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    The Catholic church at the United Nations: church or state?

    Catholics for a Free Choice

    CONSCIENCE. 2001 Winter; 21(4):20-4.

    During international conferences, the Holy See often goes against the overwhelming consensus of Member States and seeks provisions in international documents that would limit the health and rights of all people, but especially women. To this effect, many questions have been raised about the role of the Catholic Church at the UN. It is noted that the Holy See owes its participation in the UN to the membership of Vatican City in the Universal Postal Union and the International Telecommunication Union, which qualifies the Holy See to become a Non-member State Permanent Observer at the UN. However, it is emphasized that the Holy See is not a state, only the government of the Roman Catholic Church. Hence, it should not participate in the UN as a state, but as a religion. Hundreds of organizations and thousands of people worldwide have initiated a campaign to change the status of the Roman Catholic Church at the UN. These people believe that the Holy See, as the government of the Roman Catholic Church, should participate in the UN in the same way as the world's other religions--as a nongovernmental organization. The "See Change" Campaign is a global effort coordinated by Catholics for a Free Choice seeking a review of the Holy See's special UN status.
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