Pope Francis’ award to Hollywood pro-abortion, anti-marriage advocates endangers the family

Pope Francis’ award to Hollywood pro-abortion, anti-marriage advocates endangers the family

Patrick B. Craine

ROME, June 2, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – As Catholic parents we would have nothing to do with a school that chose a pro-abortion and same-sex “marriage” activist like George Clooney as an ambassador. Sadly, if we are to maintain integrity, we must now say the same of the pope’s own educational charity.

On Sunday, Pope Francis presided as the pontifical foundation he founded, Scholas Occurrentes, awarded an Olive Medal for Peace to George Clooney, Richard Gere, and Salma Hayek at a publicized Vatican event. All three Hollywood celebrities have a history of advocacy against the Church’s moral and social teachings.

As Catholics we rightly cringe to speak ill of the pope. But for anyone who has ever lamented the scandal of Catholic institutions honoring or giving a platform to public opponents of Church teaching, there is simply no dismissing the fact that this too is a grave scandal. Advocates of the Catholic cause today cannot ignore the reality of our situation right now. We have to grapple with it.

The awards

The awards were given at the VI World Congress of Scholas Occurrentes, a foundation of pontifical right founded by Pope Francis in 2013. The charity is a network of schools intended to help children socially integrate within their cultures through the use of technology and the arts.

Crux reports that the organization gave the three Hollywood actors the Olive Medal in recognition of their activism against climate change, war, and terrorism. According to the Hollywood Reporter, the three will now act as ambassadors for the charity’s arts projects.

Unfortunately, all three actors have a history of supporting causes to dismantle the traditional family and morality, including abortion and same-sex “marriage,” both in their films and their public advocacy work.

Salma Hayek, born and raised in a Catholic family, has been openly critical of the Church and religion in general. In a 2007 interview with Marie Claire, she explained her choice to leave the Church in this way:

The minute I started thinking it through, I realized all religions are a form of manipulation. And I started having problems with certain beliefs-like in Africa, where people are dying of AIDS and overpopulation, the Catholic Church is going over to convert them and take away the condoms! And I said, wait a minute . . .

In a 2003 interview with The Advocate, she blamed the Church for attacks on homosexuals. “I disapprove of their lack of acceptance of gay people as equals. … I am very angry about the way gay people are treated around the world. I think religion has a lot to do with it. I think that God doesn’t make any differences—I think that we are all loved by God the same. He has accepted gay people. It’s part of creation but it’s a lot easier to judge than to learn,” she said.

But of the three, Clooney is by far the most active and high profile.

In 2012, he joined other Hollywood A-listers in a play called 8, ridiculing the pro-marriage backers of California’s Proposition 8.

Clooney told EOnline in 2008: “At some point in our lifetime, gay marriage won’t be an issue, and everyone who stood against this civil right will look as outdated as George Wallace standing on the school steps keeping James Hood from entering the University of Alabama because he was black.”

In April, the actor praised the effectiveness of using corporate pressure to muscle states into accepting laws that allow biological men to use women’s showers and locker rooms. “When you have IBM and Walmart of all people and General Electric and people like that coming at you, it affects people,” he said.

He is also an unapologetic supporter of Planned Parenthood.

At the Vatican event, Clooney praised Scholas Occurrentes, saying that it was “wonderful” to see “so many religions talking about inclusion.” He praised Pope Francis for using the best way to combat “fundamentalist attitudes,” namely by focusing on school children. “We have to start with schools, because we know that hatred and fundamentalist attitudes have to be taught. We’re not born this way, it’s a learned behavior. Pope Francis is focusing on schools, because he knows that this is the only way we’re going to fight it,” he said during the event.

Undermining the faithful

These awards are deeply concerning no matter what the intention in bestowing them. They may very well have been given in good faith, or even possibly as some sort of misguided faith outreach to the rich and famous. But, frankly, no good intentions can justify the scandal.

We can hope that Pope Francis was ignorant as to the public stances of those he’s awarding. But no one will dispute that he has a responsibility to know.

For many years Catholics have fought hard battles to maintain the integrity of our Church institutions by advocating that they refrain from honoring or giving platforms to the Church’s enemies. The most high profile instance was obviously in 2009, when Notre Dame University awarded the most pro-abortion U.S. president in history an honorary doctorate and had him deliver their Commencement address.

Over 80 U.S. bishops rightly raised their voice in a strong protest. In doing so, they universally pointed to a clear statement from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ 2004 document Catholics in Political Life: “The Catholic community and Catholic institutions should not honor those who act in defiance of our fundamental moral principles. They should not be given awards, honors or platforms which would suggest support for their actions” (emphasis in original).

This is just straightforward common sense. The Church can’t play fast and loose with fundamental moral principles affecting life and death, and the very nature of the human person, at a time when these very principles are under all-out assault and confusion reigns even among Her own faithful. The Church has no choice but to give an absolutely clear moral witness, whether or not that means the world makes her out to be intransigent.

