of Vatican Power in the United States
Three issues which will be decided upon in the next year or so could radically enhance Vatican power. The first is the creation of a constitutional convention. Few Americans realize that its creators are those people who served as front men for the creation of the Moral Majority. The actual creators are Catholics Richard A. Viguerie and Paul Weyrich. Most of the thrust is coming from the National Taxpayers Union (NTU). Its executive director was a leading anti-abortion activist. NTU bankrolled a tuition tax-credit initiative for Catholic schools in the District of Columbia in 1981.
The convention would be formed for the purpose of passing an amendment to balance the federal budget. But many experts believe that nothing would stop it from considering other changes in the Constitution. Such a convention has not been held since the writing of our current governing document in 1789. Already thirty-two states have voted to call this body to order—just two states shy of the thirty-four needed.
It seems clear that the institution standing to benefit most from this convention is the Roman Catholic Church. It could arrange for the rewriting of the Constitution in such a way as to provide tax support for Catholic schools, to ban all abortions, to put government-mandated prayer back in the schools, to ban government support for family planning, to legalize unrestricted immigration, to mandate intensified anti-communist hate propaganda, to eliminate support for the United Nations, and to reduce sharply First Amendment rights such as the right to criticize the Catholic Church. Award-winning columnist George Will, almost an official spokesperson for the Reagan administration, has already called for a reduction in First Amendment rights.
It is almost inconceivable that thirty-two of the thirty-four states have already voted for the calling of the convention without more media and public attention being drawn to this movement headed by NTU. No such effort has ever progressed with so little attention.
The drive for a convention was moving smoothly and swiftly until California Governor Jerry Brown raised the banner of the NTU, calling publicly for a convention to balance the national budget. Brown’s political opportunism put the issue on the front page of national magazines and newspapers, out from the protective obscurity it had quietly enjoyed. Once it was exposed to the light, people began to get informed, and they soon developed legitimate concerns.
Unhappy with this turn of events, NTU Treasurer William Bonner acknowledged that NTU would have preferred to get all the required thirty-four states lined up before the national media began examining the issues. “It would have been better to let a sleeping dog lie,” he observed. “There is no point in heating things up. When Brown announced, we had to go more public.”
The lobbying effort at the state level has been finely honed and orchestrated and is truly fantastic. People who have worked in movements like the ERA and the environmental movement can appreciate the amount of effort that has gone into this massive lobbying campaign.
Only the secretive hierarchy of the Catholic Church is capable of orchestrating such massive lobbying effort so quietly. No doubt it has used the political lobbying organization it set up to ban abortion—the Moral Majority—to achieve this near miracle. The convention movement should be a matter of great concern. It is certain to at least cause a constitutional crisis and considerable national divisiveness. The greater the divisiveness, the greater the political gain for the Catholic Church. Population growth control is certain to lose.
A second opportunity for government policy manipulation is through influencing the selection of Supreme Court justices by the reelection of Mr. Reagan to a second term. Of the six sitting pro-abortion justices, five are now more than seventy-three years old. Sandra Day O’Connor, a conservative and obedient Irish Roman Catholic, has been Reagan’s only appointment thus far. If he is reelected, the odds are fairly good that he would have occasion to appoint four additional justices, and they could all be conservative and obedient Catholics just like his first selection. Then we would have a majority of the Court appointed with the same kind of “divine guidance” Reagan has been getting all along and have a Court no doubt responsive to the needs of the Vatican. This end is already within reach of the Church if Reagan is reelected.
The third opportunity for government policy manipulation comes with the continued influx of illegal aliens. John Tanton, chairman of the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) and leading thinker on illegal immigration, summarizes the findings of studies of the beneficiaries by saying that the only Americans who benefit are business interests that employ illegals at low wages. That is all! In this country, 75 percent of Hispanics approve of illegal immigration control and of national identification cards. This is the group that the Catholic hierarchy said opposed control. (Of course, the Church was only speaking “on behalf of” Hispanics all along.)
No one benefits except some often unscrupulous business interests and the Catholic hierarchy (90 percent of all illegal aliens are Catholic). No illegal immigration control organizations ever mention opposition by the hierarchy—another example of the power of censorship.
If illegal aliens were comprised of other religious groups, we probably would have little illegal immigration control problems in the United States. How does the Church justify this blatantly anti-American activity of creating a sanctuary in America for Catholic illegal aliens from Latin America?
Officially one-quarter of the people in the Catholic Church in the United States are Hispanic. However, according to Church spokesman the Reverend Raymond G. Schutte, a Benedictine, in reality almost 40 percent of our country’s Catholics are Spanish-speaking, and their number will rise to 50 percent by 1990—only six years from now—due mostly to illegal immigration. The justification:
The principle [of sanctuary]…a part of Catholic canon law, which states: “A church enjoys the right of asylum so that criminals who flee from it are not to be removed from it, except in the case of necessity, without the assent of the ordinary or the rector of the church.” Thus, when Milwaukee Archbishop Rembert Weakland welcomed four families into a church in December, he said he was only obeying the law of his church.
In greeting the refugees on the day St. Benedict the Moor Catholic Church became a public sanctuary, Archbishop Weakland said, “To many, the concept of sanctuary may seem to be one that Catholic tradition forgot since the Middle Ages. This is not true.”
“Sanctuary is not really a way of avoiding justice,” the archbishop added, “but a holy respite so that true justice can eventually be done.”
Obviously Archbishop Weakland defies American law, placing the law of the Vatican, a foreign power, above American law. Of course, he has a “divine right” to do so, because the Vatican has sovereignty over the United States in matters of faith and morals, as we discussed before, and, of course, morals include illegal immigration since it enhances the power of the Church.
The real meaning of the hierarchy’s interests in illegal immigration can be gleaned from a recent monograph on illegal immigration and national security. No doubt the most important ever published on this subject, it was written by Dr. George Fauriol and produced by Georgetown University’s Center for Strategic and International Studies:
The viability of the nation depends upon an informed electorate and the absence of deep cultural or lingual divisions among its people. Illegal immigration, to the extent that it fosters the establishment of communities of persons unable or unwilling to converse in English, can foster just such divisions. The problem of a large ethnic group repeatedly fueled by massive immigration—whether legal or illegal—detached from the main stream U.S. population by language and custom, “could affect the social stability of the nation,” says William A. Henry, III. “The disruptive potential of bilingualism and biculturalism is worrisome: millions of voters cut off from the main sources of information, millions of potential draftees inculcated with dual ethnic loyalties, millions of would-be employees ill at ease in the language of their workmates.”
According to a study prepared by the Twentieth Century Fund, bilingual education, on which the U.S. government spends nearly $200 million annually, does not assist in creating a better society, but just the opposite. “Anyone living in the United States who is unable to speak English cannot fully participate in our society, its culture, its politics,” says the Fund’s task force.
