His Holiness Pope Francis Addresses the United Nations Security Council on Human Fraternity and Peace
On 14 June 2023, His Holiness Pope Francis addressed the Security Council of the United Nations.
The United Arab Emirates, in its capacity as President of the Security Council for the month of June 2023, invited His Holiness Pope Francis, His Eminence Sheikh Ahmed Al-Tayeb, the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar, and His Excellency António Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations to participate in a ministerial-level briefing, on the theme of “the values of human fraternity in promoting and sustaining peace.” In 2019, Pope Francis and the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar signed the Document on Human Fraternity for World Peace and Living Together, during a Global Conference on the topic in Abu Dhabi.
The Holy Father’s address, due to his hospitalization, was delivered via video teleconference by His Excellency Archbishop Paul Richard Gallagher, Secretary for Relations with States and International Organizations of the Holy See.
In his remarks, Pope Francis began with a heartfelt plea to the Security Council to “face our common problems” by setting aside ideologies and narrow visions, partisan ideas and interests, and to cultivate a single purpose of working for the good of all humanity. He highlighted the “famine of fraternity” that the world suffers, which arises from the lack of a culture of solidarity; the worst effect of this famine of fraternity, he said, is armed conflict and war.
His Holiness further warned that today’s globalized world has not made humanity more fraternal, with “new ideologies, characterized by widespread individualism, egocentrism, and materialistic consumerism” weakening social bonds and reducing coexistence to a contractual relationship, “which is both pragmatic and selfish.”
Pope Francis then called for States to move away from the “logic of legitimacy of war” at a time when nuclear weapons and weapons of mass destruction make battlefields unlimited. The time has come to say no to wars, he said, which can never be just; only peace is just: “Peace built not on the precarious balance of deterrence, but on the fraternity that unites us.”
In closing, Pope Francis urged, “There is still time to write a new chapter of peace in history,” emphasizing that fraternity cannot remain just an abstract idea but must become a point of departure.
Other Holy See Statements at the United Nations
Archbishop Caccia Delivers Statement On The UN Relief And Works Agency For Palestine Refugees
On 2 June 2023, Archbishop Gabriele Caccia, Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the United Nations, addressed the Ad Hoc Committee of the General Assembly for the Announcement of Voluntary Contributions to the United Nations Relief and Work Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA).
In his remarks, Archbishop Caccia began by conveying the Holy See’s support for the work of UNRWA. He expressed concern and regret for the escalation in violence across the State of Israel and the State of Palestine. The violence has threatened the access of believers, whether Christians, Jews, or Muslims, to Holy Sites in Jerusalem, he said. Archbishop Caccia also echoed the Holy Father’s hope for a two-state solution.
Lamenting the stagnant financial situation of UNRWA in which the distribution of essential aid is threatened, Archbishop Caccia said that the Holy See is renewing its financial pledge to UNRWA, dedicated to the care and education of children. He encouraged all States to consider making their own contributions, which he said are a practical reflection of the international community’s responsibility to assist the Palestine refugees.
Holy See Statement During Midterm Review Of The Sendai Framework
On 6 June 2023, Archbishop Gabriele Caccia, Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the United Nations, addressed the High-Level Meeting on the Midterm Review of the Sendai Framework.
In his remarks, Archbishop Caccia welcomed the adoption of the Framework’s Political Declaration and offered some considerations. First, he underscored the importance of promoting a culture of disaster prevention through education and training. Second, Archbishop Caccia urged that closer attention be paid when responding to both material and non-material losses of individuals and communities adversely affected by disaster, emphasizing the essential role of local communities and religious and cultural traditions.
Catholic institutions, Archbishop Caccia noted, often play a critical role in responding to disasters by assisting affected people and communities through actions including the supply of basic services such as food, water, shelter, and medicine, as well as through the provision of spiritual care and support.
Statement By Archbishop Caccia At The Forum For Building Bridges Between East And West
On 14 June 2023, Archbishop Gabriele Caccia, Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the United Nations, addressed the United Nations Trusteeship Council Chamber during an intercultural and inter-religious dialogue and panel discussion on “Building Bridges between East and West.” The event was organized by the Muslim World League in cooperation with other United Nations entities.
Mass for the Catholic NGO Community
On May 31, 2023 at the UN Church Center Chapel, Archbishop Caccia, the Permanent Observer of the Holy See, offered Mass for the meeting of the Forum of Catholic NGOs.
Photos taken by Maddalena Maltese.
Life of the Mission
Above: Welcome Summer Interns!
The Holy See Mission welcomed its Summer 2023 intern cohort on May 30. The interns, shown above, from left to right, are Mr. Sea Yun Pius Joung (Korea/Australia), Mr. Peter Paolo (USA), Mr. Gabriele Pirrello (Italy), Mr. Bruno Fonseca (Brazil), Ms. Luísa Shida (Brazil), and Ms. Grace Maffucci (USA). The Summer Internship program will run until August 30, 2023. Interns fulfill a critical function at the Mission by reporting on UN events and meetings for the Secretariat of State.
Interested in becoming a Holy See Mission intern? Click here for more information.
Below: Staff and interns bid farewell to Ms. Benedetta Viviano (center), who served the Mission for ten months as a Fellow through the Toniolo Institute at the Catholic University of the Sacred Heart in Milan. Ms. Giulia Maniezzi (left) and Mr. Francesco Teruggi, both Negotiators at the Mission, began their service initially as Toniolo Fellows.
Ordination Anniversaries and Birthdays
Archbishop Caccia celebrated his 40th Priestly Ordination Anniversary on 11 June.
Monsignor Giuseppe Quirighetti celebrated his 20th Ordination Anniversary on 21 June, and Father Mark Knestout celebrated his 25th Anniversary on May 23. Ad Multos Annos!
The Mission celebrated three birthdays in June: Mr. Peter Paolo, Mr. Gabriele Pirrello, and Sister Sonia Castro.