To predict what Pope Benedict XVI will say to the UN General Assembly on April 18th, let’s consider what was said the last time a pontiff addressed the
“[We have] supported the ideals and goals of the United Nations Organization from the very beginning. ... Fifty years after its founding, the need for such an Organization is even more obvious.”
Given the intense criticism the UN has received from critics of all ideological bents, the Pope’s laudatory assessment may understandably surprise you. The UN has been accused of corruption (Oil-For-Food Programme), ignoring Rwandan genocide (UN Security Council) and funding forced abortions in China (UN Population Fund). So how could this endorsement come from the Catholic Church—much less, John Paul II?
The Pope’s speech at the UN should not be interpreted as unqualified praise—Holy See diplomacy has never turned a blind eye to peace, development and the dignity of the human person. Still, as a producer flying to New York to cover Vatican-UN diplomacy, my baggage included mixed feelings about the organization, along with a high degree of skepticism that UN member states would heed the Church’s voice. But after a week in discussions with diplomats, clergy and fifty extraordinarily bright college students, I think I discovered what the late Holy Father valued in the world body.
Find out for yourself by watching Mission to the UN
, Salt + Light Television’s latest documentary DVD release, which can be ordered now on the Salt + Light Boutique
. Included as a bonus feature is the Catholic Focus episode “The Catholic Church at the United Nations”, hosted by Matthew Harrison.
To get us in the spirit of the upcoming papal visit, Mission to the UN
will also be showcased on S+L Presents
this Sunday night, April 13th, at 9 PM ET.