Unfortunately, an end to illegal immigration, and the curtailment of legal immigration to reasonable levels, may be perceived in the future as a threat by the beneficiaries of this growing political clout. Illegal immigration, to the extent that it fuels an increasing number of insular ethnic groups, becomes a tool with which to persuade government policymakers to look favorably upon the demands of ethnic organizations, which could include the maintenance of open borders.
The political implications of such activities have not received the attention or critical examination they deserve. The obligations of the U.S. government, to the citizens of this country, should not be determined by the number of petitioners before the government. By including illegal immigrants in the census, the U.S. government legitimizes the use of illegal immigration itself as a political tool for the advancement of certain interests in American society, which are certainly not without significant implications for the future of American democracy. The political use of illegal aliens has included attempts by certain states, particularly California, to make major efforts to register illegal aliens to vote. During the Carter administration, the Justice Department informally ruled that it saw no legal reason why illegal aliens could not vote even in federal elections!
Fauriol never mentions the Catholic Church. Yet, he could not be more on target if he were aiming at the Catholic hierarchy. The Vatican is the chief “beneficiary of this growing political clout.” It obviously seeks the “use of illegal immigration as a political tool for the advancement of its interest in American society” at the expense of American democracy.
The Vatican promotes social and ethnic political power blocs in this country to foster divisiveness within American society. Then it uses these ethnic power groups—such as Poles, Irish, Mexicans, and Salvadorans—to manipulate U.S. domestic and foreign policy. Though an enormous influx of immigrants is required, the strategy is simple: divide and conquer.
The major support for bilingual education was the Catholic hierarchy. No doubt the Church recognized that bilingualism divides the country culturally and politically and destroys the critical linguistic cohesion. Yet it succeeded in getting $200 million per year in taxpayers’ dollars to fund this activity—a sum equal to the entire U.S. population assistance budget!
The Vatican is not concerned about the best interests of the United States. Nor does it seem to care about the people in developing countries. Increasing the number of Catholics in the United States to increase their power in the United States, regardless of the expense to the Third World, is its major concern.
If the Church had a greater compassion for the developing world, it would be doing whatever possible to encourage their educated and skilled people to remain at home where they are desperately needed. As John Tanton notes:
What of the plight of the millions of unseen countrymen left behind to live with conditions that the emigrants might have helped to change? Open immigration policies in the U.S. contribute significantly to what the Christian Science Monitor has called the “brain, brawn, and gumption drain” of less developed countries. Contrary to popular belief, it is not the destitute who emigrate. More often it is the energetic, the talented, the skilled, and the educated who have the means and the initiative to leave their native lands.
For example, desperate Kenya has three thousand of its professionals living in the United States. In Sudan, an African country in which I have worked for some time, only 10 percent of its twenty million people are literate. An estimated one million of its citizens, including most of the intelligentsia and skilled laborers, have emigrated to more comfortable environs, particularly to Western countries. A case in point: the 1980 graduating medical school class was 103 strong. Only three of these doctors remained in the country long enough to pick up their diplomas on graduation day. Another case: each year the government sends three physicians to Great Britain to become obstetrician-gynecologists. In 1973, there were seventy-eight of these specialists to serve a nation of twenty million. After supporting this program for eight years, the country finds itself with only seventy-three. Most of the others have left for the United States. All professional and skilled personnel groups of that country have been similarly affected by out-migration.
Perhaps even more important is the immigration of policy-makers from developing countries.
With the United States acting as a “safety valve,” the elites in these nations are able to avoid seeking solutions to their problems of underdevelopment and overpopulation. The result is continuing poverty, misery, and hopelessness for the masses of people who will never be able to emigrate.
Examples number in the thousands, some of which I can cite from personal experience. A policy-maker sends his children to the United States or Europe for training; by design, they remain and are joined several years later by the “retiring” policy-maker, his domestic decision-making having all along been influenced by his personal long-term plans.This kind of out-migration of policy-makers must stop.
The hierarchy’s claim that their interest in illegal immigration is a result of compassion for Third World peoples simply does not hold up under close scrutiny. Lust for increased political power in the United States more accurately reflects the Vatican’s interest; increased numbers of devouted followers increase political power.
Recently the Vatican offered its own immigration bill after successfully thwarting the Simpson-Mazzoli bill. To introduce this bill they called upon Catholic Congressman Edward Roybal (D-California) who, coincidentally, is pro-abortion, pro-family planning, and pro-international population assistance—in short, a man who would be the least likely suspected of cooperation with the Church. This bill is a blatant attempt to maintain the status quo. The Roybal bill would:
- Amnesty [grant Permanent Resident Alien status] to illegal aliens who entered the U.S. prior to January 1, 1982.
- Amnesty children and spouses of legalized aliens who entered the U.S. after January 1, 1982, and were present in the United States at the time of amnesty.
- Ease the identification requirements for amnesty and provide several levels of appeal to applicants who are turned down.
- Allow amnesty applicants to work until final determination of their status.
- Eliminate the current exclusion of aliens likely to require welfare or other public assistance.
- Strike employer sanctions in favor of increased enforcement of Department of Labor wage and hour laws.
- Authorize $65 million for start up of a legalization program and for increased enforcement.
- Increase legal immigration by 100,000 a year for five years.
- Make it illegal for state and local police to hold illegal aliens for the Immigration and Naturalization Service.
- Create another four-year immigration commission.
The tide will only be stemmed by a law that includes an unforgeable national identification card, severe employer sanctions for all employers, rejection of any liberal amnesty, and a vastly expanded Immigration and Naturalization Service. Any law without these provisions is doomed to failure, a fact well known by those who drew up the Roybal bill. Every item of this bill is designed to thwart illegal immigration control.
Where does Mr. Reagan and his administration stand on illegal immigration control? According to Texas Governor Mark White, in a speech to the seventh annual Conference on Immigration and Naturalization at the University of Texas Law School:
President Reagan told the American people…he’s serious about immigration control and a secure border. But at the same time, this administration has turned its back on its responsibilities to stem the tide of illegal immigration by refusing to adequately fund the Border Patrol to do its job…. They are reluctant to adequately enforce existing laws, which makes you question how actively they would enforce the new law…. I think it’s time for the administration and the federal government to put some money where the mouth is.
The Reagan administration and the Vatican both stand for maintaining the status quo. This is not a coincidence.
The constitutional convention, Supreme Court appointments following a Reagan reelection, and the status quo on illegal immigration control all offer opportunities for quick gains in Vatican political power in the United States. However, just conducting “business as usual” is producing substantial gains.
Vatican Influence on Domestic and Foreign Policy-Making in the United States
Most of the Vatican’s political influence in this country has been developed within this century. To achieve this end, it is undeniable that the Vatican has taken advantage of the fundamental fair-mindedness of the American people, and the hierarchy continues to gain strength in the genial and tolerant climate of America. Though it is apparent that the Vatican is influencing U.S. policy in other areas, such as the defense and military, we shall concern ourselves only with population growth control at this point.
