Catholic Lobbying Group Presents List of Defenders

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VATICAN CITY, DEC. 10, 2000 (Zenit.org).-
A lobbying group has presented the Vatican a list of 4,207 groups that have signed a declaration in support of the Holy See at the United Nations.

Representatives of the Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute (C-FAM) appeared at the Vatican to present the results of a campaign in support of the Holy See.

C-FAM began the campaign last January in reaction to the efforts of pro-abortion groups to have the Holy See removed from its permanent observer seat at the United Nations. More than 500 groups had claimed that the Holy See is not a state and therefore not deserving to participate in U.N. debates.

The Holy See has come under attack at the United Nations for its successful opposition to making abortion a universally recognized human «right.» The campaign against the Holy See has been led by a dissident group, Catholics for a Free Choice, which has been condemned twice by the U.S. bishops´ conference.

Catholics for a Free Choice has taken its campaign into the halls of the United Nations itself, a violation of proper behavior for nongovernmental organizations, C-FAM said.

Complaints against the abortion group have poured into the offices of the U.N. Economic and Social Council, according to C-FAM. Disciplinary action against Catholics for a Free Choice could include the loss of its NGO status.

C-FAM said it secretly began its campaign in support of the Holy See on Jan. 4 and received more than 1,000 endorsers within the first 60 days. Since mid-March the list has grown, and includes the largest Protestant and Muslim groups in the world, C-FAM said. The presentation at the Vatican took place after the John Paul II´s general audience Nov. 15.

According to a C-FAM statement, Vatican Secretary of State Angelo Cardinal Sodano said, «His Holiness appreciates your support and hopes that fresh efforts can be made to educate public opinion regarding the role of the Holy See in the international community and its contribution to the crucial debates regarding human life, justice, solidarity and peace in the world.»

C-FAM president Austin Ruse said: «The campaign against the Holy See will continue; so will our efforts to defend the position of the Holy See at the U.N.»

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