Editor’s note: Conservative lawmakers around the U.S. have launched one of the most extreme assaults on women’s choice the nation has seen in decades. It is in this context that we are making “The Pope and the New Apocalypse: The Holy War Against Family Planning” by our Chairman Dr. Stephen D. Mumford freely available to download. Dr. Mumford considers the increasingly menacing, implacable efforts of the Roman Catholic Church, with the U.S. government and the so-called pro-life movement as allies, to sabotage or terminate family planning programmes. The book is as relevant and revealing today as it was when it was first published in 1986. It is available as an 80-page e-book at Kindle here.
Excerpt from The Pope and the New Apocalypse
Chapter 5: The Holy War on Family Planning
In 1975 the National Conference of Catholic Bishops formulated and published for internal Church use the “Pastoral Plan for Pro-Life Activities.” This Plan can be found in Appendix 3. The plan is directed toward creating a highly sophisticated, meticulously organized and well financed local, state and national political machine. In 1980, the Vatican went to great lengths to assist in the election of an American president, using the infrastructure created in accord with the Plan. Though the plan says that this political machine was created to combat legalized abortion, it has become obvious during the Reagan administration that the issue of abortion is simply a clever pretext for building a political machine designed to impose a much broader Vatican political agenda on the American people.
The plan frankly states that the Church will undertake activities to elect officials from local to national levels who will adhere to Vatican ordained positions; that it will seek to influence policy in ways that will eliminate the threat to the Church; and that it will encourage the Executive Branch to deal “administratively” with matters that are unfavorable to the Church.
Starting with Parish, Diocesan, and State Coordinating Pro-Life Committees, the Plan concentrates on organizing all 435 Congressional Districts in the 50 states. The plan blueprints in detail how each congressional district machine will be organized, how it will operate, what it will do and how it will respond to the National Conference of Catholic Bishops.
Pro-Life Does the Dirty Work
The Plan’s implementers found a ready-made ally in Jerry Falwell. Falwell fits perfectly into the Catholic strategy of using non-Catholics where possible to serve as front men with the public. Falwell’s Protestant constituency has been of enormous help, unwittingly, to the Bishops in moving toward the Pastoral Plan’s objectives. In return, the Bishops generously supported the Moral Majority and Falwell financially, particularly after he agreed to emphasize abortion, in which, according to investigative reporter Connie Paige in her book “The Right to Lifers” (Summit Books, 1983), he previously had evidenced no interest.*46
In effect, the finding that Catholic energy, organization and direction were essential to the right-to-life movement was foreshadowed by Federal Judge John J. Dooling in his 1980 decision on the Hyde Amendment.*47 Judge Dooling found after a year of research that the Pastoral Plan had been implemented. Dooling concluded that the anti-abortion movement was a creation of the Catholic Church. Though his decision was later overturned, this was done for reasons which did not invalidate his research or the conclusion he drew from it.
In like manner, the first three Presidents of the National Right to Life Committee, an antiabortion group created by the Catholic Church, were all Protestants: Marjory Mecklenburg, Mildred Jefferson, and Carolyn Gerster. Since 1980, however, Jack Willke, a Catholic, has been President.*48
The U.S. Catholic bishops also do their lobbying through another organization, The National Committee For a Human Life Amendment. As Connie Paige has written in her book, “The Right To Lifers,” the NCHLA, like the National Right To Life Committee, “was supposed to have no official connection with the Church. Its affiliation, however, was obvious from public records showing where it got the better part of its money, a good deal of it coming from Catholic communicants across the country. The link was also widely acknowledged within the right-to-life movement, where activists unhesitatingly referred to NCHLA as ‘the bishops’ outfit.’ Yet another connection was through the person of the Reverend Edward Bryce, who was once head of NCHLA and now directs right-to-life activities for the National Conference of Catholic Bishops. The Reverend Bryce has presided over the transformation of the church into a right-to-life political machine.”*49
Jesse Helms, Protestant senior Senator from North Carolina, has served the Vatican well as “Dean of the New Right” in return for massive Catholic support—financial, organizational, and advisory in his 1978 and 1984 reelection campaigns. As I explore further in my book, American Democracy and the Vatican, “The biggest winner of all has been Senator Jesse Helms of North Carolina … There is little doubt that Helms is the Vatican’s most important ally in Congress and, precisely because he is non-Catholic, the most important of all to their agenda. No one has had greater access to the ‘hidden’ money of the Catholic Church of which Father Bryce spoke. Helms is Baptist, but Congressional Club founder and Helms’s campaign strategist since 1972, Thomas F. Ellis, is Catholic. Helms gained much of his fame for his ability to tie up the Senate with its own rules. However, it is his legislative aide, James P. Lucier, a Catholic, who ‘mastered the rules’ and devised the strategies to accomplish this. The ‘Helms Amendment’ barred use of U.S. Agency for International Development funds for assistance to programs providing abortions. It carried the name of a Protestant, but was written by Catholic John Sullivan.”*50
Another Catholic centrally involved is Paul Weyrich, a founder of Moral Majority, Christian Voice and Religious Roundtable. He openly claims credit for originating the idea for the Moral Majority and the name itself.*51 Weyrich’s umbilical connection to Rome is manifest in his own words: “If we didn’t know the Pope agrees with us, we Catholics in the New Right would have serious conscience problems. I would never work counter to the Church’s official position.”*52
Richard A. Viguerie, a Catholic, devised the extraordinarily successful direct mail operations which resulted in membership claims of roughly four million Roman Catholics, Protestant fundamentalists, and orthodox Jews.*53 The organization claims its “hardcore contributors” number more than 400,000, including a cadre of 80,000 priests, ministers, and rabbis*54 organized into fifty chapters as detailed in the Bishops’ Pastoral Plan of Action.
