Recently there have been excessive calls for probe into the involvement of the Catholic Church on the decisions of the United Nations, particularly the Holy See. The Catholic Church is the only religion which has a voting spot on the United Nations. The Catholic Church has a high ranking role and sometimes controversial role on the United Nations and some of its allied international bodies.The position and seat occupied by the Catholic Church represented by the Holy See is held by no other religion in the world be t Moslem, Protestantism, Hinduism, Buddhism or any other. The Catholic Church participates as a full fledged nation courtesy of the Vatican City state which is reputably the smallest nation on the world map with its own constitution and leadership. And the Vatican City is governed by the Holy See and the Holy See is the spiritual government of the Catholic Church which is coordinated by the Pope with the help of the College of Cardinals and the Roman Curia. So in essence, the Holy See is as much a state as it a religion. The Vatican City exists as an independent state courtesy of the Lateran treaty of 1929 signed between Benito Mussolini and the then secretary of state to Pope XI, Pietro Gasparri, thus granting physical lands and holdings to the Pope and the Catholic Church. And with over 1.1 billion members and the Pope at its head, the Catholic Church stands tall. Regarding the United Nations, the Holy See is a non-member State Permanent Observer like Switzerland. The privileges here include the ability to speak and vote at UN conferences and no other religion has these privileges. Other religions participate at the UN like most other non-state entities - as non-governmental organizations.
The Holy See became a member of the UN courtesy of having been a member of the Universal Postal Union and the International Telecommunications Union. And in1951, representatives of the Vatican and the Holy See began attending sessions of the UN General Assembly, the World Health Organization and the UN Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization as ad hoc observers and since then the Holy See has become very active in the UN beyond the special conferences held every few years.In addition to sending a permanent observer to the UN headquarters in New York, it sends permanent observers to the UN offices in Geneva and Vienna, as well as to the UN Organization for Industrial Development; UN Food and Agricultural Organization; the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization; the Organization of the American States and at least 13 other high powered bodies. The Catholic Church is known to influence several top decisions on the United Nations, more importantly decisions involving abortion, use of contraceptives etc.
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