Un General Assembly Approves Vatican’s Status

The United Nations General Assembly has approved a resolution making it easier for the Vatican to participate in the world body’s sessions, albeit without a vote.

The resolution adopted on July 1 by the UN essentially upgraded the Vatican’s permanent observer status, giving the Holy See the same rights and privileges as other observers, such as the Palestinians, the Associated Press reported. Before the Vatican’s strengthened status, it had to obtain permission from five regional groups at the UN before being able to enter debate, could not reply to criticisms of other nations or circulate documents with the General Assembly.

Archbishop Celestino Migliore, the Vatican’s representative to the UN, described the Vatican’s improved status as a blow to the efforts from some groups to oust the Vatican from the UN because of the church’s anti-abortion stand.

Migliore, the Religion News Service reported, trumpeted the resolution as an “important step forward and reflects the lofty values and collective interests shared by the Holy See and the United Nations.”