Vatican fights to keep UN voice
Catholic Church leaders are fighting efforts to have Vatican representatives removed from the United Nations and European Parliament.
A coalition of left-wing groups, including organisations opposed to the Church's pro-life stance, are believed to be gathering support to exclude the Holy See from UN and European Union debates.
The Vatican is currently a 'permanent observer' at both organisations, and has the right to take part in debates without voting. However, the anti-Church coalition argues that the Vatican City 'is not a real country' and therefore should not have the 'power of interference' in European and world affairs.
Already the Vatican has been refused an invitation to the recent UN summit on AIDS, while the European Parliament recently voted that the right to legal abortion must be enforced in all present and future European Union countries, including Catholic nations such as Ireland and Malta.
A Vatican source told UK Catholic newspaper The Universe that previous attempts to have the Holy See removed from the United Nations had been made but had failed. However, they expressed frustration that some powerful 'Western' nations had joined the 'ganging up' against the Church on moral issues.
The spokesman added that the ongoing support of the United States should help defeat the latest attempt to have the Church de-recognised.
6 Aug 2002