Kicking the Church Out of the UN

united nations 2

A nasty Norwegian diplomat at the UN frequently badmouths the Holy See. He wonders why Holy See diplomats are allowed into the room during negotiations. He says outright that the Holy See ought to leave. This has happened more than once.

It’s amusing a Norwegian would say such a thing. The development of Norway is rather murky and it is hard to figure when Norway really became Norway. Norwegians might claim it was when Harald Fairhair unified disparate tribes and clans in 872 after the Battle of Hafrsfjord. Even so, it is questionable when the people living there began to understand themselves to be something called Norwegians from a place called Norway.

By this supposed beginning of Norway in 872 the Holy See had been sending out diplomatic legations for 400 years. So, the question becomes, where does this Norwegian pipsqueak get the moxie to say the Holy See should not participate in a meeting of diplomats?

He is likely not the only diplomat who thinks this, but the smarter ones keep it to themselves. And there is little doubt some UN agencies, most especially the abortion-crazed UN Population Fund, would like to see the Holy See exit from the negotiating rooms.

And then there is that vicious and tiny group of dissident Catholics that has renewed a long-failed campaign to kick the Holy See out of the UN. The US Conference of Catholic Bishops has condemned Catholics for Choice (CFC), founded as Catholics for a Free Choice, at least twice.

They started CFC as a stick in the eye of the Church. The Church has been and remains the only institutional bulwark against abortion and much else. Rich foundations like Ford and Rockefeller determined long ago that the opposition of the Church had to be muted so they assisted in the formation and the funding of groups like CFC.

Quite obviously the influence of the Church did not win the abortion debate in the United States though she has never given up and any rollback of abortion can be credited to her efforts. When the abortion debate went international and decamped to the UN, abortion proponents had the Church there waiting for them where the Church has been active as a sovereign state from the beginning.

Starting at the Cairo Conference in 1994 the Church has been able to block an international right to abortion. Working with a coalition of friendly states and a broad network of pro-life groups from around the world, the Holy See has consistently handed CFC, the Norwegians, the UN Population Fund and all the other uglies at the UN defeat after defeat. This makes them angry.

CFC tried to kick the Church out of the UN 13 years ago. Their See-Change Campaign started, sputtered and died. Pro-lifers countered with a campaign of their own that saw more than 4,000 groups from all over the world endorsing the Holy See at the UN. This included the largest Protestant and Muslim groups in the world. The US Congress actually passed a resolution endorsing the Holy See at the UN that passed unanimously minus one.

What are their arguments for kicking the Church out of the UN? Principally, because the Church is a religion and no other religion has such status at the UN. That is true. They go on to say the Holy See does not even qualify for such status because it does not meet the qualifications for membership including a defined territory, a population and a government that is able to govern the territory and is recognized by other states.

CFC knows the Holy See actually meets these qualifications. There is Vatican City, after all, which has both a population and a government. And the Holy See trades diplomats with most Member States of the UN and has traded diplomats longer than all Member States with the possible exception of China.

CFC snarkily asserts that Vatican City is too small. Sure Vatican City is small but so are Member States Tuvalu (9 square miles), and Nauru (8.5 square miles). Monaco at .7 square miles is only slightly larger than Vatican City.

The real reason CFC is running this campaign is to raise money. Former president Frances Kissling, who famously said she searched the world for a government to overthrow and finally found it in the Vatican, stepped down several years ago and the reins were taken over by angry Irishman Jon O’Brien who looks a little bit like Beelzebub. The funds began to dry up and they are down 19% since he took over.

Will the campaign be successful? Will CFC get the Vatican kicked out of the UN? Not a chance. No UN Member State would ever consider such a crazy idea. But that is not the purpose. Other than raising money, CFC hopes their little campaign will intimidate the Vatican, scare the Vatican into quieting down, so that an international right to abortion may proceed apace.

But there is little chance of that, even with Pope Francis suggesting that the Church should not obsess so much about abortion. Nobody but CFC thinks this means the Church is out of the pro-life business.

What’s more, there is another Francis involved, Francis Chullikatt, Apostolic Nuncio to the UN who is a fearless fighter for the unborn child. Rather than caving on abortion at the UN, he has even been fighting to have the term “reproductive health” removed from UN documents. He is very much taking the fight to the other side.

