February 28, 2000
volume 11, no. 41
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NEWS & VIEWS     Acknowledgments
Articles provided through Catholic World News and Church News at Noticias Eclesiales and International Dossiers, Daily Dispatches and Features at ZENIT International News Agency. CWN, NE and ZENIT are not affiliated with the Daily CATHOLIC but provide this service via e-mail to the Daily CATHOLIC Monday through Friday.


    WASHINGTON, DC ( - The US Congress this week began considering resolutions condemning the ongoing attack on the presence of the Holy See at the UN. The resolutions threaten that a Vatican ouster from the UN would "further damage relations between the United States and the United Nations," according to a report from the Catholic Family & Human Rights Institute (C-fam).

    A campaign to revoke the Vatican's status as a Permanent Observer at the UN began last year under the leadership of the pro-abortion US group, Catholics for a Free Choice. Nearly 400 organizations, mostly pro-abortion advocates like International Planned Parenthood Federation, have joined the call for UN Secretary General Kofi Annan to "review" the Holy See's status with a view to downgrading them to non-governmental organization status.

    Even campaign organizer Frances Kissling does not believe her campaign will be successful. Rather she expects the campaign will "keep the Vatican on its toes" during UN conferences. It is understood her intention is to intimidate the Holy See delegations and its allies in the developing world. The Holy See participates in a coalition of Latin American and Muslim states that has successfully kept abortion from becoming an international human right. The Senate and House resolutions emphasize that the attack on the Holy See comes mostly over the question of abortion.

    The resolutions, introduced by Rep. Christopher Smith, R-New Jersey, in the House, and by Sens. Rick Santorum, R-Pennsylvania, and Bob Smith, I-New Hampshire, in the Senate, praise the Holy See's work at the UN. The resolutions also counter the claim that the Holy See is not a state and thereby should be afforded no place at the UN by pointing out that the Holy See has traded diplomats for 1600 years and is recognized as a state by as many 169 nations.

    The resolutions "strongly object to any effort to expel the Holy See from the United Nations as a state participant by removing its status as a nonmember state Permanent Observer," and says "that any degradation of the status accorded to the Holy See would seriously damage the credibility of the United Nations by demonstrating that its rules of participation are manipulable for ideological reasons rather than being rooted in neutral principles and objective facts of sovereignty."


February 28, 2000
volume 11, no. 41

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