Bios of Key Catholic Speakers at the World Congress of Families
11 May 2007
Cardinal Alfonso Lopez Trujillo
Since 1990, Cardinal Alfonso Lopez Trujillo has been president of the Pontifical Council for the Family. He is renowned for his extreme traditionalism and is a frequent speaker at conferences and events held by antichoice organizations. Trujillo regularly speaks out against family planning—that is, any methods other than those relying on Vatican-approved periodic abstinence or “natural family planning.” Cardinal Trujillo maintains an anti-condom stance even with regards to preventing the spread of AIDS, claiming that promoting “safe-sex” is like playing “Russian roulette,”
Cardinal Trujillo has made false and unscientific statements about condom use to prevent HIV and AIDS. The most notorious was perhaps during his appearance on a BBC documentary on the subject, when he claimed that “the AIDS virus is 450 times smaller than the spermatozoon. The spermatozoon can easily pass through the ‘net’ that is formed by the condom.” He has also claimed that promoting condom use is like playing “Russian roulette” with AIDS and that “safe sex” campaigns are dangerous because they increase promiscuity and give condom users a false sense of security.
These statements have drawn fierce criticism from reproductive health experts at the WHO, which called them “incorrect” and “dangerous” and that “consistent and correct” condom use reduces the risk of HIV infection by 90%.
A senior member of Slovakia’s Christian Democrats (KDH) and a member of the European Parliament for Slovakia (NR SR), Dr. Záborská has publicly identified herself as a conservative and stated intentions to pursue her conservative agenda within the European Union. She is a prominent member of the Forum of Life, an association of Slovak antichoice NGOs, organizations and individuals and is radically opposed to equal rights for homosexuals, believing “AIDS is God’s vengeance for homosexuality.” In July 2004, Dr. Záborská became the chair of the European Parliament’s Committee on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality despite protest from other committee members who warned that, “her attitude is against the spirit of the committee” and “her views on abortion and homosexuality in particular could put her in direct conflict with what the committee is trying to achieve.”
Dana Rosemary Scallon
Dana Scallon is a former entertainer turned politician who quickly gained a reputation for her single-minded focus on antichoice issues. In 2003, the misinformation she spread about an overseas development bill brought about almost unprecedented criticism from fellow MEP, Prionsias De Rossa. In a debate on the bill in Brussels, he said, “I want to hear her apologize to this House for the scurrilous lies that she told in the Irish media about this report: claims that EUR 50 million was being taken from Irish fishermen in order to promote abortion in the world; claims that Irish taxpayers’ money was going to be used for promoting abortion in the world. They are scurrilous lies that should be retracted. We should have an apology here tonight from Mrs. Scallon for promoting these falsehoods.”
Primarily as a result of her focus on abortion, Scallon lost, in rapid succession between 2002 and 2004, elections to the Irish parliament (gaining just 3.5% of the vote), her seat in the European Parliament (gaining a slightly more respectable 13.5% of the vote) and failed to even garner enough support to contest the 2004 Irish presidential election.
Austin Ruse is the president of the Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute and somebody who has been outspoken about a willingness to disrupt the workings of the United Nations. Ruse has boasted of his “veneer of support” for the UN and his willingness to break “every single rule of UN lobbying.” Ruse has also shown that he embraces extreme operating principles and lack of cultural sensitivity in pursuit of his goals at the UN: “When we finally convinced the Muslims that ‘forced pregnancy’ meant abortion and they rose up and they squashed it. You know, our whole game is to make the Muslims as mad as possible at the radical feminists. If that happens, we win. Nothing like a Muslim in full-throated outrage at a radical feminist from the United States.”
Father Thomas Euteneuer
Fr. Thomas Euteneuer serves as the president of Human Life International, an organization that has continuously courted controversy through extremist actions and statements, such as publicly accusing Jews of controlling the abortion-rights movement and calling sniper attacks on doctors who perform abortions “a superb tactic.” Euteneuer believes the church has found a new enemy, to replace the Soviet Union, and he travels globally (but especially through Eastern Europe) falsely portraying himself as a crusader against a “new totalitarianism” called “choice” or “reproductive rights.” His organization has scandalized many with racist positions and warnings that “Europe will eventually be dominated by Islam” and “Islam is overtaking Christianity” in Western societies. HLI was denied accreditation with the United Nations Economic and Social Council for its “attacks on Islam,” its position “against the purposes of the United Nations,” its “aggressive language” and the “issue of tolerance.”
Carl Anderson worked with the U.S. government to ban abortion under Senator Jesse Helms before joining the Reagan administration where he helped craft the Global Gag Rule. In the late 1980s, he started work at the conservative Catholic group, the Knights of Columbus where he has worked since to increase the order’s involvement in the fight against abortion rights. He is currently the Supreme Knight of the Order, and has prioritized opposition to any sex education that stresses “biology, birth control, and diverse sexual lifestyles.”
- From Winter to Spring – and Back Again?
- Day One: A Small Show and an Embarrassing No-Show
- Day Two: Worse than a Bad Dream
- Day Three: Back on Message, WCF Still Fails to Inspire
- In Their Own Words: Quotes from the conference