Chullikatt came to the UN as Nuncio to Baghdad. Yes, Baghdad, where his driver was kidnapped and killed, where his house was sometimes guarded by tanks. Chullikatt can easily and breezily face down the nitwits from CFC and even that sorry diplomat from Norway.

Austin Ruse

By

Austin Ruse is president of C-FAM (Catholic Family & Human Rights Institute), a New York and Washington DC-based research institute focusing on international legal and social policy. The views expressed here are not necessarily those of C-FAM.

  • Art Deco

    Did anyone ask him why the Norwegians are in the room? It is a highly affluent country, but in politico-military terms of scant significance given that its population is smaller than Belgium’s (or metropolitan Miami’s, while we are at it).

    One curio about Norway’s political culture: supposedly, it has the most anti-semitic chatterati in Europe and they even manage to outdistance their British counterparts in the screw-the-Jews sweepstakes. Maybe ‘nasty’ is the national style.

    • Tradmeister

      If the Norwegian government officially declared that all Jews are dogs, I must have missed the news report. Do you have some solid proof with regards to such accusations? Having periodic talks with Hamas, not walking out of a UN General Assembly when Mahmoud Ahmadinejad speaks, and failing to do everything according to the amoral self-centered whims of Netanyahu and Lieberman don’t count.

      • Art Deco

        Well, you’ve outed yourself. Good show.

        • Barbaric Yawwp

          So have you.

  • Mack

    Tradmeister, your first two sentences, which are most reasonable, are compromised by the third, which concludes in a rather Screwtape manner.

  • TheodoreSeeber

    The Church doesn’t give up. But she also often doesn’t join the fight until it is already lost. Look at the Crusades. North Africa, Spain, Byzantium, and Sicily were already lost by the time the Church started fighting back. Contraception had turned into the twin threats of divorce and abortion long before Vatican II, but the Church was still debating what to do about it right up to Humanae Vitae. By the time the Church realized the switch from “include gays in society” to “punish anybody who promotes heterosexual marriage” America had already turned heterophobic.

    I hope one of the big reforms of the Curia Pope Francis brings in, is a 21st century ability to react to events. Because Polygamous Marriage is on the rise in the west, and the first scholarly papers declaring pedophilia and infanticide to be normal and good have already been printed.

    • tamsin

      A small joke, re:

      she also often doesn’t join the fight until it is already lost

      Technically speaking, we show up after the man is robbed, beaten, and left for dead on the side of the road.

      • TheodoreSeeber

        I needed that- thank you!

  • Ford Oxaal

    Norway needs to covert back to the religion of the Vikings — Catholicism. Vat da heck!

    • slainte

      The Norwegians became even more Catholic when they came to Ireland as Vikings and decided to stay.

  • patricia m.

    Folks, are you aware of 40 Days For Life? Amazing campaign!

    • slainte

      I am a member and just participated today.
      40 Days for Life is an amazing, gentle, respectful, and prayerful campaign that honors life and works to save babies, and to offer care and guidance for frightened moms to be.
      Kudos to you Patricia for mentioning it. Here is the link.
      http://www.40daysforlife.com/

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  • Adam__Baum

    Anytime you think Norse socialism is the “third way”, just remember this-and how fast they are being Islamicized.

  • tom

    I wish the USA could get thrown out of the U.N.

    What an expensively useless organization of morons, hangers on, and dolts.

    • WRBaker

      It won’t happen with this president.

  • slainte

    A devotional from 40 Days for Life and Fr. Frank Pavone on preserving human life.

    http://40daysforlife.com/docs/fall2013day17print.pdf

    • tom

      Life over Death. Hardly a Democrat Party slogan, eh?

      Most Dems should get 40 years to life.

  • GrahamUSA

    It is the UN that shows up to bury the dead. Look at Rwanda, the Congo, Syria, etc. And of course administer Social Justice for the dead. The UN is essentially an abortion, same-sex-marriage promoting, anti Catholic organization. The US and the Church should have departed years ago. And certainly American real estate can be put to better use.

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  • Paxton Reis

    “angry Irishman Jon O’Brien who looks a little bit like Beelzebub”

    Heard O’Brien during a radio interview a couple of years ago hear in the Bay Area state that the old men in the Vatican are obsessed with pelvic issues.

    Hello Jon, your organization’s reason for existence is because of its obsession with the “pelvic issues”. Hypocrite.

  • jacobhalo

    The Vatican should leave the UN. Not because of what the Norwegian said, but that we, the church, should be of the world but not in the world.

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