Putting the Pastoral Plan to Work
Consistent with Part I of the Plan which calls for “a public information effort, directed to the general public,” identification of the powerful Protestant electronic ministry with the goals of the Plan began to emerge in 1976 and 1977, shortly after the Plan was published. In order for the Bishops to cast abortion as a “religious and moral” issue (rather than just a Catholic issue) and communicate with the Protestant four-fifths of America, of course it has been useful to communicate through Protestant ministers. All of the politically oriented fundamentalist Protestant electronic ministers have risen to power since the initiation of the Pastoral Plan.*55 None had shown an interest in abortion previously and, in fact, fundamentalists, in general, had never objected to abortion until the Vatican actively cultivated the fundamentalists following publication of the Plan. Is it possible that the powerful electronic ministry owes its financial success to the wealthy Vatican and the Pastoral Plan? The Vatican certainly has every capability necessary for manipulating the electronic ministry.
Aiding and abetting the Pastoral Plan for Pro-Life Activities are Washington “think tanks” such as the Heritage Foundation, headed by Catholic Edwin Feulner and originally financed by Catholic Joseph Coors.*56 To assist its fund raising, the Foundation advertises that its publications are assiduously read by the White House. To defuse the security threats of overpopulation and illegal immigration, the Heritage Foundation has featured the economic growth theories of Julian Simon and the late Herman Kahn.
Other Washington “research” organizations producing intellectual and legal underpinnings for Reagan administration policies are the American Enterprise Institute, the Free Congress Foundation, the Washington Legal Foundation and the Center for Judicial Studies.*57 These organizations are serving as little more than Vatican lobbying organizations.
Recently, there have been increasing signs that the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) may have joined the ranks of these Vatican lobbying organizations as it prepares to put its prestige behind the Julian Simon mythology espoused by the Vatican.*58 In December 1983, the Vatican’s Congregation for Catholic Education issued a document to all governments which included the following statement: “It is the task of the state to safeguard its citizens against injustice and moral disorders such as the … improper use of demographic information.” (Ref. American Democracy p. 184) In other words, it is the responsibility of the governments to censor demographic information that suggests the existence of a population problem. If the forthcoming NAS report on population has indeed been “Simonized,” is this another response of the Reagan administration to the Vatican’s will?
Fortunately for the true conservative cause in the U.S., these groups and their adherents could not be considered as authentic American Conservatives in the image of Senators Barry Goldwater (R. Ariz.) and the late Sam J. Ervin, Jr. (D. N.C.). The “New Right” is not a conservative American political movement; it is mainly a religious one, directed by the American Catholic Bishops Conference and indirectly by the Vatican Curia. Rather than being American conservatives, these people are radicals who wish to make major changes in our constitution and changes in the long established relationships of our government institutions to each other.
During the four years 1980-1984, the Catholic Bishops’ Pastoral Plan for Pro-Life Activities perfected its organizing plans for the 435 Congressional Districts to include the counties within them. So well did all the campaign elements function—such as the telephone networks, candidate files, secret societies such as the Knights of Malta and Opus Dei—and with ample financing of targeted candidates under the overall direction of Catholic Senator Paul Laxalt, Honorary Chairman of the Republican National Committee and President Reagan’s Reelection Campaign, that the Republicans increased their percentage of the Catholic vote from 46% in 1980 to 58% in 1984.*59 This obviously had much to do with the 49 state victory of President Reagan.
The Pastoral Plan carefully targets the executive, legislative and judicial branches of our government. The emotional issue of abortion was used to justify the creation and implementation of this plan by the Vatican. Doesn’t all this suggest that the Pastoral Plan is really a frank declaration of a holy war on American democracy?
