In a meeting with top United Nations officials, Pope Francis has called for a 'worldwide ethical mobilisation', reports the Catholic News Service.
Such a mobilisation, he said, would push technical programs for justice, peace and development further by promoting respect for human life, 'fraternity and solidarity'.
'An important part of humanity does not share in the benefits of progress and is, in fact, relegated to the status of second-class citizens,' the Pope said during a meeting at the Vatican with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and members of the UN System Chief Executives Board for Coordination.
The board includes the directors of 29 specialised agencies and UN departments. The Vatican and Catholic organisations around the world work closely with many of them, such as the World Food Program and the UN High Commissioner for Refugees. However, tensions also have arisen with some of the departments and agencies, particularly concerning population control programmes and efforts to broaden access to legalised abortion.
While Pope Francis did not dwell on the tensions or mention any of them specifically, he insisted that the promotion of human dignity include a recognition that 'life is sacred and inviolable from conception to natural death'.
The Pope’s meeting with the board came just days after Vatican representatives were questioned by the UN Committee Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment, particularly regarding the Church’s handling of the clerical sexual abuse scandal, but also about the Church’s opposition to abortion in all cases.
At the meeting with UN board members, Pope Francis said improving the lives and health of all the world's people 'involves challenging all forms of injustice and resisting the "economy of exclusion", the "throwaway culture" and the "culture of death", which nowadays sadly risk becoming passively accepted'.
Pope steers UN towards a true, worldwide ethical mobilization (Vatican Insider)