VATICAN CITY (LifeSiteNews) — Pope Francis has issued a message to a special session of the United Nations Security Council convened to promote the “human fraternity” the Pontiff espouses.
In a special meeting June 14, the U.N. Security Council members met specifically to discuss “the values of human fraternity in promoting and sustaining peace,” and did so by “building on” the 2019 Abu Dhabi document on human fraternity, which Francis drew up with the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar Al Sharif, Ahmed Al-Tayeb.
Christian critics of the Pope’s concept say it is “blasphemous” and looks to “overturn” the Gospel.
The Pope’s address was delivered by Archbishop Paul Gallagher, the Vatican Secretary for Relations with States and International Organizations. Francis started by noting that the Security Council’s “mandate … to safeguard the world’s security and peace, at times seems in people’s eyes to be powerless and paralyzed.”
However, he praised the Council’s work as “much appreciated by the Holy See,” and “essential in order to promote peace.”
Citing the “globalized world,” Francis stated that it had not led to a growth in “fraternity” but instead given rise to a “famine of fraternity, which arises from the many situations of injustice, poverty, and inequality, and also from the lack of a culture of solidarity.”
While marked by numerous mentions of “peace” and “fraternity,” the Papal speech mentioned God only once: “As a man of faith, I believe that peace is God’s dream for humanity. Yet sadly I note that, because of war, this wonderful dream is becoming changed into a nightmare.”
Instead, Francis focussed on the promotion of fraternity by means other than religion, quoting from his own previous speeches and from Pope Paul VI’s 1973 “Message for the VI World Day of Peace.”
“Peace is possible if it is truly desired,” he stated, continuing: “There is still time to write a new chapter of peace in history: we can do so in such a way that war would belong to the past, not to the future.”
“Fraternity,” stated Francis, is a “decisive” word. “Fraternity cannot remain an abstract idea but must become a real point of departure.”
He assured the U.N. Security Council of his prayers “and the prayers of all the faithful of the Catholic Church on behalf of peace and of every peace process and initiative.”
I wholeheartedly wish that not only this Security Council but the entire United Nations Organization, its Member States, and each of its officials, may always render an effective service to humanity, taking responsibility to preserve not only their own future but that of all, with the boldness to increase now, without fear, what is needed to promote fraternity and peace for the entire planet. “Blessed are the peacemakers.”
No just war
In addition to praising the U.N.’s actions for peace, the Pope explicitly decried any notion of a just war, in a contradiction of Catholic teaching on the matter.
“The time has come to say an emphatic ‘no’ to war, to state that wars are not just, but only peace is just: a stable and lasting peace, built not on the precarious balance of deterrence, but on the fraternity that unites us.”
“Indeed,” he continued, “we are all brothers and sisters, journeying on the same earth, dwelling in a single common home, and we cannot darken the heaven under which we live with the clouds of nationalisms…So those who strive to build peace must promote fraternity.”
However, the Church does outline conditions under which a war may indeed be just, and these are repeated in the catechism (2309). The following four conditions must be met for a military action to be just, but if they are met, then the Church does not condemn such a move as unjust:
- the damage inflicted by the aggressor on the nation or community of nations must be lasting, grave, and certain;
- all other means of putting an end to it must have been shown to be impractical or ineffective;
- there must be serious prospects of success;
- the use of arms must not produce evils and disorders graver than the evil to be eliminated. The power of modern means of destruction weighs very heavily in evaluating this condition.
United Nations fraternity
The U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres anticipated the Pope’s thoughts, condemning hatred as “an all-too-common denominator to the onset and escalation of conflict.”
“Around the world, we are witnessing a groundswell of xenophobia, racism, and intolerance, violent misogyny, anti-Muslim hatred, virulent anti-Semitism, and attacks on minority Christian communities,” he said. “Neo-Nazi white supremacist movements today represent the top internal security threat in several countries – and the fastest growing.”
Prior to Archbishop Gallagher’s presentation of the papal text, the Grand Imam himself gave a video address in which he highlighted issues such as migrants, “climate change,” and the need for peaceful coexistence.
The Council later unanimously adopted Resolution 2686 (2023) which urged member states to “publicly condemn violence, hate speech and extremism and encouraged them to prevent the spread of intolerant ideology and incitement to hatred.”
Jeffrey DeLaurentis, current U.S. ambassador to the U.N. for special political affairs, told colleagues “the resolution does not alter the emphasis that opinions and beliefs must be protected, even if they are characterized as extreme.”
As such, he stated that the U.S. would going with other U.N. members to ensure Resolution 2686 “is not misused to justify any human rights violations nor the repression of human rights defenders; women and girls; and lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning and intersex (LGTQI+) persons.”
His French counterpart, Nicolas de Rivière, raised objections to possible interpretations of the words “fraternity and tolerance,” arguing that they “are ambiguous concepts which can have contradictory interpretations.”
He argued that “freedom and equality” must be as important as “fraternity,” since “the right to change religions and the right to not have religion are also critical components,” and that “the exercise of freedom of religion cannot be envisaged without freedom of expression, whose only limitations are those strictly defined by international law.”
Indeed, a number of international representatives used the debate to highlight LGBT issues, and the need for “fraternity” and “tolerance” for such groups.
Signals of an irreligious future?
The Pope’s address by proxy to the U.N. Security Council is in some ways nothing notable, since he has given and sent many such speeches to numerous international and globalist meetings.
However, to leave the analysis there would be to woefully disregard the true import of what took place – namely, that the controversial 2019 document, slated by faithful Catholics as a betrayal of the Gospel, is being used and promoted by the Pope, Muslims, and political leaders to form international policy.
The Abu Dhabi text has been described as seeming bent on overturning “the doctrine of the Gospel” due to its promotion of equality of religions in a form of “fraternity.”
According to Church historian Roberto de Mattei, when “fraternity” is divorced from Christian charity, “far from constituting an element of cohesion in society,” it “becomes the source of its disintegration.” He argued that “if men, in the name of fraternity, are forced to live together without an end that gives meaning to their sense of belonging, the ‘ark’ becomes a prison.”
But similar themes were presented by the Pope in his 2020 encyclical Fratelli tutti, which likewise drew criticism from Catholic circles. Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò said they promoted a “blasphemous” form of brotherhood without God as well as “religious indifferentism.”
Viganò added that “religious indifferentism, implicitly promoted in the text Fratelli tutti, which defines as ‘a good for our societies’ the presence of any religion – instead of ‘the liberty and exaltation of Holy Mother Church’ – denies in fact the sovereign rights of Jesus Christ, King and Lord of individuals, of the societies and of nations.”
It is particularly noteworthy that the U.N. representatives used the special meeting to raise issues such as the freedom for plurality of religions and LGBT “rights.” Such rhetoric – based and rooted as it was in the Pope’s ideology – appears to confirm the fears of many papal critics.
In contrast, Pope Leo XIII condemned such arguments in his 1888 encyclical Libertas. Referring to the Church’s relationship with other religions, Leo wrote that the Catholic Church tolerates:
certain modern liberties, not because she prefers them in themselves but because she judges it expedient to permit them, she would in happier times exercise her own liberty; and, by persuasion, exhortation, and entreaty would endeavor, as she is bound, to fulfill the duty assigned to her by God of providing for the eternal salvation of mankind.
Leo XIII additionally noted that “one thing, however, remains always true — that the liberty which is claimed for all to do all things is not, as We have often said, of itself desirable, inasmuch as it is contrary to reason that error and truth should have equal rights.”