The Vatican began its opposition to birth control in 1914; in 1930, the hierarchy became the world’s leading opponent of contraception. Since then, the hierarchy has been methodically crippling, prostituting, or destroying population growth control institutions around the world. With its “divine authority,” the Church has exercised its sovereignty over the United States in matters of “faith and morals” and politically opposed those activities at variance with “Catholic morality,” including all activities related to population growth control.
As late as September 20, 1983, the pope stated in the clearest of language the Church’s implacable position on contraception. Speaking at Castel Gandolfo to fifty bishops attending a seminar on responsible parenthood, the pope condemned artificial contraception in unprecedentedly severe terms. “Contraception,” he said, “is so illicit that it can never, for any reasons, be justified.” If there was any remaining doubt about this pope or the Church changing its position on contraception, it disappeared with this and other recent proclamations.
In December 1983, the Vatican’s Congregation for Catholic Education issued “Educational Guidance in Human Love.” The document reaffirmed the Church’s teaching on sexuality. However, paragraph sixty-five of the document states, “It is the task of the state to safeguard its citizens against injustice and moral disorders such as the…improper use of demographic information.” The purpose of this paragraph is plain. The 1980 Synod of Bishops on the Family had decried “improper” use of demographic statistics to cause “hysteria” or other “emotional reactions” of despair. According to a report in Population Today, “This new warning against employing ‘improper’ demographics was based on the same concern, and—like the 1980 statement—was aimed squarely at governments. Preventing the ‘misuse’ of demographics is, according to the guideline, a government’s responsibility.”
In other words, it is the responsibility of governments to censor demographic information that suggests the existence of a population problem. Shortly after Reagan was elected, this “misuse” or “improper” use of demographic information all but stopped flowing from our government. Not since the Global 2000 Report was published in 1980 by the Carter administration has there been any significant information on overpopulation published by our government, no doubt in response to the 1980 Synod statement. It is as if the Reagan administration expects the problem of overpopulation to go away if it is ignored.
More recently, the Vatican has issued a new proclamation, Charter of the Rights of the Family (see, appendix five). According to this proclamation, governments and international agencies are obligated to: perform their duties in accordance with the “objective moral order” which excludes recourse to contraception, sterilization, and abortion; ban the concept of population growth control; ban incentives and disincentives for having small families; and provide big families with adequate public welfare (Article 3). Human life must be protected from the moment of conception (Article 4). Parents have the right to educate their children, and the Vatican will tell them what’s in the best interest of the children—not the federal Department of Education. Parents should receive tuition tax credits, and the government has a responsibility to subsidize church schools. Governments should ban sex education in schools. School prayer should be in all public schools. Government must control information and entertainment, favoring censorship in order to ensure public morality (Article 5). Public authorities must not grant divorce (Article 6). Families have the right to form “New Right” organizations to protect the family, undertake censorship, and so forth, and to lobby the government (Article 9). Governments must make it possible for mothers to have as many children as they choose and to be able to stay home and raise their families (Article 10).
“The Vatican is sending copies of its Family Charter to all governments and international agencies to serve ‘as a model and a point of reference for the drawing up of future legislation and family policy,’ according to Archbishop Edouard Gagnon, the Vatican’s family expert.” Furthermore, in a blatant show of bigotry and arrogance, the Holy See distributed copies of this document at the World Population Conference in Mexico City in August 1984.
We can expect to soon see these new pronouncements reflected in Reagan administration policy. In December 1981, it made one serious attempt to completely eliminate the international population assistance program by leaving the program out of the budget. It is apparently complying with the Vatican request to “protect the public morality” by censoring demographic information. Only one month later, Population Today reported the following:
“Demographic trends of the last two decades have greatly influenced major institutions in American society and have caused significant changes in public policies…. Future trends will be at least as influential.”
That quotation comes not from some data-making guru but from a Reagan administration report—one that the public will not see. Prepared last fall, the internal study was written for the Cabinet Council of Economic Affairs—one of about ten such groups of cabinet secretaries that meet on a frequent basis to consider future national policy.
Though their study was made for internal consumption only and is unobtainable, the Washington Post typically gained access to a copy and in January published excerpts that make intriguing reading….
How does the Vatican influence U.S. policy? In hundreds of ways. Most important in creating many of these opportunities is the Church’s almost unimaginable wealth. Recently Luigi Di Fonzo, a Harvard professor, published an extensive study of Vatican wealth. “The Vatican’s total assets—not including the assets of the Roman Catholic Church, but including stock it controls on the New York and American stock exchanges, and property, gold reserves, and paintings—are probably $50 billion to $60 billion…. The Catholic Church in the United States, with “assets of more than $100 billion, today possesses more than ten times the combined wealth of IBM, Exxon, General Motors, and U.S. Steel.” There is no accountability for these funds to anyone except the Vatican. Everything is done in complete secrecy. It is simply mind-boggling to see Vatican claims of compassion for the poverty-stricken in Latin America in the face of this fantastic accumulation of wealth.
Given our tax laws, and in the continued absence of any kind of redistribution of this wealth, the Church will continue to amass wealth indefinitely. Mexico was witness to the behavior of the Church that we are seeing in the United States today. By the time of its independence, the Church in Mexico had acquired perhaps half the land and capital wealth of the country. This is the reason that in Latin America “priests have become identified in the minds of the people with exploitation, superstition, and tyranny.”
One of its most important accomplishments is instilling children in its school system with the idea that Catholics are persecuted, that non-Catholics are determined to injure them, that all criticism of the Church and its hierarchy is directed against them personally. Children are taught to reject all criticism of the Church as being unjust, to be angered by this criticism, to hate the individuals at the source of the criticism. Catholic children who are active in the Church are “programmed” to respond this way. The thought process is blocked in such a way that negative information about the Church cannot be received and evaluated by using one’s intelligence. Instead, it is automatically rejected no matter how truthful or justified it may be.
The hierarchy is a master at capitalizing on the anger and hatred generated by this criticism, capturing it, and channeling it in ways to make it productive for the advancement of its own agenda. This generates the considerable human energy that drives Catholic Action and many individual Roman Catholics.
The hierarchy avoids most direct attempts to influence policy. These activities are restricted to vociferous support for a public policy or announcements that they will lead a defiance movement if a certain policy is enacted.
As Congressman William Clay (D-Missouri) found (see, note twenty-six, chapter one), whenever any issue arises in Congress that affects Catholic interests, a seasoned lobbyist in priestly garb is likely to appear in a Congressman’s office reminding the legislator that 52 million Catholics in America feel thus and so about this matter. Even when the legislator knows full well that the opinion is actually that of a handful of top-ranking bishops, acting on orders from Rome, he may swallow his convictions and say, “Yes, yes,” because he is aware that in America the powerful bishops speak for American Catholics. Should he not comply, Catholic pressures can be mortally effective in swinging any close election against him.
