Vatican won't rule out bid for UN membership
The Holy See will explore stepping up its presence at the United Nations and does not rule out a bid for membership, according to media reports on Sunday.
The Vatican is a permanent observer at the United Nations, a status that lets it participate in UN conferences and deliver speeches in the General Assembly but gives it no voting power.
In an interview with Italy's Corriere della Sera newspaper, Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Angelo Sodano (pictured), was asked if the United Nations was up to its peace tasks.
"It must be up to the task and every one must do their part to help it assume an ever-more active and efficient role on the world scene," replied Sodano. "The Holy See intends to study the possible forms of its own stepped-up presence in that connection."
Asked if that meant the Vatican might become a UN member, Sodano was quoted as replying: "If that were useful, I wouldn't rule it out."
Permanent Observer Mission of the Holy See to the United Nations
POPE WANTS CARDINAL SODANO, 75, TO STAY ON AT VATICAN
Pope John Paul II wants Cardinal Angelo Sodano to stay on as Vatican secretary of state, even as he submitted his resignation on turning 75.
In a letter addressed to the secretary of state, John Paul II expressed his appreciation for the cardinal's service over the past 12 years and his hope that he will be able to continue to count on the Vatican official's "enlightened collaboration" "sine die," that is, indefinitely.
As canon law prescribes, Cardinal Sodano offered his resignation on reaching his 75th birthday. He has been secretary of state since 1990, succeeding Cardinal Agostino Casaroli.
Angelo Cardinal Sodano (catholic-hierarchy.org)
26 Nov 2002