Hope for a moral voice awaits Pope Francis in his UN address

(NCR Online) The occasion of Pope Francis addressing world leaders gathered here at the United Nations Friday morning will only begin a busy week for the international body in the midst of its 70th year.

A day after addressing Congress, Francis will address the U.N. General Assembly, in what has become somewhat of a tradition when popes make their way to America. His speech comes as the U.N.’s 193-member states prepare to adopt the post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals and less than three months before the body meets in Paris for a potential binding agreement to address climate change.

It’s within that context that Francis will address the global community, in addition to the growing migrant crisis of Syrian refugees and the continued threat of the Islamic State.

“I think there’s a lot of hope around here for his visit,” said Congregation of Notre Dame Sr. Stacy Hanrahan, one of numerous women religious working at the U.N. through non-governmental organizations. Hanrahan is part of UNANIMA International, a coalition of roughly 20 women religious congregations representing more than 20,000 sisters around the globe.

Dominican Sr. Margaret Mayce, chair of the NGO working group on social development, said Francis will come to the U.N. not to tell people what to do, but to bring “a very clear moral voice to the issues,” something often absent from the body’s discourse. [More]


NCR Online