By Linda Bordoni
Pope Francis on Thursday thanked his envoy to the United Nations in New York for all the hard work he is doing to raise the Holy See’s concerns regarding urgent issues and policies that have a direct impact on mankind.
He was receiving in audience Archbishop Bernadito Auza, Apostolic Nuncio and Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the United Nations, who was in the Vatican to update the Pope on ongoing work.
Speaking to Vatican Media immediately after the audience, Archbishop Auza told Linda Bordoni that it was really him thanking the Pope “for making his work easy: I just have to cite him and then elaborate on what he says to make our position clear!”
The Archbishop said that during their conversation the Pope expressed appreciation for the work of the Holy See Mission at the UN and said he is aware of the demanding kind of work it is and of the challenges faced in certain questions.
Treaty on Nuclear Weapons
“I thanked him for having not only signed, but ratified the new treaty on nuclear weapons, he said, I told him how he played a major role in pushing forward the treaty and inspiring countries who are the leaders of this process to go forward”.
Auza explained how the Pope’s message calling for a treaty on the elimination of nuclear weapons was read at the opening of the negotiations and of how the Holy See had a delegation of experts pushing forward its agenda on all fronts.
He said that they were very united in pushing for the “final objective of trying to move forward the question of the prohibition of nuclear weapons towards total elimination.”
“I thanked the Pope for that, and he said it is a moral imperative of our time” he said.
Global Compact for Migration
Secondly, Auza said, “I updated him on where we stand on the Global Compact for Migration” as we work towards the summit for the adoption of the Global Compact next year.
He said they also spoke of questions related to the respect for life, for religious freedom – some of them with strong moral and ethical implications like sexual and reproductive rights, “ and then the question of gender”.
2017 difficult year
Auza said there have been many specific issues this year that have made it a difficult year for our negotiations but, overall he said, “We try to maintain good relations with everybody”.
The Archbishop revealed they also chatted about his family as the Pope met his parents in New York and asked about his mother whom, he said, “is turning 96 and about his father who is 95 as they prepare to celebrate their 73rd wedding anniversary – all very exciting!”
“I was very happy about the audience, he concluded, and I think the Holy Father was also pleased to hear this little update about all the things we do in New York!”