Drawing Back the Curtain on the Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute
This 2001 report from Catholics for a Free Choice examines the history, activities and finances of the Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute (CAFHRI), a conservative, anti-reproductive rights Catholic organization that lobbies the UN. The report uncovers shocking remarks made by Austin Ruse, president of the Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute, quoting Ruse as saying that a priest from the Holy See’s UN delegation guaranteed him “absolution if I just took her [Hillary Clinton] out—and not on a date.”
Among the key findings of the report:
- CAFHRI claims to be an independent entity, but extensive documentation obtained by CFFC illustrates that it was established by Human Life International (HLI), an anti-abortion organization that has been charged with anti-Semitism for claiming that Jews run the abortion industry, and Human Life International-Canada, after HLI was denied UN accreditation.
- CAFHRI has applied for special nongovernmental organization (NGO) status so it can lobby UN delegates, but it ignores the basic requirement that such an NGO support the work of the UN. Its president, Austin Ruse, admits to only a “veneer of support” for the UN and boasts of actions that “defy every UN rule on lobbying.” CAFHRI spokespeople and literature routinely disparage and denigrate the UN and its work.
- Documentation obtained by CFFC shows that CAFHRI sought to hide its connection to Human Life International, as well as the fact that its primary purpose is to serve as a resource for the Holy See at the United Nations.