Loading
Thousands defend Holy See's UN status against attacks
United Nations Headquarters in New York City. Credit: UN Photo/John Isaac.
United Nations Headquarters in New York City. Credit: UN Photo/John Isaac.
Facebook Twitter Google+ Pinterest Addthis

.- Catholics have joined with members of other faiths to support the Holy See's permanent observer status at the United Nations, defending against a group of abortion proponents seeking to oust the body from the international organization.

“The Holy See’s special status enables it to encourage genuine dialogue, promote peaceful resolution of conflicts, and appeal beyond the mere territorial interests of states to the consciences of their leaders,” said a declaration and petition supporting the Holy See's unique presence in world diplomacy.

The statement explained that the Holy See's “disinterested, non-partisan service has always been appreciated by the member states at the United Nations.”

“We join with the Member States in gratitude for the spiritual and moral witness of the Holy See at the United Nations,” it continued. “The world would be far poorer if the voice of the Holy See within the United Nations were ever silenced. May that day never come.”

The declaration and petition was launched by the Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute Jan. 17. Three days later, it had accumulated more than 3,000 signatures.

Austin Ruse, the institute’s president, said the petition campaign is a response to efforts to remove the Holy See from the U.N. General Assembly.

“The Holy See is the conscience of the UN. It is the only delegation that does not have political considerations in how they negotiate. They negotiate purely from first principles,” he said.

Drafted by Princeton Law School professor Robert P. George and William Saunders of Americans United for Life, the declaration noted that the Holy See has been working in diplomacy since the fourth century A.D. It now has diplomatic relations with 177 nations.

The declaration charged that opponents of the Vatican's presence at the U.N. dislike the Holy See’s “steadfast defense of the sanctity of human life and the inviolable dignity of the family.”

“Certain organizations, in the name of a false ‘liberation,’ seek to undermine central truths regarding the nature of the human person and of the family. In the name of a false doctrine of human rights, they deny what makes men truly human and violate true human rights,” the statement said.

The abortion advocacy group “Catholics for Choice” has been a longtime opponent of the Holy See’s permanent observer status. The U.S. bishops have warned that this group is “not a Catholic organization” but promotes teachings “contrary to the teaching of the Church.”

The group’s president, John O’Brien, used the Holy See representatives’ recent appearance at a hearing of the U.N. Committee on the Rights of the Child to criticize the permanent observer mission.

He that the Holy See “inexplicably … continues to enjoy the privileges of a state at the U.N.”

“The Holy See has no right to a seat at the U.N. and should not be signing these treaties and conventions,” he argued Jan. 16.

The Holy See’s representatives at the Jan. 16 hearing condemned violence against children and child exploitations, saying that the Vatican in recent years has made child protection a “priority.”

Signatories of the petition deplored efforts to end the Holy See’s permanent observer status, charging that these groups see the Vatican as “an obstacle to their goals of re-engineering humanity and revising basic moral understandings.”

“While many of us do not share or endorse the claims of the Catholic Church, we are united in supporting the Holy See’s continued role as permanent observer at the United Nations,” the document said.

A similar declaration was launched in the year 2000, gaining support from Protestant and Muslim groups as well as Catholics.

Ruse urged supporters of the Holy See’s U.N. presence to sign the petition and ask others to do so.

The signatories will be presented to representatives of the Holy See in New York, Geneva and Rome sometime before the end of 2014.

The petition can be viewed in full at www.defendtheholysee.org.

 

Tags: United Nations

Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages

RESOURCES »

Ads by Google (What's this?)
Ads by Google

Featured Videos

Little Sisters of the Poor press conference in Denver
Little Sisters of the Poor press conference in Denver
Family thrilled to see Pope Francis in Istanbul
Syrian Refugee, Sara, 14, Before Meeting Pope
Ebola orphans thousands of children in West Africa
One year after Haiyan: Philippines rebuilds homes, lives
An Indian contribution to the Vatican's Synod on the Family
Christ Cathedral CNA video Sept 2014
Alejandro Bermudez of CNA accepts ice bucket challenge
'The Real Albania,' remembering those who fled
Pope Francis in Albania, "one of the most important visits of the post-communist era in Albania"
Pope Francis greets paralyzed man who risked all to see him
Franciscans on the banks of the Tiber in Rome, working for the New Evangelization
Pilgrimage from Czech Republic to Assisi and Rome for intentions
Testimony of young Indian who met Pope in Korea
Preparations of the Closing Mass of 6th Asian Youth Day
Missionary of Charity, Korea
Testimony of Christian Love during Pope's Visit to Korea
Religious Sisters in South Korea react to Pope Francis kissing a baby
Warm atmosphere during Holy Mass at Daejeon World Cup Stadium
Images inside Pope Francis flight to South Korea
Dec
26

Liturgical Calendar

December 26, 2014

Saint Stephen, The First Martyr

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mt 21:23-27

Gospel
Date
12/15/14
12/14/14
12/13/14

Daily Readings


First Reading:: Acts 6: 8-10, 7: 54-59
Gospel:: Mt 10: 17-22

Saint of the Day

St. Romuald »

Saint
Date
12/15/14

Homily of the Day

Mt 21:23-27

Homily
Date
12/15/14
12/14/14
12/13/14