The Boston Globe won a 2003 Pulitzer Prize for covering the Catholic Church’s decades-long cover-up of priests who sexually abused children. There is a Pulitzer Prize waiting for the reporter who can figure out why the leader of the worldwide Catholic Church, considered by Catholics the personal representative of Jesus Christ, has emerged as an advocate of one of the most corrupt and non-Christian organizations on the face of the earth-the United Nations.
The U.N. has been rocked by scandals involving U.N. “peacekeepers” who sexually abuse women and children, the failure to protect populations in danger of genocide, and financial corruption. It is an anti-American institution founded by a Soviet spy that is currently headed by a Communist Catholic Priest, U.N. General Assembly President Miguel D’Escoto, who recently gave a speech at a U.N. financial conference on the need to protect “Mother Earth.”
So when the leader of 1.2 billion Catholics, Pope Benedict XVI, endorsed a “World Political Authority” in his encyclical Caritas in Veritate, it was big news that could only be understood in the context of the growing power and influence of the U.N. The timing was also significant. The Papal statement was issued just before a meeting of the G-8 nations, including the U.S., Russia and China, and before the Pope’s meeting with President Barack Obama.
Conservatives who should know better have tried to play down the nature of the Pope’s dangerous proposal. In a July 10 Wall Street Journal article, American Roman Catholic Priest Robert A. Sirico of the conservative Acton Institute ignored the controversial “World Political Authority” passage and wrote that “People seeking a blueprint for the political restructuring of the world economy won’t find it here.”
In fact, the Pope stated that the goals of this World Political Authority should be “To manage the global economy; to revive economies hit by the crisis; to avoid any deterioration of the present crisis and the greater imbalances that would result; to bring about integral and timely disarmament, food security and peace; to guarantee the protection of the environment and to regulate migration…” This is a fairly detailed blueprint that sounds precisely like some of the functions of the U.N.
The Pope went on, “In the face of the unrelenting growth of global interdependence, there is a strongly felt need, even in the midst of a global recession, for a reform of the United Nations Organization, and likewise of economic institutions and international finance, so that the concept of the family of nations can acquire real teeth.”
So the “reform” of the U.N. is designed to strengthen it. Hence, the U.N. is clearly destined, from the Vatican point of view, to become the World Political Authority.
On the July 10 edition of “The World Over” program on global Catholic television network EWTN, Sirico said that he was confident that the Pope was “not calling for a central government bureaucracy.” But the host, Raymond Arroyo, was unclear how a World Political Authority was compatible with the Pope’s commitment in the same encyclical to “subsidiarity,” a form of local control. “They seem to be in conflict,” Arroyo said. In fact, as the Pope himself warned, the World Political Authority could become “tyrannical” in nature.
The exact quote from the Papal statement, a major teaching document of the Roman Catholic Church, was that “there is urgent need of a true world political authority, as my predecessor Blessed John XXIII indicated some years ago.” Pope John XXIII declared in his April 11, 1963, encyclical, Pacem in Terris, “Today the universal common good presents us with problems which are world-wide in their dimensions; problems, therefore, which cannot be solved except by a public authority with power, organization and means co-extensive with these problems, and with a world-wide sphere of activity. Consequently the moral order itself demands the establishment of some such general form of public authority. But this general authority equipped with world-wide power and adequate means for achieving the universal common good cannot be imposed by force. It must be set up with the consent of all nations. If its work is to be effective, it must operate with fairness, absolute impartiality, and with dedication to the common good of all peoples.”
He added that “It is therefore our earnest wish that the United Nations Organization may be able progressively to adapt its structure and methods of operation to the magnitude and nobility of its tasks.”
If the Pope had endorsed just a “World Authority,” some Christians might have considered it a reference to the return of Christ to earth. But the use of the term “political” puts the Pope squarely on the side of those promoting a world government of some kind. And his references to the U.N. clear up any possible doubt as to his intention.
John Zmirak, the writer-in-residence at Thomas More College, a Catholic Institution in New Hampshire, recognizes the obvious danger. He writes that the World Political Authority could become a global “super-state” and persecute the Catholic Church. He explains, “I know that the pope suffered deeply, and personally, from the sick excesses of nationalism. Perhaps if I’d been drafted into the Hitler Youth, and seen my nation ruined and dishonored by a cancerous tribal cult like National Socialism, I might also daydream about a universal benevolent State. But there’s only one thing worse than a national bureaucratic tyranny-and that’s an international one. A reading of Orwell’s 1984 might have reminded Benedict that centralization rarely leads to liberty. And a world-state administered by the kind of people who currently get involved in supranational organizations like the EU and the UN would make its first order of business the liquidation of the Church-which wouldn’t even have a Liechtenstein where it could hide.”
George Weigel, Distinguished Senior Fellow of Washington’s Ethics and Public Policy Center, is alarmed as well but blames the World Political Authority reference on the Vatican agency known as the Pontifical Council on Justice and Peace. He writes that “It is one of the enduring mysteries of the Catholic Church why the Roman Curia places such faith in this fantasy of a ‘world public authority,’ given the Holy See’s experience in battling for life, religious freedom, and elementary decency at the United Nations. But that is how they think at Justice and Peace, where evidence, experience, and the canons of Christian realism sometimes seem of little account.”
