Examples of Vatican influence on policies of nations

By Stephen D. Mumford, DrPH | 6 August 2012
Church and State

Excerpt from Chapter 10 of our Chairman Dr. Stephen D. Mumford’s book, American Democracy and the Vatican: Population Growth and National Security (1984). The book is available at Kindle here and to read for free here.

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.[69]

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[70] 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.[71] 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.

[69] Waldo Zimmermann, Condemned to Live: The Plight of the Unwanted Child (Vita Press, 2143 Poplar Avenue, Memphis, TN 38104; 1981), p. 36.
[70] “Better Health, Better Opportunities,” Popline (October 1983), p. 2.
[71] C. Green, “Voluntary Sterilization: World’s Leading Contraceptive Method,” Population Reports #2 (March 1978), p. M42.

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).

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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