Vatican spokesman calls the debate over Vatican UN status "a battle of ideology"
February 11, 2000

International support for The "See Change" Campaign has forced the Vatican to officially denounce the international effort to change the Holy See's status at the United Nations.

In an interview with Fides, an official Vatican news agency, Fr. Bernard Przewozny OFM, a consultant for the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, called the debate over the Vatican's status at the United Nations "a battle of ideology."

During the interview, Fr. Przewozny claimed that "the Holy See has always been the principle voice opposing the expansion of abortion policies in UN documents. [It] participates in a loose-knit coalition of Catholic and Muslim states that has also stopped the efforts to expand gender to include homosexuality and to redefine the family to include homosexual couples."

According to Fr. Przewozny, the international support for The "See Change" Campaign is "an obvious result" of the campaign's "capacity for organization." The campaign was also making "life difficult not only for the Vatican but for every individual bishop seeking to uphold the church's moral teaching." He continued that supporters of The See Change Campaign "want merely to eliminate the Vatican because it stands in the way of the affirmation of pseudo moral values of liberty and self-determination."

Fr. Przewozny concluded by distorting the intentions and motivations of campaign supporters. He argued that endorsers of The "See Change" Campaign "refuse to speak" on issues such as "industrial planning, redistribution of resources, reduction of poverty, [and] access to social services." These issues, and many more, are at the heart of Catholics for a Free Choice's agenda, and that of the other organizations involved.

Fr. Przewozny is a professor of dogmatic theology and was formerly with the Pontifical Academy of Sciences and an advisor to the pope on environmental issues. He is also president of the Franciscan Center of Environmental Studies.

The Fides news agency was started in 1927 by the Pontifical Society for the Propagation of the Faith, formerly known as the Inquisition.

[Francesca Caferri, "Le Ong contro il Vaticano ‘Via la Santa Sede dall'Onu’," CNN Italia, February 8, 2000; Fides, "Radical NGOs want to downgrade Holy See to NGO," February 7, 2000; Mark Hertsgaard, "The holy war against birth control," Mother Jones, March/April, 1993.]