Pope Francis calls upon the UN to care for the poor and respect all life
By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
5/12/2014 (3 years ago)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)
Last week, Pope Francis called for a "worldwide ethical mobilization" to promote justice, peace, and development, through a new respect for "fraternity and solidarity." The call came during a meeting with United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki- Moon.
Pope Francis greets UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.
LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Pope Francis took up the plight of the poor once again during his meeting with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. Pope Francis pointed out that a significant number of people are considered "second-class citizens" and that they are left out the benefits of progress.
The meeting took place last week at the Vatican, with the secretary general and several members of the UN System Chief Executives Board for Coordination present. The board consisted of the heads of 29 different UN agencies responsible for working together to coordinate UN efforts. The Vatican also works closely with these various departments, particularly with the World Food Program and refugee relief efforts.
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The meeting took place amid a continuing United Nations inquiry into the Vatican's handling of worldwide child sex abuse cases. Despite that tension, which Pope Francis acknowledged, both the Vatican and the UN have reaffirmed their commitment to providing for the world's poor and disenfranchised.
Pope Francis however, pointed out that the UN and the Vatican were at odds over issues such as abortion. The United Nations often facilitates the provision of contraceptives and abortions, both are which are against the fundamental appreciation of human life.
It is ironic that the United Nations is committed to human rights and morality, but also espouses policies that violate these core principles.
Pope Francis told the UN assembly that "life is sacred and inviolable from conception to natural death."
The United Nations has already said that laws against abortion are a form of torture and inhuman or cruel treatment. The Catholic Church counters that abortion is itself a form of torture and killing. Unfortunately, the two organizations remain at odds over this very basic and fundamental human understanding.
However, Pope Francis moved beyond this issue to speak generally about the plight of the world's poor. He called upon the UN to take steps to improve the lives of all the world's people, and by resisting the "economy of exclusion" as well as cultures of "throw away" and "death" that appear to be spreading around the world.
Finally, Pope Francis called upon the UN to recognize the talents and goods which God has given us, and are intended to be shared in a spirit of charity, and what he called "the legitimate redistribution of economic benefits by the state."
In addition to the obligations Pope Francis has placed upon the United Nations and the world states, an individual obligation also exists for Catholics. Pope Francis has asked all the world's Catholics to feed the poor, and help eliminate world hunger by 2025 to a sustained campaign of 'prayer and action.'
Despite this plea, only a small minority of the world's more affluent Catholics, especially American Catholics, have heeded this call to action.
It remains a very important obligation that all Catholics respond to Pope Francis' call and do their part to feed the poor. With a billion members, and an infrastructure even more widespread than that possessed by the United Nations, the salvation of the world's poor is far more likely to come from the church, as a product of Catholic generosity, than from a secular, often misguided institution such as the UN.
Have you done your part yet?
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