The hierarchy has learned to act indirectly through Catholic laypersons. The hierarchy acts through Catholic politicians such as Lindy Boggs (D-Louisiana) and Charles Rangel (D-New York). There are many similar examples directly affecting population growth control. Ravenholt, in his memo, pointed to several acts of Clement Zablocki (D-Wisconsin). Other obvious examples include Tip O’Neill (D-Massachusetts), who killed the Simpson-Mazzoli bil in a thinly veiled act in December 1983, Henry Hyde (D-Illinois), and Jeremiah Denton (R-Alabama). They act through hundreds of bureaucrats such as John H. Murphy and John H. Sullivan, as Ravenholt pointed out in his memo. They act through Catholic laypersons not associated with the government, such as Paul Brown, executive director, Life Amendment Political Action Committee (LAPAC), Phyllis Schlafly, executive director of Eagle Forum, and Peter Donaldson and John Ganly of Family Health International.
The hierarchy has also learned to act indirectly through political, bureaucratic, and religious “independents”—non-Catholics who have something to gain by cooperation. Examples include Jesse Helms (R-North Carolina), Robert Kasten (R-Wisconsin), and Mark Siljander (R-Michigan), who were elected with considerable assistance from the hierarchy and are dependent upon its continued support, financial and otherwise, for reelection. The Helms Amendment that has blocked international population assistance for abortion activities for a decade was written by John H. Sullivan, a Catholic. Examples of non-Catholic bureaucrats who have “cooperated” with the Church include Sander Levin and Dr. Stephen Joseph, two key figures mentioned in Ravenholt’s memorandum. Examples of nongovernment non-Catholics who have “cooperated” with the Church include Malcolm Potts and Sharon Camp. I can name scores of non-Catholics in these categories just from my own experience in population and I am sure that population is only the tip of the iceberg. In a sense, the non-Catholics are the most important to the Church for influencing policy. They allow the hierarchy to keep their hands perfectly clean.
There are thousands of examples of Vatican influence of foreign and defense affairs—national security issues—including population growth control. Of the hundreds of cases in the area of population growth control, we will concern ourselves with a widely mixed selection of eleven examples here.
1. Government approval for “new” contraceptive drugs. The best known case regards blocking FDA approval of the injectable contraceptive, Depo-Provera. This contraceptive drug is approved in eighty nations, including Great Britain and Canada, and is used by more than ten million women. Approval was first blocked by FDA Commissioner Donald Kennedy. Before this and since, the hierarchy’s interests were maintained by the staff at the FDA. In 1983, the Reagan administration was called down for trying to place on the Fertility and Maternal Health Drugs Advisory Committee a Catholic woman psychiatrist whose resume identified her as a founder of the California Pro-Life Council, which lobbies for anti-abortion legislation. She had no qualifications for the position, but she did support the hierarchy’s position on Depo-Provera. Under fire, her nomination was withdrawn.
I wrote to Ralph Nader in 1983 asking him to reconsider the negative position of his Health Research Group which had reported about the contraceptive in the July 30, 1982, issue of Science. I pointed out the historical Catholic influence on FDA policy and the fact that his organization was the only reputable organization opposed to Depo-Provera. Virtually every professional advisory committee concerned with contraceptive drugs has approved of Depo. It carries the approval of advisory committees to the FDA, the Agency for International Development and the British Minister of Health, the National Association of Family Planning Doctors in Britain, the World Health Organization, and the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology. The International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) has supplied millions of doses. The drug is safer and more use-effective than contraceptive pills, and it has never been associated with a single death.
It is unquestionable that blocking of FDA approval of this drug has resulted in tens of thousands of deaths of mothers in the developing world who died in unwanted childbearing, victims of these Catholic American activists who are sometimes unaware that they are fighting a “holy war” for their Vatican. Furthermore, literally millions of unwanted children have been born in the developing world in the past decade as a result of this FDA disapproval. For example, Zimbabwe, which has the highest birth rate in the world at 4.3 percent, is experiencing a wave of “baby dumping.” Even though the prime minister said that the practice was immoral and evil, the bodies of twenty-two babies were found abandoned in Harare in the first five months of 1983. Since then dozens more have been dumped. Doctors say that the banning of Depo-Provera is a contributing factor. The former health minister banned the drug, saying that it was part of a colonialist plot to oppress blacks.
2. In a policy formulated and imposed by the Catholic hierarchy that began during the period described by Ravenholt, the AID population program has been increasingly decentralized, substantially decreasing its effectiveness. Decentralization inevitably reduces both a program’s visibility and its accountability. Under the Nixon and Ford administrations, for example, AID’s population assistance program was administered almost entirely by a single bureau devoted exclusively to population and humanitarian affairs. Today, parts of the population budget are administered by the Science and Technology Bureau, the four regional bureaus, and the Bureau for Program and Policy Coordination. To this, the administration proposes to add the Bureau for Private Enterprise. Similarly, the population program was administered ten years ago by an agency official who reported directly to the administrator. Today, the director of the central office of population reports to the director of health and population, who is, in turn, responsible to the assistant administrator for science and technology, whose chief is the AID administrator.
3. The Catholic Church and its Protestant allies in the Moral Majority are currently attempting to impose a policy to deny all federal funds to various private agencies that provide abortions with their own funds while receiving federal funds for services such as family planning. “Anti-abortion legislators (and, reportedly, the Reagan administration) for some years now have been seeking ways to ‘defund’ various domestic [family planning] organizations, notably local Planned Parenthood affiliates, but apparently have not yet found a constitutional way to do so.” Thus, although the Vatican uses abortion as a target in common with its allies, its real target is family planning.
4. With the Catholic Church’s strong support, Senator Robert Kasten (R-Wisconsin) defeated Gaylord Nelson in the 1980 general election by a margin of 50 percent to 48 percent. Now Kasten is paying his dues to the Catholic hierarchy.
On June 9 , Senator Bob Kasten (R-Wisconsin), chairman of the Foreign Operations Subcommittee of the Senate Appropriations Committee, filed an “objection” with the Agency for International Development (AID) to its plans to continue granting several million dollars annually to the Pathfinder Fund. The Pathfinder Fund, a private, nonprofit agency, receives federal funds for international family planning assistance but uses its own, nongovernmental funds to finance several abortion-related activities, including some training of medical personnel to perform abortions overseas. Senator Kasten based his objection on a belief that Pathfinder’s use of private funds for abortion-related activities violates the spirit (though not the letter) of the Foreign Assistance Act, which prohibits the use of federal population assistance for abortion. Faced with the possible loss of its AID funding, which amounts to 90 percent of its budget. Pathfinder had to divest itself of its abortion-related activities in an attempt to retain its eligibility for AID funding.
After this, international family-planning agencies receiving AID funds all operated under this de facto U.S. policy formulated and implemented by the Catholic Church with the “assistance” of a non-Catholic.
5. In part to give the impression that abortion is wrong, the Church attempted to impose (and was partially successful) their “Baby Doe” policy.
