Catholic Institute Battles Foes of Life, Faith and Family at United Nations

by Stephen Wynne  •  •  December 6, 2017   

Center for Family and Human Rights virtually alone in David-and-Goliath fight

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NEW YORK ( - Each day at the United Nations, a small band of scrappy Catholic scholars heads into battle against a towering troop of anti-Christian Goliaths.

Guided by fidelity to the teachings of the Church, the half-dozen employees of the non-partisan, non-profit Center for Family and Human Rights (C-Fam) fight to "defend life and family at international institutions and to publicize the debate."

In a recent letter to supporters, C-Fam President Austin Ruse described 2017 as "a brutal year." Even so, he said, it was "successful ... in fighting the homosexual establishment."

In 2017, C-Fam "blocked 'sexual orientation and gender identity' from becoming a new category of nondiscrimination in international law," Ruse wrote. "If such a thing passed, you could say farewell to all you hold dear. But we stopped them this year."

But in 2018, "The fight begins again," he said, adding "They have billions of dollars to fight us."

On Wednesday, Church Militant spoke with Ruse about the challenges looming in the year ahead.

Austin Ruse

"The spring brings up what I call 'Commission Season'," he said, "where the various commissions meet to negotiate documents later approved by the General Assembly," including the Commission on the Status of Women, the Commission on Population and Development, the Commission on Social Development and others.

"U.N. radicals are busy throughout the year," Ruse explained. "It is nonstop. And each meeting is a threat to life, faith and family."

Ruse noted that "the very radical bureaucracy ... the various agencies ... the various treaty monitoring bodies ... and powerful NGOs ... all work together, and they are all a threat."

Well-funded non-governmental organizations (NGOs) like the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and George Soros' Open Society Foundations "spend boatloads of money at the U.N. to bend the bureaucracy to their will, which is easy and to force governments to accept radical social policy."

"Their biggest threat, however, is on the ground around the world where they spend most of their money targeting poor countries," added Ruse.

Comparing developments at the U.N. under the Trump Administration with what he saw under Obama, Ruse observed, "Obama was fully on board with the most radical ideas at the U.N. including abortion as a global human right and the imposition of the homosexual agenda. Trump is exponentially better on the life issues but not much better on questions of LGBT, sadly."

C-Fam has played a central role for twenty years in blocking a global right to abortion, stopping a redefinition of the family, even creating a decent definition of gender in international law.

Monitoring and impacting the social policy debate at the United Nations and other international institutions since 1997, Ruse and his team have dedicated themselves to reestablishing a proper understanding of international law, protecting national sovereignty and the dignity of the human person.

To achieve this aim, they work to discredit socially radical policies by publishing and promoting scholarship, showing such policies harm a true understanding of international law and in the process undermine the family and other institutions man requires for a just, free and happy life.

Regularly interfacing with diplomats, policymakers, academics, activists and office holders from around the world, C-Fam personnel have participated in every major U.N. social policy debate over the past 20 years, including the Rome Statutes of the International Criminal Court, the Convention on Disabilities, Cairo+5, Beijing+5 and dozens of others.

For its unyielding defense of Christian principles at the U.N. level, C-Fam has been branded an "anti-LGBT hate group" by the leftist Southern Poverty Law Center.

Human Rights Campaign headquarters

C-Fam operates on a shoestring annual budget of $1.5 million. Ironically, just steps from its Washington office looms the headquarters of gay advocacy group the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), where activists lavish $50 million per year on radical initiatives to overthrow Christian morality.

Bankrolled by billionaires, HRC works "to utterly upend Western Civilization in the name of sexual freedom," Ruse warns.

"They force school districts to teach homosexuality and transgenderism to children as young as five," he adds.

In his recent letter, Ruse noted that "The homosexual establishment has burrowed deep into the U.N. bureaucracy."

Sadly, C-Fam stands virtually alone in its fight against radical anti-Christian agendas inside the United Nations.

According to Ruse, "There are very few pro-family groups who will stand against this. So many of them are weary of the fight and just want to be liked. We are willing to be hated because He was hated first and they hate us because of Him."

In a 2006 address to students at Christendom College, Ruse described C-Fam's battle — every Christian's battle:

My friends, we are in a war. Not a hot war with soldiers or a cold war with spies. At least for now, this war is fought exclusively in quiet and carpeted rooms at international fora in Rome, Istanbul, Cairo, Beijing, Rio and New York. ... There exists a small, rag-tag band of resisters who attend all U.N. meetings. You do not know their names. Their names will be lost to history. But they are there every day, protecting you and your family, your Church and your country.

Wednesday, Ruse told Church Militant, "C-Fam has played a central role for 20 years in blocking a global right to abortion, stopping a redefinition of the family, even creating a decent definition of gender in international law."

"We have been here every day," he added, "and have really become the institutional memory of the U.N. pro-life movement."

"The fight goes on every single day."

To contribute to this fight, click here.

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