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.