Abortion opponents [the Catholic Church] along with President Reagan have sought to portray the denial of medical care to severely ill newborns as an outgrowth of legal abortion. On March 7, the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) issued its controversial “Baby Doe” regulations, effective fifteen days later, requiring that severely ill newborns be given all medical care possible, establishing a hotline for reporting suspected cases of abuse, and requiring that a notice be posted in all hospitals giving the hotline number.
The press that the Church enjoyed from their imposition of this policy was invaluable to their cause—and nobody was the wiser. It was more than “an outgrowth of legal abortion” issue. This was an attempt to impose the “absolutism” essential to the Vatican’s control discussed in chapter seven.
6. In an attempt to get a policy adopted that would advance its “absolutism” in matters of reproduction, the “politics of abortion” were extended into an unrelated area during the summer of 1983. This involved an attempt to restrict the use of federal biomedical research funds.
During consideration of legislation affecting the National Institutes of Health (NIH), abortion opponents have proposed amendments to block the use of NIH funds for virtually all research involving human fetuses. Despite the proven benefit of fetal research for the health of infants and children, the amendment’s sponsors claim that researchers are using living fetuses that either will be or have already been aborted for grotesque experiments. Such an amendment passed the full House last year but died when the bill was not considered by the Senate.
The use of “abortion politics” to fulfill a need of the Vatican speaks to its sophistication in manipulating U.S. policy at the expense of the American people.
7. The management of appointments of personnel who are obedient to the hierarchy and its allies in the Moral Majority and anti-family planning to key family planning positions can vastly influence government policy and the implementation of policy. For example,
Marjory Mecklenburg was appointed last spring  as director of the HHS Office of Adolescent Pregnancy Programs and as acting deputy assistant secretary for Population Affairs. Prior to her government positions, Mecklenburg was president and cofounder of American Citizens for Life and a former chair of the National Right to Life Committee.
She has carried out the Vatican agenda to the maximum extent politically possible. There are scores of other examples that I can cite from my own experience.
8. Under the leadership of “ideologically correct” Richard Schweiker, HHS decided that the Utah Department of Health would be the sole Title X grantee (federal family planning funds recipient) because that state required parental consent for minors to have access to family planning services. HHS defunded the Planned Parenthood Association of Utah and Park City Community Clinic because they refused to impose the requirement on teens. The purported reason advanced by HHS was “to enhance management efficiency.” Policy actions of this nature under hierarchy influence have numbered in the thousands in the past decade alone.
9. In 1983, the Vatican successfully blocked the Simpson-Mazzoli bill for the control of illegal immigration. For the second time in less than two years, the Senate overwhelmingly passed the bill (seventy-six to eighteen). Then, with Peter Rodino (D-New Jersey) at the helm, the House Judiciary Committee, before reporting the bill to the floor, gutted the original bill! It was reported that Chairman Rodino received some coaching from the archbishop of New Jersey just prior to sending the bill to the floor. In any case, the congressman played a significant role in weakening the bill, including the elimination of a ceiling on legal immigration. A national poll of black and Hispanic attitudes toward immigration showed that overwhelming majorities favored strong illegal immigration control. These findings caught everyone by surprise—including the Catholic Church. After an excellent educational effort in the House of Representatives by the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) and other organizations, Roger Connor, executive director of FAIR, informally surveyed the House. One of the Vatican’s principal strategies at blocking illegal immigration control for years has been to convince everyone that Hispanics in this country do not want immigration controlled and, because of this, control was politically sensitive. When many congressmen, who had been opposed, learned about these poll results, they switched their positions. Connor’s survey showed that the control proponents had the votes not only to pass the weakened bill but also strengthening amendments, close to the Senate version. At this point, Connor told me that he estimated the chances of passage of a good law at eighty/twenty. Then word got back to the Vatican office in Washington concerning this rapid change in the vote distribution. The hierarchy apparently panicked and called on their Catholic faithful, House Speaker Thomas “Tip” O’Neill, who killed the bill for 1983 and 1984. O’Neill offered ridiculous reasons for killing the bill and was subsequently taken to task by the press. One of the reasons given was that immigration reform has “no constituency.” Since O’Neill’s main concern here was the Catholic hierarchy (and certainly among them there is no constituency for it), he was unconcerned about criticism.
10. In an act that potentially has major national security and foreign policy implications, the Catholic hierarchy presented to the White House on January 22, 1984, a demand for the elimination of all family planning funds for Central America in the administration’s five-year $8 billion legislative proposal developed from the so-called Kissinger Commission. The administration did not honor that demand, and now the Catholic American Life Lobby has written to the House Foreign Affairs Committee, stating that it will lobby against the Central American legislative package in its entirety if it includes population aid.
It is ironic that this act by the hierarchy would concern the nation of El Salvador. Consider the fact that the Soccer War between El Salvador and neighboring Honduras in 1969 was formally attributed by the Organization of American States to Salvadoran migrants being pushed into Honduras by El Salvador’s skyrocketing population—the first time population pressure received official mention as a cause of war. At that time, it had a population of less than four million. In sixteen years from now—the year 2000—the projected population is nine million, more than doubling in the thirty-one-year period. For El Salvador, its own population growth is its own greatest national security threat. Is the Catholic hierarchy concerned about the security of the Salvadoran people? Obviously not! Is the hierarchy concerned about the threat to our security imposed by El Salvador’s insecurity? Obviously not! The survival of the Vatican and the advances of its power are its main concerns.
11. In its most important foreign policy manipulation of all, the Vatican is successfully blocking consideration of the reality that population growth is the most serious threat to the security of all nations. For fiscal year 1985, the Reagan administration is requesting a 4.8 percent increase in development aid, including population assistance, while asking Congress for a 240 percent increase in military aid financing. This in addition to the budget in fiscal year 1984, which had a $9.2 billion worldwide military assistance program juxtaposed to a $212 million population assistance program—a fifty-fold difference!
In 1979 and 1980, under President Carter, the National Security Council (NSC) published results of their studies which concluded that world population growth seriously threatened this country’s security. With the arrival of the Reagan administration, however, this new reality was rejected outright and in a most frightening way. During Richard Allen’s tenure as national security advisor, the hierarchy launched a letter-writing campaign directed at the national security advisor. Hundreds of letters from Catholics all over the country informed him that the senders believed the Council had erred in concluding that world population growth was a serious security threat to the United States and asked the council to reconsider its position. However, before this initiative could be completed, Allen was forced to resign. William Clark then became the national security advisor. Not long after joining the staff, Clark walked into a NSC meeting with a bundle of these letters under his arm. He commented that Americans all over the country believe that the NSC made an error in deeming world population growth a serious security threat. Clark offered the bundle of letters as evidence. Then he said, “We are here today to begin correcting this error.” I learned of this from someone well known to me who sits on the Council and who was stunned by this action.
