Has the UN's hypocrisy cemented it in irrelevance? :: Catholic News Agency (CNA)

Has the UN's hypocrisy cemented it in irrelevance?

Clare Hinshaw

The United Nations flag flies outside UN Headquarters, September 20, 2011. Credit: UN Photo/Mark Garten.
“Why do you notice the splinter in your brother’s eye, but do not perceive the wooden beam in your own eye?  How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me remove that splinter from your eye,’ while the wooden beam is in your eye?  You hypocrite, remove the wooden beam from your eye first; then you will see clearly to remove the splinter from your brother’s eye.”  Could there be a more perfect modern example of this situation, which Jesus relates in the Gospel of Matthew chapter 7 verses 3-5, than the United Nations’ recent report on the Vatican?
Ostensibly to address the sexual abuse scandal, the document instead focuses on berating the Church regarding her fundamental teachings and demanding that both these teachings and canon law subject themselves to the authority of the U.N. As Claudia Rosett, a journalist-in-residence with the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, stated, “In this report the Vatican is publicly shamed - and then urged to redeem itself by bowing before the altar of the U.N.”  Naturally, the foremost teaching which the U.N. demands be eliminated is that on abortion. 

The demand alone contains enough paradox and hypocrisy to make even the scribes and pharisees - Jesus’ classic examples of the hypocrite - proud.  A committee on the rights of the child, in a report supposedly to address the best interests of children, advocates the systematic extermination of children.

The U.N., of course, couches the demand in an extraordinary circumstance: “the case of a nine-year-old girl in Brazil who underwent an emergency life-saving abortion in 2009 after having been raped by her stepfather.”  This tragic and exceptional case is used by the U.N. to advance the barbaric practice of abortion which results in the deaths of over 40 million children a year worldwide. The majority of these cases do not involve rape, incest, or saving the life of the mother. Each of those cases make up 1% or less of the total number of abortions. But the U.N. chooses to use the pain of a young girl in an exceptional situation to advance genocide. If the U.N. was really interested in helping young girls like the one in Brazil they would be using their resources to advance medical research in order to make death due to childbearing obsolete rather than advocating the further traumatization of a child, already scarred by rape, by the violence of an abortion.     

And in case all this doesn’t fulfill your daily dose of hypocrisy let’s throw in the U.N.’s own record on sexual abuse. The dramatic rise in prostitution, sex trafficking, and general sexual abuse of children wherever U.N. “peacekeeping” troops set up camp is well documented. But where are the Human Rights Committee’s reports on that?  Where the chastisements and criminal punishments?  Where the reform of the organization?  According to Claudia Rosett, “the international organization does not release the names of accused sex abusers in its peacekeeping forces and often sends accused individuals back to their home countries where they usually face no penalties.” Well, as Sen. Marco Rubio noted, the U.N. Human Rights Commission itself does contain “serial abusers and murderers of men, women, and children as members,” so what did we expect? 

No one disputes the fact that the Church’s sex scandal was an atrocity, and more so because of the spiritual nature of the institution and the priest’s violation of his sacred vow. But is the U.N. really the organization that possesses the credibility to address it? Or is it the Church herself who has enacted sweeping reforms and guidelines “which are routinely recommended by governments to other institutions to emulate,” according to Austen Ivereigh, founder of Catholic Voices? Archbishop Silvano Tomasi, Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the United Nations in Geneva, argued that it “is very difficult, I think, to find other institutions or even other states that have done so much specifically for the protection of children.” And why not, when the Church is more than just a state or an institution, when she necessarily feels this wound far more deeply and personally than any mortal state or institution could, as she is, in fact, the Body of Christ which is literally wounded by these transgressions.

As it is, the U.N.’s report on the Vatican told us far more about the U.N., its agenda, and its shortcomings, than it did about the Vatican. With its blatant hypocrisy with regards to human rights and its chronic inability to halt the very problems it was created to combat, specifically “terrorism, human rights abuses, and atrocities in countries such as North Korea, Iran, and Syria,” as well as its stubborn adherence to the moral and sexual values of the 1960s with obstinate disregard for medical and scientific advancements as well as majority opinion, both of which increasingly favor pro-life values, the United Nations is, as Marco Rubio went on to say, “in very real danger of becoming obsolete in the 21st century.”  In conclusion, I would remind the U.N. that for the past 2000 years every state and institution which has opposed the Church has eventually fallen in on itself. The Church, however, remains, for the very “gates of hell shall not prevail against it.”  And if hell itself cannot prevail against her, then I certainly wouldn’t hold out much hope that the U.N. could manage it.



Clare Hinshaw is a graduate of Franciscan University of Steubenville. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Catechetics with minors in Theology and Human Life Studies. She served as the president of the student chapter of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights at Kellenberg Memorial High School on Long Island. At Franciscan University she served as the vice president of the College Republicans and was trained as a pro-life sidewalk counselor.

View all articles by Clare Hinshaw

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