Why is Pope Benedict supporting the UN's 'anti-racist' hatefest against Israel?

The Telegraph (UK):

Why is Pope Benedict supporting the UN’s ‘anti-racist’ hatefest against Israel?

I don’t often have a go at Pope Benedict XVI, but WHY is he supporting the United Nations conference on “racism” in Geneva? You know, the one where leading anti-racist (and Holocaust denier) Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is a major participant. The one convened by that celebrant of human rights, Libya. The one where speaker after speaker is lined up to gibber about the most evil racist regime the world has ever known, ie the Zionist entity.

I’ve been reading the preparatory documents for this ridiculous event, known as Durban II, and I can see why the Obama administration, together with pant-wettingly PC Australia and Canada, is boycotting it. Even the BBC is having doubts about it, which is saying something. But, as its website reports:

[quote]The Pope spoke out in favour of the conference, saying it was an opportunity to fight discrimination and intolerance. “We ask for firm and consistent action, at national and international level, to prevent and eliminate any form of discrimination and of intolerance,” he said.


I don’t think it’s Pope Benedict himself, but the Vatican institutionally is accustomed to working with the UNsort of as a “default setting”.

It’s supposed to be a “dialogue” of some kind. That means they have to have people with differening opinions participating.

A large group of diplomats walked out when the president of Iran started to speak. Does anyone know if the Vatican was among the walk-outs?


I don’t know but it was a comment that was more inflammatory than needed.
I would be right and appropriate to discuss the “racial nature” of the Israeli state and how that has caused racial discrimination. The argument in favor of Israel’s policy is that they have a right to a race-oriented state (where people of the Jewish race are granted privileges on the basis of their race).
This notion, however, goes against the modern democratic ideas that are usually supported by the U.N. and the Vatican.

You can’t have both self-determination by peoples and no discrimination.

It is at a gathering like this where the Church’s voice on human rights is needed more than any other place to announce the Gospel and the divine rights of men and women of every race and condition.


JR :slight_smile:

And there’s such a thing as self determination through civic nationalism.

In fact this idea that Israel must exist because of self determination is flawed. Pre Israel, zionists/jews lived all over the world.
What gives them the right to self determination?

What if people of Trojan descent who were citizens of different countries all over the world wanted to form Troy again?

I do not agree with the whole self-determination thing. I’m just saying that you can’t have it both ways.

And my point was that civic nationalism is not about race at all.

For example, nationalism in Scotland and Wales is largely civic nationalism - not based on race. In such a context, how is there a conflict between discrimination and self-determination?

We’re getting away from the point of the thread. The question was why is the Holy Father supporting the UN’s meeting?

The answer seems to be right in the dicussion that is taken place above. The Church believes that self-determination is a God-given right, while all forms of racial or ethnic discrimination constitute grave sin on the part of the individual who discriminates and the state that allows and promotes it.

The role of the Church at the UN has always been to share truth and reason with the leaders of the world. This is the truth. Men have a God-given right to self-determination. They do not have the right to bigotry. In Salvation history God always protected his people from bigotry. While the scriptures never condemn the right of other nations to exist peacefully. Jesus himself teaches that we should render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s. But Caesar does not have the right to subject people to injustice.

In his letter to the leaders of the world our holy father Francis repeats this age old theme found in Judeo-Christian history. World leaders have a moral obligation to protect their citizens. This is the obligation to protect the rights of citizens. Self-determination is certainly one of those rights, even though Francis does not use that language because it was non existent in his time. But the idea of a moral government was clear to him.

Nonetheless, Francis also warns about leading people down the path of sin. He warns leaders that if they do so they shall be held more accountable than others. Discrimination or bigotry is certainly a sin, a very serious one too.

Francis of Assisi was not alone in his warning to the leaders of nations. So was St. John Neuman when he came to America and Archbishop Carrol, the first bishop in the USA. These men were for self-determination in the new nation. But they were also for the rights of all men and women, not just a few.

Mother Teresa spoke openly against discrimination, because discrimination usually creates poverty and war. The losers in discrimination are usually the more helpless members of society. She never spoke against self-determination. We know that she understood the concept of self-determination. Her own homeland was overtaken by Communism. She lived through the Indian revolution and was supportive of the Indian people’s right to experience the love of God.

The idea that the Church must shy away or boycott a meeting where the ideas of the scriptures and the saints need to be proclaimed is contrary to the mission of the Church. In Lumen Gentium the Church announces to the world that her role is to be a light among the people. This meeting is one of those events where a light is definitely needed.

