Model United Nations


Hi all,

I have a question regarding the morality of participating in Model United Nations. For those of you who do not know, Model United Nations (MUN) is a stimulation of the actual United Nations (UN) in which students represent different nations and debate on real issues, similar to what the actual UN debates. My question is since at most times, it is not possible to select which country or organization to represent, would it be sinful to participate in this activity, register to participate in conferences, knowing the risk of being selected to represent a country with ideologies opposed to the Catholic faith (such as being selected to represent China which is a communist nation)? There is also another committee called the APQ which calls for students to represent countries while not actually being part of that country’s government (technically, you could express views that are not in line with your country’s in this committee). Would participating in this committee be of any difference in terms of the morality of it? The activity is understood to be one where students get the ability to learn of other points of view and it is understood that the opinions that are represented are not supposed to be one’s personal opinions/point of view but rather the point of view of the country you are representing.

So, would taking part in Model United Nations constitute sin whether representing a government or not?


Newsflash – it’s called roleplaying, a valuable tool and technique of learning that goes back hundreds of years.

In the broader sense, if you unable to determine the thought process of others how will ever be able to find ways to bring Jesus’ message to those who have another worldview.

You do not have to be afraid of this.


I believe there is good precedent for Catholics to participate in that activity. It is my understanding that the early Catholic universities did a similar role-playing debate exercise, where one student would defend a heresy and another would defend Catholicism, and they would stage a debate. I believe these exercises are one reason why the Summa Theologica sometimes contains very strong arguments for heresy before they are dismantled – St. Thomas had to learn the other position well enough to argue FOR it, that way he could know it’s weaknesses better.


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