This is probably the most devastating act of interference in government policy formulation committed by the Church during the Reagan administration. It brought to a halt all discussions by the NSC of population growth as a security threat, seriously undermining the security of all Americans.
The Vatican, through the Reagan administration, succeeded in negating the Carter NSC position on population growth and national security on May 30, 1984, when the NSC sent out to a number of agencies the working draft of the U.S. statement presented at the U.N. Conference on Population in Mexico City. This said, in effect, that there is no world population problem. By choosing the NSC to circulate this draft, which otherwise made absolutely no sense, the administration reversed the NSC position on population growth as a security threat without debate. It was exceedingly important to the Vatican that this action be completed; without such a statement, it would have been obvious to everyone that the Vatican is a serious threat to U.S. security.
In contrast to the U.S. government’s radical shift to the Vatican position on population growth, United Nations Fund for Population Activities Director Rafael M. Salas stated in his opening remarks in no uncertain terms that world population growth has serious implications for global security. This theme was repeated many times throughout the conference by governments which are apparently less under the control of the Vatican.
At the Mexico City meeting, James Buckley reiterated that the United States no longer would contribute funds to private organizations that “perform or actively promote” abortion as a means of family planning and that it would require assurances from governments to which it sends funds that its aid would not be used for abortions. In effect, the U.S. Agency for International Development is being used as an instrument of Vatican foreign policy.
Of the 149 states represented at the Mexico City meeting, only the Vatican, Costa Rica, and Chile voiced their support for the American position! As Newsweek magazine pointed out, “If the administration continues to put its money where its mouth is, the international consensus on population control could yet be shattered,” the Vatican’s openly professed goal. The Vatican could never accomplish this goal without using the United States government as an instrument of Vatican foreign policy.
Vatican Influence on Policies of Other Nations
Vatican influence on domestic and foreign policy of the U.S. is not unique. All governments except China are victims of this Vatican manipulation of government policy. In 1971, Time magazine reported their interception of a confidential document issued by Pope Paul. In his book which was discussed in chapter seven, Waldo Zimmermann writes:
An article in Time [February 1, 1971, p. 54] entitled “The Rhythm Lobby” told about Pope Paul’s covert attack. In a fifteen-page confidential document issued through his secretary of state, Cardinal Villot, and sent to all papal nuncios [including the one in Washington, D.C.] and apostolic delegates and the Vatican’s permanent observers at the U.N., Paul stressed the secrecy of the new lobby effort and was sharply critical of the U.N. for supporting population control programs in the Third World.
In his instructions, Cardinal Villot said that world governments must be persuaded to take positions that “favor Catholic morality”; that papal diplomats should press bishops in each country to build up relations with local representatives of international organizations, key men who are able to influence the secretariats to which they report. Such relations, said Villot, will facilitate the choice of delegates to international conferences “who possess Catholic convictions.” Predominantly Catholic countries should be pressured further, said the Cardinal, “to give their delegates unequivocal instructions, and if necessary suggest that those delegates make contacts with representatives of the Holy See.”
The impact of such a document can have no equal in causing hopelessness, tragic death, poverty, and sickness—misery for human beings and destruction of our fragile life-giving ecosystem. Few, if any, acts have so threatened the security of so many people in so many ways.
By these acts, the needs of the Vatican were placed above the needs of the people of all nations. Processes were initiated in all nations to undermine population growth control activities and corrupt policy-making processes. All of these initiatives emanate from Rome. There is no “American Church” or “Chilean Church” or “Sri Lankan Church.” The Church is strictly “Roman” and has strictly “Roman” leadership.
One of the most notable events in population growth control history was the fall of Indira Gandhi after allegations of forced sterilization were made against her government. When Mrs. Gandhi accepted the first annual U.N. Population Award in New York in 1983, she restated that these allegations were without foundation Too few people are aware that her downfall was initiated by a Catholic American journalist and a Catholic-inspired world press. A couple of years ago, during a dinner conversation in Colombo, my Indian colleague, Dr. Datta Pai, a family planning leader for more than two decades, recounted what had happened. He was an acquaintance of the journalist and had watched the scenario unfold. The Catholic reporter made the allegations in an article, and, without any verification of these allegations, the world press exploded. Gandhi’s government quickly fell. During the sterilization campaign, 10.8 million sterilizations were performed. After the new opposition government was installed, it offered government compensation to the “millions of victims.” What seems never to have reached the world press was that fewer than one hundred people out of 10.8 million were found to have been documented as coerced into sterilization, or one per 108,000 persons. It is likely that the rate was higher in some states. It was the Vatican and its press manipulations that destroyed the Gandhi government and made fools of her opposition government. But the real tragedy was the death and suffering experienced by millions of Indians as a result of this setback in the Indian population growth control program. The tragic effects went far beyond India. The Vatican terrorized politicians the world over with the news of particulars of the downfall of the Gandhi government. Virtually all countries have seen their population programs grow at a slower pace as a result.
In December 1983, I met with another Indian family planning leader and colleague, Dr. C. L. Jhaveri, at a population conference in the Dominican Republic. He told me of a keynote speech he had given on November 27, 1983, to the Fourth World Congress on Human Reproduction in Bombay, in which he reported on his analysis of the opposition to population growth control in India. He said that religious opposition to family planning was the major obstacle to population growth control in his country. The opposition only comes from two minority religious groups, Moslems and Catholics. I suggested to Dr. Jhaveri that, while there are far more Moslems than Catholics, and some Moslems are opposed to control, they are not sufficiently organized to significantly influence the government. However, Catholics in India are highly organized, have considerable “outside” influence, and the Catholic Church has an impressive history of such action. I asked him if, carrying his analysis further, the Catholic Church is the major obstacle to population growth control in India. He agreed.
We should not be surprised. After all, the Vatican had installed a Catholic government in South Vietnam while only 5 percent of the population of South Vietnam is Catholic. It takes only a small group of highly organized and well-led people, operating in secrecy, to completely dominate a government such as South Vietnam. India has many times the number of Catholics required for the Vatican to be in a position to have great influence. Certainly there are several examples of African countries with Catholic-trained government leadership and even smaller Catholic populations.
At the same meeting I saw Dr. Ben Viel. He told me of an example in his country, Chile. In 1979, with approval from the minister of health of Chile, Dr. Viel began setting up a female sterilization program with $1 million worth of sterilization equipment provided by the International Planned Parenthood Federation in London. When the equipment arrived in Chile, a Father Ibanes Langlois, serving as a messenger for the Vatican, met with the president of Chile. There was then and continues to be a disagreement between Chile and Argentina, almost bringing the two countries to war over a strategic waterway located at the tip of South America, that may prove to be rich in oil. It is called the Beagle Channel. Chile and Argentina had agreed to let the pope mediate the dispute. Langlois informed the president that, if this sterilization equipment was not removed from Chile, the pope would favor Argentina in the settling of the Beagle Channel dispute. The president called in the minister of health and ordered him to get the sterilization equipment out of the country. Viel was so notified by the minister of health, and it was shipped out. Sterilization remains strictly against the law in Chile.