I hope this is helpful to some.


JR :slight_smile:

Yes, but with Judiasm there is a racial component. People are afraid of losing the “Jewish race” if they open Israel up as a democratic nation. I think it would be difficult for the U.N. to support a nation that has racial preferences (like Israel does) but then condemn a nation that gave legal and govermental preference to white people, for example.

Because of the nature of the Jewish faith, racial discrimination is believed to be necessary to preserve the people and the nation. Israel today discriminates in favor of those people who are of the Jewish race and against those who are not. It’s difficult to argue against that kind of racial discrimination since it is a part of the Jewish religion itself. What defenders of Israel’s policy will argue is that Israel has to right to give preference to one race over another.

This is not totally accurate. There are Israeli citizens who are Christians, Muslims and other. There are members of the Cabinet who Christians. I don’t know about Muslim. The Israeli government and the Franciscan Order have a very large program for families who have been hurt by poverty and war. The program was begun by the Franciscans, but the Israeli government gives them federal funds to run it. There are several hundred Secular Franciscan brothers and sisters and Franciscan Friars who work alongside with Jews and Muslins inside of Israel to operate the Franciscan Family Centers. These centers provide relief, medical care, counseling, recreation programs and other services to Israeli citizens.

My point is that the image of a racist Israel is not tottally accurate, at least no more accurate than that of non racist Saudi Arabia or Iran and Iraq.

Racism and discrimination exist in every nation on earth and the Church has the moral obligation to present the alternative just as she is doing in Israel and in Iraq.


JR :slight_smile:

Your post was filled with a lack of understanding of Israeli policy and government. No race is above the law in Israel. Judaism is a religion and a race as I’m sure you know but that does not mean others can’t have rights in the country. Christians, Muslims, Bahai and Druze all fully participate in government and in day to day business. They all serve in the military. (Not sure about the Bahai though…) Israel does not discriminate based on race and to insinuate such is an insult to the Israeli people.

And I think you would want your own self determination if 6,000,000 of your fellows were exterminated…

The truth is usually somewhere in the middle…I think the pope is hoping to help find common ground for building pece

You are certainly right on this. The Vatican has always said that it’s role in the United Nations is to observe and encourage the nations of the world to cooperate in building a world that is just, cooperative, co-responsibile, unified under one goal: to live in peace.

It is almost a moral obligation for the Catholic community to be present at these talks. There is a great deal at stake here. We cannot sit on the sidelines and take political sides, when there are moral questions on the table.


JR :slight_smile:

Here’s my problem with what the Vatican is doing at the UN: Why do they need it? The Catholic Church is the kingdom of God on Earth. It does not need the Vatican to proclaim the truth. Why should it saddle itself with an institution that promotes hatred of all that the Church stands for and has never accomplished anything positive in its entire history. The UN delegates seem more interested in what restaurant they are going to eat at than in solving any of the world’s problems.


How’s that working out?

Sorry for the sarcasm but I just think that any association with the UN is just plain useless.


The Vatican is also a sovereign nation…It has the oldest diplomatic service in the world…They need to be able to approach nations about the treatment of Catholics within thier borders …Think of the persecution going on now in India, of Catholics

We live in an ever shrinking global world…The Vatican needs contacts to help them get into countries to offer aid in times of natural disasters…It has a lot more influence than people think, and it uses it to do what Christ demands of us all…to be our brothers keeper

The Catholic Church has never said that it is the Kingdom of God on earth. The Church has said that its mission is to proclaim the Kingdome of God. Christology tells us that Jesus is the Kingdom of God. The Church proclaims Christ to the world.

I’m not sure I understand if you’re asking why we need the Vatican or why the Vatican has to be the voice of the Church. I’m a little confused here. In any case, the Vatican is the seat of the Church. It is the official voice of the Church. It is also a sovereign nation. It has a right to be present among other nations. This particular nation has a mission, to proclaim Christ. You do not stop because others are not listening. You keep trying, even though it may be a gentle reminder.

Why should it saddle itself with an institution that promotes hatred of all that the Church stands for and has never accomplished anything positive in its entire history. The UN delegates seem more interested in what restaurant they are going to eat at than in solving any of the world’s problems.

The Church believes in the mission of the United Nations, even though those who are at the UN do not fulfill that mission, the mission continues to be a valid one. The Church reminds them of this. She serves as the voice of conscience.


JR :slight_smile:

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