But what is behind this “mystery,” as Weigel calls it?
Who’s in Charge?
Despite the implication that the Pope is being manipulated, this is a Papal document signed by the Pope and he has to take responsibility for articulating a vision of a World Political Authority that operates through or with the sanction of the United Nations. Yet, this is a non-Christian institution where officials gather in an official “Meditation Room” in the U.N. building to achieve what they call cosmic consciousness.
The U.N.’s brand of religion can also be seen in the fact that a few blocks from the U.N. is the Quest Book Shop, where U.N. officials also gather to meditate. The bookstore’s website advertises gift items that include “a large selection of Tarot decks, one of the best selections of incense in the New York City, candles, semi-precious gemstones, mala beads, greeting cards, statues, essential oils, Tibetan singing bowls, pendulums, bells, Yoga mats and bags, meditation cushions, feng shui crystals, runestones, and more.”
The U.N. Environmental Program once promoted the idea of an “Environmental Sabbath,” encouraging children to hold hands around a tree and meditate. In his own encyclical, the Pope seems to warn of this kind of activity, saying that “it is contrary to authentic development to view nature as something more important than the human person” and that “This position leads to attitudes of neo-paganism or a new pantheism…” He nevertheless also calls for “a worldwide redistribution of energy resources” and says that “The technologically advanced societies can and must lower their domestic energy consumption, either through an evolution in manufacturing methods or through greater ecological sensitivity among their citizens.”
The Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace may in fact be responsible for the environmental messages in the encyclical. It held a “Climate Change and Development Study Seminar” in Vatican City on April 27, 2007, based on the assumption that there is man-made global warming. One of its authorities for this assumption was, of course, the U.N.
The Pontifical Council on Justice and Peace, whose official duty is to promote justice and peace in the world in accordance with the Gospel and the social teaching of the Church, produced a 2000 document, The Social Agenda, which included several statements favorable to the U.N. and other global causes. Under the heading of “Transnational and International Organizations,” it declared that:
- “It is therefore our ardent desire that the United Nations Organization in its structure and in its means may become ever more equal to the magnitude and nobility of its tasks, and may the time come as quickly as possible when every human being will find therein an effective safeguard for the rights which derive directly from his dignity as a person, and which are therefore universal, inviolable, and inalienable rights.
- “International collaboration on a worldwide scale requires institutions that will prepare, coordinate and direct it, until finally there is established an order of justice which is universally recognized.
- “…We called for the establishment of a great World Fund, to be made up of part of the money spent on arms, to relieve the most destitute of this world… Only worldwide collaboration, of which a common fund would be both means and symbol, will succeed in overcoming vain rivalries and in establishing a fruitful and peaceful exchange between peoples.”
Whatever role this Vatican agency may have played in the encyclical, Pope Benedict himself made a speech in front of the United Nations in April 2008 that made it absolutely clear that he believes in the U.N. mission. Our April 20, 2008 column, Pope Genuflects Before the United Nations, went into detail about this.
Jesus and the U.N.
Pope Benedict even associated Jesus Christ with the work of the U.N., saying that the “search for the right way to order human affairs” is “motivated by the hope drawn from the saving work of Jesus Christ” and “That is why the Church is happy to be associated with the activity of this distinguished organization, charged with the responsibility of promoting peace and good will throughout the earth.”
In fact, this “distinguished organization” has been dubbed “the House that Hiss built” because of the role that Soviet spy and State Department official Alger Hiss played in founding the organization.
What’s more, the Pope explicitly endorsed the Responsibility to Protect, known by the acronym R2P, a doctrine endorsed by the U.N. in 2005 and designed to help the world body assume the powers of a world government. The World Federalist Movement, which has promoted world government, global taxes and a United Nations Army, has cultivated international acceptance of the concept.
In the most explicit part of the speech explaining and accepting the R2P concept, the Pope said that “Every State has the primary duty to protect its own population from grave and sustained violations of human rights, as well as from the consequences of humanitarian crises, whether natural or man-made. If States are unable to guarantee such protection, the international community must intervene with the juridical means provided in the United Nations Charter and in other international instruments. The action of the international community and its institutions, provided that it respects the principles undergirding the international order, should never be interpreted as an unwarranted imposition or a limitation of sovereignty.”
Ironically, the development of the R2P principle has been attributed to former U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan, who, as director of peacekeeping at the world body, failed to authorize U.N. troops on the ground in Rwanda to stop genocide there.
A Danish documentary, “And the U.N. Came,” blames U.N. troops for creating the AIDS crisis in Cambodia, after the “peacekeepers” were supposed to bring political stability to the country. The film documents how U.N. soldiers spread the disease by having sex with local citizens, children, and prostitutes. Asked about the conduct of U.N. soldiers, one U.N. official is shown saying, “Boys will be boys.”
The Pope’s failure to mention any of these scandals in his address to the U.N. or his encyclical is itself scandalous. It is a matter worth pursuing by the media, especially the conservative and Catholic media.