Pope Francis is to address all the heads of U.N. agencies on May 10 in what some are viewing as a crucial opportunity to help turn the U.N.’s satellite institutions away from their radical anti-life agenda.
He is also scheduled to meet U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon next week. The meeting would be the Pope’s second with the U.N. leader since his election.
The U.N. System Chief Executives Board for Coordination — the longest running and highest-level coordination forum of the United Nations system — will be received in private audience by the Holy Father at the end of its Rome meeting.
Francis:Pope’s Hidden Life Revealed.
Chaired by U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, the board comprises 29 executive heads of the United Nations and its specialized agencies. These include not only such institutions as the World Bank and the IMF, but also the UNFPA which in 2012 declared birth control should be a “human right” and UNICEF, which promotes abortion and population control programs worldwide.
A well-placed Vatican source told Newsmax that the meeting is “important as it offers a chance for the Holy Father to address real world problems.” He said Pope Francis is likely to “keep stressing” themes he outlined in his landmark papal document, Evangelii Gaudium, as well as comments he made on the economy at this year’s World Economic Forum in Davos.
He is not expected to be critical of any particular political or economic system, the source said, but rather focus on reminding those present of the importance of placing the human person at the center of all they do. The Pope will issue “a strong message”, he stressed, but in a more general way than if he were to address an agency such as the UNFPA individually.
Austin Ruse, president of the Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute (C-FAM), said the meeting “could be a very important” if the Holy Father “takes the opportunity to call the agency heads back to their original purposes rather than pursuing radical agendas.
“A saint named Jim Grant used to run UNICEF [but] since his time, it has been run by radical feminists, for instance,” he said. “The Holy See stopped donating to UNICEF almost 20 years ago because of its promotion of abortion.
Ruse urged the Holy Father to “call them back to helping children rather than advancing feminist rights” and said he hopes Francis “has a heart to heart with them.”
The board meets biannually, usually in New York, Washington, or Geneva. About every 10 years, it will convene in Rome, the headquarters of the U.N.’s Food and Agricultural Organization and World Food Program. The last time it did so was in 2000 when the Board’s members had a private audience with St. John Paul II.
Next week’s meeting follows a dispute in January between the Holy See and the U.N. committee on the Convention on the Rights of the Child. The committee made recommendations in a report on the Church’s handling of clerical sex abuse cases but went far beyond its remit, harshly criticizing the Church for its teaching on homosexuality, contraception, and abortion.
The Holy See is also expected to be unfairly grilled again next week when Vatican officials make a routine appearance before a panel of experts on the United Nations Committee against Torture.
Observers say members of the panel, many of whom have clear prejudices against the Church, may not only raise the issue of clerical sex abuse but again exceed their remit and use the committee as a stick with which to beat the Church.
Francis:Pope’s Hidden Life Revealed.
Meanwhile, Vatican sources have told Newsmax that Pope Francis will visit the United Nations and address the General Assembly as part of his expected trip to the United States next year. The visit will coincide with the World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia in September 2015.
The precise dates of the Pope’s U.S. visit have not been finalized, and the trip has yet to be officially confirmed.
Edward Pentin began reporting on the Vatican as a correspondent with Vatican Radio in 2002. He has covered the Pope and the Holy See for a number of publications, including Newsweek and The Sunday Times. Read more reports from Edward Pentin — Click Here Now.
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