If the Vatican had its way, all governments on earth would adopt the Ivory Coast sterilization law as a model. In that country, which is inordinately influenced by the Vatican, performing a voluntary sterilization on a woman or man is a capital crime. Chile has not gone to this extreme, but it is only one step away. The influencing of government policy by the Vatican, shown by Dr. Viel’s example, is a daily occurrence the world over.
Vatican Population Policy Manipulations Seriously Threaten U.S. Security
On May 25, 1983, U.S. Navy Lt. Cdr. Albert Schaufelberger, III, was slain in San Salvador, the first U.S. military man to die in the war there. Three days before his death, Schaufelberger was interviewed on Cable News Network (CNN) News. He had a powerful and profound message for America. “There is no military solution here in El Salvador. The country is overpopulated. Population growth must be stopped. There must be literacy programs and schools built and agricultural development and jobs created and health care. This is the only solution.” Unfortunately, when Schaufelberger was killed, only CNN reported what this man had to say. The newspapers reported only on the intrigue surrounding his death. Schaufelberger’s message, vitally important to the security of our country, went unreported.
In an August 30, 1983, Washington Post article, General Maxwell Taylor, U.S. Army Retired, stated in no uncertain terms that overpopulation is a serious threat to the security of the United States. Consider the following excerpts:
Irked by the charge of over-concentration on military aid. President Reagan of late has been demonstrating a greater interest in political, economic, and social conditions in El Salvador, which, unimproved, will tend to nullify the accomplishments of the military programs….
These nonmilitary obstacles to American policy have been often discussed by the press in recent months. However, in the heated debate over the merits or demerits of this policy, I have never heard mention of the existence of a seminal cause that is responsible, wholly or in part, for most of the difficulties being encountered by our officials. I refer to the overlooked factor: excess population and its consequences.
Since the warning of Malthus some two centuries ago, demographers, sociologists, ecologists, and thoughtful generalists have speculated as to the likely consequences of overpopulations and their future effects on the ecology, human society, national governments, and their interrelations in peace and war. Unfortunately, their conclusions over the centuries have had no visible effect on the present-day politicians, diplomats, and policy-makers in Washington responsible for our policy in Central America. So it is worth the time to consider how population growth may affect the policy they have adopted.
…Their hopelessness may be expected to express itself in domestic turbulence, frequent overthrows of government, and expanded migration to greener pastures beyond national boundaries….
The hard fact is that unchecked population growth alone creates problems so difficult and so costly to solve that the United States can never afford to take so ambitious a target. It is not merely that the regeneration of Central America is beyond any sum Congress is likely to appropriate for the purpose. We must remember that concurrently these same conditions that frustrate us in Central America today are present in virtually every other country in Latin America, many of which, like Mexico, Venezuela, and Brazil, are far more important to our national interests than Central America.
This list could be lengthened by adding countries in Asia and Africa which, because of their importance as trading partners, lessors of military bases, or formal allies, also deserve a higher national interest rating than Central America. Such funds as we have for foreign aid, if allocated with due priority, will be exhausted long before the basic needs of Central America can be met….
Such an appraisal should lead them to limit our objectives in Central America to something relatively modest, such as the restoration of order in war areas, an end to identified communist troublemaking, and the first steps of a realistic social-economic program in which aid for family planning would be a lead item.
Finally, we might hope that these future policy-makers would henceforth recognize overpopulation as a perennial enemy of our national interests throughout the underdeveloped world and consider it in their global planning.
Both unchecked population growth and illegal immigration threaten U.S. security. Former CIA Director William Colby, a Catholic, stated in 1978: “The most obvious threat to the United States is that there are 60 million Mexicans and there are going to be 120 million of them by the end of the century.” Gordon J. MacDonald, retired deputy chief of the U.S. Border Patrol, recently stated, “Based on my experience in the Border Patrol, I must tell you that this tidal wave of illegal aliens poses the most serious long-term threat to the survival of the United States.”
George Fauriol concluded his December 1983 monograph on illegal immigration with the following paragraph:
The national security of this nation depends upon its domestic strength and international stability. This strength requires an ability to control national borders, the maintenance of an independent foreign policy, a prosperous economy, and a cohesive domestic politic environment. As this essay has attempted to outline, uncontrolled migration is undermining this strength. Unchecked immigration, whatever its impact on labor and wage rates, does not just affect the unskilled and marginal job market. Its impact, because of its sheer numbers and because of its illegality, affects the very fabric of American society, U.S. national security, cultural, political, and linguistic unity, economic well-being, and international standing.
It is undeniable that the thwarting of both population growth control and illegal immigration control by the Vatican seriously threatens the security of the United States. It is likewise undeniable that Americans and others who assist the Vatican in these activities seriously threaten the security of the United States.
 A. Menendez, “Of Presidents and Popes,” Church and State (1982), 35:6:11.
 “Reagan Says U.S., Catholic Goals the Same,” Church and State (1982), 35:7:17.
 B. Peterson, “Reagan’s Use of Moral Language to Explain Policies Draws Fire,” Washington Post (March 23, 1983), p. A15.
 M. McGrory, “Irishman in White House Now Says ‘Ciao,'” Raleigh News and Observer (August 6, 1984), p. 4A.
 O. Ullmann and E. Warren, “‘Government Needs Church’ Reagan Says,” Raleigh News and Observer (August 24, 1984), p. 1.
 M. McCrory, “Cuomo’s Rule: Discuss Difficult Issues,” Raleigh News and Observer (August 10, 1984), p. 4A.
 J. Mann and K. Phillips, “Inside Look at those Elite Religious Groups,” U.S. News and World Report (March 19, 1984), p. 60.
 M. A. Lee, “Their Will Be Done,” Mother Jones (July 1983), p. 22.
 Mann and Phillips, “Inside Look,” p. 60.
 D. van Atta, “God and Man at the CIA,” Church and State (1984), 37:2:13.
 Lee, “Their Will Be Done,” p. 21.
 R. B. Kaiser, “Unholy Wars in the Name of God,” U.S.A. Today (August 23, 1984), p. 4A.
 J. McBeth, “The Church Clandestine,” Far Eastern Economic Review (July 14, 1983), p. 34.
 Edd Doerr, “Will Religious Liberty Survive the 1980s?” Religious Humanism (Spring 1984), p. 53.
 P. Taubman, “Archbishop Leads Campaign Against Sandinistas,” Raleigh News and Observer (August 1, 1984), p. lA.
 R. C. Brodnick, The Catholic Encyclopedia (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, Inc., 1976).
 The International Who’s Who (1984).
 B. Bradley, “International Conference on Population,” press release (August 8, 1984), p. 3.
 P. Blanshard, American Freedom and Catholic Power (Boston: The Beacon Press, 1950), p. 259.
 Editor’s note. Church and State (1983), 36:7:23.
