BBC Online poll agrees Vaticanís status at United Nations should be changed
May 20, 1999

A significant development in the campaign occurred in May when the influential British Broadcasting Corporation radio program "Today" ran a segment on the issue of the Holy See at the United Nations and the recent statements by senior church leaders against the provision of emergency contraception for rape victims in Kosovo. Subsequently, BBC Online decided to make this issue part of the daily "Have Your Say" item on its website. The poll asked visitors to cast their vote on the question, "Should the Vatican be expelled from the United Nations?" Visitors were also invited to post their personal comments on the issue.

On Monday, May 17, the last date that the poll was in operation, people from around the world had voted 58 percent in favor of removing the Vatican from the United Nations and 42 percent against. Despite the nonscientific nature of this web poll, its results so worried senior Vatican officials that both Joaquin Navarro-Valls, the official spokesman for the Vatican, and Archbishop Renato Martino, the Vatican's permanent delegate to the United Nations, felt pressured to comment on the campaign. A defensive Navarro-Valls described the move as "a clumsy attempt to silence the Catholic Church."

Check out what people had to say at the BBC Online site
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