On September 25, Archbishop Paul Richard Gallagher, the Holy See’s Secretary for Relations with States and Head of Delegation to the General Debate of the 72nd Session of the General Assembly of the United Nations, gave a speech at Fordham University on the perspective of the Holy See on contemporary international issues.
In his address, Archbishop Gallagher said that the Holy See’s approach to international affairs is different from other States and international organizations, because the Holy See views international life through the lens of its spiritual mission to prioritize the equal dignity of all human beings, the transcendent dimension of the person, and the common good of humanity, including peace, religious freedom and integral development. He focused at length on the Holy See’s priority and work for peace and on the courage it takes to be peacemakers. The four principles of prudent action, given by Pope Francis in his 2013 exhortation Evangelii Gaudium, he said, are helpful for the building of a fraternal, just and peaceful society. He added a fifth: the human person is greater than the nation and the person flourishes only through love and community. Respect for the person, he said, is the criterion and goal of law and political action. He underlined that respect for human life and dignity must be the starting point for political, juridical and economic discussions and that a nationalism that places national security over all else leads to disorder. A true nationalism, he stated, must charitable toward the whole family of men. He raised the issue of a global authority — not a world super-state — that could have the ability to regulate and resolve global problems. He said that this idea has not fully been acted upon because systems for enforcing common rules and guidelines have not proven successful, although some international organizations and treaties have partially achieved this system of accountability. The Holy See continues to encourage this.
His address can be found here.