Money and Catholic Power
For more than 1,000 years, the Roman Catholic Church has shrouded its financial affairs in secrecy. Between 1975 and 1984 a number of voluntary and involuntary disclosures have thrown a little light on Vatican finances. David Yallop, in his best-selling book, In God’s Name: An Investigation into the Murder of Pope John Paul I, (Bantam Books, 1984), submits substantial evidence that Pope John Paul I was killed by threatened insiders just as he prepared to vastly alter the birth control position and the financial organization of the Church.
The tragedy for the Roman Catholic Church and its communicants is that for the second time in a decade the opportunity to open the windows of the Vatican to the fresh air of a more liberal attitude on artificial birth control and other matters of great import to the world was thwarted and lost. With the elevation of Karol Wojtyla as Pope John Paul II, “business as usual” returned to the Vatican. None of the changes proposed by Pope John Paul I have been implemented. Vatican Incorporated is still functioning in all markets. World population continues to grow exponentially and the seepage of its excess across our borders increases alarmingly.
Yallop’s book subjects Vatican finances to a detailed scrutiny, which I have attempted to summarize here. Yallop describes how Vatican productive wealth, quite apart from its priceless art collection and worldwide real estate holdings, rests largely on a portfolio built on a capital base of about $92 million. This fund, equivalent to $550 million in 1984, was a payment by Benito Mussolini to Pope Pius XI in 1929, as belated reparation for Vatican land taken over by the Italian state.
These assets are in the care of the Administration of the Patrimony of the Holy See (APSA). The head of the Prefecture for the Economic Affairs of the Holy See admitted to $125 million in assets in 1975, but no billions. According to Yallop, the Istitute per le Opere di Religione (IOR), the Vatican Bank, has been reported to have some $3 billion in assets, including 500,000 ounces of gold deposited with the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. These assets were built by a remarkable manager, Bernardino Nogara, between 1930 and 1958 by judicious investments in industrial and financial companies first in Italy and later in the United States and worldwide.
The annual profits of the Vatican Bank, estimated to be in excess of $100 million, are 85% available to the Pope. Parish priests forward a percentage of ordinary parish income to the diocese, but nothing compels a bishop to give from his coffers to Rome. So now, as in centuries past, an important source of papal revenue is Peter’s Pence, an annual collection worldwide that goes to the Pope. Its amount is not revealed.
Wealthy archdioceses, such as Chicago in the United States and Munich in Germany, probably have bigger budgets than the Vatican. In the seventeen acrimonious years (1965-1982) during which Cardinal John Cody ruled the Archdiocese of Chicago, it was revealed that the diocese had an annual revenue approaching $300 million. Although he made gifts to the Pope and members of the Curia, the Cardinal refused to release financial statements to anyone, including Rome or the IRS even when subpoenaed.
In 1968, Bishop Paul Marcinkus, a native of Cicero, Illinois, became manager of the Vatican Bank. He readily admitted “I have no banking experience.” (Yallop, p. 121) To assist him in overcoming this deficiency, he obtained at Pope Paul VI’s suggestion (p. 117) the help of two financial advisors—Michele Sindona, the president of banks in Milan, Messina, Geneva, Panama, and later the Franklin National Bank in New York; and in 1971 Roberto Calvi, President of the Banco Ambrosiano of Milan, Banco del Gottardo in Lugano, Switzerland, Banco Ambrosiano Overseas, Nassau, BWI, etc.
Yallop determined that one stratagem of the Vatican Bank was to further diversify its remaining Italian holdings in order to “avoid heavy Italian taxation.” (p. 124). To help accomplish this, Sindona added the lucrative practice of laundering the estimated $600 million annual heroin profit of the Sicilian Mafia Gambino family (p. 107). Roberto Calvi aided this by making available his Luxembourg company called Banco Ambrosiano Holdings and his offshore banks, and under the protection of the Vatican Bank laundered dollars back into Europe and Sicily from the United States and Canada. Other activities involved huge speculations in foreign exchange, rigging the Milan Stock Exchange, and embezzling funds from other depositors to finance these transactions.
It all ended with the 1974 collapse of the Franklin National Bank in New York with a loss to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (U.S. taxpayers) of $2 billion, the biggest bank failure to that date in U.S. history. Sindona was arrested in New York, found guilty on sixty-five counts, and on June 13, 1980, sentenced to twenty-five years imprisonment and fined $200,000. Roberto Calvi was arrested by Milan authorities in May 1981, freed on bail under appeal, was found hanging under Blackfriars Bridge in the City of London on June 17, 1982. A few days later it was discovered that Banco Ambrosiano Milan was short $1.3 billion.