 “Catholic, Lutheran School Enrollment Up,” Church and State (1982), 35:7:20.
 “Don’t Let America Get ‘Conned,'” Church and State (January 1984), 37:1:18.
 “AU Bulletin: Con-Con Call Jeopardizes Religious Freedom,” Church and State (July/August 1983), 36:7:3.
 J. V. Stevens, Sr., “Tearing Up the Constitution,” Church and State (March 1983), 36:3:11.
 J. Tanton, “How Underdeveloped Countries Are Harmed by Uncontrolled Immigration,” Human Survival (1983), 9:2:4.
 “The Speaker, On the Border,” New York Times (September 25, 1983).
 Gallup Poll, “Hard Line Against Hiring Aliens,” Chapel Hill Newspaper (November 13, 1983), p. 15A.
 D. Winston, “Catholic Diocese Is Reaching Out to Area Hispanics,” Raleigh News and Observer (January 1, 1984), p. 27A.
 W. Bole, “When Churches Hide Illegal Aliens, They Cite the Concept of Sanctuary,” Church and State (1983), 36:3:16.
 G. Fauriol, “U.S. Immigration Policy and the National Interest,” Immigration Policy Paper #2 (December 8, 1983), p. 17.
 Ibid., p. 19.
 Tanton, “How Underdeveloped Countries Are Harmed,” p. 4.
 Ibid., p. 4.
 “The Roybal Bill,” FAIR Immigration Report (March 1984), 4:6:2.
 “Texas Governor Blasts Administration—Says Border Patrol Needs More Funds,” FAIR Immigration Report (December 1983), 4:3:2.
 Blanshard, American Freedom and Catholic Power, p. 138.
 Le Monde, Paris (September 20, 1983).
 “Vatican on Misuse of Statistics,” Population Today (1984), 12:2:5.
 “Vatican Charter Urges Government Support for Parochiaid, Censorship, Population Growth,” Church and State (1984), 37:1:16.
 “President Is Urged to Strengthen U.S. Population Resolve,” Popline (1982), 4:11:1.
 “Administration Tracking Demographic Trends,” Population Today (1984), 12:3:3.
 R. Benedetto, “Vatican Influence,” U.S.A. Today June 17, 1983), p. 11A.
 D. W. Foster, “God and the IRS,” The Humanist (1984), 44:1:14.
 S. Salerno, “All This and Heaven Too,” Harper’s (June 1982), p. 54.
 Blanshard, American Freedom and Catholic Power, p. 281.
 Ibid., p. 29.
 V. Cohn, “Two Studies Call for Approval of Controversial Birth Control Drug,” Washington Post (June 3, 1983), p. A2.
 “Family Planning Doctors Issue Statement on Depo,” IPPF Open File (May 26, 1983), p. 27.
 Cohn, “Two Studies Call,” p. A2.
 The Observer, London (August 28, 1983).
 Planned Parenthood-World Population Washington Memo, “Disturbing Trend Continues” (February 8, 1984), p. 3.
 Planned Parenthood-World Population Washington Memo, “Piecemeal Attacks” (July 13, 1983), p. 5.
 M. Esherick and A. Bermingham, “Schweicker’s Parting Shots,” ZPG Reporter (1983), 15:1:2.
 Planned Parenthood-World Population Washington Memo, “Family Planning Transfer” (January 31, 1984), p. 1.
 R. Connor, “Highlights of Immigration Activites During 1983,” Year-end Report to FAIR Members (January 1, 1984).
 Planned Parenthood-World Population Washington Memo, “Demands from Antiabortion Leaders” (February 29, 1984), p. 3.
 Federation for American Immigration Reform, “Understanding El Salvador” (1984), 4:6:2.
 Planned Parenthood-World Population Washington Memo, “Foreign Aid Politics a Major Factor” (February 8, 1984), p. 3.
 United Press International, “U.S. Plans to Boost Military Aid to Turkey,” Raleigh News and Observer (February 5, 1982), p. 3A.
 “Pro-Abortion Population Programs Targeted,” Chapel Hill Newspaper (June 18, 1984), p. lA.
 “U.N. Population Conference Opens With Strong Warnings,” Raleigh News and Observer (August 7, 1984), p. 3.
 R. J. Meislin, “Free Economies Help Lower Birth Rates, U.S. Envoy Tells Population Conference,” Raleigh News and Observer (August 9, 1984), p. lA.
 R. Watson, J. Contreras, J. Harmes, and P. Chin, “Population Trading Places,” Newsweek (August 20, 1984), p. 50.
 Waldo Zimmermann, Condemned to Live: The Plight of the Unwanted Child (Vita Press, 2143 Poplar Avenue, Memphis, TN 38104; 1981), p. 36.
 “Better Health, Better Opportunities,” Popline (October 1983), p. 2.
 C. Green, “Voluntary Sterilization: World’s Leading Contraceptive Method,” Population Reports #2 (March 1978), p. M42.
 M. D. Taylor, “The Forgotten Factor in Central America,” Washington Post (August 30, 1983), p. A19.
 G. J. MacDonald, “A Fund-Raising Letter Prepared for Conservatives for Illegal Immigration Reform” (1983).
 Fauriol, “U.S. Immigration Policy and the National Interest,” p. 36.
Dr. Stephen Mumford is the founder and President of the North Carolina-based Center for Research on Population and Security. He has his doctorate in Public Health. His principal research interest has been the relationship between world population growth and national and global security. He has been called to provide expert testimony before the U.S. Congress on the implications of world population growth.
Dr. Mumford has decades of international experience in fertility research where he is widely published, and has addressed conferences worldwide on new contraceptive technologies and the stresses to the security of families, societies and nations that are created by continued uncontrolled population growth. Using church policy documents and writings of the Vatican elite, he has introduced research showing the hierarchy of the Roman Catholic Church as the principal power behind efforts to block the availability of contraceptive services worldwide.
In addition to his books on biomedical and social aspects of family planning, as well as scientific articles in more than a score of journals, Dr. Mumford’s major works include American Democracy and the Vatican: Population Growth and National Security (Amherst, New York: Humanist Press, 1984), The Pope and the New Apocalypse: The Holy War Against Family Planning (Research Triangle Park, North Carolina: Center for Research on Population and Security, 1986), and The Life and Death of NSSM 200: How the Destruction of Political Will Doomed a U.S. Population Policy (Research Triangle Park, North Carolina: Center for Research on Population and Security, 1996).
— Church and State (@ChurchAndStateN) June 6, 2018
During the formative years of the World Health Organization (WHO), broad consensus existed among United Nations member countries that overpopulation is a grave public health threat and would be a major cause of preventable death not too far in the future. One of the founding fathers of the WHO, the late Milton P. Siegel, speaks to Dr. Mumford in 1992. He explains how the Vatican successfully stymied the incorporation of family planning and birth control into official WHO policy. This video is available for public viewing for the first time. Read the full transcript of the interview here.
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