Archbishop Timothy Dolan of New York said this week that as the United Nations convenes its General Assembly, it would be wise to confront the challenges before it by adopting a “tongue common to all of us that has at its center the human person the heart of all institutions, laws and works of society."
Archbishop Dolan made his comments on September 14 during a prayer service at the Church of the Holy Family, which was organized to mark the opening of the 64th session of the U.N. General Assembly. The Vatican’s Permanent Observer at the U.N., Archbishop Celestino Migliore, as well as U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, were present at the event.
Drawing upon the biblical passage about the Tower of Babel, Archbishop Dolan underscored that the international community would be better served if it used as an official language "a voice, a tongue common to all of us.”
This language, he explained, is one that “does not demand the use of a dictionary or grammar." This tongue speaks of help and hope, mercy and tenderness, of fatigue over war, of longing for simple decency and dignity."
"This language wonders at times if anyone else can hear it, but at least God can, and it trusts that when all is said and done, many others can, too," he added.
“This language,” Archbishop Dolan said, can be seen in “tears, smiles, sighs and sobs” and is as old as Babel and as new as Pentecost, “when all understood God's word of salvation and mercy in a common language."