|Vatican||POPE CHALLENGES UN LEADER TO DEFEND HUMAN DIGNITY|
In an audience at the Vatican on Friday, Pope John Paul told United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan that ideology is preventing international institutions from addressing pressing global problems such as war, poverty, and natural disasters.
He said: "I see that certain groups try to impose on the international community ideological views or patterns of life advocated by small and particular segments of society. This is perhaps most obvious in such fields as the defence of life and the safeguarding of the family."
Annan arrived in the company of officials of the UN Coordination Administrative Committee, and directors of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund.
The Holy Father told the group: "The leaders of Nations must be careful not to overturn what the international community and law have laboriously developed to preserve the dignity of the human person and the cohesion of society. This is a common patrimony, which no one has the right to dissipate."
The Holy Father stated that the "majority of the world's nations, therefore, are experiencing a weakening of the State in its capacity to serve the common good and promote social justice and harmony." He concluded that the "globalisation of the economy is leading to a globalisation of society and culture."
Zenit (available soon)