VATICAN CITY (CNS) — The former Dutch minister of foreign trade and development received a papal honor as a matter of diplomatic courtesy and not because of her political views, which include support for access to abortion, the Vatican press office said.


“The honorific of the Pontifical Order of St. Gregory the Great received by Mrs. Lilianne Ploumen, then minister of development, in June 2017 corresponds to the diplomatic practice of exchanging honorifics between delegations on the occasion of official visits by heads of state or government at the Vatican,” said Paloma Garcia Ovejero, vice director of the Vatican press office.

“Therefore, it is in no way an approval of the policies in favor of abortion and birth control promoted by Mrs. Ploumen,” the statement released Jan. 15 said.

In January 2017, Ploumen began the fundraising campaign “She Decides,” in response to U.S. President Donald Trump’s reinstatement of the “Mexico City Policy,” which bans all foreign nongovernmental organizations receiving U.S. funds from performing or promoting abortion as a method of family planning in other countries.