October 18, 2004

Your Eminence/Your Excellency,

We hope this letter finds you well.

We know that you will have followed with careful attention and prayer the extremely important debates at the United Nations over the course of the past 15 years.  As you will recall, His Holiness Pope John Paul II was instrumental in focusing the world’s attention on these debates, particularly the now famous Cairo Population Conference.  John Klink was honored to have assisted the Holy See in those critical years as a diplomat and negotiator from 1988 to 2001, working under H.E. Cardinal Martino, the then Permanent Representative of the Holy See to the United Nations in New York and the current President of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace.  Despite the notable successes in the promotion of the culture of life won by the Holy See and its allies in those critical years, major and continuous opposition to these efforts was marshaled by the European Union and the United States.  As the history of the major UN conferences bears witness, these extraordinarily powerful political entities continually sought to create an international right to abortion, to effectively promote sexual activity amongst adolescents, and to weaken parental rights.

Arguably, the most dangerous of the UN conference documents was the outcome document of Cairo + 5 in 1999 which for the first time in a United Nations document called for training health care workers to perform abortions.  It was clear at that moment that without new pro-life/pro-family political leadership, the wave of so-called “reproductive and sexual rights” would be enshrined as new “fundamental” human rights in the space of years, not decades.

While a great deal of attention has been given during the past two years to the differences of opinion between the Holy See and the Bush Administration regarding the Iraq War, we wanted to apprise you of the less reported, but more wide-reaching pro-life/pro-family leadership of President Bush at the United Nations since his inauguration in January 2001. 

President Bush’s pro-life/pro-family leadership in the international arena began with his reinstatement of President Reagan’s “Mexico City” Policy which effectively banned the provision of US Government funds to Non Governmental Organizations (NGOs) who promote or perform abortion overseas, as well as the performance of, or counseling for, abortion in U.S. military facilities. It was no accident that he did this as his first official act as President.

In this same vein, within 10 days of President Bush’s inauguration, the head of the U.S. Delegation to the UN General Assembly’s Special Session on Children pronounced a total reversal of previous US policy: the United States would promote and defend the family and parental rights and would not agree to any promotion of abortion, including further use of the UN’s abortion pseudonym “reproductive health services”. 

In consonance with President Bush’s directives, successive US delegations to a wide variety of UN conferences have unabashedly promoted marriage, abstinence for unmarried adolescents, faithfulness for adult couples, a ban on sexual trafficking of women and children, and a total ban on human cloning.  The parallel with Catholic social teaching could not be more clear.  The Holy See and the United States had common positions on these issues for the first time in over eight years.

Our witness to these developments was underlined by John Klink’s nomination by the President as a Senior Private Sector Adviser to almost every delegation where these important social issues appeared on the agenda, and Mrs. Ann Corkery’s nomination to the important post of Public Delegate to the UN General Assembly last year and the Commission on the Status of Women.  The President’s action did not go unnoticed by US Congressional abortion proponents who filed written complaints to Secretary of State Collin Powell, voicing their frustration that a former Vatican representative would be included in U.S. delegations.  As with the President’s attempts to appoint prominent Catholic judges, the message was clear from the opposition: practicing Catholics should have no part in important US Government involvement lest their pro-life/pro-family views have real influence.  However, President Bush was not deterred and remained steadfast both with the Administration’s pro-life/pro-family positions as well as in support of our nominations.

While Cardinal Ratzinger’s recent clarifications regarding the reception of communion by pro-abortion politicians has been the subject of some controversy, we feel that not only should the issue of discipline of Canon Law be the subject of honest and thoughtful debate, but that a real recognition should be given by the Church to politicians, whether Catholic or non-Catholic, of whatever political party who promote the Church’s pro-life and pro-family values in the public square, in furtherance of the teachings of the Second Vatican Council.  For this reason, it is our wish to make this full report to Your Eminence on President Bush’s courageous pro-life leadership in the international arena since the beginning of his term of office-a commitment which remains as a promise of continued action should he be elected for another term of office.

Please accept Your Eminence/Your Excellency, our sentiments of esteem and our request for your prayers for our joint endeavors with the Bush Administration and many other dedicated international professionals to promote the culture of life.


John M. Klink Ann M. Corkery


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