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Vatican official addresses UN on humanitarian needs, persecution of Christians, economic crisis

September 30, 2011

In an address to the UN General Assembly, the Vatican’s “foreign minister,” Archbishop Dominique Mamberti, concentrated on three topics: humanitarian crises, religious persecution, and the worldwide economic crisis.

Regarding humanitarian concerns, the Vatican’s Secretary for Relations with States pointed to the famine in the Horn of Africa, which threatens millions with starvation, and renewed the Pope’s appeal for emergency aid.

Turning to religious persecution, Archbishop Mamberti noted that “Christians are currently the religious group suffering the greatest number of persecutions on account of their faith.” He warned that violations of religious freedom are threats to world peace.

On the financial crisis, the archbishop said that “a fundamental part of the current plight is a lack of ethics in economic structures.” An economic system based solely on monetary gain cannot endure, he said. “All economic decisions have moral consequences,” he added.

Archbishop Mamberti reminded the UN audience that the Vatican has called for a reform of international financial structures, based on a model that sees the world as a “family of nations” and pays special attention to those in greatest need.


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