• "Though the mini-state of Liechtenstein is over 350 times larger than the Vatican, the fundamental difference between Vatican City and the rest of the world is not its extremely modest size. The fundamental difference is that the Vatican does not represent a people. The Holy See has some 700 inhabitants. These inhabitants do not acquire Vatican citizenship by birth as in every other country, but by their position in the Catholic church. Moreover, they all possess a passport of their birth country. The Pope, for example, is a Polish citizen. This means that he has two votes on the international stage: he is represented by Vatican City and by Poland. The combination of worldly power and religious authority is particularly powerful and gives the Catholic church a disproportionate influence in international politics."
    --Lousewies van der Laan, Member of the European Parliament, in an article suggesting that European Union countries should reconsider their diplomatic relations with the Catholic church. ["Doorbreek machtspositie Vaticaan," Trouw (The Netherlands), 18 November 2000.]
  • "The unholy alliance formed by the Holy See, Iran, Algeria, Nicaragua, Syria, Libya, Morocco and Pakistan has attempted to hold ransom women's human rights."
    --Pierre Sane, head of the international human rights organization Amnesty International, speaking at a satellite meeting during a United Nations meeting on women. [Deborah Zabarenko, "Vatican, 4 Nations, obstruct women's rights-advocate," Reuters, June 5, 2000.]
  • "I remain persuaded that the United States has no business sending an ambassador to any religious entity, be it Baptist or Methodist or, as is the case here, the seat of the Catholic Church."
    --Senator Jesse Helms, speaking in a debate in the US Senate on the nomination of Raymond Flynn as US Ambassador to the Holy See. Sen. Helms is one of the cosponsors of the congressional resolution supporting the Holy See's position as a United Nations Non-member State Permanent Observer. [Congressional Record, June 30, 1993.]

  • "What privileges are they referring to?"
    --Archbishop Renato Martino, Vatican Permanent Observer at the United Nations, asked in response to the charge that the Vatican's status is a privilege not bestowed on other religions. "In fact, the Holy See has had both an active and passive right of legation since the 4th century. Its international juridical status is universally recognized. How can a seat at the U.N. be considered a privilege, when the Holy See has had stable diplomatic relations for centuries with a great number of countries?" The official Holy See's spokesman, Joaquin Navarro-Valls "dismissed" The "See Change" Campaign as "a clumsy attempt to silence the Catholic Church." [Zenit Newswire, "Vatican Permanent Observer status at U.N. challenged," June 10, 1999.]
  • "We often hear 'the Church is not a democracy.' That's true because it's not a country or a society."
    --Cardinal Francis George, Archbishop of Chicago, calling on the world's Catholic press to "record the work of grace in the world," and not concentrate on the activities of the bishops or institutions. ["Cardinal: Report on grace, not bishops," Inside the Vatican, June/July 1999.]

  • "[The Vatican] is an independent state, it has its own government."
    --Bill Kokesch, spokesman for the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops. He added, according to the National Post that it, "as an internationally recognized sovereignty deserves its place in the UN." [Christopher Shulgan, "Canadians join move to oust Vatican from UN International coalition," National Post (Canada), April 19,1999.]

  • "The Vatican has as much right to be [in the UN] as any of the other countries. . . . There's a long, long history to it."
    --Bishop John Baycroft, the Anglican church in Canada's ambassador to the Vatican. And accordingly, he told the National Post, the Vatican "deserves its sovereign status as the territorial remainder of the Papal States. . . . Also, the UN is well-served to count the Vatican within its membership, Bishop Baycroft says, because its world-wide network of community-level contacts gives it a sense of what ordinary people are thinking that few other governments can match," the Post reported. Baycroft concluded: "It truly is a universal church." [Christopher Shulgan, "Canadians join move to oust Vatican from UN International coalition," National Post (Canada), April 19,1999.]

  • "If the Vatican is a state, then EuroDisney deserves a seat on the Security Council."
    --Frances Kissling, president of Catholics for a Free Choice. [Catholic World Report, "'Catholics for a Free Choice'," May 1999.]

  • "[T]he Holy See should beware of losing the war for world opinion. Its UN diplomats need to know when to speak and when to be silent."
    --An editorial in the Tablet, a British Catholic weekly, criticizing the Vatican's opposition to all forms of contraception and the use of condoms when one partner has HIV or AIDS. ["The Vatican's Achilles' heel," Tablet (UK), July 10, 1999.]