Bishop Marcinkus could justly claim to have done more than any other priest in modern times to bring the Roman Catholic Church into disrepute. Nevertheless, Pope John Paul II promoted him to Archbishop by making him Governor of Vatican City, where he remains in 1984, protected from the Italian authorities (p. 321). Roberto Calvi in early 1982 begged Marcinkus and the Pope to make good the $1.3 billion shortage of Banco Ambrosiano from the profits of their eleven-year partnership. At the time of this appeal, Calvi placed the patrimony of the Vatican Bank at $10 billion, instead of the $3 billion estimated above.
In the years before the Ambrosiano failure, a number of international banks (including U.S.) had loaned Calvi’s Luxembourg holding company $600 million. Afterward, the Vatican began wrangling with the Italian government and a consortium representing these international banks regarding the $600 million indebtedness. Agreement was finally reached by mid-May 1984. As reported by the financial press, the international banks will get back approximately two-thirds, or $400 million of their loans. Of this sum, the Vatican Bank will pay $240 million. “on the basis of non-culpability but in recognition of a moral involvement.”
As a result of these glimpses into the wealth of the Vatican and its dioceses, it is evident that the Church enjoys vast economic power. In a democracy, political power can be acquired by buying elections. Running for office has become very expensive indeed. The Vatican has taken full advantage of this development, reaching into its large treasure to influence office seekers in the United States, thus helping to implement its 1975 Pastoral Plan for Pro-Life Activities.
However the most important lesson to be learned from Yallop’s book is that the Vatican is a demonstrably corrupt institution that has widely abused its power. Furthermore, Yallop, with considerable evidence in hand, concluded that the Vatican killed its own pope in order to protect its power. (This is explored further in Appendix 4.) Therefore, it is not unreasonable to assume that the Vatican would undermine American democracy, through widespread corruption, to protect its power.
*46 Paige, C. The Right to Lifers: Who They Are, How They Operate, Where They Get Their Money. New York: Summit Books, 1983, p. 155.
*47 Federal Judge John Dooling’s 1980 U.S. District Court, Eastern District of New Young, decision in McRae vs. HEW.
*48 Ibid, pp. 83-87.
*49 Ibid, p. 63.
*50 American Democracy & The Vatican. p. 209.
*51 Young, PD. Richard A. Viguerie: “The New Right’s Secret Power Broker,” Penthouse, December 1982, p. 146.
*52 Negri, M. “The Well-Planned Conspiracy,” The Humanist 42(3):40, 1982.
*53 U.S. News and World Report, June 21, 1982.
*55 Winston, D. Three articles. 1. “TV Preachers’ Message: For God and Country” (p. 1A). 2. “Televangelists Bring Change to Religious Programming” (p. 17A). 3. “Religious Labels Sometimes Difficult to Pin on TV Preachers” (p. 16A). Raleigh News and Observer, February 17, 1985.
*56 Young, PD. God’s Bullies. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1982, p. 127.
*57 “Theorists on Right Find Fertile Ground,” Washington Post, August 9, 1985.
*58 Harrington, W. “The Heretic Becomes Respectable,” Washington Post Magazine, August 18, 1985. p. 8.
*59 “Reagan-Bush wins voter support-Catholic Vote—58% from 46% in 1980 (largest percentage increase in a voter group from the last election),” First Monday, National Republican Committee, March, 1985.
Dr. Stephen Mumford is the founder and President of the 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. In 1981, he received the Margaret Mead Leadership Prize in Population and Ecology. He has been recognised for his work in advancing the cause of reproductive rights by the Feminist Caucus of the American Humanist Association, 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. He has written extensively on the pivotal role of the Catholic hierarchy in thwarting efforts to tackle the world’s burgeoning population.
In 1974, President Richard Nixon requested the authoritative interagency study that came to be known as NSSM 200 (National Security Study Memorandum 200). The NSSM 200 report states: “There is a major risk of severe damage [from continued rapid population growth] to world economic, political, and ecological systems and, as these systems begin to fail, to our humanitarian values.” However, the implementation of NSSM 200 recommendations that were already approved by President Ford was blocked by the swift action of the Vatican. As CIA Director, George H.W. Bush was in the position most concerned with such a grave threat to the United States and global security. Just days after leaving his post at the agency, he told Dr. Mumford, author of Population Growth Control (1977), “I agree with everything you are saying here,” referring to the book, “and I can assure you the folks at the CIA agree with you too.”
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 Population Growth Control: The Next Move is America’s (New York: Philosophical Library, 1977), 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).
As president of the Center for Research on Population and Security, Dr. Mumford continues his work of more than four decades as lead scientist in the development and evaluation of contraception methods and advancing the cause of reproductive rights. Collaborating with health providers and scientists in more than 20 countries, his office is in North Carolina where he makes his home. His wife of 40 years, a Chinese immigrant and leading cancer researcher, focuses much of her investigation on environmental cancers affecting large populations of poor women.
Vatican control of World Health Organization population policy: An interview with Milton P. Siegel
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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