By honoring activists like Clooney, Gere, and Hayek, Pope Francis is undermining the Catholic faithful’s effort to preserve the faith. He’s making our job next to impossible. When the next Commencement scandal erupts, why wouldn’t Notre Dame or Georgetown simply point to Pope Francis’ own actions to justify theirs?

Of course, we know they will. And then, in the face of that, how effective will it be to point to a sentence from a local bishops’ conference? Nevertheless, we are called to embrace our suffering in this world we call the “vale of tears,” so we will happily press forward despite the immense added challenge, for we have confidence that the truth as proclaimed for two millennia by the Catholic Church is on our side.

The pope’s actions, though, are unfortunately much worse than merely adding extra burdens on the faithful. Vastly worse. For by honoring the enemies of life and the natural family, the pope is playing a part in the cultural destruction going on all around us. This is truly a scandal of immense proportion – much more damaging than Notre Dame’s Obama debacle – because it involves the endorsement of the Vicar of Christ himself.

When Notre Dame chose to honor President Obama in 2009, the local ordinary in Fort Wayne-South Bend, Bishop John D’Arcy, warned that the university may have “chosen prestige over truth.” One hopes the same cannot be said here of Pope Francis and Scholas Occurrentes, because losing worldly prestige is simply the price of obeying the Gospel.

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9 comments on “Pope Francis’ award to Hollywood pro-abortion, anti-marriage advocates endangers the family

  1. He is either a useful idiot, a senile lunatic suffering from dementia, or an evil modernist apostate. The neo-Catholic defenders of this type of modernism will have to take their pick.

    None of these celebrities is allowed to receive rewards, honors, or honorary degrees at Catholic colleges or universities under a proper understanding of church policy regarding pro-abortion ideologues. Yet, Pope Bergoglio, the darling of the pro-abortion and anti-Catholic Left, violates church policy and teaching in order to gain favor with New Age flakes and Malthusian population controllers of the climate change mafia. Sad. Maybe one of the more notorious professional Protestant converts to neo-Catholic modernism would like to defend this in the name of the New Evangelization?

  2. This faux neo-Catholic Olive Medal cult for pro-abortion liberal celebrities obsessed with climate change is a false counterfeit church of the Antichrist.

  3. I can’t help feeling that this Pope would do anything that would enhance his popularity with the secular world. He is Mr Nice Guy.

  4. By the way, if you want to read something that might make you lose your breakfast – over at Fr Longenecker’s blog he has written an article of 10 ways Pope Francis reminds him of Jesus.
    I read it as quickly as I could, to get off the page fast, because with each point I started finding myself finding a whole list of arguments against what Fr Longenecker said!
    I really need to pray more for this priest. I can’t believe somebody could be so blind to what this Pope has actually done.

  5. Some Protestants can’t see any problem with progressive modernism. They spend their time going after orthodox and traditional Catholics very much like, well, anti-Catholic Protestants.

    Does anyone know whether Protestant converts who have hysterical anti-Catholicism in their background have to undergo exorcism before they are allowed to apply for ordination as Novus Ordo priests?

    • Exorcism might help some of them.

      Back in the day, a convert had to abjure his heresy:

      I, ______________ , having before me the holy Gospels, which I touch with my hand, and knowing that no one can be saved without that faith which the Holy, Catholic, Apostolic Roman Church holds, believes, and teaches, against which I grieve that I have greatly erred, inasmuch as I have held and believed doctrines opposed to her teaching.

      I now with sorrow and contrition for my past errors, profess that I believe the Holy, Catholic, Apostolic Roman Church to be the only and true Church established on earth by Jesus Christ, to which I submit myself with my whole soul. I believe all the articles of Faith that she proposes to my belief, and I reject and condemn all that she rejects and condemns, and I am ready to observe all that she commands me. And I make the following profession of Faith:

      (There follows the profession.)

      And, I believe in everything else that has been defined and declared by the sacred Canons and by the General Councils, and particularly by the holy Council of Trent, and delivered, defined, and declared by the General Council of the Vatican, especially concerning the Primacy of the Roman Pontiff, and his infallible teaching authority.

      With a sincere heart, therefore, and with unfeigned faith, I detest and abjure every error, heresy, and sect opposed to the said Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Roman Church. So help me God, and these His holy Gospels, which I touch with my hand.

      Paging Fr. Long Neck!

  6. The modernist cabal of cardinals elected him to the papacy – doesn’t that tell all that needs to be said? IMO the crisis is more than attributable to one man.

  7. Quote:
    “And, I believe in everything else that has been defined and declared by the sacred Canons and by the General Councils, and particularly by the holy Council of Trent, and delivered, defined, and declared by the General Council of the Vatican, especially concerning the Primacy of the Roman Pontiff, and his infallible teaching authority.”

    That phrase “in everything else” would have included the theology and nature of the traditional Mass.

    So John Henry Newman had to renounce any heretical doctrines in a formal declaration
    before he could proceed to ordination….

    What about Protestant converts who continue to engage in anti-Catholic bigotry, ridicule, and harassment in their public polemics and writings?

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