  • "The Holy See is in an unholy alliance with reactionary forces deeply unholy, and I speak as a fully signed-up ethnic Catholic, as I learned to call myself in Bosnia. My church is playing a deeply obstructive role where, if it had its way, a million people would get the HIV virus, there would be more and more unwanted pregnancies, more and more illegal abortions, more and more mothers dying as a result of illegal abortions. That is the position they are trying to work for. And it's a morally destructive course. There's this alliance trying to find governments which, for one reason or another, they can bully into adopting a position to obstruct this growing, informed international consensus. We have to have it out and argue and defeat those arguments. And while the office of the Holy See is putting that position, I know that Catholics worldwide, the overwhelming majority of them, do not agree with it."
    --Clare Short, UK Secretary of State for International Development, in an interview with the Guardian (UK) before the July 1999 UN meeting in New York that assessed progress since the 1994 International Conference on Population and Development in Cairo. [Sarah Boseley , "Deadly serious," The Guardian (UK), June 30, 1999.]

  • "Why should an entity that is in essence 100 square acres of office space and tourist attractions in the middle of Rome with a citizenry that excludes women and children have a place at the table where governments set policies affecting the very survival of women and children? Vatican positions on issues in the United Nations [conferences] and in countries across the world have had the effect of increasing the suffering of the world's poorest nations."
    --Frances Kissling, president of Catholics for a Free Choice, speaking at the press conference to launch The "See Change" Campaign. [Patsy McGarry, "Campaign to challenge Vatican's status at UN," Irish Times (Ireland), March 25, 1999.]

  • "I am, indeed, sorry to have that evidence of your disregard for Christ's Church and its teachings. I do detect, however, in your recent characterization of the Vatican as "one hundred square acres of office space and tourist attractions" as an indication that you may be "losing it"."
    --The Most Reverend Thomas G. Doran, Bishop of Rockford in letter to Frances Kissling, president of Catholics for a Free Choice. [Correspondence on file at Catholics for a Free Choice, March 29, 1999.]

  • "The Vatican's obstructive tactics on women's rights at international forums have caused the Catholic church to lose credibility as a spiritual and moral force in the world."
    --Joanna Manning, author of 'Is the Pope Catholic?' and women's rights advocate. [Christopher Shulgan, "Canadians join move to oust Vatican from UN International coalition," National Post (Canada), April 19,1999.]

  • "To ensure that the United Nations does not promote any particular religion, religious entities such as the Roman Catholic Church should not be permitted to participate in this forum as a non-member state."
    --Anika Rahman, director of International Programs at the Center for Reproductive Law and Policy, speaking at the press conference to launch The "See Change" Campaign, March 24, 1999. [Thalif Deen , "Women want Vatican out of UN," Botswana Gazette, (Botswana, Africa) April 21, 1999.]

  • "[T]he Vatican has a privileged position which it consistently uses to oppose widely accepted health measures such as contraception and sexuality education."
    --Amparo Claro, general coordinator of the Latin American and Caribbean Women's Health Network, speaking at the press conference to launch The "See Change" Campaign, March 24, 1999. [Patsy McGarry, "Campaign to challenge Vatican's status at UN," Irish Times (Ireland), March 25, 1999.]

  • "Given that the Vatican is not a nation-state, is not involved in the implementation of the Cairo Programme of Action, and, by its very nature, does not have women or children or sexual and reproductive problems, why is the Vatican delegation interested in blocking advances in contraception, sexual education, and HIV prevention that are beneficial to millions of women, especially to millions of the world's poorest women?"
    --Excerpt from "An Open Letter to The Vatican." ["Women Press The Vatican For Answers: An Open Letter to The Vatican," released in New York City, 1 July 1999]

  • "On an altar of sexism, they are sacrificing the reputation of the Catholic Church as an instrument of justice in the world."
    --Joanna Manning, author of 'Is the Pope Catholic?' and women's rights advocate. [Steven Edwards, "Catholic reformists lobby to rid Vatican of observer status at UN, end influence," National Post (Canada), August 12, 1999.]

  • "The Vatican's position in contemporary global debate should be extremely humble. [It] does not represent the diversity of opinions within the Christian community. It does not even reflect the multiple voices of Catholics."
    --Amparo Claro, general coordinator of the Latin American and Caribbean Women's Health Network. [Laura Flanders, "Giving the Vatican the boot," Ms Magazine, October/November, 1999.]

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