In association with several other organizations, Catholics for a Free Choice (CFFC) has recently initiated a “See Change” campaign in order to change the status of the Roman Catholic church at the United Nations.
Since 1964, the Holy See has enjoyed a privileged status as a “Non-member-state Permanent Observer,” since the Vatican is a State with a territory, albeit a tiny one and without a permanent citizenry. No other religion has such a status. CFFC claim the Holy See should have the same voice and the same rights as the other religions at the United Nations, “as a religious body, not as a quasi-governmental entity.”
The fact that the Vatican has defended at international conferences — quite often in alliance with Muslim countries — policies on issues of reproductive health quite different from those of CFFC obviously plays an important role behind such an initiative. But aside from those specific issues, one notices increasing criticism from militant secular groups as well as some progressive Catholic groups about the diplomatic activities of the Holy See in international arenas.
Whatever the results of this campaign, there will likely be similar efforts in the future. Sensing the significance of the issue at stake, pro-Vatican lobbyists have reacted by launching their own “Holy See Campaign” in support of the Vatican at the United Nations.
(Catholics for a Free Choice, http://www.catholicsforchoice.org; the pro-Vatican Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute, http://www.c-fam.org)
— By Jean-François Mayer